Destination : Lonavala Khandala Karla ( Maharashtra India )
Languages Spoken : Marathi, Hindi, English
Best Time To Visit : Throught Year
Khandala and Lonavala are two charming hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, 5 kms apart straddling the Mumbai-Pune highway at an altitude of 625 m. Very popular with Mumbaities, they also alternate as getaways and health resorts. Khandala is the smaller and calmer of the two, although browsing through Lonavala's bazaar could yield some wonderful surprises. Both towns offer some spectacular scenic views of the surrounding hills and in the monsoon, with a myraid waterfalls, the atmosphere is enchanting.
Karla about 12 kms from Lonavala, is the site of the largest chaitya Caves (shrines) in India, built in 80 BC. Amongst the best-preserved Buddhist temples in India, they represent the zenith, in terms of design purity, of this style of temple architecture. About 3 kms from the main road is the more peaceful setting of the Bhaja Caves. Thought to date from around 200 BC, 10 of the 18 Caves here are viharas (monasteries) while Cave 12 is an open chaitya earlier than Karla.
Lonavala-Khandala is a Hill station in Maharashtra. Also known as the jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains. This Hill Station is also a popular Health Resort in the western ranges on the Sahyadri. Situated at a height of 625 mtrs. above sea level it is a popular getaway from Mumbai and Pune, located just 110kms from Mumbai and 64kms from Pune. The population is approximately 50,000.
The weather in Lonavala is pleasant. Summers (April-June) are mild, while winters are cool (November-February). It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains between June and September. The mountainous terrain of Lonavala is ideal for trekking and hiking. Lonavala is very famous for Chikki. It is a sweet preparation made of jaggery and peanuts or cashewnuts or sesame seeds. It is a harder version of fudge which is also available in different varieties.
How to get there:
BY ROAD: Taxis and auto-rickshaws easily available in Lonavala and Khandala, are the best way of getting to and from Karla.
BY RAIL: All trains from Mumbai to Pune and the South stop at Lonavala. Mumbai is 104 kms away by road, the last 20 kms of which wind up the ghats through grueling switchbacks.
By AIR:Pune 66 kms away, is the nearest airport.