The diverse land of Maharashtra offers plenty of opportunities for tourists and professionals to have a quiet and sober time. But if you live in and around Mumbai, Lonavala might just be your answer for an easy escape from your daily bustling life.
With an elevation of over 2,000 feet, and a wide range of activities like camping, waterfall rappelling, rock climbing and trekking, among others, this place has something for everyone. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky, or someone who only fancies cozying up and staying under covers, be rest assured that Lonavala won’t let you return unsatisfied.
When I first arrived in Lonavala, for a short trip, with a group of friends, I had no idea about what to expect. I thought even a weekend might feel too long here. But it turned out that this tiny little place had too much to offer, and cramming it all in a few days of itinerary, was a total injustice. But whether you come here for a day, a week, or a fortnight, if I were to recommend my top 7 activities in Lonavala, they would be:
Exploring Tiger’s Leap
Tiger’s Leap was given its name by locals after a cliff, as it resembled a leaping tiger. This place is ideal to enjoy a number of water sports, including rafting and swimming. In the monsoon, one can enjoy a mini waterfall that flows into the stream below. At Tiger’s Leap, one can experience the bounty of nature as they trek through the region.
Recharging your batteries around Lonavala Lake
This artificial lake was constructed in 1876 to conserve water for the areas of Valvan and Shirota. But with time, it has transformed into an impressive tourist spot. Come here to find some lone time, to read a book or even for bird watching. What makes this place even more interesting is that tourists are totally allowed to take a swim in the lake and even try their hands at fishing.
Appreciate the view from Rajmachi Point
Stop over at the Rajmachi Point when travelling between Mumbai and Pune. It is one of the most popular destinations which includes the Rajmachi Fort that belonged to the famous King Shivaji. There are several monuments in and around the Rajmachi Fort. Close to the fort are two small forests called Shrivardhan and Manoranjan. Rajmachi point is also famous for its topography which has a deep valley on three sides and thick and dark forest on the other.
Navigate your way around Bhaja Caves
The Bhaja caves were built around 200 BC by Buddhist nuns. And they hold excellent architecture which can be seen in sculptures like the prince with his chariot, animals’ sculptures such as elephants and tigers. There are 22 rock cut caves in total, and each of them have substantial characteristics. One can moreover find is a small waterfall in the last cave and a pond besides it.
Admire the Lohagad Fort
Built in 1564, the Lohagad Fort is another architectural marvel. It was initially a prison and served as a treasury for Shivaji. The hill fort is located at an altitude of 1050 meters which resembles the fangs of a scorpion. Lohagad fort also offers spellbound bird’s eye views of Karle and Bhaja caves.
Get lost in Ryewood Park
For any nature lover, the Ryewood Park brings out the best in wildlife and nature. With several sprawling lawns, it is known for its variety of flora. Initially it was designed as a botanical garden but was later opened to the public.
Explore The Nagphani Woods
Nagphani, which is also known as the Duke’s nose got its name from the top of the cliff which resembles the hood of a snake. It is ideal for trekking and hiking with its impressive inclines and slopes. Since it has a great topography for trekking, one can also dot across the forest and visit a few important landmarks.
How to Reach Lonavala, And Where to Stay
Lonavala is a perfect getaway to recharge your batteries and getting a holiday experience that would last a lifetime. And it doesn’t matter what part of planet you’re coming from, with a comfortable FlyDubai flight to Mumbai, and a couple of hours drive, you can reach Lonavala before you even realise.
And if you’re looking for a place to stay, look no further than the super-cozy Treasure Island hotel. Tucked away from the main-town of Lonavala, this place offers breath-taking views of mountain peaks and glimmering waters – something you’d want to come and stay in Lonavala for, at first place!