(Last Updated on : 05/05/2010)
Tourism in Lonavala has gained its recognition due to its location in the hill station in the state of Maharashtra where the place flaunts the natural splendor and is popularly known as the `jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains`. Lonavala is set amongst the sylvan hills of the Western Ghats and is a popular gateway from Mumbai and Pune. Lonavala is located in the western part of Maharashtra, in the western region of India. It is set amongst the slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range and situated 106 km southeast of Mumbai at an altitude of 625 m above sea level. The place offers the tourist a wide array of pristine woods and valleys, gushing waterfalls, historic caves, and scenic panorama. The surroundings hills of Lonavala were the monopoly of the Maratha rulers in the late medieval era. The history says that the Maratha rulers practiced guerrilla warfare from here against the Mughals and later the British.
Places of Tourist Interest in Lonavala
Pilgrimage Tours in Khandala
The record of Lonavala defines that the term `Lonavala` has been originated from the Sanskrit term `lonavli` which is the connotation of numerous caves. Perhaps the plethora of caves in the vicinity of Lonavala had been the reason of such christening. The area around Lonavala was an important Buddhist center in 2nd century BC and a number of ancient Buddhist rock-cut cave temples can be found in the environs like ancient Buddhist rock cut caves of Bhaja, Bedsa and Karla.
Nature Tours in Khandala
The vista of this hilly station is surrounded with verdant greenery as it is situated in the Sahyadri ranges. Travelers can take a walk along the waterfalls, the grassy abundance and hills in and around Lonavala. The mountainous terrain of Lonavala is ideal for trekking and hiking. The quaint exquisiteness of Lonavala is enhanced by the numerous lakes around the place. Tugauli, Lonavala and Bhushi lakes are worth visiting and so is the Walvan Dam. Another place worth visiting is Lion`s point that lies between Bhusi Dam and Amby Valley. Tiger`s Leap or Vaghdari is a cliff-top that offers panoramic view of the valley. Here echo-point is the most famous one and travelers tend to trek to enjoy the adventure.
Leisure Tours in Khandala
Khandala Dari is a nice place to go for trekking and hiking. One can trek through Monkey Hill to reach Gambhirnath Caves, an additional site to visit.
Visiting Information on Lonavala
Though the weather in Lonavala remains pleasant all the time, the scenic beauty of Lonavala can be experienced best in the months of October and May. In spite of the fact that the monsoon season causes heavy rainfall in Lonavala, the season doubles the natural splendor of this place especially when rain showers wash the entire region, developing ponds, while greenery looks all the more appealing.
The tourism in Lonavala has an umpteen number of visiting places to offer. The small hill station of Khandala is just 5 km away from Lonavala and the travelers coming from Mumbai pass through Khandala before reaching Lonavala. 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.
Travel in Lonavala will stay in the memory of the travelers with treasuring and relishing the taste of massively popular and mouth watering `chikkis`, Chiwda, Wafers, fudges and jams which is offered by the place. Including this, one can savor the taste of `namkeen` snacks like `chivda` and `sev`. Some of the best known stores those are popular for preparing `Chikkis` and snacks including Maganlal Chikki Center, National Chikki and A1 Chikki, Purohit Chikki, Vaishali Chikki, Navratan Chikki, New Mangal Chikki and Super Chikki. The visitors of Lonavala sometimes prefer to shop for these popular foods. Moreover there are some shopping malls that are very well furnished and people flock there to shop for various items that are found here.
There is no dearth of eating out places in the hilly station and the cuisines do not lag behind either. The hotels and restaurants of Lonavala offer a variety of South India and Gujarati foods to pick choice from. One can also opt for Chinese carts and street `dhabas` to enjoy the sapidity of food.
Accommodation in Lonavala
The tourism in Lonavala offers the visitors of this place to take pleasure in the natural surroundings of this mountainous place. The Hotels in Lonavala were built keeping in mind the different choice and requisition of people coming from different cultures and geographical background. There are the plush star category luxurious hotels, the relatively moderately priced economy hotels and the suitable for all pockets budget hotels as well. Keeping in mind the different tastes, needs and affordability of the various classes of travelers, many kinds of Hotels have come up in Lonavala. For the people who want to enjoy a long leave from the hectic schedule of routine life, a lavish stay in opulence and luxury, the star category hotels are certainly the best choice. For those who are not very keen on a very extravagant stay but choose to enjoy a more than just comfortable stay, the economy hotels are certainly the best suited and as for those who are under any kind of budget constraints, unhesitatingly go in for the budget hotels. They promise a comfortable stay at surprisingly affordable prices. As the place attracts a huge population, many hotels, guest houses and lodges have cropped up in and around Lonavala. The Lagoona Resort and Farias Resort are among the best 5 star hotels in Lonavala where as Kailash Parbat, Sahil Spa and Resorts and Swiss Resorts are popular 3 star hotels in Lonavala.
How to Reach Lonavala
The tourism in Lonavala offers a list of places to visit to and the way of transportation include airway, railway and apart from these one can take shuttle or bus to reach to Lonavala.
The nearest airport from Lonavala is Pune, which is 64 km from Lonavala. From here transportations are available to reach the hill station in Maharashtra.
As Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai and Pune one can get express trains from the Lonavala railway station. The travel time from Lonavala to Mumbai in express train is three hours while it takes an hour from Lonavala to Pune.
If one prefers to opt for bus service to reach Lonavala though the ride is rough and it takes approximately four hours to reach Lonavala. Travelers can hire bicycles on hourly basis to explore Lonavala or to go to Khandala.