Lonavala and Khandala are two beautiful hill stations in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Very close to Mumbai or Bombay, they are both very popular weekend destinations from the city. Lonavala and Khandala are both 82 kilometers away from the city and takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes by road. However, it might take a bit longer on some days when there is heavy traffic in Mumbai. You could visit from Pune as well. It’s just 66 kilometers from the city. If you want, you can take the train from Mumbai too. You will have to get down at the Lonavala railway station.
Visit Lonavala and Khandala Together
Lonavala and Khandala are twin hill resorts, very close to each other. Most tourists would visit the two together on a trip. That’s why it is said that Lonavala and Khandala fall in the same circuit. The best thing about these places is that, you can go there on any weekend from Mumbai or other surrounding regions. The distance between these two hill stations is just 5 kilometers.
There’s not much planning to do. Just pack your bags and leave. You can visit throughout the year, even during the winter as it never gets too cold. But probably the best time to visit is during the rainy season. The summer months can become crowded, with a huge number of visitors from Mumbai and Pune.
How to Avoid the Crowds
There are all types of people visiting Lonavala and Khandala. There are school going kids with their families, school troops with their teachers on their annual outings or field trips, honeymooners, couples spending their anniversaries, friends, office colleagues, neighborhood families, members of communities, and every other you can imagine. Yes, sometimes it can get a bit crowded here. After all, both Lonavala and Khandala are among the most popular weekend getaways from Mumbai and Pune.
But you’ll still find a quieter corner if you are seeking some solitude. Just head out from the more touristy areas! Go in the middle of the week and you are likely to find very few people. The hotels and resorts will come cheaper too.
What to See and Do in Lonavala and Khandala
There are various ways to spend your short trip at Lonavala and Khandala. There are caves you could explore (Karla and Bhaja) and see the Buddhist stupas there. There is the Korigad Fort if you like history. And then there are the many viewpoints and waterfalls all around Lonavala and Khandala. The two viewpoints you should always go to is Duke’s Nose and Tiger’s Leap. There are two dams too you can visit – Valvan Dam and Bhushi Dam.
You could seriously think of doing some trekking here. There are many good hiking trails you can choose from. If you are not up to it, then perhaps some cycling. You’ll get bicycles on rent at both Lonavala and Khandala.