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Lonavla About this sound pronunciation  officially Lonavla is a town and a hill station Municipal Council in Pune district in the Indian State of Maharashtra.[1] It is about 64 kilometres (40 mi) from the city of Pune and 96 kilometres (60 mi) from the city of Mumbai. It is known for its production of the hard candy chikki[2] and is also a major stop on the railway line connecting Mumbai and Pune. From the Pune suburbs, local trains are available from Pune Junction. Both the Mumbai-Pune Expressway as well as the Mumbai-Chennai highway pass through Lonavla..

Lonavala
Hill station
View of Western Ghats near Lonavala
View of Western Ghats near Lonavala
Lonavala is located in India
Lonavala
Lonavala
Lonavala is located in Maharashtra
Lonavala
Lonavala
Coordinates: 18°44′53″N 73°24′26″E / 18.74806°N 73.40722°E / 18.74806; 73.40722Coordinates: 18°44′53″N 73°24′26″E / 18.74806°N 73.40722°E / 18.74806; 73.40722
Country India India
State Maharashtra
District Pune
Area
 • Total 38 km2 (15 sq mi)
Elevation 624 m (2,047 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 55,652
 • Density 1,464/km2 (3,790/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 410401
Telephone code 02114
Vehicle registration MH 12, MH 14

Lonavla is also home to INS Shivaji (formerly HMIS Shivaji) which is the Indian Navy's Premier Technical Training Institute.

Contents

EtymologyEdit

The name Lonavla derives from Len (Prakrit, A resting place carved from stone) and Avali (Prakrit, series). Lonavli in Prakrit is a place which has a series of such Len around it.[3]

HistoryEdit

Present day Lonavla was a part of the Yadava dynasty. Later, the Mughals realized the strategic importance of the region and kept the region for an extended time. The forts in the region and the "Mavla" warriors played an important role in the history of the Maratha and Peshwa empires.[4] In 1871, the Lonavla and Khandala hill stations were discovered by Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency at the time.[5]

DemographicsEdit

As of 2011 India census,[6] Lonavla had a population of 57,698. Males constitute 53.47% of the population and females 46.53%. The sex ratio in Lonavla is 870, lower than the state average of 929. Lonavla has a literacy rate of 89.33%, which is higher than the state average of 82.34%. The Male literacy rate is 93.4 %, and the female literacy rate is 84.57%. 10.37% of the total population in Lonavla is of children under 6 years of age.

ClimateEdit

Climate data for Lonavla
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
(84)
30
(86)
32
(90)
33
(91)
40
(104)
34
(93)
26
(79)
27
(81)
28
(82)
29
(84)
28
(82)
29
(84)
30.4
(86.7)
Average low °C (°F) 11
(52)
12
(54)
16
(61)
20
(68)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
21
(70)
19
(66)
15
(59)
11
(52)
17.9
(64.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 4
(0.16)
2
(0.08)
3
(0.12)
18
(0.71)
25
(0.98)
666
(26.22)
1,733
(68.23)
1,147
(45.16)
495
(19.49)
111
(4.37)
16
(0.63)
3
(0.12)
4,223
(166.27)
Source: weather2stay

TourismEdit

Lonavla and the adjacent Khandala are twin hill stations 622 metres (2,041 ft) above sea level, in the Sahyadri ranges that demarcate the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan coast. The hill stations sprawl over an approximate area of 38 square kilometres (15 sq mi). Tourism peaks during the monsoon season. The name Lonavla is derived from the Sanskrit lonavli, which refers to the many caves like Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and Bedsa that are close to Lonavla. A trip to Lonavla and Khandala can be combined with sight-seeing visits of Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa caves and also the two fortresses, Lohagad and Visapur. Another place of interest is the Tungi fort, one of the forts captured by Malik Ahmad near the village of Karjat and was known for its natural strength.[7] The Andharban trek begins from village Pimpri, passses through dense forests, valleys and waterfalls and ends in Bhira.

TransportEdit

By roadEdit

Lonavla is on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is well-connected to several towns of Khopoli, Karjat, Talegaon Dabhade, etc.

By trainEdit

Lonavla is well-connected by train. Local trains run from Pune at 2 hour intervals. Those originating from Mumbai along the central line have Khopoli as their last station. Buses are available at regular intervals to complete the remaining 15 km of the journey to Lonavla from Khopoli bus station. It takes 2.5 hours by train from Mumbai and 1 to 1.5 hour from Pune. All trains, travelling between Mumbai and Pune, halt at Lonavla. Trains from Mumbai halt at Karjat to attach banker locomotives before the train starts journey up the western ghats to reach Lonavla.

By airEdit

Lonavla does not have an airport, though the Indian Air Force station Troppo is situated on the way to Aamby Valley City. The city of Aamby Valley has its own private airport. The nearest commercial airports are Pune International Airport at 64 km and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 104 km.[8] A seaplane service is also available between Juhu and Pawana Dam, which is 14 km away from Lonavala.[9]

Places of interest around Lonavla and KhandalaEdit

 
View of Rajmachi Point, Lonavla
  • Rajmachi Point

Rajmachi Point is located about 6.5 km from Lonavla. This point commands a view of Shivaji's famous fort, Rajmachi (Royal terrakouioce) and the surrounding valley. Regular State Transport buses ply between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla from the State Transport Bus Stand. The famous Vaghjai Dari is also located here.

  • Ryewood Park & Shivaji Udyan

This is an extensive garden situated in Lonavla. The garden covers a lot of ground and it is full of tall trees. There is an old Shiva temple in the park. The garden has plenty of place for children to play.

  • Valvan Dam

Valvan Dam has a garden at its foot, and is a popular evening spot 2 km from the town. The dam supplies water to the Khopoli power station at the foothills of the Sahyadris for generating electricity. The Kundali River feeds into the dam's reservoir.

  • Lonavla Lake

Lonavla Lake is surrounded by natural scenery, about 1.6 km from the town. The lake dries up during the winter months. This place attracts a lot of tourists for its street food that complements the weather, especially during the monsoons. The popular convenience food items include smoked corn on the cob, shaved ice (gola), vada pav, chaat, and hot ginger tea.

  • Duke's Nose

Duke's Nose stands 12 km from Lonavla, clearly visible from the highway while driving towards Mumbai. This landmark in Khandala is popular with hikers. Also known locally as Naagphani (Cobra's Hood), the cliff owes its name to the Duke of Wellington, whose ample nose it resembles.

  • Tiger's Leap
 
A place near Tiger Point

Tiger's Leap also known as Tiger's Point is a cliff-top with a sheer drop of over 650 m, giving an extensive view. Buses are available up to INS Shivaji and the remaining distance of about 1.6 km has to be covered on foot.

Just around tiger's leap, there is a small waterfall active only during the monsoon. It serves the purpose of relaxing in the water better than Bushy dam, as the force of the fall is higher. Also, after the brief steep descent, the fall becomes a stream with a fair amount of force to go all the way down to the base of the Tiger's Leap. Adventurers can trek down the stream whilst intermittently stepping back on land where the water current is too strong and the fall is steep.

  • Karla Caves

Karla caves, located near Lonavla, is a complex of cave shrines built by Buddhist monks around 3rd to 2nd century B.C. A famous temple of Goddess Ekvira Devi is also present here.[10]

A robust climb of about 11.2 km from Malavali Railway Station takes you to the 'Iron Fort', once a formidable battle-station of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort commands a view of the surrounding hills and hamlets.

A waterfall near the dam is a popular spot between Lonavla and I.N.S. Shivaji. Buses running on the I.N.S. Shivaji Road stop here.[11]

  • Lion Point

Scenic point midway between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley.

  • Narayani Dham

Narayani Dham is a temple constructed in 2002 in honor of the Hindu Goddess Narayani . It is at a distance of 2 km from the Lonavla Railway Station, that has gained a huge traction from the tourists for a spiritual, and peaceful weekend getaway. The temple has idols of Durga Mata, Salasar Balaji (Hanuman) and Ganpati housed in a beautiful marble structure.

This is a popular adventure theme park about 5.4 km from the Lonavla exit of Old Mumbai-Pune Highway. This park offers adventure, camping and luxurious resorts ideal for family, and corporate getaways. Some of the thrilling activities include swoop swing, horse riding, paintball, bungee jumping, zorbing etc.

  • Tungarli Lake and Dam

This lake and Dam come to life during the Monsoon season, where youth climb the mountain top to the Dam. This dam was built during the British era and features a serene surrounding.

  • Shooting Point

Another scenic point in the town of Khandala (Bazaar peth), which provides magnificent view of the Rajmachi Fort and the valley. Also the home for the St. Mary's villa.

EducationEdit

Some major educational institutes in Lonavla are:

  • Institute For Future Education Entrepreneurship And Leadership
  • The Cathedral Vidya School, Lonavla
  • http://www.gurukullonavla.com Gurukul High School (boarding school)
  • Adv.Bapusaheb.Bhonde.High.School, Lonavala

http://www.bhondehighschool.com

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit