Mumbai - Lonavala - Mumbai
An exciting retreat awaits you along the hills of Lonavala. Lonavala, the beautiful hill station located in Pune District of state Maharashtra, is a famous tourist destination. The place is perfect for all those who are seeking for calm and peaceful place It is popularly known as the "jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains". Lonavala is situated at a height of 620 meters above sea level. Lonavala is endowed with some of the finest natural gifts such as hills, waterfalls, lush greenery and cool winds, thus making the entire ambiance extremely soothing and enjoyable. Lonavala is a romantic gateway from the hustle and bustle of the crowded metropolitan life in Mumbai and Pune and other nearby areas. The city is located in Shayadri Ranges, which cut the Deccan plateau and Konkan coast. The city has so many caves that is why its name is referred from the Sanskrit word 'Lonavali' that stands for group of caves. The place is bestowed with many historical forts, ancient caves and wonderful serene lakes. Lonavala offers panoramic views of Deccan plateau on one side and the Konkan coast on the other. Because of its strategic location, various dynasties have vied for control of Lonavala and surrounding regions. Lonavala was a part of the Yadava dynasty which ruled the region from its capital at Devgiri. It was controlled by the Mughals too. Several forts including Lohagad, Tung and Tikona were handed over by Shivaji to the Mughals under Treaty of Purandar. Several forts in the region were important battle stations during the reign of Shivaji and subsequent Maratha rule. In 1871, this place was founded by the British Governor Lord Elphinstone. This place holds many beautiful places which will take your breath away like waterfalls, woody meadows and lush green valleys. This place is also an adobe of many film directors who usually come for shooting at this place.
Lonavala has been famed as a health resort due to its unpolluted environments and the pleasant climate all through the year. It is an important yoga center near it, for the health conscious traveller. Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital is 2 km from Lonavala on the road to Karla and Bhaja caves. This center attracts both local and foreign tourists seeking yogic healing. This center was founded in 1924 and conducts various courses in Yoga along with a research center and a training college.
There are numerous places around Lonavala to visit. Karla and Bhaja caves, Bhusy dam, Tiger point, Lohagad fort, wax Museum, Tungarli Lake etc.
Trip Highlights :
1.Enjoy at Bhushi Dam Lonavala and Tiger point.
2. Visit Beautiful Tungarli Lake.
3. Enjoy to visit Lohagad fort & wax Museum.
4. Explore Karla & Bhaja caves.
5. Enjoy shopping at Lonavala.
Day 1 Mumbai - Lonavala (90 kms / 1 1/2 hrs)
Morning greet you at your originated point in Mumbai then drive to Lonavala.
Arrive at Lonavala and check-in the hotel.
In the afternoon, depart to visit Lonavala. Visit Bhusy dam, located 6 kms from Lonavala, this dam is one of the most popular tourist spot. Monsoon rains flood the dam and water flows down many steps in the dam. The dam is called so, because of surf-like appearance of water falling from a height. Hills and lush greenery add to the beauty of this place. The best time to visit Bhusy dam is during monsoons as this time when the dam overflows. People are lowed to sit in between the over flow, as the water downhill.
It is an exciting experience. After that visit Tiger point, at 650 meter height which is also called as Tiger's Leap, offers spectacular views of forests, lush greenery, waterfalls and lakes around. Since it resembles a leaping tiger's shape, the place is called thus. Also, after the brief steep descent, the fall becomes a stream with a fair amount of force to go all the way down to the base of the Tiger's Leap. Adventurers can trek down the stream whilst intermittently stepping back on land where the water current is too strong and the fall is steep.
Then visit Tungarli Lake. This Lake is an artificial reservoir which was built during the British rule to store rain water. The lake has a Dam and small reservoir of water which stores rain water. This lake is the source of drinking water for the people who reside in this hill station. This lake is also used for irrigation purpose by the local people. Now this place is also serving as the picnic spot of the city and lots of people come here on weekends to refresh. Beautiful natural backdrops, hill top view of the city and a place to hike make this lake famous and hence so many people abide to come here during their visits. It is one of the most visited attractions in Lonavala.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 2 Lonavala
After breakfast at hotel then followed by full day guided tour of Lonavala. India's First wax museum situated at Mumbai Pune National Highway NH-4. Celebrity Wax Museum with its celebrities in plenty, make it capable for one who cannot afford a visit abroad to watch the Madam Tussaud Museum in London, the ancestor in its kind. This museum was founded by Sunil Kandaloor, a 38-year-old wax artist from Kerala. The museum was inaugurated by Minister Ramesh Shendge.
He has made 50+ wax models so far. First wax model of Shivaji (which one is situated very first in series) gives you a great feeling of Maharashtra. Subsequent wax model of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Shirdi Sai Baba, Jawaharlal Nehru are there after the Shivaji. Also can view wax images of Benazir Bhutto, Michael Jackson, Adolf Hitler and Oscar winner, Rasool Pookutty etc. Nature and the artistic excellence in man fight a friendly battle here to reign supreme. Karla Caves is a perfect example of the artisanship of man as early as 80 BC. Karla Caves are an impressive representation of architectural brilliance. To reach the caves, you need to climb around 300 steps and you will not regret it.
The sculptures are amazingly intricate, the pillars and the carvings are just beyond the description. Completed in 80 BC, the impressive structure includes a representation of the Buddha. The Chaitya hall is spectacular with 37 octagonal pillars with a base structure of a water jar and it has a special feature of the facade screen made out of teak wood and carved elephant heads, which once had real ivory tusks. The entrance gate is in the shape of a "Peepal" leaf through which one enters the huge chaitya hall. Karla caves enclose Buddha viharas, where the monks used to stay during their meditation period in the caves. The cave encloses sculptures of elephants adorned with metal jewelries and ivory tusks. After that visit Bhaja caves are amongst the most ancient Buddhist centers in this part of the world. They are over 2200 years old. These were built during 200 BC, Bhaja caves are located in Karli hills and they resemble in architecture and designing with other caves in this area. In total there are 22 caves which are built by cutting big rocks and have so many sculptures depicting so many styles. These caves are the perfect examples of Indian art of sculpturing and portray original Indian architecture in their styling. Since the caves face the west, you can have great view after 3pm and to photograph the caves when the sunlight beams on would add a mesmerizing effect. The best time to visit the caves would be during the monsoon, one can enjoy the rich greenery around. Then visit Lohagad fort means Iron fort, it was the battleground of the Maratha warrior, Shivaji. It is one of the best forts to visit during any time of the year. Lohagad has a long history and was used by all dynasties who ruled Vidharbha and Maratha kingdoms. Lohagad fort is placed at an altitude of more than 1050 meters. This fort is situated on the Sahyadri ranges and divides the Pavna basin and Indrayani basin. There are 4 doors to Lohagad from the nearby village -Lohgadwadi. i.e. 'Ganesh Darwaja', 'Narayan Darwaja', 'Hanuman Darwaja' and 'Maha Darwaja'. Some sculptures can also be seen on Maha Darwaja. The Lohagad fort is a fine destination for tourist with interests in architecture, archeology and history. The actual date of original fort is not clearly known but the known records points out some additional constructions such as a step well and big tank during eighteenth century.
Overnight at hotel
Day 3 Lonavala - Mumbai (90 kms / 1 1/2 hrs)
Enjoy breakfast at hotel and then leisurely drive to Mumbai for onward destination with sweet memories of Lonavala tour.
Best time to Visit Lonavala:-
Lonavala city is positioned amongst the mountains and forests hence weather of this place remains good throughout the year.
1. Summer season in Lonavala: - summer season at Lonavala generally last from April to Mid-June every year. The summer at Lonavala is generally mild. Temperature remains in between 23'C-35'C. Due to the continuous mountain breezes, the heat of summer is not at all felt at this famous hill resort of Lonavala. This is the reason lot of tourists come for site seeing to Lonavala even in summer season. Lonavala is generally full of tourists from the nearby cities of Pune and Mumbai during the summer season due to its cool and favourable weather.
2. Monsoon season in Lonavala: - The monsoon season at Lonavala lasts between Mid-June to September. The monsoons turn this great hill-station of Lonavala into a magical paradise. Although pleasant throughout the year, monsoon has its own unique charm. It's the perfect place to enjoy the rains. It offers breathtaking views of valleys that are full of evergreen forests and flowing springs and waterfalls. Best time to visit Lonavala in monsoon is from July - September.
3. Winter season in Lonavala: - The winter season at Lonavala generally lasts from November to Mid of March and the weather at Lonavala is much cooler in winter season. Temperature remains in between 11'C- 24'C in Winter.
1. Pune to Lonavala: - 65 kms / 1 hr.
2. Mumbai to Lonavala: - 90 kms/ 1-1/2 hrs
3. Khandala to Lonavala: - 124 kms/ 2 hrs
4. Matheran to Lonavala: - 56 kms / 1 hr. 32 mins
5. Bhimashankar to Lonavala: - 132 kms / 2 hrs 40 mins
Things to remember:-
1. Wear trekking or sport shoes and not slippers or sandals when you visiting lakes and dams.
2. Avoid wearing sari and tight clothes.
3. If visiting in monsoon season, wear a wind sheeter or a raincoat instead of an umbrella. This will keep your hands free for ease of balancing.
4. Carry a camera, preferably a digital camera (not a Phone camera). You will regret not carrying a camera when you reach the dam and lake side.
5. Do not try to venture too close to the dam water alone.
Bon Voyage !