Lonavala is a very well known Hill Station in Maharashtra. During monsoons, this place turns into a paradise surrounded by the majestic Sahayadri hills covered with lots of greeneries, sparkling lakes and many waterfalls.
During our trip to Pune, we were having lots of monsoon destinations on our list where we wanted to visit. We had already ticked off Lavasa from the list and had an amazing time there. We were left with only one day before our flight back to our home town, so we were looking for the best place to visit which would had to be near Pune. We finally decided on visiting Lonavala for a day trip which is located at about 65 kms from Pune. I had listed down all the places to visit in Lonavala and was hoping to be able to visit them all.
We must have seen about hundreds of waterfalls while on our way to the attractions in Lonavala. This road trip left us mesmerized and in awe of the beautiful surroundings.
When To Visit Lonavala:
If you enjoy monsoons then the best time to visit Lonavala is during June till September. The hill station is bestowed with heavy rains which makes it a very picturesque and scenic destination. October till March are also good months for sightseeing and trekking.
How To Reach Lonavala:
The best way to reach Lonavala is by road through which you will be assured to enjoy the beautiful views and your journey comfortably. We hired an Ola outstation cab for the trip and it took us about 1 hour to reach Lonavala from Pune. If you are coming from Mumbai, it would just take two hours to reach this popular destination.
Alternatively there are railway services and private buses also through which you can reach Lonavala from Mumbai or Pune.
We left our hotel early morning at 7 AM and reached Lonavala by 8:30 AM with one halt to have some vada pavs.
Places to visit in Lonavala:
Lonavala has a plethora of attractions for its visitors. These attractions include Bushy Dam, Pavana Dam, Lonavala Lake, Tiger Point, Duke’s Nose, Della Adventures, Lohagad Fort, Rajmachi Fort, Karla Caves and Bhaja Caves. You will be needing at least two days to visit all these attractions. The Lohagad Fort and Rajmachi Fort are very well known for trekking in Lonavala. Since we had only a day in Lonavala, we could visit the below places;
The Lonavala Lake also known as the Monsoon Lake has very beautiful and mesmerizing surroundings. This lake dries up completely during summers and comes to life with sparkling water during the monsoons. The amazing views of the hills covered with many waterfalls, the tranquil lake and cool breeze makes it a perfect spot for unwinding and relaxation. Enjoy the views with tea and roasted sweet corns easily available at many carts there. This lake is a must visit during monsoons.
Bushy Dam is the most popular attraction in Lonavala. Water flows heavily into this dam during rain falls. You can climb up to the dam and enjoy the free flowing water while sitting on the stairs built on the dam. You would need to be careful while climbing up to the dam because the rains make the huge and narrow steps slippery. There are snacks and tea vendors also in the middle of the dam, so you can also have some snacks there. Bushy dam is a place usually very crowded.
Make sure you carry extra pair of comfortable slippers with you that you can switch with your shoes in the car or cab. You can also get slippers from there on purchase or rent from a few vendors there and leave your shoes safe in their locker rooms.
Tiger point is a cliff top with a sheer drop of over 650m, giving panoramic views of forests, hills and valleys. This cliff resembles the shape of a leaping tiger. During our visit the views from the cliff were mildly covered with clouds. This generally happens during heavy rain falls. We stayed back there for about an hour hoping for the weather to be clear while having some hot maggi with tea. You may also try the delicious corn bhajiyas served at stalls there.
It took sometime for the weather to be clear and we were able to catch a few glimpses of the hills covered with lush greenery. The Tiger point is one of the major tourist attractions and can get pretty crowded during sunset times.
The Rajmachi point is a view point for the famous fort Rajmachi Fort that belongs to the famous King Shivaji. This fort is a well known tourist spot for trekking. The peak of Rajmachi fort has two significant forts namely the Shriranjan Fort and the Manaranjan fort. The breathtaking views of the dense forests and green valleys around these forts make this destination a very beautiful experience for the trekkers. Rajmachi point is also a very worthy place to watch sunset from.
The Karla Caves are one of the oldest Buddhist shrines built by Buddhist monks in India. These historically significant caves have the largest and the best preserved prayer hall (also known as Chaitya) in India. The carvings depicting about the teachings and journeys of Buddha in the caves are said to be about 2000 years old. This rock-cut Buddhist cave is made of many pillars beautifully decorated with sculptures of elephants, horses and other depictions.
To reach these caves you will have to climb about 200 steps from the car parking area. Rains make these stairs slippery so you will have to be careful while climbing them. There is a small entry fees of Rs. 5 for Indian nationals while Rs. 100 (USD 1.50 approx) for Foreign nationals.
We then visited the Lonavala’s market from where we had a very delicious Vada Pav at the Golden VadaPav restaurant and bought few boxes of assorted Chikkis from Maganlal. Lonavala is very famous for its sweet delicacy Chikki which is a hard candy made from jaggery and is available in many varieties.
Accommodation in Lonavala:
I would highly recommend you to stay in Lonavala for atleast one night to indulge in the beauty of the hill station as well as check out all the must visit tourist spots. Lonavala has many good hotels and resorts. The Fariyas Resort is the most recommended one as it has the best views of Lonavala and also has an outdoor water theme park.
If you want to explore hotel options in Lonavala, you can find the best deals by booking your perfect hotel from the box below;
Best Tours In Lonavala :
The rains, splendid views and freshness of Lonavala gave us so many pleasant memories to count on.
Have you been to Lonavala? What were your favorite places to visit in Lonavala? Do share your experience/opinion here, I would love to hear from you. If you haven't been there yet, put it in your bucket list to India specially if you are traveling during monsoons.
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