Tired of your usual 'Netflix & Chill' weekends? If yes, you must check out this mesmerising place, located at a small distance of 82 km from Mumbai. Touted as one of the favourite spots of Mumbaikars, Lonavala will let you explore the kid in you amid the serene setting of mountain ranges. This twin of Khandala on the old Mumbai-Pune highway aggregates an endless list of alluring adventures. So if you are already enticed for a quick trip anytime soon, here are the 5 things that you can't miss when in Lonavala!
Trek to the Tiger Point for a delish bowl of Maggi
Placed at an altitude of 650 meters, Tiger's Leap is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lonavala. This riveting location gets its name from its tiger-shaped structure and is widely known for its sumptuous maggie servings. Many adventure geeks enjoy trekking and hiking here but the tourists are largely pulled back by the tempting snacks and munchies available here!
- Location: Near I.N.S. Shivaji Base, Lonavala
- Timings: Best to visit before or during sunset
Visit the Neanderthal Caves
Offering a dive into history, Karla Caves house the largest Hinayana Buddhist Chaitya in the country, maintained perfectly through the course of time. Lining up a string of the oldest rock-cut caves in India, Karla embraces fine motifs, sculptures, inscriptions and a 37-pillar aisle that has beams, over 2000 years old. You will have to climb 300 steep steps to reach the caves, where a temple welcomes you. Remarkably, it is being built with ancient pillars from the Buddhist period.
- Location: Karli, Lonavala
- Timings: 9 am to 6 pm
Star Gaze amid the astounding views at the Rajmachi Fort
Also known as the Manoranjan Balekilla, Rajmachi Fort is something you can't afford to miss, when in Lonavala. As per claims, Chhatrapati Shivaji, the much revered Maratha ruler built this exceptional edifice. It houses two forts- Shrivardhan and Manaranjan, built at a height of about 3000 feet on a rocky hill in the Sahyadri Range. With cosmic and flourishing surroundings, this place offers stupendous views that never fail to charm the nature buffs!
- Location: Rajmachi Village, Lonavala
- Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Overnight Camping at Pawna Lake
Swarmed by hordes of campers and picnic lovers, Pawna Lake can lighten your mood in a jiffy! Developed by the waters of Pawna Dam, this lake ensures experiences that can freshen up your soul. Once your eyes catch a glimpse of Lohagad, Tikona and Tunga forts, you are bound to win memories for a lifetime. While winters account for delightful moments at this Lake, the motor and row boating can drive your spirits up, any time of the year.
- Location: Pawna Dam, Lonavala
- Timings: Open all 24 hours
Breakfast at Sunny Da Dhaba
Though the Lonavala-Khandala stretch has a number of dhabas, Sunny Da Dhaba is assuredly one of the most preffered ones, owing to its scrumptious feasts. With their delicious lassi, chole and parantha combo, you are guaranteed of a wholesome food adventure. And if you are a fan of non-veg delicacies, their Butter Chicken is what you need for one soul-satiating experience!
- Location: Mumbai-Pune Highway
- Timings: 11 AM to 1 AM
Many other places can also be covered in your next Lonavala trip, like Celebrity Wax Museum, Sausage Hill, Tungarli Lake, Aamby Valley, Amrutanjan Point, Kune Waterfalls and the like. Further, boutique hotels like Aureole Mrida and Cosset provide rooms at affordable costs and you can book them prior to the start of your journey. In this 'new-normal world', find your happiness by exploring new places in Lonavala but do take precautions to protect yourself and others amid the pandemic.