Famous For: Lonavala is famous for its production of the hard candy “Chikki”. It is also home to INS Shivaji (formerly HMIS Shivaji) which is the Indian Navy’s Premier Technical Training Institute. Here are some interesting places to visit in Lonavala. Such as –Lonavala Lake, Karla Caves, Imagicaa, Tiger’s Leap, Rajmachi Fort, Aamby Valley, Bhaja Caves, Bhushi Dam, Lonavala – Bhimashankar Trek, Tikona Fort, Valvan Dam, Duke’s Nose, Kune Waterfalls, Lohagad Fort, Visapur Fort, Bhairavnath Temple Lonavala, Narayani Dham Temple, Scorpion’s Sting, Korigad Fort etc.Major Attractions: Lonavala Lake, Tiger’s Leap, Rajmachi Fort, Karla Caves, Imagicaa, Bhaja Caves, Bhushi Dam, Lonavala – Bhimashankar Trek, Korigad Fort.Ideal Visit Time: The ideal time to visit Lonavala is from December to February. The average temperature during this time ranges from 12°C to 29°C making the weather perfect for sightseeing. The monsoon months of June to September experience heavy (almost 24-hours) rainfall in Lonavala.
Lonavala is a famous hill station town and a Municipal Council in Pune district in the Indian State of Maharashtra. It is about 64 km west of Modern-Day Pune city and 96 km to the east of Mumbai. It is known for its production of the hard candy “Chikki” and is also a major stop on the railway line connecting Mumbai and Pune. Also it is the most visited hill station in Maharashtra and the place to be during monsoons. With lots of waterfalls, lakes and hills around, it is a popular destination for camping, trekking and other adventure sports. Lonavala offers an alluring and bewitching experience of nature’s most gifted region. Surrounded by dense forests, waterfalls, and dam alongside lakes, it is a must-visit if you admire nature.
Now, let’s talk about some interesting places of Lonavala below-
Lonavala Lake is located on the outskirts of Lonavala and is sourced by the Indrayani River. This lake fills up during the monsoons and dries up during the winter leading it to be popularly known as the monsoon lake. This lake attracts quite a few visitors, especially during the monsoon season and is one of the most visited attractions in Lonavala. It is a popular picnic spot, which offers some special activities like bird watching, swimming and angling.
So, the best time to visit is during the rainy season when the lake is filled with rainwater and you can enjoy some water activities as well. There are several stalls around the lake selling Mumbai’s signature street food vada-pav, piping hot ginger tea and other snacks.
Tiger’s Leap is an unusual name given to this place due to the resemblance of the shape with that of a tiger leaping into the valley. This famous viewpoint is located around 8 km away from Lonavala and is a major tourist attraction of this place. It is a clifftop with a sheer drop of over 650m offering a comprehensive view of the hills and the Western Ghats. Extending unparalleled beauty, this mountain is a linkage to get the best views of the forest, the greenery, and the frothing cascades.
The shape of this aspect relates a leaping tiger and its steep hill collect the waterfalls as a stream which is apt for water adventures like river rafting. It’s also famous for the stunning sunrise and sunset view, especially on a clear day.
Rajmachi is a small village situated in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. If you visit Lonavala, then Rajmachi Fort should top the list of must visit places in Lonavala as it brings forth some of the greatest architectural ideas belonged to the old centuries and the faultless serenity protecting the fort well. It is one of the most visited historical forts, perched on a rugged hill lying in the Sahyadri Mountain. It introduces you to two twin fortresses named Shriwardhan Ballekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla.
The two forts are surrounded by wide machi or plateau. Udhewadi is a common name that you will hear here It is a small village which houses 22 houses at the southern foot of Manaranjan Balekilla. Nature lovers, adventure junkies, campers, offbeat tourists and families come to Rajmachi to achieve the state of bliss as the aura of nature around the fort is easily amazing.
The fort of Rajmachi is famous among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. If you want to experience a full-fledged trek, you can start from the Kondhane caves side which will take 3-4 hours of climbing. Otherwise you can drive right upto Udhewadi village (from the Lonavala side) and then trek for hardly 20-30 minutes to the top of the fort. The simple and clearly marked trail on both the paths make Rajmachi a very popular beginner’s trek.
Karla Caves are ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves and a famous tourist attraction located near Lonavala. These are also known as Karli Caves, Karle Caves or Karla Cells. It is one of the oldest Buddhist cave shrines in India. The caves are carved on a rocky hillside and they date back to the 2nd and the 5th century BC. The caves are divided into several sections as halls and monasteries. You can spot a major ancient trade route near the caves running towards east from the Arabian Sea into the Deccan. You have to climb almost 150 stairs to reach the cave.
These are very important to the Mahasamghika community of Buddhism and there is a temple built by pillars which also dates back to the Buddhist period. There is an ancient trade route that goes from the caves to the sea across the Deccan. It was an ancient practice that the monks lived in the monastery located in the cave.
Imagicaa Bhaja Caves
Adlabs Imagica, one of the most popular amusement theme parks, opened in April 2013, is often referred to as the One Stop Amusement Center. It is located on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway near Khopoli and is the latest addition to the journey from Pune and Mumbai. The park is divided into three amusement zones, theme park, snow park and water park with a plethora of recreational options. A variety of sports include live shows, roller coasters, water parks, themed entertainment shows, and even a refreshing water park. It is definitely a great place to spend a holiday with family.
Imagica Adlabs is built over a vast area of around 300 acres with a budget of about INR 1600 crore displaying a magnificent state of the art infrastructure. It is the brainchild of a renowned media firm called Adlabs Entertainment Limited, owned by the entrepreneur and film producer Manmohan Shetty. Apart from luxurious accommodation, dining and shopping options, this theme park also offers some self-made fascinating characters, live performances of acrobats, hip-hop dancing, magic show and several other enthralling activities.
Bhushi Dam is a masonry dam on the Indrayani River in Lonavala, Maharashtra. The Dam is surrounded by lush green forests and rocky terrain. It is a popular tourist attraction which is best visited during the monsoons when the water in the dam overflows and creates a sort of waterfall. There are steps built on the dam which make for a great spectacle when the water is let out. Swimming is not allowed on the dam but you can definitely enjoy yourself on these steps.
It tends to get so crowded that many individuals find it hard even to get a decent standing spot. It’s also a place where you can take a break from your busy life and spend some time with your family. Definitely able to give you peace of mind.
Lonavala – Bhimashankar Trek
Deep and dense rain forests, flowers, small ethnic groups, ethnic tribal villages or lush pastures with long forgotten temples, Lonavala – Bhimashankar Trail are all there to give you. This is the best country trail as most amateurs claim and it awaits you to explore. The popularity of Lonavala as a hill station simply adds to the appeal and makes your experience invaluable.
Korigarh Fort is a beautiful hilltop fort offering spectacular views of the surrounding area. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Lonavala and it also provides a great trekking route. It is located about 25 km from Lonavala and at an altitude of about 3028 feet it makes it the highest fort in the country. It is a beautiful place to spend a pleasant afternoon. You can also enjoy paragliding and outdoor camping in the vicinity. There is a Koraidevi temple near the fort which can also serve as a shelter for trekkers.
How To Reach
By Road: Lonavala is located on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which is well-connected to many cities and towns in the state of Maharashtra and across the country, such as Kolhapur, Bangalore, Hubli, Belgaum etc. Several private as well as government buses ply on this route regularly, providing A/C, non-A/C, deluxe, semi-deluxe, sleeper and ordinary buses. Many agencies have frequent buses, so you can plan your trip any time.
By Train: Lonavala has good connectivity to many places in India, such as Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jodhpur, Kanyakumari, etc. Lonavala Railway Station serves as the origin of the Lonavala – Pune Suburban Trains. The station also acts as a halt for many trains to Mumbai and Pune. Some of the trains passing through this station include Ahmedabad – Pune Ahimsa Express, Pune – Veraval Express, Pune – Bhuj Express, Pune – Jodhpur Express, Pune – Ernakulam Express, Pune – Jaipur Express and many more.
By Air: Lonavala does not have any airport of its own. However, it is in close proximity to the airports at Mumbai and Pune. Both of these airports are connected to cities and towns across the country, such as Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, etc. and even to cities abroad, such as Dubai, Frankfurt, Beijing, New York, Paris, Melbourne, etc. You can reach Lonavala from these airports by car, bus or train. All of which are available in plenty.