“625 meters above sea level, Lonavala hill station is one of the nearest and beautiful place near Mumbai for a day or over night picnic. A natural heaven at distance of 88.7 km, It has multiple attractions and sight seeing locations, safe with family and friends for that great weekend break too. Monsoons attracts people the most to this Weekend Gateway near Mumbai..”
Tourist Information and Guide
Being so near to Mumbai city, Lonavala is most frequented by locals, Yet for many tourists and Indians visiting for first time, it can be little confusing when talking about Hills stations. So, Like my other articles and information guides to other hills stations like Mahabaleshwar, Malshej Ghat, Matheran, Here is a best possible information about Lonavala.
Best Time to Visit Lonavala Hills : Best and also famous as Monsoon Destination near Mumbai as it has Green nature, Valley, Dams and lots for to get wet and have fun in rainy days, Lonavala is one beautiful destination for a day picnic and also for overnight stay as lately lots of accommodation options available around.
Still, this hill station is great during Winters too, Although during summers it is not much of fun as Mountains dry and not waterfalls, streams and great view of major valley from those sight seeing locations, So People rush in this nature’s paradise as soon as first and second week of monsoon arrives.
An important note as of 2016 and year 2017 and more is that this year weekends at Lonavala were not so fun as many experienced traffic jams which took about 5 to 6 hours just to reach the destination and was almost evening with all fun and mood to enjoy hills lost. But jobs hardly allow weekdays for such fun, But if possible ignore weekends (Saturday & Sunday).
Climate and Temperature On Hills
Fresh and pleasant is what i can say in 2 words about climate. With temperature reaching 10 to 15 Degrees and below sometimes during Monsoon and Winters at Lonavala. Summers (From Mid-February) are hot and moderate at night. Heat reaches 30 Degree and above during Summer afternoons.
But once you reach the hills, you will hardly care about climate as you get mesmerized by the view, fogs and water attractions. Eating hot bhajiyas & bhuttas (Sweet Corns) and Chai (tea) keeps you busy around even if you get wet in rains or not. Although to enjoy the best of Lonavala climate, it is highly recommended to get in the best of your Shorts and T-shirts, get wet and hang around in your vehicles.
You might like to know about Famous food joints in Lonavala and on Mumbai Pune Highway.
How to Reach Lonavala
Road Travel (By Car) : Mumbai Lonavala road distance is about 88 Kilometres taking about 1 hour and 40 minutes via Mumbai Pune Express Highway. Recommended to travel via private vehicle to explore most attractions and enjoy famous eateries. Private taxis to Lonavala are also available from Mumbai airport and other locations. If you are planning it as a day picnic spot, Private car is the best way to enjoy every location.
Train Travel (By Train) : Siddheshwar express (12115) goes from Mumbai CST with time duration taken of about 2 and half hours to reach Lonavala.
By Private bus : There are many private tours & travel operators in Mumbai that have flexible travel options available for Lonavala. There A/C and Non A/c buses available starting from major locations in city and suburban areas.
By Air : Mumbai and Pune Airports are the nearest. Hiring private vehicle, Buses for another 2 hour road journey is completely your choice.
Lonavala Sight seeing and Attractions
Lonavala is located at hill of Sahyadri in Pune district, Below are some popular picnic spots recommended for tourists.
- Bhushi Dam : Every other article online related to Lonavala attractions lists Bhushi Dam as it was one of the only few explored initially. Its a beautiful wide Dam with water falling via steps surrounded by stones with water overflowing from dam through same.Those steps are the main reason people reach Bhushi dam, Clicking selfies with family and friends on steps with flowing water which are safe for all age and those fast food vendors makes this place one of the most visited spots in Lonavala.
- Lonavala Lake : Now if you planning picnic in winter, this is not a good option as it dries complete during that time. Otherwise, Lonavala lake is a beautiful spot for nature and peace lovers.
- Valvan Dam : 2 Kilometres from town location of Lonavala, This dam is another beautiful uphill location recommended for a day picnic groups which is surrounded by greenery. This is a fresh water dam which also provides to a power station in Khopoli.
- Tungarli Dam : Another lake that provides drinking water to Lonavala residents. A beautiful and calm location recommended for its scenic location and peaceful climate with pleasant sounds of Chirping birds around lake.
- Tiger Leap : A thrill attraction, tiger leap is one at sheer drop view of about 650 meters deep valley. For Sight seeing buses goes up to I.N.S and then a little walk is required which is about a Kilometres and half.
- Lion’s Point : A small hill top spot that can be enjoyed when towards Aamby valley.
- Karla caves : An ancient cave near Lonavala, Historic cave since 2nd and 3rd century BC.
- Shooting Point : At a location inside Lonavala Market, Called ‘Bazaar Peth’ by locals near Khandala valley, is this spot called shooting point, The name possibly given due to its scenic view. The speciality being the view of Rajmachi fort and the beautiful valley surrounded by dense green forest. This can also be considered as one of the best photo clicking/shooting point of Lonavala. Those in love with nature and sight seeing, This location should never be a miss.
- Rajmachi Point : One of the major attractions of this hill station with spectacular view of an Historic Fort ruled by Kings of Maratha. One need to travel about 6 and half Kilometres from Lonavala to reach this place. This is a famous fort built by King Shivaji and is surrounded by deep valley and a must not to be missed spot when here.
- Shivaji Udyan and Ryewood Park : This is a place of attraction for children with 2 gardens and lots of open place to play which making it an ideal location for picnic lovers. There are many tall trees and shades in wide open ground with pleasant climate and view. Their is also a Old Hindu Lord Shiva Temple build, making this place another spiritual place of Lonavala.
- Temporary Dressing and Changing Facilities : Now, this is one of the major challenges at all one day picnic spots like this one. Hiring a stay option may cost anywhere between Rs. 1000/- to 3000/- during monsoon, But most people who plan for a day only picnic will not prefer to give this amount just to use bathrooms and options to change wet clothes after all rain and hangout fun.Option for same is the pay Rs.10/- for the facilities like changing clothes available at small shops available near Bhushi Dam. These are tiny huts and a good option for women / girls for refreshment. Almost safe for women to use for changing clothes etc, Still have a proper look after getting inside.
- Washroom Toilet and Bathroom Facilities : Not much options from government authorities for such a beautiful and much in demand monsoon destination near Mumbai. Yet we will like to update you with a small restaurant cum hotel called ‘manik moti’ which is exactly opposite Bhusi Dam, Which is one of the main attractions of Lonavala. Have some snacks, tea coffee and cold drinks for refreshment here and use their clean toilets to get fresh.
- Car pay and park : Few years back, Particularly at Bhushi Dam we found something annoying, a small and open pay and park facility operated by some private locals is charging Rs.100/- for car parking, Which is not just a fare amount for parking car car in open ground with no shades and other facilities. Now this is not the case at other locations like Tiger Point, but we thought this an important note and should update to every one who visits this location.
- Must Eat and Enjoy : If you are a first timer at Lonavala, you must enjoy eating hot Wada pav, Sweet Corn Bhajiyas, Kanda Bhaji (Onion Recipe) and Tea available at most major attraction and Sight seeing locations around Lonavala. Best is that you can seat with your group right inside Bhushi Dam ladders with flowing water and enjoy all this hot stuff as they serve the same there. Same way when you are at Tiger Point, you get option to eat ‘Bhutta’ (Sweet Corn) and Tea with the fog and cool climate in monsoon.