Lonavala is a scenic hill station located at a height of 625 meter above sea level in the Pune district of Maharashtra. It is surrounded by the gigantic Western Ghats which make this place, a gateway to heaven. It is situated 65 km away from its district headquarters.
Lonavala derived its name from a Sanskrit word “Lonavli”, which means caves. There are innumerous caves in this region, popularly the Bedsa Caves, Bhaja Caves and Karla Caves to name a few. Hence, the name Lonavala came into existence.
Lonavala was ruled by different empires over the course of time. First, it was a part of Yadava dynasty and then it was conquered by the mighty Mughals, followed by the British. The forts in and around this region played an important role during Maratha and Peshwas Empires. Later, in 1871, Lord Elphinstone, the then governor of Bombay Presidency discovered the twin hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala.
Lonavala is an exotic gateway from the hustle and bustle of the crowded metropolitan life of Mumbai and Pune. This hill station is a perfect location for hiking and trekking. The place is bestowed with many majestic forts, ancient caves and tranquil lakes. Lonavala offers breathtaking vistas of Deccan plateau on one side and the Konkan coast on the other.
This hill town has been famed as a health resort due to its serene environments and the pleasant climate throughout the year. Chikki, the hard candy sweet, is a specialty item of Lonavala and is famous among the tourists who come here.
The Bhaja caves are among the oldest caves in India Located just few kilometres away from the main road amongst green surrounding and there is a water fall near the cave where visitors can cool themselves with a dip. The Bhaja caves are accepted to have existed from the period of Hinayana phase of Buddhism, which is of 2nd to 1st century BC.
Karla caves are among the earliest Buddhist cave idol in India. It is situated on the Pune-Mumbai highway at Karla and if sources are to be trusted, these are just a couple among scores of other caves unearthed in Sahyadri Hills. Carved around 2000 years ago almost the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD, this place constitutes a substantial collection of excellent Chaityas and Viharas reflecting upon a journey of the past, narrating some interesting stories.
Bhushi Dam is a combination of brick and stone work dam on the Indrayani River. The flooding water over the steps of Bhushi Dam and after that through the rough terrain make this place a hit among the citizens of nearby areas who throng in huge numbers on weekends during monsoons.
Some more attractions in Lonavala:
- Rajmachi Fort
- Tigers Leap
- Lonavala Lake
- Amrutanjan Point
- Aambey Valley
- Visapur Fort
- Bhairavnath Temple
- Dukes Nose
- Lohagad Fort
- Scorpion’s sting
- Valvan Dam
- Koregad Fort
- Sausage hills