Places to visit this week from Hyderabad: LONAVALA aka LONAVLA

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It is a dream of many students to take a few days off from the very tiring schedule and head for a gateway with friends. One such place is LONAVLA !!

LONAVALA:
Lonavala is a town and a hill station in Pune district in the state of Maharashtra. It is popularly known as the jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains. Lonavla is set amongst the sylvan hills of the Western Ghats and is a popular gateway from Mumbai and Pune. This place is about 64 kilometers from the city of Pune and 96 kilometers from the city of Mumbai. The place of Lonavala is known for its production of the hard candy chickii and is also a major stop on the railway line connecting Mumbai and Pune.

Both the Mumbai-Pune Expressway as well as the Mumbai-Chennai highway passes through Lonavala. It also serves as a starting point for tourists interested in visiting the famous, ancient Buddhist rock cut caves of Bhaja and Karla, which are located near this hill station. It also has an important Yoga center near it, for the health conscious traveler.

 

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The name Lonavala is derived from Len (Prakrit, A resting place carved from stone) and Avali (Prakrit, series). Lonavli in Prakrit is a place which has a series of such Len around it.Lonavala is also home to INS Shivaji (formerly HMIS Shivaji) which is the Indian Navy’s Premier Technical Training Institute.

WHERE IS LONAVLA?:
Lonavala is located in the western part of the state of Maharashtra, in the western region of India. It is set amongst the slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range and situated 106 km southeast of Mumbai at an altitude of 625 m above sea level. The weather in Lonavala is pleasant.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
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.

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HOW TO REACH?:
By road: Lonavala is on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is well-connected to several towns of Khopoli, Karjat, Talegaon Dabhade, etc. All India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations are permitted.

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By train: As Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai (Bombay) and Pune (Poona), all express trains plying between the two cities stop here.Local trains run from Pune at 2-hour intervals. Those originating from Mumbai along the central line have Khopoli as their last station. Buses are available at regular intervals to complete the remaining 15 km of the journey to Lonavla from Khopoli bus station. It takes 2.5 hours by train from Mumbai and 1 to 1.5 hour from Pune. All trains, traveling between Mumbai and Pune, halt at Lonavla. Trains from Mumbai halt at Karjat to attach banker locomotives before the train starts journey up the Western Ghats to reach Lonavla.
By air: Lonavla does not have an airport. The nearest commercial airports are Pune International Airport at 64 km and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 104 km. A seaplane service is also available between Juhu and Pawana Dam, which is 14 km away from Lonavala.

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TOURISM:
Lonavla and the adjacent Khandala are twin hill stations 622 meters (2,041 ft) above the sea level, in the Sahyadri ranges that demarcate the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan coast. The hill stations sprawl over an approximate area of 38 square kilometers. Tourism peaks during the monsoon season. The name Lonavla is derived from the Sanskrit word lonavli, which refers to the many caves like Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and Bedsa that are close to Lonavla.

A trip to Lonavala and Khandala can be combined with sight-seeing visits of Karla, Bhaja, and Bedsa caves and also the two fortresses, Lohagad and Visapur. Another place of interest is the Tungi Fort; one of the forts captured by Malik Ahmad near the village of Karjat and was known for its natural strength. The Andharban trek begins from village Pimpri, passes through dense forests, valleys, and waterfalls, and ends in Bhira.

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There are numerous lakes around Lonavla. Tugauli, Lonavala and Bhushi lakes are worth visiting; so is the Walvan Dam. The small hill station of Khandala is just 5 km away. Travelers coming from Mumbai pass through Khandala before reaching Lonavala. Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital is 2 km from Lonavla on the road to Karla and Bhaja caves. This center attracts both local and foreign tourists seeking yogic healing. This center was founded in 1924 and conducts various courses in Yoga along with a research center and a training college.

Karla and Bhaja Caves, located in the hills at a distance of 11 km from Lonavla, are important places to visit. These rock-cut cave temples dating back to 2nd century BC and are amongst the oldest and finest examples of Buddhist rock-cut temple art in India, belonging to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism. Adventure seekers can try their hand at rock climbing at the Duke’s Nose peak and other locations in the Karla hills, near Lonavala.

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PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY:
There are quite a good number of places in and around Lonavla:
Lonavla Lake
Lonavla Lake is surrounded by natural scenery, about 1.6 km from the town. The lake dries up during the winter months. This place attracts a lot of tourists for its street food that complements the weather, especially during the monsoons. The popular convenience food items include smoked corn on the cob, shaved ice (gola), vada pav, chaat, and hot ginger tea.

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Rajmachi Point
Rajmachi Point has located about 6.5 km from Lonavla. This point commands a view of Shivaji’s famous fort, Rajmachi (Royal terra-oui Oce) and the surrounding valley. Regular State Transport buses ply between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla from the State Transport Bus Stand. The famous Vaghjai Dari is also located here.
Valvan Dam
Valvan Dam has a garden at its foot and is a popular evening spot 2 km from the town. The dam supplies water to the Khopoli power station at the foothills of the Sahyadris for generating electricity. The Kundali River feeds into the dam’s reservoir.
Karla Caves
Karla caves, located near Lonavla, is a complex of cave shrines built by Buddhist monks around 3rd to 2nd century B.C. A famous temple of Goddess Ekvira Devi is also present here.
Narayani Dham
Narayani Dham is a temple constructed in 2002 in honor of the Hindu Goddess Narayani. It is at a distance of 2 km from the Lonavala Railway Station, that has gained a huge traction from the tourists for a spiritual and peaceful weekend getaway. The temple has idols of Durga Mata, Salasar Balaji (Hanuman) and Ganpati housed in a beautiful marble structure.
Della Adventure
This is a popular adventure theme park about 5.4 km from the Lonavla exit of Old Mumbai-Pune Highway. This park offers adventure, camping and luxurious resorts ideal for family, and corporate getaways. Some of the thrilling activities include swoop swing, horse riding, paintball, bungee jumping, zorbing etc.

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Shooting Point
Another scenic point in the town of Khandala (Bazaar path), which provides the magnificent view of the Rajmachi Fort and the valley. It is also the home for the St. Mary’s villa.

Approx Budget: 8000/-
Luxury Budget: 15,000

Places to Visit this week from Hyderabad : COORG

 

 

Places to visit in August, Visit LONAVALA aka LONAVLA this week.A road trip to LONAVALA.LONAVALA solo trip. waterfalls in LONAVALA .Places to visit in August.

Author: Elyuxen

Elyuxen, a student newspaper where students get to work as well as publish all the news related to colleges in and around Hyderabad. It is the first ever student newspaper in South India which is successfully running. The beauty and the tagline of this newspaper is it is *For the student, by the student, of the student

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