Lonavala is full of natural places, attractions and sightseeing. It is the top weekend getaway for Mumbaikars and Punekars. Below we have mentioned honorable top 15 places to visit in Lonavala where there is no entry ticket. Hence you can go there for almost FREE
1) Lohagad fort and visapur fort : (see on map)
2) Pawna lake : (see on map)
3) Tikona fort : (see on map)
4) Tung fort : (see on map)
5) Korigad : (see on map)
6) Rajmachi fort : (see on map)
7) Tiger point / Lions point : (see on map)
8) Table top : Closed for public (see on map)
9) Duke’s nose : (see on map)
10) Narayani Dham Temple : (see on map)
11) Karla caves : (see on map)
12) Bhaja caves : (see on map)
13) Bedse caves : (see on map)
14) Bhushi dam : (see on map)
15) Kune waterfall : (see on map)
1) Lohagad fort and visapur fort :
Lohagad fort :
One of the most magnificent forts of Maharashtra is the Lohagad Fort with two natural ponds, two artificial ponds, a Shiv temple, a Dargah and a valley view of the famous Pawna Lake. Located at the height of 3,400 feet, this fort has also found its way to the UNESCO world heritage site. Known for its scenic location, this fort is a magnet for travelers, nature enthusiasts, trekkers and hikers.
Lohagad fort divides the basins of Indrayani and Pavna. You can reach to the top of fort after passing via Hanuman Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Maha Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja.
This multi-access fort is a perfect location for trekking. So if you are game for some fun, this fort will justify your attention. For beginners, trekking to this place will be a great choice as it is comparatively easier than others due to its straight route. It is more or less like a leisure walk in the midst of lush greenery. And during monsoon, the fort looks surreal as it gets covered by fog and mist.
Visapur fort :
Located around 60 kms from Pune and 100 kms from Mumbai and standing at an elevation of about 1084 meters, Visapur Fort is one of the highest forts in Maharashtra. Perched upon a lush green plateau, the fort is a very popular excursion destination among nature lovers, trekkers, and campers. What’s special about one of the three routes which take you to the top is that you would need to climb through the gushing waterfall for the most part of the trail only in monsoon season.
The fort is a part of the Lohagad – Visapur fortification and is the higher one among the two. Apart from the view of lush green surrounding in the nearby region, Visapur also holds an outstanding view of Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, Lohagad Fort and the Pawna Lake.
2) Pawna lake :
Situated 20 km away from Lonavala, Pawna Lake is an artificial lake which is surrounded by immense beauty. Formed by the dam built across the Pawna river, the lake is a perfect spot for picnics. The road leading to the lake is a quiet and serene drive with refreshing greenery and craggy hills passing you by. If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful day amidst the beauty of nature, think no more and head here.
It’s a serene place and is a fabulous weekend gateway. Greenery encompasses this lake, making it a delight for those who want to spend time in the lap of nature. You can trek to the nearby hills, listen to music, camp there and enjoy flavorful food cooked by the locals. The locals there provide you a safe spot, security, tents, food and a speaker that you can connect with your phone or laptop and listen to music while you star-gaze in the night. It’s not crowded, is very silent and a great place to breath fresh air. You can go there pretty much any time of the year, but we would suggest avoiding the hot summer heat. You can book Pawna Camping (click here)
3) Tikona fort :
Tikona Fort, also famous as ‘Vitandgad Fort’, is a triangular hill fort located near Kamshet which is 18 km from Lonavala. Perched on a high hill, the fort is a trekking destination.The small hamlet close to the fort is Tikona path. The fort’s mammoth entrance is a special attraction. The Tikona fort is a great trekking destination for the adventurous tourists. One can get the eye-catching views of the Pawna Dam and the forts at Visapur, Tung, and Lohagad. The fort encloses a lake, Satvahan caves and the temple of ‘Trimbakeshwar Mahadev’. The fort was built during the Silhara dynasty. There is a temple on top of the peak. The view of the Pawna dam, Kathingad, and valleys from the top is breathtaking.
3) Tung fort :
Tung fort trek in Pune near Lonavala is a great place for hiking. Hikers normally exploe the pair of Tung & Tikona fort in a single visit. It is also popular as Kathingad fort. Kathingad or Tung Fort is a great trekking spot near Lonavala region. This fort is known for its challenging approach to reach at the top. Kathin means ‘Difficult’ in Marathi hence the name of fort is Kathingad.
The fort is conical and consists of strongly fortified walls, ramparts and also has several bastions. It has steep climbs with a very narrow route on the edge of the mountain throughout. The fort premise also has a rocky staircase that opens to a water cistern. A steep climb on grassy slopes leads to the ruins of a temple at the summit. The forts of Korigad, Tikona, Visapur and Lohagad can be clearly viewed from the top of Tung Fort.
5) Korigad :
Korigad is a beautiful fort located on top of a hill, around 20 km from Lonavala, near Aamby Valley.This is an easy 6 km trek, with stone-cut steps leading up for the most part.The fort has an elevation of about 3000 feet, so it gives you wide panoramic views in all directions.Once you get to the top, you’ll be able to examine the massive gateway to the fort, as well as 6 ancient cannons, the largest of which is the Lakshmi Toph near the Koraidevi temple. Apart from this, there are two lakes, some water tanks, and a temple to see. The highlight however, is the view: the lakes of Aamby Valley, the lush forested hills around, and the highway in the distance.
In the monsoon, the Korigad trek route is green and delightful, and the water tanks at the top are full. From the top of the fort, you’ll get great views of the surrounding landscape. This offers abundant opportunities for photographers. Korigad is also a popular night trek spot, and offers plenty of spots to camp out at the top.
6) Rajmachi fort :
Cuddled on the majestic ranges of Western Ghats, Rajmachi Fort is a stunning historical fort. Rajmachi Fort which is well known tourist attraction of the state. Rajmachi which is also called Udhewadi is a small village found in the Sahyadri Mountain. There are mainly two forts in Rajmachi one being the Shrivardhan Fort and the other is the Manaranjan Fort. The Rajmachi Fort is an amazing place for the trekkers which make the tourism even more interesting.
The true beauty of Rajmachi is seen during the monsoons when the place adorns a complete new look. The lustrous streams, pearl-like waterfalls and the lush green meadows endeavor a verdant look to the landscape which is a treat to the eyes.There are several caves and monuments which can be explored in the fort. Among the other places to visit in the village is the beautiful Udaysagar Lake which is a delight to the photographers. The surrounding of the lake is quite picturesque.
7) Tiger point / Lions point :
Tiger point at the top of Lonavala hills gives a heavenly view of the sunset and sunrise scenes. The valley view as such from this point is amazing. A must visit place for all those visiting Lonavala. Tiger’s point or Tiger’s Leap is an unusual name given to this place due to the resemblance of the shape with that of a tiger leaping into the valley.
The plush green, eye-soothing views of the valley, misty mornings, and cool breeze make Tiger’s Leap make it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Lonavala in rainy season. Tiger Point is a viewing point, where you can watch sunrise and sunset with mountains and a valley in view. Most hill stations across India have one of these points and Lonavala is no different. But no visit to a hill station is complete without visiting one of these “points”. Tiger Point is also known as Lion Point as the two names are used interchangeably.
8) Table top : (Closed for Public since 2014)
The name given Table-Top due to flat Hill bed on the point. This point offers breathtaking views of the river valley and aerial view of the Rajmachi Fort. This place comes alive during the monsoon season with waterfalls in the background. As the name suggests, many Bollywood movies were shot here.
During the monsoon season, this place get covered with clouds. The fog or the clouds were too much that you feel that you are in heaven. The scenery around this place is superb and much anticipated part is the you are above the clouds which is really unbelievable experience.The view from this place is spectacular to say the least,and one can see the Kune waterfall on the opposite side of the mountain, and the Mumbai Pune Expressway right below.
9) Duke's nose :
Duke’s Nose is a cliff that provides a breathtaking view of Sahyadri hills. The pinnacle of Duke’s Nose is locally known as Nagphani as it resembles the hood of a cobra. Famous for adventure sports like rappelling, rock climbing and valley-crossing, it attracts numerous trekkers round the year. You can walk or hike up this summit from the Khandala station easily. The trek might seem inaccessible but it is rather easy. There is a Mahadev temple on the top which is a simply unmissable spot if you are touring around. This attraction near Lonavala presents a mind-boggling downhill view of the plains. Weather is pleasant here in the early mornings and evenings.
10) Narayani Dham Temple :
Shree Narayani Dham Temple is located in Lonavala. We just visited this temple as we want to spend some time in Lonavala. After going there we found that it is a very beautiful place.
Temple is constructed in wide area. Still it is very neat and clean. There is very holistic atmosphere in temple campus. You can have peace of mind there. Best time to visit the temple is during the months of monsoons. The temple is the place where you look for the inner peace and serinity.
The temple was constructed in 2002 and is a beautiful white marble structure. The main deity of the temple is Maa Narayani and on either side of the main shrine are shrines dedicated to Ganapathi, Hanuman and other Hindu deities. The deities are beautifully decorated with glittering jeweleries. The entrance is a 4 storeyed structure, there are fountains lined up on the pathway from entrance to temple.
11) Karla caves :
Rock-cut structures are one of the most primitive forms of architecture found in several parts of India. The Karla Caves in Maharashtra, built by Buddhist monks, are one of the finest examples of this architectural style.
The most remarkable feature of the cave is its arched roof supported by wooden beams which have astonishingly survived the onslaught of elements for more than 2,000 years. The Wooden Umbrella above the Chaitya is unique in the Buddhist caves around the world. There is absolutely no sign of any corrosion. It is the finest example of the kind perhaps in the world.At the entrance of the principal cave is the temple of Goddess Ekvira visited by thousands of devotees from the coastal region around Mumbai during the annual fair falling in April (chaitra) and also during Navratri. Ekvira temple is on the right side of the main cave while at the left side is a lofty column with three lions on its top.
12) Bhaja caves :
The Bhaja Caves is a series of 22 rock cut caves built between 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD and the most prominent among them is the chaityagraha which has a vaulted ceiling shaped like a horseshoe and wooden architecture. There are caves with pillared verandah and fascinating reliefs adorn them.
As we climbed about 170 steps to reach the top, we noticed extraordinary carvings depicting women in elegant classical dance positions, playing instruments that looked like a tabla. One of the most significant highlights of these caves is the stupas. These caves are a star attraction for tourists who are highly delighted to visit this ancient architectural marvel. One can easily reach the place through different means of transportation.
13) Bedse caves :
Bedse Caves are situated in Maval taluka. Just 450 Steps to climb.The history of the caves can be traced back up to 1st century BC. There are two main caves. The best known cave is the chaitya (prayer hall) with comparatively large stupa, the other cave is monastery – vihara. Both caves are facing eastwards so it is recommended to visit the caves early morning, as in sunlight the beauty of carvings is enhanced. There is also a small “Stupa” outside to the right of the main caves.
Mawal Region can’t be completed without Bedse. An easy hike through steps leads to the caves. Also close to the Bedse caves are the famous foursome of Lohagad, Visapur, Tung and Tikona forts adjoining the Pawana Dam.
The best time to visit Bedse Caves is the rainy season as the hills are filled with lush greenery during that time. Also many small waterfalls are created that can only be enjoyed during the rainy season. As this is one of the lesser known spots, not many tourists throng the place, so makes it easy to enjoy the views.
14) Bhushi dam :
Bhushi Dam is among the best weekend getaway for the tourists as well as the locals. Engulfed by the carpeted hills, the forcing water of the dam makes a huge natural water park that rejuvenates the visitors. The view of the Bhushi Dam water, when overflows over an array of steps and then pass through the rocky terrain, is really mesmerising.
During monsoons, the water gushes out of the dam to easily accessible steps and rocky terrain here. It is accompanied by rays of warm sunshine and scenic hills surrounding this place. This attraction in Lonavala makes for a great picnic spot for people of Mumbai and Pune. It is hard to find space on the steps here during the peak season. You can sit on the stone steps and splash water on your friends in a playful mood. However, swimming is not allowed here due to the inconsistent flow of water.
15) Kune waterfall :
Kune falls is located centrally within Lonavala and Khandala valley is a three tired waterfalls with a total height of two hundred meters (six hundred feet); the highest drop being hundred meters. The waterfall is the 14th highest waterfall in India.
The fall is a complete scenic waterfall situated near the Kune village in Pune. It is one of the famous waterfalls in Maharashtra and also one of the best places to visit. It lies at an altitude against the stunning backdrop of the famous Sahyadri mountains. The place is surrounded by lush green vegetation and provides a great visual experience.
The falls is in its profusion during the period of monsoon and a large number of tourists are attracted to watch its majestic view, flowing down with a huge gush. One visits Kune Church which is situated with a close proximity of the waterfalls and also provide a landmark to reach this amazing waterfall.The ideal time to visit this fall is in the mid-monsoon.