Visiting Lonavala? Read this travel blog and find 7 recommended things to do in Lonavala no one should miss.
The diverse land of Maharashtra offers plenty of opportunities for tourists to have a relaxing holiday. For people living in Mumbai for example, Lonavala, located less than 90km away, is a popular hill station.
With an elevation of over 2,000 feet — and a wide range of activities like camping, waterfall rappelling, rock climbing, and trekking — Lonavala is one of the top places to visit in India.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junky or someone who only wants to cosy up and relax, rest assured that there are enough things to do in Lonavala for everyone. So let’s talk about my visit first and start with other nitty-gritty details.
When I first visited Lonavala, with a group of friends, two years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I thought even a weekend might feel too long there. But it turned out that the place had so much to offer that visiting the place for two days was a total injustice.
It is a perfect getaway to recharge the batteries and get a holiday experience whose memory would last a lifetime.
And speaking of what to see and there, here’s my list of…
Things To Do in Lonavala
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 the 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. So yea, Tiger’s Leap is number 1 in recommended things to do in Lonavala.
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 alone time, to read a book or even for some 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. It reminded me of the lake I saw in Auli in Uttarakhand.
Stop at the Rajmachi Point when travelling between Mumbai and Pune. It is one of the most popular destinations which includes the Rajmachi Fort which 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 a thick and dark forest on the other. So yea, Rajmachi Point gets the well-deserved number 3 spot in my things to do in this Lonavala travel blog.
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, and animal sculptures such as elephants and tigers. There are 22 rock-cut caves in total, and each of them has substantial characteristics. One can moreover find is a small waterfall in the last cave and a pond beside it.
Built in 1564, the Lohagad Fort is another architectural marvel. It was initially a prison and served as a treasury for Shivaji. The hillfort 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.
For any nature lover, 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.
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
Now that you know what are the top things to do in Lonavala, next up is learning how to reach Lonavala.
And it doesn’t matter what part of the planet you’re coming from, with a comfortable flight to Mumbai, and a couple of hours drive, you can reach there before you even realize it.
If you want to take a flight, the nearest airport with connectivity and better flight rates is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. And it is less than 100 km away. From Mumbai, there are regular buses – both ordinary and luxurious. Other than that, it is also possible to hire a cab right from the airport and travel conveniently. Since the distance is less than 100km, a taxi won’t cost much either and will be quick and convenient.
If you’re flying to Mumbai or Pune and then travelling from Pune Airport or Mumbai Airport to Lonavala, you will have to do the rest of the journey by road. The best way to travel is by hiring a taxi from the airport or renting a car and driving from Mumbai to Lonavala. Doing so will be a great experience too as the drive is very scenic. Mumbai Pune Expressway or old Mumbai Pune Road NH4 are used to drive between the two destinations.
If you are coming from Pune, the distance between the two destinations will be around 80km.
Other than driving, there are gular buses from both the cities (Pune and Mumbai) that take less than two hours.
If you are coming on a train, you will be happy to know that we have Lonavala railway station too with great intercity connectivity from Mumbai and Pune. And regular passenger trains from Mumbai and Pune make it very easy to travel on the train too. It is moreover the most pocket-friendly way to travel between the destinations, and very less time-consuming too, given there are no delays.
Where to Stay In Lonavala
If you’re thinking about where to stay in Lonavala, look no further than the super-cosy Treasure Island Hotel. Tucked away from the main-town of, this place offers breathtaking views of mountain peaks and glimmering waters – something you would want to live your holiday for.
If not, there are at least 100 more places to choose from, and this includes budget hotels as well as high-end resorts.
A few places to choose from are Upper Deck Resort, Fariyas Resort, The Machan, Cloud 9 Hills Resort and Zaras Resort Khandala, among others.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Lonavala
Though you can visit any time you like, the best time is considered sometime between October and May. The only season I will suggest you do not visit this place is during monsoon. Between June and September, this entire region in Maharashtra gets heavy rainfall. But then again, some people may love this season more and enjoy the greenery and travelling during non-peak season.
Other Tourist Places Nearby
It is one of those places that have numerous tourist destinations around. For example, other than Lonavala Lake, there are numerous lakes around. This includes Tugauli Lake, Bhushi Lakes, also Walvan Dam. So yea, if you are travelling in your own car or motorcycle, you can drive around and explore more than just the main town.
The popular hill station of Khandala is moreover only 5km away.
If you are into yoga and meditation, you can visit Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital located only 2km towards Karla. If you are visiting Bhaja caves (that I mentioned about above in the things to do in Lonavala list) you can visit Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital on the way. You will find a number of European tourists learning Yoga there. Also, the 2nd century BC rock-cut Carla caves are worth visiting too. I didn’t mention it in the list above because Bhaja Caves are more interesting.
A Bit About The Location
As I mentioned above, it is located in the western part of Maharashtra on the slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range. The entire mountain range covers an area of 140,000 square kilometres in a stretch of 1,600 kilometres. Other than Maharashtra, the Sahyadri mountain range cover a part of Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat too. Sahyadri mountain range is otherwise known as the Western Ghats.
The Sahyadri mountain range around Lonavala has an elevation of nearly 600m above sea level with pleasant weather throughout the year. The weather is another reason why many people visit this place.
According to the Tourism of India website, Lonavala is an important place since the 2nd century BC when it was a popular Buddhist town. The caves that you find there are also Buddhist meditation caves. Other than here, you can find Buddhist caves around many places in Mumbai, including the popular Kaneri Caves.
So yea, other than a popular tourist place, Lonavala is a significant historical site too. Many archaeological students visit the caves in the region to study and do a thesis. It is said that Chattrapati Shivaji, the founder of the first Maratha Empire, also ruled this area, before it came under the Peshwa rulers. The place was, in the end, taken over by the Britishers during their rule in India.
That’s all in this ‘Things to do in Lonavala’ blog. If you think I’ve missed any points, please share them in the comments below.
If you love driving, check out this Coastal Maharashtra Konkan Route, as another place to visit near Mumbai.