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Lonavala or Lonavla (Marathi: लोणावळा [loˈɳaʋəɭa] (listen)) is a town and a hill station Municipal Council in Pune district in the Indian State of Maharashtra. It is about 64 kilometres (40 mi) west of modern-day Pune city and 96 kilometres (60 mi) from the city of Mumbai. It is known for its production of the hard candy chikki 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 Lonavala.
View of Western Ghats near Lonavala
|• Total||38 km2 (15 sq mi)|
|Elevation||624 m (2,047 ft)|
|• Density||1,464/km2 (3,790/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||MH 12, MH 14|
Lonavala is also home to INS Shivaji (formerly HMIS Shivaji) which is the Indian Navy's Premier Technical Training Institute. The house of Trivandrum based Asianet TV channel's hit Realty show Bigg Boss Malayalam 1 is set up within an unknown estate in Lonavla.
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. In 1871, the Lonavla and Khandala hill stations were discovered by Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency at the time.
As of 2011[update] India census, lonavala had a population of 57,698. Males constitute 53.47% of the population and females 46.53%. The sex ratio in Lonavala is 870, lower than the state average of 929. Lonavala 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 Lonavala is of children under 6 years of age.
|Climate data for Lonavla|
|Average high °C (°F)||29
|Average low °C (°F)||11
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||4
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. The Andharban trek begins from village Pimpri, passses through dense forests, valleys and waterfalls and ends in Bhira.
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.
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. A seaplane service is also available between Juhu and Pawana Dam, which is 14 km away from Lonavala.
- Rajmachi Point
Rajmachi Point is located about 6.5 km from Lonavla. This point commands a view of Shivaji maharaj's 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 Vaghjai Dari is also located here.
- Ryewood Park & Shivaji Udyan
This is an extensive garden situated in Lonavla. The garden has a number of tall trees - some of which are very old. There is an old Shiva temple in the park.
- Valvan Dam
Valvan Dam is a Britisher built garden and is more than a century old. This dam has a garden at the foot of its wall, 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.
- Della Adventure Park
Della is India’s largest adventure park situated in popular Lonavala hill station. It is a very big theme park cum resort. It also serves as a corporate training destination for companies in Mumbai & Pune. The park has spread over an area of 36 acres. It is located at about 3000 feet height above MSL (mean sea level). Della adventure offers close to 52 adventure activities.
- Lonavla Lake
Lonavla Lake is surrounded by natural scenery, about 1.6 km from the town. The lake dries up during the winter and summer months offering an expanse of green grass which is used by walkers and joggers. This place attracts tourists for its street food, including convenience food items like 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 visited by 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
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. Legend has it that while being chased by a tiger once, the maratha king Shivaji jumped into a ditch on the hill and the tiger leaped off it into the valley giving it the name of tiger's leap.
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
- Lohagad Fort
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.
- Visapur Fort
Adjacent to the Lohagad fort lies the visapur fort which is part of the Lohagad-Visapur fortification. Visapur Fort is larger and at a higher elevation than its twin- Lohagad. It was built during 1713-1720 CE by Balaji Vishwanath.
A waterfall near the dam is located between Lonavla and I.N.S. Shivaji. Buses running on the I.N.S. Shivaji Road stop here.
- Lion Point
This is a viewpoint midway between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley which overlooks a deep valley and mountains known for its roasted corn and onion fritters. This point does not have any lions but is named so because it is associated with the Lions Club of Lonavala.
- 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. The temple has idols of Durga Mata, Salasar Balaji (Hanuman) and Ganpati housed in a marble structure.
- Tungarli Dam
This lake and Dam comes to life during the Monsoon season, where some people climb the mountain top to the Dam. This dam was built during the British era and features a serene surrounding of trees and hillocks.
- Shooting Point
Another viewpoint in the town of Khandala (Bazaar peth), provides views of the Rajmachi Fort and the valley. Also the home for the St. Mary's villa.
- Seven villas
One of the most iconic plots in Lonavala, seven Villas is an iconic landmark of the new developing Lonavala.
Some major educational institutes in Lonavla are:
- The Cathedral Vidya School, Lonavla
- Ryewood International School, Lonavla
- Gurukul High School (boarding school)
- Auxilium Convent School
- Don Bosco School and Junior college, Lonavla
- Adv Bapusaheb Bhonde High School, Lonavala
- Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS)
- Kohinoor Business School-Kohinoor Global Campus
- Sinhgad Technical Education Society campus KG TO PG
- DC High School and Jr. College
- Dr. B.N. Purandare Vidyalay High School
- Institute For Future Education Entrepreneurship And Leadership
- V.P.S. HighSchool & D.P. Mehata Jr College
- Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center
- Kendriya Vidyalaya, INS Shivaji, Lonavla
- Sadhana Institute, Old Khandala Road, Lonavla
- Kaivalya Vidya Niketan, Kaivalyadhama Lonavla. CBSE Board
- The Great Eastern Institute Of Maritime Studies, Lonavla
- Society of Saint Mary Virgin in India, Shanti Sadan School Lonavala 
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