Lonavala Travel A Charming Hill Station Tours
Lonavala is located in the western part of the state of Maharashtra. It is set amongst the slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range. Also known as the "Jewel of The Sahyadri", Lonavala is a place of this regionwhere nature is present in its entire splendor. It has become famous because of nature's gift of beautiful valleys, hills, milky waterfalls, lush greenery, and pleasant cool winds.
Khandala being the smaller of the two is relatively calmer and is the pride of the Sahyadri Mountains. It is endowed with abundant natural beauty and like Lonavala, Khandala also provides a popular gateway from the hustle and bustle of cities of Mumbai and Pune. The lush greenery of the mountains especially during the monsoons and the misty paths attract tourist like honeybees here. The silver waterfalls amidst the lush greenery are extremely magical. Lonavala's bazaar is filled with surprises. The beauty of this place is a refreshing experience.
How To Get There
By AirNearest airport is situated in Pune at 64-km.
By RailLonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai and Pune. All express trains plying between the two cities stop here. There is also an hourly shuttle service for Pune.
By RoadLonavala situated on the Mumbai Pune Highway. It is 104-km from Mumbai and 64-km from Pune. The bus service between Lonavala and Pune is good. Buses shuttle between Lonavala and Khandala. Travelers can hire bicycles on hourly basis to explore Lonavala or to go to Khandala.
Places To StayThe MTDC runs a resort at Karla and another at Rye Woods, Lonavala. Many hotels that suit your budget and pocket are available in Lonavala / Khandala. It is advisable to stay at Khandala, being quietest of all with less traffic and good scenic views. Also private bunglows are available for picnickers going overnight.
LocationSituated On Mumbai-Pune Highway, Maharashtra.
Main AttractionMany Lakes And Caves.
Best TimeThough one can enjoy the beauty of these places through out the year, the best time to visit Lonavala and Khandala is from October to May.
Prime Attractions of Khandala
Elephanta CavesThe Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. These caves are located at a distance of 11-km from Mumbai and are now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island of Elephanta, being a commercial, military and religions centre for centuries has traces of early Buddhist culture.
Gateway Of IndiaMumbai's principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water's edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
BasseinBassein is located 77-km away from Mumbai, which is well connected by rail and road. It served as an important shipbuilding centre in the early 17th century. Marathas defeated the Portuguese in 1739 at this site. It bears a close resemblance to Goa, a quite place where tourists can take time off from the crowd.
BollywoodThe home of the Hindi blockbuster, the "All-India Film", is Mumbai, formerly Bombay. Famously known as "Bollywood ".
Chatrapati Shivaji TerminusAt the site of the Koli's original temple to Mumba Devi now stands Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus - one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. It is built in a style that combines Gothic and Indian influences. It was completed in 1885. Designed by F.W. Stevens the building commenced in 1878. This Italian gothic Building has a frontage of over 15,00 feet. The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden, the entrance gate guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant dome is a figure of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolise progress.
Esselworld And Water KingdomPerfect for a one-day holiday, Esselworld offers over 40 exciting rides, games, and attractions. The Water Kingdom is said to be the largest of its kind in Asia. This is Mumbai's only international-style theme park and amusement centre situated close to Gorai Beach.
Film CityThe Film City is located away from the city life, on a secluded peace of land in the vicinity of Aarey Colony. The Film City is well equipped with large studios for indoor shootings, recording room, a theater, and facilities like garden, lakes, ground for fighting scenes, helipads etc. for outdoor shooting
Flora Fountain/ Hutama ChowkThis fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Picadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.
Haji Ali MausoleumThe mausoleum of the famous Muslim saint, Haji Ali is located opposite the Mahalakshmi racecourse in Mumbai. Set 500 yards into the sea, it stands in isolation and is a splendid, which can be visited only at low tide.
Hanging GardensAlso known as Pherozeshah Mehta gardens, the Hanging gardens were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. These gardens are popularly known as Hanging gardens, because of their location on the slope of a hill.
Harishchandragad FortHarishchandragad Fort is situated near Malshej Ghat in Junnar region. It is one of the best forts to trek and very popular fort for trekkers and nature lovers. It is famous for its height, its toughness and the famous 'Konkan Kada'.
Jehangir Art GalleryFacing Elphistone College and adjacent to the Prince of Wales Museum, this gallery situated at Kala Ghoda is the most prestigious and modern venue for Indian artists. This gallery, with its four exhibition halls, is one of the city's most highly visible art galleries and having to exhibit a work of art here is a great treat for artists
Jijamata Udyan ZooRani Jijamata Udyan Victoria Gardens, laid out in 1861 houses the Mumbai's Zoo. It houses many of the rare and endangered species of animals and birds.
Juhu BeachJuhu is one of the largest and frequently visited beaches of India. Located 18-km north of the city centre, it's a beckoning beach on the shores of Arabian Sea and is one of the posh localities of Mumbai where one can find the bungalows of the famous film personalities.
Kala Ghoda FestivalThe Kala Ghoda Fair is a celebration of arts and crafts held on every Sunday from November to January. This fair is held in Mumbai near the Jehangir Art Gallery. Kala Ghoda, the much touted art district of the city, brings together the works of artistes in the fields of music, dance, theatre, film, and of course art offering an interactive cultural mélange for Mumbaites.
Kanheri CavesArcheologically speaking, the Kanheri Caves located well within the park area is a major point of interest, presenting an accessible and interesting glimpse of the history and culture of Buddhist India. 109 Buddhist caves are situated in the central part of the park and are evidence of the existence of monastic settlements in 2nd to 9th century AD.
Karnala Bird SanctuaryKarnala Bird Sanctuary is situated in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District of Konkan Region covering an area of 4.27-sq-km. Rich with natural habitats the sanctuary abounds in bird life with various kinds of resident and migrant birds. One can find around 150 species of birds of resident and 37 species of migratory birds that visit the sanctuary during winters.
Kihim & MandwaThe village of Mandwa captures the visitor's heart with its overwhelming serene atmosphere. Few kilometres from Mandwa one can find Kihim beach, which is the ideal choice to spend sometime away from the crowd and pollution.
Lion And Tiger Safari At Sanjay Gandhi National ParkOne of the main attractions to the National Park is the lion safari, which has been drawing people to the park ever since it was started. One more attraction of the park is the new "Tiger Safari" established on a 20-hectare area in the recreational zone.
Madh Island BeachMadh Island is another popular spot, which comes off surprisingly in the rural area of Mumbai's northwestern coast. It is dotted with the bungalows of the urban upper class.
Mahalaxmi/Mahalakshmi TempleThe Mahalaxmi Temple located at the northern foot of the Malabar Hill, a part now called Breach Candy in Mumbai, is a popular holy site. This is Mumbai's oldest temple dedicated to Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.
Maharashtrian/Konkani/Mumbai Cuisine RestaurantsThe best way to get a taste of Mumbai food is though its snacks.
Marine Drive-Chowpatty BeachMarine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 1930s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as "Queen's Necklace" because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night.At the top end of Marine Drive is Chowpatty Beach, the only beach in the central part of Mumbai.
Modern Theatre In MumbaiModern Theatre in India owes its origin to the development of large urban centres such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
Mount Mary ChurchSituated on a quiet hillock in suburban Bandra, Mount Mary church is one of the most prominent church in Mumbai with exquisite interiors.
Mount Mary's FestivalMount Mary church is an old church situated in Bandra, the suburb of Mumbai. In September a week long fair is held every year in the precinct of this church. This fair is popularly known as the Bandra fair and is celebrated on the occasion of Mother Mary's birthday.
Mumbadevi TempleMumbadevi Temple is located in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai. This temple is dedicated to city's patron Goddess Mumbadevi. She is considered as Mumbai's resident deity.
Mumbai FortThe area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai's golden period here.
Mumbai chaatSnacking is a favorite pastime of the people of Mumbai. Chaat is probably the most widely eaten food in the city, followed by "Bhelpuri", "Pani Puri", "Pav Bhaji", "Batata Puri", etc. For those looking for non-vegetarian snacks, there are the Muslim Kebabs, "Baida Roti" (an egg Roti stuffed with minced meat), Tandoori Chicken, Seekh Kebabs, and Fish Koliwada.
National Maritime MuseumMumbai has a natural harbour, which was developed by the British. It is one of the most busy ports of India, handling approximately 40% of India's maritime trade. The Navy has set up the maritime museum, which houses the historical treasures of India obtained from other countries and models of ships built in Mumbai.
Nehru PlanetariumNehru Planetarium is the only astronomical centre in Mumbai and is situated in Worli. It is also a concert cum movie auditorium.
Phansad Wildlife SanctuaryThe Phasand wildlife sanctuary is located in Murud and Roha Talukas of Raigad district in Konkan region, covering an area of 53-sq-km. The sanctuary represents a Coastal Woodland Ecosystem of Western Ghats, which makes the habitat very rich and offers highly peaceful atmosphere to the visitors
Prince Of Wales MuseumAmid the hustle and bustle of Mumbai stand some stately buildings, remnants of the British Raj. Among them is that of the Prince of Wales Museum, named after Prince George (Later George V) who visited India in 1905 and laid the foundation stone of the building
Sanjay Gandhi National ParkSanjay Gandhi National Park, better known as "Borivali National Park" is set in hill ranges around the suburb of Borivali in Mumbai. Notified in 1974, it offers a pleasant change from the usual sights and attractions of the big city. It is hence common to see the park teeming with school picnics, college picnics and other organized excursions.
Siddhivinayak TempleSiddhi Vinayak, a temple devoted to Ganesh, the elephant-headed God of Good Fortune, located at Prabhadev in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Temples dedicated to Ganesh are very famous as Shree Ganesh is the first to be worshipped before beginning any new project or venture as he is the destroyer of obstacles.
Taraporewala AquariumTaraporewala Aquarium is situated along the Marine Drive in Mumbai. This Aquarium houses exotic marine life and rare species of fishes and also some exquisite pearl jewellery. It is soon to be renovated into a high-tech Aquarium with a glass vision seaworld
Vajreshwari Hot SpringsVajreshwari is known for its hot springs, the temple of Goddess Vajreshwari and the ashrams of Swami Muktananda and Swami Nityanand. It is a famous health resort and also a spiritual centre.
Vihar And Powai LakesVihar and Powai Lakes are two adjoining lakes in Mumbai suburbs. These lakes are popular picnic spots where office goers, students and tourist groups often go for excursion on weekends and holidays
Water Sports In MumbaiMumbai has a vast beach line and has a unique distinction of being the first city in the country to have a full-fledged water sports complex.