Lonavala & Khandala, Maharashtra
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Surrounded by hills, valleys, streams, waterfalls, viewpoints, grasslands, lakes, forts, and dams, these 2 twin towns, 4 kilometres apart, are the ideal getaway locations during the monsoon. Great weather, easy access, and many accommodation choices make these places a favourite among tourists. Located on the Mumbai–Pune highway, these places are known for the pleasant weather that prevails here for the most part of the year. Perched atop the Sahyadri range of mountains at more than 2000 feet above sea level, the twin cities, spread over an area of 38 square kilometres, are also known for religious places and caves. These are great places to unwind and enjoy the spectacular beauty and charm of the monsoon with family and friends.
Nearby Places to See
The waterfall marks the beginning of the Ulhas River, which eventually empties into the Arabian Sea and is located about 3 kilometres from the twin cities. The waterfall, which rises to a height of about 600 feet and descends in a few tiers into the Ulhas valley, originates from the lakes surrounding the Kune village. Rajmachi Point on the Mumbai-Pune highway is a great vantage point for seeing the falls.
Karla and Bhaja are two villages that are roughly the same distance from Lonavala, and both of them are home to Buddhist caves. About 400 feet above Bhaja’s village is a cluster of caves containing 22 tombs. A total of sixteen caves can be found in the area of Kalra. An enormous Buddhist hall (Chaityalaya) and numerous stupas can be found in both sets of caves.
The fort is situated in Visapur village, 14 kilometres from Lonavala. The fort is about a two-hour hike away from the starting point, at almost 3,300 feet above sea level. The grasslands and hills are at their most verdant during the spring, making it the best time to visit. The construction of the fort began in the first half of the 18th century.
At almost 3400 feet above sea level, this fort is astonishingly constructed on a narrow ledge that requires about 45 minutes to ascend. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the top, you can see the expansive backwaters of the Pavana dam, which was built across the Pavana River.
Khandala is about 15 kilometres away from Udhewadi village, where the hike to the fort begins. The hike to the top of the fort lasts about 45 minutes. This hike is not strenuous and follows a scenic route. The view from the fort is stunning, featuring waterfalls, valleys, and hills. Additionally, a nearby tiny cave temple is accessible.
The caves are a three-kilometre hike from the nearby Udhewadi village, which is about fifteen kilometres from Khandala. The front side of a long, horizontal rocky hill is home to a cluster of 16 Buddhist caves, the earliest of which date back to the 1st century. In front of the caves, a waterfall cascades down the rock, giving the ancient location a mythical touch.
There are a number of forts, namely Tung fort, Mrugagad Fort, Morgiri Fort, Korigad Fort, Anghal Fort, and many others, which can be explored by hiking within 45 kilometres of the twin cities. The waterfalls that are around the twin cities are Kataldhaar Falls, Reverse Waterfall, and KP Waterfalls. Apart from these, there are the dams, namely the Valvan dam close to Lonavala and the Shirvatra dam across the Indrayani river about 25 kilometres from Lonavala.
Things to Buy
Things to buy include , Wooden Art, Chikki, Jam, Handbags.
Foods to Relish
Maharashtrian Thali, Misal Bhaji, Usal.