Lonavala forms a small part of the unique puzzle of India’s mystery and charm. Lying there, to the west of the giant country, it is radiant and encircled with the awing-beauty of quietness and nature. The city is a hill station whose name is derived from the Sanskrit Lonavli which means “a group of caves”; there are plenty of caves in and around Lonavala.
Located in Maharashtra, the renowned Indian state, and surrounded with modern cities like Pune and Mumbai, it is a perfect place to spend a peaceful holiday with the variety of sightseeing, natural and historical, as well as the relaxing hotels in Lonavala. Therefore, we present to you the following list of ten attractions in Lonavala that will present extraordinary experience and separate you from the fast-paced life around.
1 Aamby Valley
Extending across 10,000-acre, the charming township of Aamby valley forms a perfect combination of simple, environmental designs and modern, urban infrastructure. It’s located in the Pune district, 42 km from Lonavala. The splendid design of Aamby Valley is the product of Gruen -Bobby Mukherji& Associates that planned it in 2003. Surrounded by breathtaking nature, this place is irresistible for many travelers worldwide. And the amazing thing is that all these landmarks are not far from each other. All you need is to check the hotels in Lonavala, pick the suitable one for you, and enjoy an exceptional holiday.
2 Kune Falls
The marvelous Kune Falls is among the well-known falls of Maharashtra and the fourteenth highest waterfall in the whole of India. Located at the Lonavala-Khandala valley 3.5 kilometers from Lonavala Railway Station, it’s one of the best places to visit. How stunning it is to watch the three-tiered journey of water across the Sahyadri Mountains that begins at an altitude of 200 meters down to the valley. Sank in nature and greenness, the scenes there is a unique gift worthy of presenting to your eyes. The best period to visit Kune Falls is the rainy season when the waterfall reaches its peak.
Durshet village and woodland are a perfect destination for nature lovers who prefer spending their holiday surrounded by greenness and serenity. Next to Durshet extends the Sahyadris, the Western Ghats of India. Besides meditating, wandering and enjoying the lush forests, you could also practice bird and wildlife watching. Spending some time in the fertile farms of the village will provide you with another fantastic experience. There are also two temples of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and learning, and mountain forts such as Sarasgad and Sudhagad.
4 Lohagad and Visapur Forts “the neighbors”
Lonavala, Maharashtra in general, is well known for the variety of forts it comprises. And even the historic sites are dipped in nature that many describe them as paradises. According to the exploration experience, the forts could be divided into easy, medium, and challenging.
Lohagad is a medium-difficult fort with a height of 1,033 m above sea level, located 11 km from Lonavala. The fort dates back to 1564 AD; Guru Govind Singh built it to be a prison, then it was captured more than once by the warring forces at that time such as the Maratha Empire and the Moguls. Today, Lohaged, as a protected monument by the government and a trekking spot, has finally found some peace that matches its beauty.
A small range connects Lohagad and its neighbor fort “Visapur”. Visapur is 18 km from Lohagad, only three km by walk. Reaching 1084 m above sea level, the hill fort is neighbored by Visapur village. The fort is more recent than Lohagad; Balaji Vishwanath, the first Peshwa of Maratha Empire constructed it between 1713-1720 CE. Together the two forts formed the Lohagad-Visapur fortification. Vispur fort comprises caves, cisterns of water, a massive carving of Hanuman, the monkey god of Hinduism, and some temples.
5 Bedse Caves
Only 26 km away from Lonavala Railway Station, Bedse caves are a fascinating site to visit. The ancient Buddhist caves go back to the 1st century BC. The place comprises two main caves, many minor ones, and one other cave for meditation. The cave 7 “Chaitya”, one of the main two, includes carvings of elephants, horses, and bulls which appear beautiful in the rays of the sunlight. Therefore, visiting Bedse Caves in one of the early mornings of the rainy season, when green covers the hills, will be magical.
6 Rajmachi Fort
Another place where history and nature are dancing together producing endless beauty is Rajmachi. Located 15 km from Lonavala Railway Station on a hill in the Sahyadri Mountains, it’s one of the most visited places. Encircled with ample space of greenery, Rajmachi contains twin citadels: Shriwardhan Ballekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla. The fort had a vital role in controlling a historical trade route called Bor Ghat.
Being there, you cannot ignore the Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary. The vast, thick forests there is a heavenly experience that awaits the lovers of nature tours and bird watching. And there is also the Bhairavnath Temple of Shiva, a principal Hindu deity. At the background of the temple extends a breathtaking scene of a dense forest.
7 Imagica Adlabs
When you need something different from fort climbing, nature tours, and birds watching, ImagicaAdlabs is a perfect place to head for some different activities. It’s an entertainment theme park constructed by Adlabs Entertainment Limited, a media firm, and opened in 2013. The park has plenty of entertainment options for its visitors, including magic shows, live performances of acrobats, hip-hop dancing, areas for shopping, etc.
8 Bhaja& Karla ancient caves
Like Bedse Caves, Karla and Bhaja caves are among the most ancient Buddhist caves in India. They date back to the second century BC. Bhaja is another neighbor of Lohagad being just five kilometers away from the fort. Bhaja caves consist of 22 rock-cut shrine caves. A waterfall and greenery are there to complete the majestic view.
Karla Caves comprise large halls, temples, and monasteries. The oldest cave shrine goes back to 160 BC. At the entrance of Karla stands a more recent temple called “Ekvira Devi” that includes pillars from the Buddhist period.
9 Ghangad Fort
Nearly 30 kilometers from Lonavala, the Ghangad fort is a famous trekking place in the area. Not much is known about the history of the nearly 300-year-old fort; it oversaw the Pune-Konkan trade route under the Martha Empire then was surrendered to the British in 1818. Beautiful forests surround the fort providing scenic views from above it. There you can also see Tailbaila, a cobra-head-shaped monolithic building.
10 Lions Point& Tiger’s Leap
One of the good ways to end your visit to Lonavala is to experience a panoramic view at the top of the Lions Point and Tiger’s Leap. The neighboring peaks, separated by less than 500 meters, are twelve kilometers from Lonavala in the middle between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley. From there you could oversee mesmerizing, broad view of the hills, forests, lakes, and waterfalls. Some complain about the neglect of the place, its overcrowding with visitors as well as local shop owners, and the high temperature. If you still want to experience the view despite the obstacles, the best time to do so is in the rainy season, and don’t go there on the weekends if you seek some quietness and solitude.
Nothing beats the magic of travel, meeting different people and experiencing new things. India has always been an intriguing place that attracts voyagers to through themselves into its mysteries. And a little spot within it, called Lonavala, forms a paradise for nature as well as trekking lovers.