Sitting atop the Western Ghats on the Bombay-Pune highway are the twin resorts of Khanda'a and Lonavia. By train, the tracks snake in and out of several tunnels, offering you fleeting glimpses of the gaunt hills and their valleys. Suddenly you sense a freshness in the air and feel a levelling of the tracks on which the train has been travelling and you realise that you have reached Khandala. By road, you would take the Bor ghat road at Khopoli. The ghat is indeed steep, but the climb is faster and shorter and it is only an 8 kilometer distance before you reach the top.
Khandala is especially beautiful during the monsoons: the clouds literally envelope the entire town giving you the ethereal feeling of walking on them. Look out onto the hills and you will notice a thousand waterfalls that gush from its sides and flow into the ravines below. Do not miss the sun going down over the hills at Sunset Point. Further up the road, you come to Lonavala. Over the last decade this town has developed rapidly and it is here that both the rich and the powerful have their farm-houses and holiday villas. Several of these fancy structures are out of place with the rural surroundings. While at Lonavala, do visit the Walvan and the Bushy dams. They are usually ftill during the monsoons and attract hordes of tourists. Lonavala is also famous for its chikki and its chiwda.
On the Pune road, about 12 kilometres from Lonavala, are the Karia Caves. Belonging to the lad century B .C., they bear a striking resemblance to those at Ellora. The stupa inside the cave and the rock sculptures at the entrance are an eloquent testimony of the skill of the artisans of that time.
Today Karia moves out of its ancient past to provide sport and adventure to tourists. Maharashtra Tourism provides courses in rock and fort climbing here. Also proposed at this place, is an Institute for Adventure Tourism. Great things are in store for tourists at Karia.
Places to visit are
This lovely lake supplies water to Lonavla & is only 3 kms from Lonavla station.
The point gives a magnificient view of the valley as also the surrounding hills.
The dam has a beautiful garden at its foot & the place is a popular evening spot.
The 70 years old famous Yoga institute is set in sylvan surroundings near the Walvan dam .The institute houses a Yogic hospital,Library,Laboratory,Living Quarters.The Yogic Hospital treats chronic ailments through yogic discplines.
Air Force Dam
Situated witin the premises of INS Shivaji -Lonavla's premier naval training institute is not open for the general public but if one takes the road that veers off from the gate of INS Shivaji & follow it as it ascends a few hundred feet one can see the most panoramic view of the valley below,isolated waterfalls amidst thick fogs.
:The captivating name is given to the edge of a cliff from where there is a shear drop of more than 650 metres.The magnificient view of the valley is enthralling.
Weather in Khandala is pleasant. Summers (April-June) are mild, while winters are cool (November-February). It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains between June and September.
KHANDALA (When to
The best time to visit Khandala is between the months of October and May.
By Air Lonavala & Khandala do not have an Airport one has to fly to Bombay or to Pune. Nearest International Airport is Bombay and Domestic Airport is Pune. Bombay international Air port is approximately 110 kms. and Pune is 66 kms
Rail : The Nearest railway station is at Lonavala. As Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai and Pune.
Road : Khandala is well connected with Mumbai and Pune by road and the bus service for Pune (travel time 2½ hours) via Lonavala is good. However, it takes about four hours to reach Mumbai from Khandala
The weather in Lonavala is pleasant. Summers (April-June) are mild, while winters are cool (November-February). It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains between June and September.
LONAVALA (Visiting Time)
The best time to visit Lonavala is between the months of October and May. It is advised not to visit Lonavala in the monsoon season between the months of June and September, as it experiences heavy rainfall during this time.