Lonavala derives its name from the Sanskrit word 'lonavali', which means 'surrounded with caves'. However, this small little town of Maharashtra has much more to offer. Perched up at an altitude of 622 meters, Lonavala is spread over 38 square kilometers. It was first discovered by Lord Elphinstone, the Governer of the Bombay presidency in 1871. Today it stands as an integral part of Maharashtra Tourism as thousands of tourists flock down in Lonavala every year, particularly during the monsoons(Oct- May) when its hills and valleys enclose themselves in an envelope of lush greenery.
Snuggled up in the Sahyadri range that separates the Deccan plateau from the Konkan Coast, and lying in the Pune district is this picturesque town of Lonavala. The lush green hills, the steep valleys, a fresh rejuvenating atmosphere and cascading waterfalls of Lonavala cast a spell on the tourists making them one with the heart of nature.
Being close to the two commercial hubs in Maharashtra, i.e. Mumbai (96 km) and Pune(64 km), Lonavala can easily be accessed and enjoyed by the majority of the urban populace. Here they find a perfect retreat in nature, where they can unwind and destress themselves in the canopy of the harmonious embrace of natural beauty and charm.
Just a few minutes from Lonavala is its twin hill town of Khandala. Both these captivating hill resorts have something for everyone- whether it is a lover of scenic beauty, a couple out on their honeymoon, or a family looking forward to a weekend vacation to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life, Lonavala welcomes all with sheer hospitability and warmth.
What to do at Lonavala
If you visit Lonavala during the rainy season, sitting idly at the steps of the Tiger's Leap enjoying the force of the waterfalls or bathing at the Bhushi Dam is enjoyment personified. Though the waterfalls and the streamsdry up during the months of summer, you can trek your way up the hills to reach the forts and enjoy the adventure in Lonavala.
What to Buy from Lonavala
The name of Lonavala is linked with its famous sweet named Chikki made out of the mixture of peanuts and jaggery. Lonavala shops are thronged by the tourists all round the year to buy chikki packets of all varieties. Apart from Chikki, Vaddapao, Bhajias and Maharashtra's cutting Chai are widely in demand in Lonavala.