If you are planning to visit a hill station that is surrounded by lush green forests, then consider planning a trip to Lonavala. Because Lonavala lies at an elevation of not more than two thousand and forty-seven feet elevation from sea level, the temperature in the region is temperate and not cold. In other words, its among the best places to visit in Lonavala, Maharashtra. It is a hill station where you will enjoy a minimum temperature of eleven degrees Celsius in January and a maximum of only thirty-three degrees Celsius in May. Hence, the average temperature range is not very high, making the weather of Lonavala reasonably temperate.
Located in the state of Maharashtra and about sixty-four kilometers from the commercial hub of Pune, Lonavala is the best place for a weekend’s getaway. Not just for people living in Pune, even for people living in other important cities of Maharashtra, traveling to Lonavala is not very difficult. After the building of the Mumbai-Pune Highway, going to Lonavala by road has become more accessible from cities of other states as well. Lonavala sightseeing is becoming popular nowadays. If you are a localite, you can take the Lonavala to Pune local train, and you will be at this picturesque destination in a matter of an hour..
There are many places to visit in Lonavala. The hill station is surrounded by evergreen and deciduous trees. Its lush green mountains and tranquil waterfalls, which makes it a paradise for tourists. The Karla Caves and the Bhaja Caves are other favorite tourist spots in Lonavala. These are ancient Buddhist Caves and shrines that have been carved out of rocks. Other than that, in Lonavala, you can also participate in various adventure sports like paragliding during your stay in this beautiful place. If you are more of the active kind, then you can also consider going on a trek or a reasonably long hike. .
Thus, there are several best places to visit in Lonavala and these place has something for everyone. So, if you are planning to go on a trip to Lonavala, make sure that you visit the following places. Similarly, you could also consider participating in some of the activities mentioned below during your stay in Lonavala.
1. Karla Caves
The Karla Caves are the foremost amongst the best places to visit in Lonavala. These are rock-cut Buddhist caves that are more than two thousand years old. The Caves consist of Chaityas (halls) and Viharas (monasteries), each depicting various Buddhist tales. Many of these stories relate to the life of Gautam Buddha. Some of the stories tell humorous anecdotes, as well. You will have to climb one hundred and fifty stairs to reach the main entrance of the Caves. Moreover, inside the Caves, you will find a separate temple dedicated to the Goddess Ekeveera.
The unique feature of these Caves is that it houses a Buddhist monastery. It is believed to have been built in the second century BC. The Karla Caves is indeed a haven for history enthusiasts. Because of the architectural splendor of the Caves and the unique sculptures within the Caves, these Caves have been designated as heritage sites by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Thus, considered as one of the serene places to visit in Lonavala.
Things to do in Karla Caves
- While climbing the stairs imbibe in the beauty of the mountains surrounding the Caves
- Explore the Cave complex. You will be surprised by the beauty and uniqueness of the carvings and finesse of the sculptures
- If you check the carvings carefully, you will find that some pillars have Greek inscriptions. These will be a unique discovery for any history enthusiast.
Thus, a visit to the Karla Caves will be an enriching experience not only for a history enthusiast as well as for a nature lover.
2. Lohagad Fort
Lohagade Fort is among the historical places to visit in Lonavala. This unique Fort has been declared as a heritage site by UNESCO. The Lohagad Fort is known to have been the treasury of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This formidable Fort lies at the height of three thousand four hundred feet on top of a mountain. Reaching the Fort itself is a great climb. When you reach the Fort, you will understand that it is because of the location of the Fort that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj decided to make it the spot for his treasury. The Fort itself is a massive structure and is connected to another Fort called the Visapur Fort. The two Forts form a distinctive architectural feature of the Malavali hill. When you come near the mountain, you can see the outline of the two Forts clearly. The massive structure of the Forts will make you marvel at the engineering brilliance of our ancestors. Given the versatility of the place, it won’t be wrong to say that the Lohagad Fort is one of the best places in Lonavala. When you visit the Lohagad Fort, you will be left amazed by the immensity of the structure and the sheer size of the Fort.
Things to do at the Lohagad Fort
- The best way to reach the fort is to trek through the hillside
- While trekking you will find that the route is not just beautiful, but also thrilling
- The natural beauty surrounding the Lohagad Fort is incredible. So take time and imbibe the natural beauty.
- The area around the Fort is surrounded by lush green forests.
- Explore the Fort grounds and be amazed by the architectural splendor of the Fort.
Hence, when you visit the Lohagad Fort, you will be amazed by the engineering feat that our ancestors were able to achieve. Moreover, the Fort itself is located in a place that is ideal for adventure seekers. Therefore, it is a place that is a favorite for both history and adventure enthusiasts.
3. Bhairavnath Temple
Bhairavnath Temple is among the religious places to visit in Lonavala. The Bhairavnath Temple in Lonavala is located within the dense forest. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairava, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Temple has a simple architecture, but that does not reduce the grandeur of the Temple at all. You can also pay homage to the other deities that are placed in the smaller temples, which are located on the compound around the main Temple. The location of the Temple is unique because, to reach the Temple, devotees have to trek through dense forest. However, this does not deter devotees from traveling to the Temple. The best time to visit the Temple is during the Maha Shivratri celebrations. During this time, unique offerings are made in the Temple, and the number of devotees visiting the Temple also increases manifold. Because of the unique trek, the Bhairavnath Temple is becoming one of the most sought after places in Lonavala by tourists and people living in the area. by tourists and people living in the area.
Things to do at the Bhairavnath Temple
- Take the trek through the dense forest to the Temple
- Take time to imbibe in the scenic beauty surrounding the Temple
- Explore the Temple grounds and admire the architectural beauty of the Temple
Thus, a visit to the Bhairavnath Temple will be not only spiritually uplifting but also an enjoyable experience for the nature lover in you.
4. Bushi Dam
When you check for Lonavala best places to visit, you are bound to come across a place called the Bushi Dam. This Dam is one of the oldest dams in India and was built in the late 1860s and is owned by the Indian railways. The Dam is built on the Indrayani River. It acts as a reservoir and supplies water to the towns of Lonavala and Khandala. However, the Dam and its water body have become a significant tourist attraction, and the numbers of picnickers increase during the monsoon season. During the Monsoon, the water in the reservoir rises, allowing water to be released from the Dam. As the water gushes down the steps of the Dam, the visitors enjoy the human made waterfall thoroughly. To make it easier for tourists to access the Dam, car parks have been constructed near the area. You can easily park your car and walk towards the steps near the Dam to enjoy the water flowing out of the Dam. There are also plans to expand the Bushi Dam as a major tourist attraction in Lonavala. Thus considered among best Lonavala places to visit.
Things to do at Bushi Dam
- Enjoy the waters flowing out of the reservoir of the Dam
- Enjoy a picnic near the Dam
Thus, a visit to the Bhusi Dam is ideal if you are looking for a day’s getaway and want to enjoy some time with family or friends.
5. Lonavala Lake
Lonavala Lake is among marvelous places to visit in Lonavala. Your Lonavala sightseeing will be incomplete if you do not pay a visit to Lonavala Lake. It is a human made lake because it was formed because of the building of the Bushi Dam on the Indrayani River. This Lake is also seasonal because it gets filled with water when the Monsoon arrives. The lush green forest surrounding the Lake is an overwhelming vision that attracts trekkers and nature lovers. The region around the Lake is slowly becoming a favorite amongst campers as well. If you are planning to spend a night camping with your friends, then Lonavala Lake would be a suitable spot. During the Monsoon season, Lonavala Lake becomes the haunt for numerous species of birds. Superb Lonavala sightseeing place. If you want to spend a tranquil afternoon with friends and family, then you can consider visiting Lonavala Lake.
Things to do at the Lonavala Lake
- The area around the Lake is covered with lush green forest and ideal for trekking. Hence, if you enjoy the outdoors, you can plan to go for a trek or a hike.
- If you enjoy bird watching, then consider visiting the Lonavala Lake during the Monsoon season. During this time, you will be able to see numerous species of birds.
- Youngsters often go for camping near the Lonavala Lake
- You can also enjoy eating the local food like pav, chaat and smoked corn, which are sold around the Lonavala Lake
Thus, Lonavala Lake is the best place for campers, hikers, trekkers, and ardent bird watchers.
6. Ryewood Park
When you check for Lonavala places to visit, you are bound to come across Ryewood Park. Its among beautiful places to visit in Lonavala. This was a botanical garden, which was transformed into a park open for the public. The twenty-five acres of manicured lawns are ideal for spending a relaxed afternoon. The entire garden is covered with numerous trees of various species. The whole garden is very well maintained, and hence, it is an ideal place for children to run about and play. Therefore, if there are children in your tour group, then a visit to Ryewood Park is a must. When you visit the Park, make sure you also visit the Shri Siddheshwar Temple, Kali Temple, Mata Laxmi Temple, and the Ram Temple within the Park. You should also visit the ancient Lord Shiva Temple, which is another attraction of the Park. In the Park, you will also find along with the temples, other sculptures as well. The pathways in the Park that add to the overall beauty of the place. The beautiful flowering plants make the Park all the more remarkable. Thus, during your visit to Lonavala, a trip to Ryewood Park is a must.
Things to do at the Ryewood Park
- Take a walk around the Park
- Explore the unique flora in the Park
Hence, a visit to Ryewood Park will be very much, unlike the other tourist spots that you will visit in Lonavala.
7. Rajmachi Fort
Another nature loving places to visit in Lonavala is Rajmachi Fort. If you are looking for things to do in Lonavala, then a trek to the Rajmachi Fort is a must. This Fort lies midway between Lonavala and Khandala. History has it that formed an essential part of the trade route between Mumbai and Pune. The strategic position of the Rajmachi Fort also made it play an essential role in the First Anglo Maratha War. You can reach the Rajmachi Fort by walking for a distance of fifteen kilometers. This trek is much liked by hikers and trekkers, primarily because of the scenic beauty surrounding the Fort. The lush green forests, the waterfalls, and the greenery around the region make the trek all the more enjoyable. If you enjoy camping, then you can consider going on a trip to the Rajmachi Fort. You can camp in the area around the Fort or on the route to the Fort. The trek to the Fort gets completed when you reach ‘Bale Killa,’ which is at the height of three thousand feet from sea level. This is the highest point of the Fort. Thus visiting the Rajmachi Fort will be one of the most thrilling experiences during your entire visit to Lonavala.
Things to do at Rajmachi Fort
- Take a day-long trek to reach the Rajmachi Fort
- Do a night’s camp before reaching the Fort
- Explore by foot both the fortresses of the Fort, viz. Shrivardhan and Manaranjan
- Check the architecture of the Fort
- Admire the natural beauty surrounding the Fort
- Identify the Bor Ghat which formed the trade route between Pune and Mumbai
Thus, a visit to the Rajmachi Fort will be one that is filled with activities. It might be that reaching the Fort may be strenuous, but once you have reached the Fort, you will find that the journey was worth making. The unique architecture, the immensity of the structure, the natural beauty surrounding the Fort, and loneliness of the Fort itself all add to the character of the place.
8. Tiger’s Leap
The tiger point Lonavala is another favorite tourist spot amongst the locals and others who come from elsewhere to visit Lonavala. The place is called Tiger’s Leap because the mountain top looks like a tiger preparing to leap into the Valley. The tiger point is as actually a cliff with a sheer drop of six hundred and fifty meters. The tiger point is nearly eight kilometers from the city of Lonavala. When you reach the base of the mountain, you will have to trek up to reach the tiger point. This tiger point Lonavala mountaintop is a favorite amongst trekkers. When you reach the top, you will be amazed by the incredible view of the ValleyValley below. But you should look down from a safe distance because it is a sheer drop. Tourists say that the climb to the tiger point and the view from the Tiger’s Leap is some of the most thrilling experiences of their lives.
Things to do at Tiger’s Leap
- Take a long trek to Tiger’s Leap.
- While trekking takes time to imbibe in the natural beauty surrounding the region.
- When you reach the tiger point, don’t forget to take pictures of the fantastic view of the Valley below.
Thus, a visit to the Tiger’s Leap will be an unforgettable memory for you.
9. Aambey Valley
When you check for Lonavala best places to stay, you are bound to come across a site called Aambey Valley. This is a township located about twenty-four kilometers from the city of Lonavala. Sahara India Parivar created the township. The aim was to convert ten thousand acres of rocky terrain into a luxurious town. Aambey Valley consists of villas, hotels, and homes all designed on the lines of super-luxury stays. The landscaped urban infrastructure of the region has made Aambey Valley one of the major tourist attractions of the world. People around the globe come to visit Aambey valley to enjoy a super luxurious lifestyle for a few days. The township also has facilities for tourists who want to enjoy luxurious activities like day-long picnics and is ideal for luxurious weekend getaways. Thus, if you are looking to spend some time relaxing and reconnecting with your spouse and family, then you could consider spending some time at an Aambey Valley resort or villa.
The Aambey Valley also has ample facilities for adventure seekers. Organizers often try and arrange new and innovative sports activities, to attract tourists. There are three beautiful lakes within the Aambey Valley. There are facilities available in the ValleyValley for water sports enthusiasts who wish to participate in sporting activities like rafting and boating. You can also go for mountaineering and hiking if you are looking for such facilities. However, you should participate in such activities only under the able guidance of experienced mountaineers,
Things to do at Aambey Valley
- Relax and enjoy the natural beauty around Aambey Valley
- Go for a walk or a short hike in the region
- Go for a luxurious picnic
- Opt to participate in an adventure sport like rafting, mountaineering or boating
Hence, if you are looking for a short weekend getaway, then you can consider going to Aambey Valley. You can also consider visiting Aambey Valley if you are thinking of participating in an adventure sport.
10. Bhimashankar Trek
Amongst the many Lonavala tourist places, the Bhimashankar Trek is the most unique because it is a hike that takes you through a Wildlife Sanctuary. This picturesque trek is both scenic and thrilling. The trek goes through forgotten villages, tiny rivers, dense forests, and ancient temples. The main attraction of the trek is the Bhimashankar Temple, which is built in the Nagara style of architecture. The construction of the Temple dates back to the mid-eighteenth century. The dense jungle and the ancient Temple within it all add to the beauty of the trek. During the trek, you might come across the elusive rust-colored giant squirrel, which is the emblem of Maharashtra.
Things to do Bhimashankar Trek
- Take sufficient water with you for the trek
- Enjoy the natural beauty during the trek
- The trek makes the perfect location for pictures
Thus, this trek is ideal if you are looking for some adventure during your Lonavala trip.
Therefore, Maharashtra has many places to visit in Lonavala. You can make your trip to Lonavala memorable and exciting. All you need to do to do so is to plan. After that, make sure that you plan the treks, hike, sports activities, and adventure trips accordingly because Lonavala has it all. Moreover, prior planning will help you make the most of your Lonavala trip.