Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Lonavala in the rains

Photo: Lonavala in the rains 

http://www.holidayiq.com/destinations/Lonavala-Overview.html 
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About Lonavala Tourism
Lonavala is a popular hill station and a municipal council situated in Pune District, Maharashtra. The city is located 64 km from Pune city and 96 km from Mumbai. It lies 622 m above sea level in the Sahyadri Ranges, which separate the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan Coast.

The hill station is spread over an area of 38 square km. The name of the city is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lonavali’, which refers to a ‘group of caves’. The name was given to the place due to the presence of many caves in and around the city.

Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of the Bombay Presidency, discovered the city of Lonavala along with Khandala, in 1871. Present day Lonavala was a part of the Yadava Dynasty, which was taken over by the Mughals, who ruled the region for a long time.

There is also an important role of the Malva warriors and the forts of the city in the history of the Maratha and Peshwa Empires. Lonavala was also the main stay of the Malva Warriors, who were regarded as the fiercest Hindu fighting clan. The city has also witnessed great warriors like Sardar Dabhade, who was the commandant of the Peshwa armies. Later, the nearby villages were used as the battleground for many battles between regional Indian rulers and British armies.

The Governor of Bombay favoured Lonavala in 1811 due to its large forest cover. This forest cover made the city a vacation and hunting spot by the British administrators, which lead to its reputation as a tourist destination.

The Tungi Fort of Lonavala is one of its famous tourist spots. Malik Ahmed founded the fort near the village of Kajrat. This fort is known for its natural strength. Apart from this fort, there are also many caves present around the city namely Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and the Bedsa Caves. The place has valleys, hills, waterfalls and lush greenery due to which it is also called the ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’.

The city is popular for its sweet chikki. Tourists visiting Lonavala must shop for and eat chikkis from renowned stores, for instance, Maganlal’s Stores, which is the most popular of them all. Travellers can also explore Lonavala by participating in some adventure activities, which need not be arduous. Trekking up Kalri Hills and Duke’s Nose, fishing in the many lakes that Lonavala has or just picnicking near them are great options for tourists.

Lonavala connects Mumbai and Pune via rail. The best time to visit Lonavala is during the monsoon, between October and May, when the scenic spots become lush green and the waterfalls are in full flow.