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Lonavla- Khandala, the weekend spot for people from Mumbai

by on July 10, 2007

Lonavla- Khandala

lonavla1.jpgBollywood filmmakers discovered the potential of this favourite hill station getaway as a shooting local a long time ago. Conventional wisdom in India says to stay away from hill roads during the rains, however when the rain comes, Mumbaikars take the train to Lonavla, as it pours down relentlessly. As the downfall increases they make their way to bushy dams. It’s the afterwards when people play cards in a cosy room, sippijng rum and eating piping hot bhajias, with the relentless sound of rain beating down outside, the aroma of wet earth.

Apart from being an honeymoon getaway, this is also an outdoor enthusiast’s hotspot. With so many Buddhist caves, forts and rugged hills within easy reach, this is a starting point for treks, hikes and rock climbs.

Bushy Dam is the small dam nestled in the forests just 6km outside Lonavla is far the most popular spot. On weekends during the monsoon, the place is packed with the people as the water running over the steps of the dam creates an interesting waterfall. People like to sit on the steps as the water flows over them however they are not allowed to swim as there can be a sudden surge in water force and level.

Ryewood Park is supposed to be a botanical garden but is a large park. There are lawns, trees and plenty of open spaces for picnic lunches in the cool shade. There is an old Christian cementry opposite the park where some of the gravestones are more than a hundred years old. Duke’s Nose, named after one of the British government of erstwhile Bombay, is locally known as Nagphani. You can also walk or hike the summit from Khandala station quite easily.

lonavla3.jpgAbout 15 km outside Lonavla are several Buddhist rock- cut caves and forts. The Karla Caves represent the best example of rock cut architecture in this region, also famous for two rows decorated pillars that line the main hall. Outside the main hall there is now a Koli Temple. Opposite the Karla rigde are the Bhaja Caves. The rock –cut architecture is beautiful here than Karla.

Lohagad, the iron fort. From Malavli station walk 3 km or path an auto to Bhaja village. You wil pass through several gates before you reach the top. You would be able to view the finger like projection of a lava fissure called the Scorpion’s Sting. On the left is the vast expanse of Pawna Lake with Tikona Fort on its left. Tung Fort lies further out in the distance as do Koregad Fort and Morvi Dongar.

Visapur Fort is opposite Lohagad. It’s much larger fort than Lohagad. At the top you will find lots of water tanks, ponds and the double – walled ruins of a chieftain’s residence.

Tikona Fort, at the top of it is an ancient Buddhist cave and some water tanks. If you go early on a winter morning there then you would be able to see Tung Fort clearly reflected in the waters of Pawna Lake. Tung Fort have some water tanks and ramparts and one gets view of Lohagad, Visapur and Tikona Forts and Pawna Lake from the top. We can also view the solitary fort of Koregad which is embellished with e few ponds, stands alone in majestic solitude.

lonavla2.jpgThe Lonavla is considered the Lake District of western India because it is having many lakes however all artificial. Many of these are secluded and remote. Tungarli Lake is a small lake just outside Lonavla and is at its best just after the monsoons, though water is still clear and deep right unti; December or January. Valvan Lake is created by Valvan Dam with some nice gardens but is a restricted area. Then there are Lonavla and Monson Lake which are at its best after monsoons.

There is plenty of opportunity for fishing in these parts. Most lakes are open for fishing except those belonging to Tata Electric Company.

Beyond Lonavla town there are many hotels and resorts like Fariyas Holiday Resort, Hotel Rainbow Retreat, Shiv Shanti Resort and many more.

In Lonavla there are all types of cuisines available in various hotels from Gujrati thali to Mughlai.Lonavla is also famous for chikki capital of India. Maganlals and A1 are the most famous stores in Lonavla. The chikki shops are invariably crowded on weekends. You can taste each variety before you decide which one to buy.

  1. manish kumar permalink

    ifi will come to lonavala which is the best hotel to stay please reply me by e mail

  2. Smita S permalink

    Nice information. You are right that beacause of bollywood a place like khandala became very famous.

    A decade back this place was a silent chilled place but now throngs of people visit the various places here to have fun and make merry

    There are some nice pictures of these places

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