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Lonavala And Khandala Tourism And Travel Guide
25° C / 77° F
October to June
3 to 4 Days
Pune International Airport (74 kms)
Lonavala Railway Station (2 kms)
Lonavla or Lonavala is a quaint hill town in the district of Pune in Maharashtra. Lonavala and its twin, the hill station of Khandala are two of the most charming and picturesque regions of the majestic Sahyadri Mountain ranges. History records Lonavala as a region that was ruled once upon a time by the Yadava Dynasty, the Mughals and Marathas and then by the British. Khandala holds a piece of history for it connects the ancient Bhor Ghat railway line that was built to connect the cities of Mumbai to Pune, Calcutta, Madras and Delhi. Considered one of the biggest engineering victories of the 19th century, the Bhor Ghat line that rode the crest of the Sahyadri Mountain ranges and the now abandoned reversing station are heritage sites.
At about 2050 ft above msl, the regions of Lonavala and Khandala are ideal and much sought after holiday destinations for adventure seekers and people who love the majestic wilderness of the mist capped mountains, the waterfalls that cascade down the deep ravines to disappear into lush forest floors and the ancient mountain citadels built by regal kingdoms.
If you are planning a holiday trip to Lonavala and Khandala, our travel guide should help you learn about tourism there.
How to Reach
The towns of Lonavala and Khandala are easily accessible from all neighbouring cities and towns. The ideal way to reach the two places is by train.
The nearest city is Pune and the international airport at Pune caters to flights from most Indian cities and flies international to Dubai, Frankfurt, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Get a cab or a bus to Lonavala and Khandala.
There is a good choice of trains to Lonavala from most of the major cities of India that travel via Lonavala to Mumbai or Pune. You could opt to deboard at either Khandala or Lonavala and book a cab or auto rickshaw to reach your destination.
You could drive to Lonavala on the Mumbai Pune Expressway or board a bus which plies to the towns from several major cities.
You could hire a cab or an auto rickshaw for getting around town. Most tourists who come from Mumbai or Pune bring their own vehicles, which makes for the most convenient option to drive around.
Weather and the Best Time to Visit
Lonavala and Khandala have good seasons and can be visited through the year. Winters are great, while romantics at heart prefer the monsoons. The ideal seasons are from October to June.
Summer (March - June):
Summers are hot and humid, but considered far less warmer than the sweltering cities of the plains. The hill stations are ideal summer vacation spots.
Monsoon (July - September):
Monsoon rains are heavy and make travel bothersome, but the region does turn enticingly green, with the waterfalls and streams in full flow, that many love to tour Lonavala and Khandala during the rains. Treks are in great demand and people like to come here for just a day-drive and enjoy tea with bhajiyas.
Winter (October - February):
Winters are pleasant and breezy and the right time for photography, trekking and indulging in adventure sports. It's not so cold that you'd need too much woollen wear, just nice and pleasant with a nip in the air.
Things to Do
The regions around Lonavala and Khandala are profusely rich in rugged terrains and lofty mountain summits that offer a great view of the Sahyadri ranges, waterfalls and gurgling misty streams. Trekking up the peaks is the best way to enjoy the captivating charm of the majestic mountains.
An ideal and serene way to spend a weekend is sitting over a campfire beside a gurgling brook, watching the sun set and stars begin to twinkle. Many camp sites by the Pawna lake are famous and you can join a group from travel agencies or trekkers, or pitch a tent on your own.
Sail across the Pawna Lake:
Watch the Tikona, Lohagad and Tunga forts loom majestically over the horizon as you sail across the beautiful Pawna Lake on a boating trip. Take a trip to Lonavala Lake, a seasonal charmer that brims over in monsoon with the waters that cascade down the mountains.
Go rappelling and ziplining across the mist spraying waterfalls of Dudhiware, Karjat and Sandhan Valley. Kamshet offers ideal paragliding adventures and it’s a great feeling to glide along the air current as you watch Lonavala and the forts of Lohagad and Visapur at a distance.
Binoculars and Bird Watching:
If you love to spend a relaxed weekend walking along the undergrowth by the streams, grab a camera and binoculars and get off on a bird watching stint. Lonavala and Khandala’s waterways boast of a variety of endemic and migratory bird species zooming in during winter.
Lonavala and Khandala’s places of worship offer a journey of spirituality and solace. Bhairavnath temple, Waghjai Devi temple, Narayani Dham, St Joseph’s Church and Valvan Masjid and the ancient temples nestled among the hill fortresses are a must visit.
A day at the Dams:
The dams are a sight to behold, especially during the monsoons, with the vegetation around the dam draped in emerald greens. The Bhushi Dam with the tiered flow of water, the Tungarli Dam near Rajmachi Fort, a quiet place for an evening in solitude, Valvan Dam nestled snugly between the Sahyadris and the Pawna Dam over river Pawna are so picturesque and photographic.
The quiet rugged charm of the hill stations gets a splash of color during festivals that are a hallmark of Indian culture and traditions. Visit Lonavala and Khandala during the festival of colours, Gudi Padwa, Ganesh Chaturthi and the Enchanted Valley Carnival, a three day music festival held at Aamby Valley City. The International music extravaganza held in December plays different genres of music and throws in camping for the participants, food stands and a range of adventure sports to keep the party rocking!