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You are here : home > Travel > Mountains and Hill-stations > Lonavala-Khandala Beckons

Lonavala-Khandala Beckons

Lonavala-Khandala Beckons

There are very few tourist places that you can just take off to without worrying about hundred other things like accommodation, weather, distance, and so on. You may wish to plan ambitious and exotic summer holidays to beat the heat, no doubt, but you'll admit it is a boon to have a venue to gate crash into without much ado, if you so desire. The twin hill-stations of Lonavala and Khandala, nearly two hours drive from Mumbai, are two, actually one such place.

Nestled in the Sahyadari mountain ranges, this place fulfills all parameters that a rollicking holiday spot should - there are the endless green stretches bursting with birds and wild flowers, hidden dirt tracks for leisurely nature walks, hilly terrain for hiking and trekking, waterfalls to frolic in, and lots more.

If you happen to be in Mumbai as you are likely to be if you are visiting India, you can just hop across to these Western Ghats, either by road or rail. The train journey is quite enjoyable as you are in the company of like-minded holiday-revellers, which really sets the mood for the excursion. But hitting the road may be a good idea too, for then you can move around at your pace when at the holiday destination. Luckily, there is absolutely no dearth of places to stay - from up market, trendy resorts to small guest houses, accommodation is available for different budgets.


Things to see and do

Khandala is the smaller of the two hill-stations and also more peaceful. Walks through this small town will be rewarded with breath-taking views of the valley or ghats, the Bhorgat to be specific. Lonavala is just five kms. away from here. Quaint names for places such as the Duke's Nose, Monkey Hill, Tiger's Leap and Ryewood Park give an idea of what exotic trails await the avid holidayer. The Duke's Nose, named after the erstwhile Duke of Wellington of the prominent nose, is a hill-top with a pointed peak and the Monkey Hill, as the name suggests, is full of Hanuman langurs. The Ryewood Park is a botanical garden named after a Britisher, Mr. Rye who was said to have been mesmerized by the vista it put up.

En route to Lonavala is the famous Rajmachi Point, also called Sunset Point by many because of the spectacular sunset views it affords. There is a lovely garden here with a children's park. Besides the tourist spots there are a lot of turn outs where people can take on their own and explore places off the beaten track.

Cradled in the verdant valley of Lonavala is the Kaivalyadham Yoga Hospital, a health resort which conducts a week-long course for healing through yoga. But you are welcome to visit the place even as a tourist.


Lakes and waterfalls

Lonavala is famous as a lake district because of the presence of many artificial lakes - the Bushy, Tungarli and Pawna, among others. The lakes are open for fishing but you need to come with your own fishing apparatus, it is not provided here. The Bushy and Walwan dam are two hotspots choc-a-block with tourists. Of course, the many waterfalls that dot the valley landscapes and the lakes create a dismal picture in the summer. The heavy monsoons can create and retain its magic only till March, thereafter the summer heat does act on the place and makes it drier. But the abundance of green cover ensures a very pleasant summer here.


Forts and caves

This place is replete with history thanks to the forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji - the Lohagad, Visapur and Rajmachi forts, and the Buddhist caves of Karla and Bhaja. The 2nd century caves are cut in rocks and are an outstanding example of temple art and architecture. The approach to Karla caves is through a steep climb of 20 - 30 minutes from the car park and just may be an obstacle with children in tow; so you may want to leave them behind in the car. The Bhaja caves are a little more remotely located and therefore better preserved.


Chikki and fudge

The best thing about these hill-stations is that it affords a completely relaxed, no-tension holiday - with no headache of where to stay, what to see and where to eat. The places are filled with eateries, again of all kinds, suiting all pockets. Lonavala is famous for its chikki all over India. Chikki is a sweet savoury made of dryfuits, nuts and sugar or jaggery syrup. Chikki stores line up the roads as you enter the heart of the Lonavala city; the Maganlal and A1 chikki stores are more famous of the whole lot.

So don't draw an itinerary, don't book hotels or lodgings, just simply take your walking shoes and adequate other necessary resources and give in to the magic of the place and discover it unhindered unencumbered. Follow the birdsong and watch birds in their virgin habitat and do some flower-watching; it will be a holiday to remember, we promise.

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Vishal
Vishal.10 years ago
summer holidays in khandala, it is really very great. earlier also i have been to khandala and lonavala. when you go there you will feel close to the nature.it is one of the famous tourist spot for summer season. come lets enjoy.....
 
 
 
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KJ
KJ.10 years ago
if you are a bird lover, this is a place for you. plenty of different species visit here because of the cool climate. being at a moderate height and covered with lush green trees, this place is a home for plenty of birds. new hotels and resorts in this area has made this place a great weekend visit for people living near the cities like mumbai and pune.
 
 
 
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devika
devika.10 years ago
the best time to visit the places is monsoons... trust me this place is packed with people from pune and mumbai. we used to ride on bikes with friends and get drenched, enjoy the scenic beauty of lonavala-khandala and buy loads of chikki (w/o which the trip is incomplete), and ride back home!! the whole experience is amazing...need to experience it cannot be explained in words..
 
 
 
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Indian
Indian.10 years ago
hello friends how are you so this is beautiful sight and pls u round this city
 
 
 
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hii
hii.10 years ago
summer holiday in khandala it os reallu very great. ether than also i have been to khandala and lonnavala. when you go there you will fell close to teh nature.. its is one od the famous tourist sport for summer come letsd
 
 
 
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Prasad
Prasad.10 years ago
hi
the info here is very helpful.
we are planning a trip with friends

but wat i fear is will that be a costly trip as far as the accomodation is concerned?
1
 
 
 
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sonal
sonal.10 years ago
hi i like to add one place which is bholenath pratishthan in khandala which is cool,most interesting place to see in khandala.
 
 
 
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