Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Mumbai lies a town that can do much to restore the mental calm often disturbed by importunate megalopolitan lives. As you pack your stuff into your car and hit the road to a less-than-2-hour drive to Lonavala, the mood is all set for a rocking vacation. The 82 km journey along the Mumbai – Pune Expressway is as beautiful as the place it takes you to. A bunch of friends or family, good music and some stuff to munch on is all you need for fun on the way. As Lonavala approaches, you pass through a series of tunnels and you are then welcomed by huge rocky mountains. The sight is green. Simply green. With wonder at how a monochromatic scenery can be such a tonic to the eye, you move on into the city.
Nestled in the Sahyadris, Lonavala is one of those places where the mix of history and nature set you thinking about the days of yore when battles were fought to conquer regions. The Rajmachi Fort, Visapur Fort and Lohgarh Fort among many others, depict the unique architectural style that was adapted to suit the rocky terrain as well as the demands of military warfare. These forts are the favorite destinations amongst trekkers because of their rocky terrain which have different difficulty levels. To start with, take Rajmachi fort. After a fairly easy trek of forty minutes, you find yourself at the top of Rajmachi fort. Behold the sea of green spread out before your eyes, punctuated only by a waterfall or two. The sound of silence and the sound of gushing water in the distance is all you hear. Rajmachi Fort is also a popular site for camping and star-gazing, the equipment for both of which are easily available on rent.
If camping at such a height is not your thing, and you’d rather be ‘down-to-earth’, Tungarli Lake or Pawna Lake are ideal places for a bonfire – barbecue style camping. Celebrating birthdays or anniversaries becomes all the more fun and memorable when you have a lake by your side and a starlit sky to look up to. Moreover, activities like horse-riding and ample opportunities for hiking make Lonavala one of the most sought after destinations from Mumbai and Pune. And the icing on the cake is the Lonavala bazaar, famous for its traditional sweet dish- chikki(peanut candy), as well as carved wooden and cane products that you can buy for souvenirs.
Lonavala is abounding with forts, lakes and rock cut caves, all of which combine to form a quick yet ideal holiday spot with friends. And who understands your love for pictures and selfies better than your friends? No one, we say. The picturesque locales of Lonavala will have your camera rolling for good.Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest on your mind? Wink!