To witness the incredible generosity of nature towards this dot on the globe, you must, for once, pay a visit at Lonavala. It is hard not to envy the people living here for the beauty of the landscapes, mountains and waterfalls that they experience every single day of their lives. This hill station in Pune is a great place to make memories that will last a lifetime. These are some of the most important attractions in Lonavala. Have a look-
- Ryewood Park-
Lonavala’s Ryewood Park is a great place to picnic. It has lush gardens, landscaped lawns and a children’s park. This park is located near Lonavala Market and was originally intended as a botanical garden. Later it was renovated and converted to a park.
The park covers 25 acres of land and is rich in flora. It includes many old tree species and flower beds. The park also has a Shiva Temple, which exudes such calming vibes that you can sit here and meditate. The children’s park has swings and is a great place to keep your kids entertained. Take a trip to this park and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones.
The Karla Caves, or Karle Caves, are located 11 km away from Lonavala and 59 km away from Pune. It is one of Lonavala’s most popular tourist spots and is also protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. Among the centres for early rock-cut architecture, Karla is certainly one of the most important. If you love caves, this is the place where you should be.
The caves here were built in two different periods: the 2nd century BC to the 2nd Century AD, and in the 5th – 10th Century AD. It is located near an ancient trade route that runs eastward from the Arabian Sea to the Deccan. The Karla Complex consists 16 rock-cut caves. And the interior of the complex of Karla Caves is lit by windows. Karla Caves aren’t as elaborate as the caves at Ellora and Ajanta. The grand chaityagriha at Karla, however, is the most impressive and largest among all the chaityagrihas in India and one of the most beautiful places to visit when you are in Lonavala.
- The Valvan Dam-
Visitors who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life will love Valvan Dam. This dam is located at an elevation of approximately 26.4m and stretches over 1356m at the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains. It serves as the source for Tata Power’s Khopoli Power Station.
The Kundali River runs across this scenic spot, where lush greenery and tranquil surroundings create a welcoming environment. The lake here, Valvan Lake, is artificial, but has a beautiful garden nearby. This perfect combination of a dam and a lake makes this area a great destination for family outings.
- Lion’s Point-
It is located 12km from Lonavala Railway Station. This vantage point lies between Bhushi dam and Aamby Valley of Lonavala. It is a popular place, and a must-see for people on Lonavala tours.
Lion’s Point offers a magnificent and breath-taking view to tourists. During monsoon season, one would find many small waterfalls, lush green hills and lakes here. Note that it is also a stunning spot to experience sunrise and sunset. Lion’s Point is an extremely windy place. Despite that, you will find people bravely going close to the edge in order to capture adventurous photographs. What more? It is a mesmerising experience to drive up to the point.
- Rajmachi Fort-
Rajmachi Fort (also known as Manoranjan Balekilla) is undoubtedly the most important place to visit in Lonavala. This historical site was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, and consists of two fortresses, Shrivardhan & Manaranjan. They were built on a hill at 3000 feet in the Sahyadri Range to provide a view of the surrounding area. The stunning views from this spot are breath-taking and the place is immensely popular with vacationers, particularly nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts.
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary-
It is located in Maharashtra’s Panvel Taluk, Raigad district, 13 km from Panvel.
It is a popular picnic spot near Mumbai. In fact, in 1968, Karnala became the first bird sanctuary in Maharashtra. The sanctuary was initially spread over 4.45 square miles. It now covers 12.11 sq. km. The bird sanctuary is located below the Karnala Fortress. This bird sanctuary is a popular spot for both bird-watchers and hikers.
Over 150 species of birds are found in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, and there are around 37 migratory species. Visitors can see a variety of birds in the monsoon season such as the racket tailed drongo and golden backed woodpecker. Many migratory birds are also visible in winters. There are many migratory birds, including the blue-headed rock-thrush, red-breasted flycatcher, blackbird and cuckoo-shrike.
The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is dominated by moist deciduous forests. The forest department has taken steps to educate visitors by tagging trees within the forest. This forest is popular for birds, but also offers shelter to other wildlife animals- it is home to wild boars, langurs and rhesus monkeys.
- Tikona Fort-
The popular Maratha historical site Tikona Fort is named after its triangular shape. It stands at 1066 metres above the sea level. The fort was in the capture of the Mughals. However, in 1670s, Shivaji Maharaj regained control over it and it remained a fortified site of the Marathas till Sambhaji reigned.
You will enter the fort through a small cave. This leads to a guard tower, and then through five more caves. You will find a small broken temple and a large stone wheel within the fort. At the top of the fort, there is a Buddhist cave and a couple of water tanks.
If Lonavala has already enticed you and you are planning a trip here some time soon, then consider booking a villa for your stay. The benefit of staying in villas in lonavala is definitely the host of amusing activities that they allow you to engage in. For a memorable stay, however, it’s important that you pick your villa from among multiple popular options.