Lonavala hill station is a perfect weekend escape in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, here’s all the details you wanted to know before paying a visit to this charming (2,041 ft) hill-station
Best Time to Visit
If you like rain, monsoon is the perfect time to enjoy waterfalls and greenery in Lonavala, however the pleasant time to visit is winter between October – February
How to reach
As this place is one of the major stops between Mumbai and Pune, all trains commuting between Mumbai and Pune halt at Lonavala. Nearest airport is Pune (65km) and Mumbai (90km). There are frequent buses both private and government from Pune and Mumbai.
Road is by far the most beautiful way to reach Lonavala, you can enjoy the scenic drive or taxi ride in the Mumbai Pune Expressway.
Things to do
This masonry dam on the Indrayani River, is one of the popular attractions in Maharashtra. The ideal time to enjoy this natural attraction is monsoon when you can have fun in the overflowing water. Bhushi dam is crowded on weekends and it’s usually hard to find a place to even stand on the steps. For obvious reasons, swimming is prohibited in the dam.
Tiger point (some call it Lion point) has its resemblance to the shape of tiger. This widespread tourist attraction offers mind-blowing views of the valley and stretches around 8 km. One can enjoy the tea and local snacks served by the villagers here, though beware of the monkeys.
Hookah Point – Sunny da Dhaba and Tony da dhaba are the famous spots in Lonavala, here you can enjoy hookah and yummy food with family and friends.Fireworks, music and the ambience are the best!
“Aati kya Khandala” song has acquired quite a lot of interest among tourists for this hill station which is situated in close proximity to Lonavala 🙂 You might want to explore Khandala as well during your Lonavala trip.Here are quick details.
Nagphani or Duke’s Nose
This is a trekking point in khandala, very much doable in half a day. The view from top of the hill is just amazing especially in the evening. There is a small temple at the peak of this hill, do not forget to carry sufficient water 🙂
This fall located between the twin hills Lonavala and Khandala is a must to visit in monsoon. The views of water falling from 650 feet is truly a delightful sight. It gives you a feel of fiction and dreamy world. Reaching the origin is not easily accessible as the ways to reach there is usually closed, however one can enjoy the breathtaking views in rainy season, highly recommended for photographers and nature lovers.
Celebrity Wax Museum
This museum, founded by Sunil Kandaloor is an earnest attempt to recreate Madame Tussauds in Lonavala. The Celebrity wax museum at Lonavala, houses brilliantly crafted and molded wax status of celebrities and the museum gives you perfect break from the other natural attractions. This museum features personalities like Angelina Jolie and Bruce Lee, Kapil Dev, Narendra Modi Anna Hazare, Chhatrapati Shivaji and many more. Located on the old Mumbai- Pune Highway just before the Lonavala town.
Cost: INR 100 per person. Free entry for children below the age of 5 or less than 120 cms of height
Okay so you have seen the waterfalls, visited the dam, appreciated the art in museum and now in need of a relaxing and quiet place, welcome to the ever-engaging magnificent caves in Lonavala. There are majorly three caves namely Karla caves, Bhajja caves and Bedsa caves located very close to each other. It’s quiet an experience to sit there and meditate or to imagine how ancient people survived there in the caves. The steps are easy to climb. These caves are awe-inspiring and a must if you are a history lover.
Karla caves are among the oldest Buddhist cave shrines in India. Carved almost 2000 years ago around the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD, it is also a home to Ekveera temple dedicated to Goddess Ekveera
Bhaja Caves is a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd century BC. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja. The inscriptions and the cave temple are protected as a Monument of National Importance, by the Archaeological Survey of India. The carvings prove that tabla – a percussion instrument – was used in India for at least two thousand years. The carving shows a woman playing tabla and another woman, performing dance.
Bedsa caves are buddhist people’s prayer hall and are some 9 km from the Bhaja Caves. Both caves face eastwards so it is recommended to visit the caves in the early morning, as sunlight enhances the beauty of carvings. Bedse Caves are comparatively less known and less visited. People know about the nearby Karla Caves and Bhaja Caves but have hardly heard of Bedse Caves. This one involves hiking of around 400 steps to reach the cave. Best time to visit is during monsoon as the hills are filled with lush greenery during that time. Also, many small waterfalls are created that can only be enjoyed during the rainy season.
PS: Don’t forget to take water and food.
Aamby Valley city is a township located around 23km from Lonavala, it is a perfect destination if you are looking forward to rejuvenate yourself from the hustle bustle of routines.
The mini club houses a variety of spa options to choose from. You can go for the water sports or play golf in the western ghats Golf Club or do the sky diving thereby taking a dive in the azure sky.
Tungarli lake is a famous picnic spot located around 3 km from Lonavala. Lush green scenic surroundings and the cliff top views of entire Lonavala are the USPs of this lake.The vada paav and cutting chai offered in the tapri(tea stall) of local village is a must. Winter is the greatest season to enjoy camping around this lake, however my only urge is to help conserve the environment and respect our Flora and Fauna 😊
Lonavala hill-station is also known for the world-class resorts which helps you to let loose yourself. Some of the recommended ones are listed below
- Lagoona Resort
- Treasure Island Resort
- Captan’s Resort
- Upper Deck Resort
- Cloud 9 Hills Resort[tps_footer][/tps_footer]
- Club Mahindra Tungi Resort
This is popularly known as the Monsoon Lake, since it dries up in the summer but stunning and splendid in monsoon. the 360 degrees panoramic view makes this lake an ideal for monsoon.
Also known as Amrutanjan bridge, was used by the railway department but now is a secluded area.
This hill is located near Khopoli town, offers a picturesque view of Khandala. The spot is full of harmless monkeys but be careful they are our ancestors 😊
Known for – How can we wrap up without talking about the famous sweet Chikki, Canned jams, Wafers, fudges. In case you would like to buy the authentic chikkis – Maganlal chikki store which is near the railway station in Lonavala with a blue board above the shop is the original Maganlal chikki store.
Food – You will get almost every food item (veg and non-veg) in the local restaurants but nothing can beat the combination of hot masala tea with vada pav(Indian burger) in monsoon season.
Nearby places – Imagica, Lohgad Fort, Rajmachi Point, Della Adventure, Pavana Lake, Wet and joy water park, Lonavala Bazaar are some of the additional places to explore near Lonavala.