Lonavala-Khandala – Twin Hills, far from the maddening crowd

Amidst the busy schedules of life, it is essential for a busy person to find time for going away from the maddening crowd, so as to revitalize the spirit of working.

Lonavala and the adjacent Khandala are charming twin hill stations, situated in the Sahyadri ranges,. They can be reached by traveling a distance of 64 km from Pune or 96 km from Mumbai. Lonavala is smaller of the two hills. Tourists get attracted to the twin hills because they find everything to satiate their visual appetite, such as green hills, lakes, waterfalls, valleys and historic forts.

For the Mumbai crowd, Khandala and Lonaval provide great respite on weekend holidays, because they can be reached by a 3 ours road drive from Mumbai. Visitors will get enchanted with varieties of chikki. Lonavala and Khandala Railway stations are 110 km from Mumbai and 66 km from Pune. It comes on the Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway.

Lonavala attracts visitors mainly because of the sequence of caves that could be witnessed there, such as Bhoja Caves of the second century B.C, Bedsa caves of the first century B.C and the Karla caves.

Karla has the largest Chaitya caves with large prayer halls and well-preserved Buddhist temples. The entrance gate is in the shape of a Peepul Leaf and the roof is shaped semi-circular. The interior is still more attractive with lion pillars, huge forms of elephants, dancing couples and images of Budhdha, carved on stones.

Bhoja caves have monasteries and carved images of deities, with the setting sun gliding on the dark interior of the caves. The historical Lohargarh fort also can be witnessed there.

Bedsa caves showcase large pillars, images of lions and human with a large Chaitya hall attached with resting rooms. Its roof is supported by woodwork that is more than 2000 years old.

Lonavala Lake, along with other lakes called Bushi Lake, Tunguli Lake, Pavna Lake and Valvan Lake provide picturesque view to the visitors. They get dried up during the summer season.

Those having historical interest will find the Rajmachi fort most memorable because the Maratha warrior Shivajee used this fort. Other historical forts that could be visited are Manoranjan Fort, Shrivardhan Fort, Vispur Port, Lohagad Fort and the Tunga Fort.

Gardens are of special attraction to visitors coming with family and kids. Shivaji Park has a statue of Shivaji Maharaj and Ryewood garden provides playing place for children and also has a Mahadev temple.

Valvan Dam, a hydro-electricity project, constructed over the river Kundali is 2 km from Lonavala town. Duke’s Nose is 12 km from Lonavala has a peculiar landmark, looking like the hood of a snake and is haven to hikers. Tiger’s Leap looks like a tiger leaping into the valley. Reversing Station Point exhibits the view of the Railway line going through the tunnel.

A visitor’s trip is more enriched with the prospect of varieties and diversities of the sight-seeing places. In other words, it adds value to the travel. Lonavala and Khandala are the places that provide maximum sights to the visitors.

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