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94%
4.16 

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The most CROWDED Hill Station!
May 20, 2006 01:57 PM 19616 Views
(Updated May 20, 2006 01:57 PM)

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Lonavala is today the one of the most popular hill-station of Maharashtra, or perhaps one of the most popular hill-station of India! Lonavala is quite close to the city of Mumbai and Pune and therefore it is the best weekend getaway for the residents of Mumbai and Pune.


HOW TO REACH THERE?


BY ROAD: Lonavala is just 104 kms away from Mumbai and 64 kms from Pune. ST and other private buses ply from Mumbai and Pune to Lonavala. (If you are coming in your private vehicle, you can stop at Food Mall on the expressway for a food-break).


BY RAIL: Lonavala has its own railway station. All the trains going towards Pune and Bangalore halt at Lonavala


BY AIR: Lonavala does not have its own airport. So the nearest airport is Pune.


HOTELS IN LONAVALA:


There are more than 100 hotels in Lonavala, 60% of them are perfect for accommodation. Some of the popular hotels in Lonavala are: Avion Hotel, Fariyas, Rainbow Retreat, Treasure Island, Bhide Resort, Kailash Parbhat, Swiss Resort and Kumar Resort.


PLACES OF INTEREST IN LONAVALA:


There are lots of places of interest in Lonavala. Some of the popular tourist spots are:


RAJMACHI POINT: It is situated on the Mumbai-Pune road. There is also a beautiful Rajmachi Park, which gives spectacular view of the nearby surroundings.


EKVIRA TEMPLE: This temple is a few kilometers away from Lonavala. For reaching this place, one has to climb around 300 steps. One gets a beautiful view from the temple. As you climb ahead of Ekvira Temple, you reach the Karla Caves. These ancient Buddhist caves date back to 160 BC. According to me, they are somewhat similar to Kanheri Caves of Mumbai. But though, this place is worth visiting.


BHUSHI DAM: This place is the most popular tourist destination of Lonavala. It is about 10 kms away from Lonavala. Bhushi Dam is livelier during the monsoons. During monsoons, the place looks like heaven. The greenery on all the four sides makes it beautiful. An advice from me: If you decide to visit Bhushi Dam from Lonavala, don’t travel through any bus or car. Instead, simply just go walking there. You’ll really enjoy it!


KUMAR RESORT PLAY ZONE: There is a play zone made by Kumar Resort on its ground floor. It includes of video games, air-hockey, dashing car etc. The rates are reasonable and is really quite enjoyable, especially the dashing car. There is also a cyber café opened here.


There are also quite a few lakes here.


SHOPPING:


Lonavala is all-famous for its various types of Chikki and various types of jams! There are about 200 shops in Lonavala selling only chikki and jams (and also chivda). You’ll find such shop in each and every corner of Lonavala! The chikkis are too tasty and each shop’s Chikki has a different taste. A1 Chikki is the most famous Chikki shop in Lonavala. The other famous shops are: Maganlal Chikki, Super Chikki, Santosh Chikki, Rupam Chikki. Another advice: Try the Chocolate Chikki of A1 and Rupam.


In the past four years, lots of hotels have sprung up in Lonavala. So even if you visit Lonavala during vacation without doing any accommodation booking, you’ll simply find a hotel, which would be cozy as well as, comfortable.


The expressway, which is made between Mumbai and Pune, has benefited Lonavala a lot. Because of it, you could easily reach Lonavala from Mumbai in 2 hours and from Pune in an hour.


But Lonavala also has some limitations. Lonavala looks almost like a city now. The environment, which was once devoid of pollution, has starting becoming slightly polluted. Also it becomes too crowded during weekends and therefore too noisy! Because of all this, tourists are avoiding Lonavala and instead visiting Khandala. Khandala, another hill station is just 9-10 kms away from Lonavala. Khandala is peaceful and less crowded as compared to Lonavala. It also has some superb hotels like Dukes Retreat, Vallerina etc. Also, it has lots of scenic points to see.


During monsoon, Lonavala is a heaven. It makes you feel great and energetic. It makes your Lonavala trip memorable.


On the whole, Lonavala has some limitations but still remains the best tourist spot. I think you should visit this unique tourist destination at least once!


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