Lonavala is a fascinating hill station in Pune district of Maharashtra. Lonavala separates the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan Coast. These are very popular monsoon destinations in India and also among the top summer getaways in Maharashtra. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of the Bombay Presidency, developed Lonavala along with Khandala in 1871.
Lonavala offers an alluring and memorable experience of nature’s most gifted region. Surrounded by dense forests, waterfalls, lakes, Lonavala is frequented by all sorts of people, especially hikers and nature lovers. Lohagad Fort, Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, Bhushi Dam, Kune Waterfalls,Tiger’s LeapandBedsa Caves, are some of the popular sightseeing places to visit in Lonavala. Here are some of the top places to visit in Lonavala.
Kune Falls is a scenic waterfall in Lonavala and also one of the popular places of Lonavala sightseeing. The waterfall is surrounded by lush green vegetation and provides a great visual experience. Kune Falls cascades down from a height of about 200 meters and the highest drop of this 3-tier waterfall is about 100 meters. The falls attracts tourists in large numbers during the rainy season when the waterfall is in its full form. It is one of the popular tourist places near Pune and also one of the best waterfalls near Mumbai.
Lohagad Fort is a historical fort situated along the Sahyadri hills in Lonavala, Maharashtra. It is one of the best places to visit in Lonavala and also one of the popular forts in Maharashtra. The fort separates the Indrayani basin from the Pawna basin. It is one among the popular places of trekking near Pune & Mumbai. Lohagad Fort was designed in the shape of tail of a scorpion. The fort has four entrances, namely Maha Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja. The fort makes an ideal trekking destination for trekkers because of its accessibility, ease of trek and lush green surroundings. Malavli is the base of the trek, which is around 7 km from Lohagad. This fort offers aerial views of Karla, Bhaja caves and Pawna Lake.
Bhaja Caves or Bhaje Caves are a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to 2nd century BC. Located at Bhaja, thesecaves are located on an ancient trade route. These protected monuments are one of the top places to visit in Lonavala and among the well-known tourist places to visit near Pune & Mumbai. Among 22 caves, Cave 12 and Cave 8 are the most important caves with elegant architecture. The notable feature of the caves is its group of 14 stupas, which enfold an irregular excavation with five stupas inside and nine outside. There is also a waterfall near the caves where tourists refresh themselves with a dip.
Tiger’s Leap, also known as Waghdari is a scenic viewpoint situated near I.N.S Shivaji in Lonavala. The point derives its name from its resemblance to the shape of a leaping tiger. It is a cliff-top with a sheer drop of over 650 m and offers spectacular views of forests, lush greenery, waterfalls and lakes around. When the stream flow is medium, the place offers adventure activity like rafting. The place is perfect for trekking as it offers spectacular views of the surrounding valley. The sunrise and sunset views from here are mesmerizing.
Bhushi Dam in Lonavala is a masonry dam built in late 1860s for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway as a source of water for their steam engines. Water was carried through cast-iron pipes from the reservoir to Lonavala, Khandala and the reversing station of the railway. Located in the backdrop of scenic hilly terrains, Bushi Dam is one of the top places to visit in Lonavala and also a popular Places to Visit near Mumbai. The place is visited during the monsoon season. There is a waterfall located close to the dam, which is formed when the water gushes out through the dam during the monsoon months.
The Karla Caves are a complex of ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves located in Lonavala, Maharashtra. The caves are excavated nearly 100 m on a high spur on the north flank of the Indrayani valley. Karla is one of the most famous centers of early rock-cut architecture in India and also one of the best Lonavala tourist places. The cave complex consists of 16 rock cut excavations of which cave 8 is the chaityagriha, the grandest and the largest of all the chaityagrihas of India. There are well carved sculptures of humans as well as animals. The arched entrances and vaulted interiors are the main highlights of the caves. The complex also houses a2nd century BC Buddhist monastery.