Lonavala is a hill station surrounded by green valleys in western India near Mumbai. It is situated in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats and is close to the cities of Pune and Mumbai. Lonavala is known to be the most visited hill station in Maharashtra.
Lonavala is a beautiful and serene town, with some attractions that bring people closer to nature, such as -
- Tiger’s Leap – a high view point, surrounding mountains and lush greenery.
- Pawna Lake – A popular and beautiful lake in Lonavala; famous for camping and sightseeing.
- Duke’s Nose – A lovely spot on a hill (gets its name due to its shape), known to be great for activities like trekking and hiking, rappelling, rock climbing, camping and so on.
- Lonavala Lake – a picturesque lake with lots of bird species visiting it; a great spot for bird watching.
- Aamby Valley – A beautiful natural spot that has been turned into a man-made entertainment spot with interesting activities; a fascinating blend of nature and modernity.
- Imagica Adlabs – A popular amusement park in the town, with exciting rides, water sports and much more.
- Bhushi Dam – A beautiful masonry dam built on the Indrayani River which is close to the town; a spot that is scintillating especially in monsoons- as it is surrounded by dense green forests.
Lonavala is famous for its Chikkis, and few other Maharashtrian Street foods which are available all over the town -
- Chikki – a bar made of peanuts, sesame seeds, and jaggery.
- Vada Pav – Consists of a deep-fried potato patty placed inside a bread bun sliced almost in half through the middle, along with a spicy chutney - a popular street food in many cities and towns in Maharashtra.
- Pav Bhaji – A mixed and mashed spicy vegetable curry, served with toasted buns and lots of butter – another popular street food.
Here are some good restaurants in Lonavala where the local specialties as well as other delicious meals can be had -
- The Kinara Village Dhabaq
- German Bakery Wunderbar
- Sunny da Dhaba
- Lonavala Restaurant
- Sheetal da Dhaba
- Café 24
- Duchess Restaurant
Lonavala has many good hotels and resorts for a comfortable stay. Here are some good places to stay at in Lonavala –
- The Dukes Retreat
- The Machan
- The Orchid
- Rhythm Lonavala
- Sterling Lonavala
- Hotel Mulberry Konnect
- Treebo Trend Five Elements
- Meritas Adore Resort
- Ellegance Hill Resort
- Viola Beacon Resort
- 7apple Resort
- The Lotus Resort
Lonavala also has some interesting museums that are a must-visit, such as –
- Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum (A museum having life-size wax statues of Indian celebrities and historical figures)
- Lucky’s Celebrity Was Museum (Another museum having life-size statues of Indian celebrities, specifically movie actors and actresses)
- Miniature World Museum
One of the popular things to buy from Lonavala is Chikki (a bar made of peanuts, jaggery and flavored with cardamom, and sometimes sesame seeds) – which it is famous for. Maganlal is the most popular brand that sells Chikki here. Here are some of the best shopping spots to buy Chikki, Fudges and other things like handbags, clothes (sarees), home decor and handicrafts –
- Maganlal & Sons Main Shop
- Lonavala Bazaar
- National Chikki Mart
- Gugale Purse Factory
- Yash Sarees
- Bakerally & Sons
- Lonavala Square Mall
- Triose Plaza
- Uphill Mall
Though Lonavala is a quiet place, mostly associated with peaceful getaways, the local people here celeb rate most Maharashtrian and Hindu festivals, such as –
- Krishna Janmashtami (Birth anniversary of Lord Krishna)
- Deepawali (festival of lights)
- Holi (festival of colors)
- Maha Shivratri (dedicated to Lord Shiva)
- Ganesh Chaturthi (Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva)
- Dussehra (a 10-day festival, where people worship Goddess Durga)
Lonavala has some historic forts, many of which provide lovely views and are built in interesting architecture styles. These include -
- Rajmachi Fort – a beautiful historic fort perched on a hill on the Sahyadri range and surrounded by lots of greenery.
- Tikona Fort
- Lohagad Fort
- Tikona Fort
- Visapur Fort
- Tung Fort
Other historic and religious spots include –
- Karla caves – One of the oldest Buddhist shrines in India; Caves that are said to have been carved between 2nd and 5th century BC.
- Bhaja Caves – Another set of Buddhist caves; which are said to date back to 160 BC, and believed to be the oldest caves in all of India.
- Bhairavnath Temple – A Hindu temple, dedicated to the incarnation of Lord Shiva.
- Shri Durga Parameshwari Temple – A beautiful Hindu temple, built in south Indian style (with a long Gopuram or top), dedicated to goddess Durga.
- Narayani Dham Temple – A temple built of white marble, dedicated to Narayani, a Hindu goddess.
- Police: 100
- Fire: 101
- Ambulance: 102, 108
- Railway Helpline – 1512, 139
- Blood bank Information: 1910