The perfect romantic getaway from the crowded metropolitan life in Mumbai, Lonavala is a popular hill station in the western region of the state of Maharashtra. Located at 625 m above the sea level, this exquisite hill station forms a part of the breathtaking Sahayadri hills and is just around 38 sq km in expanse. Lonavala is merely 64 km away from Pune and 89 km away from Mumbai.
Lonavala derived its name from a Sanskrit word Lonavli, which means ‘caves’. The word Lonavala can be broken down to Len – a resting place carved from stone – and Avli – a series. In ancient times, the present Lonavala was ruled by the Yadav kings. Later, the Mughals took over, and realized the region’s strategic importance, retaining their rule over Lonavala for quite some time.
In 1871, Sir Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay, found Lonavala, a thick forest at the time of its discovery and inhabited by only a few handful people. Away from the loud hustle and bustle of the city, this hill station has been famed as a health resort given its fresh, unpolluted environment and the pleasant climate that stays all year round.
Needless to say, this place attracts tourists – domestic as well as foreign – by the drove annually.
The Hills Are Alive …
Popularly called the ‘Jewel of Sahayadri’, Lonavala is a popular destination for hiking and trekking. That apart, this place is bestowed with numerous historical forts, ancient caves and placid lakes surrounding it.
The climate here is pleasant and inviting throughout the year. Lonavala offers a panoramic view of the Deccan plateau on one side and the Konkan coast on the other, and what better season to experience this serenity than the monsoons! With waterfalls cascading and lush greenery surrounding you, this is nature at its very best.
Tourist Places In And Around Lonavala
If you want to enjoy a tranquil evening, visit the famous lakes and dams in Lonavala like the Pawna Lake, Valavan Lake, Tungarli Dam and Tungarli Lake.
If you are the kind that enjoys trekking and exploring our ancient Indian architecture, witness the archaic forts of Tung, Tilona and Lohagarh (interestingly derived from the name ‘Iron House’). The Tung fort was interestingly captured by Malik Ahmad near Karjat, and was renowned for its natural strength.
Parks And Sanctuaries …
Ryewood Park is an extensive garden situated in Lonavala, and is full of tall, lush trees. It is a place of delight for small children who love playing in its huge ground. The Shivaji Udyan is yet another place that promises fun. However, if you love to go on nature trails, the Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary is an absolute delight.
The Rajamachi Point, meanwhile, commands a fantastic view of Shivaji’s famous fort that goes by the same name and the surrounding valley. Don’t miss out on visiting the famous Vaghjai Dari while you are there. Also, do not forget to try Chikki, a hard candy sweet and a speciality item in Lonavala.
Best Time To Visit Lonavala
October to May makes an ideal time for vacationers to destress here, with the cool environs soothing your senses. However, a majority of seasonal travellers love visiting Lonavala during the monsoons. Lonavala is blessed with an extremely inviting climate, with the weather remaining pleasant and hospitable almost at all times during the year.
One just needs to pack his/her bags and traverse to this spot to soak in the thrill and pleasure this hill station has to offer.
How To Reach Lonavala
Merely a hundred kilometres away from Mumbai and Pune, this vacation spot is easily accessible by air, road and the rails. It is a major stop on the rail line that connects the major cities Mumbai and Pune. It also conveniently lies on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway as well as the Mumbai-Pune highway. If you are travelling by air, the Pune Airport is the closest airport available to help you get to Lonavala.
Lonavala Weather …
The cool climate, the serene ambience and unstirred air makes Lonavala an ideal spot to spend one’s holiday. Travellers can take a walk along the waterfalls, spend a lazy afternoon in the grassy abundance or go trekking in and around Lonavala.
With several people buying their second homes here, Lonavala is fast becoming the much needed get away from the frenzied life in big cities. One doesn’t know what he is missing out on, until he arrives in this piece of heaven.