Lonavala and Khandala are the two famous hill stations near Mumbai | Karla caves, Tiger point, Rye wood park, Dukes nose are the interesting sites in Lonavala
Lonavala is a combination of two words ‘Len’ and ‘Avali’. Len means place of rest and avail means series. This famous hill station is bustles with activity not only in summer but all through the year. Tourists throng this place for two reasons – one is that this hill station is very near to Mumbai city and the second and important reason is the picturesque nature is very pleasant. Journey to Lonavala takes one and half hour from Mumbai by car. Distance between Mumbai and Lonavala is 90 kames. From Pune, Lonavala is about 64 kames distance and take only one hour. There is no air plane facility to Lonavala. Road way is the most convenient to reach this place. Since it is a high way journey will be very smooth. Roads resemble the roads in America. There are 4 caves in the middle of the route. Lonavala looks like a small village from a distance. Temperature is very low at Lonavala since this is situated at a height of 600mtrs above sea level. Hills around look like as if they are touching the skies. Nature around is so beautiful that it looks a beautiful poem from an imaginative poet. There are many resorts here. There would be no problem for food. Restaurants here offer many dishes from various countries and many fruits can also be tasted here.
Many interesting facts
Lonovala was in the kingdom of Yadavas before. It then came under Mughals. War heroes of Lonavala played an important role in the ruling of Peshwas of Martha. Lonavala and Khandala were first found out by Lord Elphinstone in 1871. He was the Governor of Bombay Residency.
Rajmanchi Park: This is the first place tourists prefer to visit. There is a big valley beside this park. Rajamachi fort can be seen in the east of this park. Visitors eagerly wait for the sunset. Sun sets scattering colourful lights around. Another interesting place is the tiger point. This place looks like a leaping tiger and hence the name for this place. Bushi dam can be seen from this point. Aamby valley city, INN and Shivaji are the other important places.
Carl caves are situated very near to Lonovala. These are 2,300 years old and were built by Buddhists. Many statues welcome the tourists into this cave. All the stone pillars have sculptures on them. There is spacious hall in the caves. This was used as a meeting hall by Buddhist monks. Atmosphere in the caves is very cool. Ekavira Devi temple is also situated here. Tourists will have to climb 150 steps to reach the temple. Nature from this place looks breathtakingly beautiful.
Rye wood is a beautiful park situated very near to Lonavala. Park is beautiful with green blanket of grass. An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Mahadeva can be visited in this park. Mister Rye a British stayed in this park for sometime earlier. He liked this place very much. The park was named after him. ‘Rai’ in Marathi means dense forest. These are the two reasons for naming this park Rye wood.
There is another place in the valleys in this region which is named after another British Dukes Willington. That place is Duke’s nose. Duke first saw the place in the valley which looks like a nose. This is also a must visit place.
‘Kune’ waterfall is situated on the way to Khandala from Lonavala. Water falls down from a height of 100kms.
Khandala is situated very near to Lonovala. A big valley separates the two places. Tourists who come to Lonavala compulsorily visit Khandala. This is also a good hill station. This is at a height of 622 kms above sea level. Tourists from all over the country visit this place. Khandala is also a beautiful place with deep valleys hills and green forests. Main attraction of Khandala is the Shooting Point. Tourists can view nature from here to their heart’s content. Khandala is always busy with film shootings. Few famous actors of Bollywood and industrialists from Mumbai have their own guest houses here. They come here on every weekend. So on Saturdays and Sundays traffic increases and roads become crowded with cars. Many people shift their stay to this place in the two months of summer.