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Lonavala is a popular getaway for people of Pune and Mumbai. The pleasant weather of this hill station gives a respite from the scorching summer heat. It also serves as a starting point for tourists interested in visiting the famous, ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves of Bhaja and Karla. It also has a vital Yoga center near it for the health-conscious traveler.
Rightly called the “Jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains’’, there are myriad natural wonders in Lonavala that justify that title. However, you will not be struck with places to explore in this tiny hill station, from lush green valleys to remarkable caves.
If you seek solitude, Lonavala is the place to be. Enjoy the warm sun or enjoy leisure walks; the choice is yours! For planning a trip more efficiently, here’s the Lonavala travel guide.
Location Of Lonavala
Lonavala is located in the western part of the state of Maharashtra, in the west of India. Set amongst the Sahyadri mountain range slopes, this hill station is situated 106 km southeast of Mumbai at an altitude of 625 m above sea level.
History Of Lonavala
The area around Lonavala was an important Buddhist center in the 2nd century BC, and thus, you can find many ancient Buddhist rock-cut cave temples in this area. As Lonavala is set in the inhospitable terrain of the Sahyadri mountain range, it was not an important site in terms of history. Chatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the first Maratha Empire, ruled this area. Later it came under the Peshwa rulers, who founded the second Maratha Empire. It was finally taken over by the British when they defeated the Peshwas.
Best Time To Visit Lonavala
The best time to visit Lonavala is from October to May. Summers (April-June) are mild, while winters are cool (November-February). Lonavala weather remains pleasant; making strolls pleasant. It is advised not to visit Lonavala in the monsoon season, i.e., June and September, as it experiences heavy rainfall.
Tourists Attractions In Lonavala
There are many natural tourist attractions in Lonavala that you can visit. You can take a walk along the waterfalls, the grassy abundance, and the hills in and around Lonavala. The mountainous terrain of Lonavala is ideal for trekking and hiking. Here are some of the popular tourist places in Lonavala you can add to your itinerary -
Tiger’s Leap - A prime attraction, Tiger Leap at 650 meters is shaped like a tiger leaping into a valley. It’s an echo point with streams flowing nearby, offering stunning views of the valley.
Bhaja Caves - Rock-cut caves are national monuments believed to be among India’s oldest. The caves belong to the 2nd to 1st century BCE, and Buddhist excavations date back to the Hinayana phase of Buddhism.
Bhushi Dam - Looking for a picnic spot? Then, Bhushi Dam is the place to be. Head here with friends or family to soak in the warm sunshine and enjoy views of the surroundings.
Duke’s Nose - A viewpoint in Lonavala, Duke’s Nose resembles a snake’s hood. There’s a temple dedicated to Hindu God Shiva, which you can visit for cultural insight. Adventure seeker? Rock climbing, trekking, rappelling, and more opportunities are available here.
Places Around Lonavala
Once you’ve had a fantastic tour of Lonavala, here are some places to visit near Lonavala -
There are numerous lakes around Lonavala.
Tugauli, Lonavala, and Bhushi lakes are worth visiting; so is the Valvan Dam.
The small hill station of Khandala is just 5 km away. If you come from Mumbai, you will pass this hill station in between, so why not explore it?
Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital is 2 km from Lonavala on the road to Karla and Bhaja caves. This center attracts both local and foreign tourists seeking yogic healing.
Karla and Bhaja Caves, located in the hills at 11 km from Lonavala, are famous places. These rock-cut cave temples date back to the 2nd century BC and are amongst the oldest and finest examples of Buddhist rock-cut temple art in India, belonging to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism.
Adventure seekers can try their hand at rock climbing at the Duke's Nose peak and other locations in the Karla hills, near Lonavala.
How To Reach Lonavala
By Air - Lonavala does not have an airport. The nearest airport is in Pune, which is 64 km from Lonavala. However, you can board flights from any city in India and hire a local vehicle after that. You can also plan road trips from Mumbai.
By Train- Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai (Bombay) and Pune (Poona), and thus, all express trains plying between the two cities stop here.
By Road - We would provide you with all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and intercity drives. State buses, private buses, and taxis are available too. You can also plan a road trip to Lonavala from Mumbai Pune Expressway or old Mumbai Pune road NH4.