LONAVALA IS ONE OF THE MUST-GO ROADTRIPS IN INDIA.
Summer Holidays have started and everyone has a plan for escaping this scotching heat and dry weather. Lonavala will be an absolute treat ! Though the temperature was quite normal it does not burn .
We did a road trip to Lonavala last week, believing it will be hot and tried,honestly I was not that interested , but it was not so.
Interestingly it did gave us few drizzles and a pleasant climate. Staying in Kharghar ,saved us an hour time we started at around 8.30 AM in our Avenger with a nominal speed through Panvel->Kalapur->Khopoli->Lonavala.
Two wheelers are not allowed in the Pune-Express-Highway so we choose the longer route . Not to be frightened the routes and road were not that bumpy.
Often on Sunday Highway trip ,I always found the Royal Enfield bikers racing, last week was not an exception. Finding our way and often getting confused with the Pune-Expressway we reached Khopoli.
We planned for a one day trip only. We reached the view point on the way to Lonavala , I believe it is the Dukes point.
Point to be note , no one knows the Karla Caves it is actually a Temple and behind that is the caves. On that day it was too crowded, it seemed to be place of worship for couples for the gift of children.
We thought it was place of worship and started to come down when a fellow traveller said both the temple and the cave is same. After a steep and crowded hill we need to walk and it was the worse trek , the steps were really steep and finally after gushing and blaming the sun we reached to the top in 30 minutes(usually it is only 15 minutes, I was dragging it).
These caves are similar to the Ajantha and Elora but not so wow.. yet the atmosphere was some how happy , I enjoyed that place. Inside the cave a huge door caved which was marvelous and after photo shoots ,we started down. Our next stop was the WAX Museum,which is located on the way to Karla Caves from Lonavala. They charge us Rs.100 for one person, it was retreat because by the time we reached Wax museum we were sweating ,thanks for the AC.
The Museum had many personalities from Indira Gandhi, Modi ji, Micheal Jackson, Kapil Dev, Hitler and of course Angelina Jolie. The statues were not equal to the London Museums but it was fun.
They are planning on installing few more of these statues like Superstar Rajinikant’s and many famous personalities. We stopped at Hotel Kailash for lunch after a recommendation from a local, honestly we did’t like it , too pricey .
But few Dabba’s like Sunny Dabba’s Lassi and Jilabas and Joshi mess seems to be favorite among few.
By the time we had our lunch it started to pour, we rushed in an massage center and had a aromatic leg massage for an hour escaping from the rain. After few shopping of the very famous Chikkis and jelly ,we still had time.
We took a long bike ride along the hill stopped at the dams and reservoirs and INS Sivaji. We really wanted to go further but more than that I felt we need to descend the mountain before sunset(the traffic and the rash driving really scared me while we were on our way). We had tea in the Rye Wood Park .
Lonavala trip peacefully stopping at the Dukes Point once again. Finally our 12 hour long bike trip was such a bliss.
HOW TO REACH:
Either from Mumbai through the Pune-Express-Highway or from Pune.
STAY: There is enough place to visit , like the Longard Fort etc.Lots of hotels and home stays are available. You can choose to stay in Lonavala or small villages like Khandala where lots of home stays are there.
WHAT TO WEAR: Comfy clothing, decent study footwear. It suddenly rains . You really don’t need a warm wear.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: In winter and monsoon months. I don’t think monsoon months will be dangerous
BEWARE OF :
1.Its a road trip to all so drive carefully. The highway is wonderful at the same time has many heavy vehicle and rash drivers.
2. Bikers at times can be re routed, so there is a huge chance of getting lost or taking a longer route.
SUITABLE To: Anyone who wants a break ! Flooded with young people and teenagers.
WHAT NOT TO MISS: The world famous Chikkis. They taste awesome. Just visit those lovely candy shops and indulge in a chocolate and chikki spree !
ONE DAY TRIP places to visit:
1.On the way Duke’s nose.
2.Karla Caves 6 km from Lonavala
3.Further from there is the Lohagad Fort. While going for a day’s trip choose between the caves and Lohagad fort and don’t plan it while the sun is up cause the climb is steep and you will be sweating a lot.
4.WAX Museum in the afternoon. After lunch, take the ride to Abbay Valley from the town the famous Lion point is there.While coming back from it ,stop at
5. Bhusi Dam
6. Thungarali dam
7. Rye wood park Lonavala is a simple hill station, the climate is good
in monsoon and winter. Apart from that a wonderful spot for friends. It doesn’t have WOW spots but it is lively.
WILL I GO AGAIN: Yes I will ! I have missed many other places.