The twin hill resorts of Khandala and Lonavala have a special attraction for the Mumbai crowd seeking a convenient weekend holiday in the hills. A mere 3 hours by road from Mumbai, beautifully landscaped Lonavala and Khandala are famous for their seemingly innumerable varieties of chikki. But they also offer many sites worth visiting. Trekking is a good way to get around, but having a vehicle (even a bicycle) is still better, as some points of interest are quite some distance from the main towns.
STD Code: 02114
Climate: Temperatures vary from 12°C in winter to around 36°C at the height of summer. The annual rainfall averages 450 cms.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Lonavala-Khandala
Road: Mumbai to Lonavala is 104 km and Pune to Lonaval is 66 km by road.
Rail: The convenient railhead is Lonavala, on the Mumbai-Pune line (118 km from Mumbai).
Air: Nearest airport is Pune, 66 km away.
Tourist Attractions in Lonavala-Khandala
Duke’s Nose: This cliff resembles the nose of the Duke of Wellington, which explains its intriguing name. It is a popular viewpoint as it offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains, valleys and forests.
Korigad Fort: The hill fort of Korigad in Amby Valley is located roughly 3050 ft above sea level. To get there, you travel from Lonavala to the village of Shahpur using any available means of transport, and hence proceed by foot to the fort through rugged hills and forests.
Tigers Leap: When viewing the valley from a certain point at this location, one has the illusion of a tiger leaping across the valley, hence the name. The echoes caused by dropping rocks into the crevasse are another attraction.
Lohgad: Lohgad attracts visitors with its wide, refreshing waterfalls, an ancient fort and of course those famous caves – atop a steep flight of steps.
Karla & Bhaja Caves: Nestling in the hills of Lonavala, these rock-cut caves rank amongst the oldest and finest examples of Early Budhdhist temple art in India. The Karla Cave, the largest Early Buddhist shrine in India, imitates the look of more familiar wooden architecture. Completed in 80 BC, the impressive structure includes a representation of the Buddha, and an aisle made up of 37 pillars and carved elephant heads, which once had real ivory tusks. The Bhaja Cave complex comprises 18 caves and 14 stupas. Dating from around 200 BC, these architectural curiosities lie amidst thick greenery in a setting that’s so calm, it’s almost mystical. Just outside Karla Caves, Ekvira Temple is visited by thousands of devotees, mainly fisher folk.