7 Places to Visit in and Around Lonavala in One Day

One of the best stress-busting destinations of Maharashtra, the hill station of Lonavala falls along the Mumbai -Pune Highway. The place is laden with diverse geographical as well as historical wonders, some of which are located nearby and easy to cover in a single trip, provided you are traveling in a rented or private car.Places to Visit in Lonavala in One Day

Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort Place to Visit in Lonavala

Consisting of two citadels, Manaranjan Balekilla and Shriwardhan Ballekilla, this fort is located in a large plateau,  at the Sahyadri Mountains. Overlooking the Shitora Dam backwaters and Bor Ghat (the path between Khandala and Khopoli) that used to be an important commercial route in the past, this fort is listed as one of the heritage sites of Lonavala.


Getting Here:

You can hire a cab from the Lonavala station to travel 15km and reach the fort.

Once You Reach:

Visit the Kal Bhairava temple (located between the two citadels) along with many other temples, all older than the Rajmachi fort itself. Attractions within the fort complex include colossal gateways, residential units, and old water reservoirs. The Kondana Caves (a collection of 16 Budhhist caves) located in the nearby village of Kondana are also worthy of a visit.

Relevant Details:

Accessible everyday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; entry is free

Best time to visit:

Monsoon (June to September) and winter (December to February)



Lohagad Fort

Lohagad Fort Lonavala One Day Trip

This fort, having witnessed both the Maratha and Mughal periods, literally means the “Iron Fort” and is nestled on top of the Sahyadri Mountains of the Western Ghats. Dividing the Pavana and Indrayani river basins, the fort located 1,033 meter off sea level, gives you a quaint view of the entire area, including the Pavana reservoir.


Getting Here:

You may board any Pune-Lonavala local train to get off at the Malvali station (next to Lonavala station) and get a tempo or a private car from there. You may also go to Malvali by a cab or private car via the Mumbai Pune Expressway.

Once You Reach:

You can take any of the four grand entrances – the Maha Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja and Ganesh Darwaja.  You may go for the Maha Darwaza as it is flanked by intricate sculptures all over it. Walking towards the Northwest side of the fort will allow you to see the “Y” shaped extensions of the fort, resembling the tail of a scorpion. You may walk (or take your car) 2 km further to visit the rock cut Bhaja Cave.

Relevant Details:

Open all day from 9:00 am to 6:00pm. Vendors offer lemonade and onion fritters along the roadside.

Best time to visit:

During Monsoon (June to September)



 Tikona Fort

Tikona Fort 1 Day Trip to Lonavala

Alternatively known as Vitandgad, this pyramid shaped fortress consists of the Satvahan caves, old water tanks, and a Lord Shiva (Trimbakeshwar Mahadev) Temple. It is one of the four major historic forts within the Konkan coasts and the Western Ghats, (the other three being Lohagad, Tung, and Visapur) that was used for the safeguard of the entire region.


Getting Here:

Since there is no bus or train service, you need to hire a car from main cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Lonavala. Shared vehicles are available from the nearby village of Kamshet (local trains on the Mumbai-Pune Railway can take you to the Kamshet station).

Once You Reach:

Enter through the Bhuyari Darwaja so you can see the two temples located within it – Tuljadevi Mandir and Chapat Maruti.

Relevant Details:

Entry is free. There is only one restaurant –Tikona Upaharagruha – in the nearest village of Tikona Peth.

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year except the monsoon season (June- September)



Bushi Dam

Bushi Dam Lonavala Place to Visit in One Day

Located on the Indrayani River, this masonry dam was constructed as a source of water for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway steam engines. The accident prone watery steps have witnessed several unfortunate incidents, mainly due to people’s own recklessness. The Lonavala Police strictly watch over tourists’ activities and swimming is not allowed here.


Getting Here:

You can make the entire trip by car, taking the Mumbai-Pune expressway. If you are coming from Mumbai or Pune, you can take the train to reach Lonavala rail station, and then take a cab to reach the dam, located 4.5km away.

Once You Reach:

It is a common picnic spot, which makes it quite crowded, and littered, So, you might want to stop for a visit only if you are passing by it on your way to somewhere. As precaution, wear cotton or anything non-glossy or slippery, along with water resistant footwear.

Relevant Details:

Opening hours from 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Best time to visit:

Monsoon months (June-September)



Ryewood Park

Ryewood Park Lonavala Spot for Picnic One Day

Since it was originally a botanical garden, this 25-acre park houses various tall and decades old trees and flowering plants. The park got its name from Mr. Rye, an English officer, who spent a considerable part of his life here.


Getting Here:

You can get an auto rickshaw from the Lonavala railway station or the main bazaar that will take you to this park, located about 0.5 km away.

Once You Reach:

Adults can take a stroll around the park, play cricket and badminton or visit the Shiva Temple located within the park. Nearby attractions include the popular Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum and Bushi dam.

Relevant Details:

Open all day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Entry is free.

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year



Karla Caves

Karla Caves Lonavala One Day Trip Destination

This protected Buddhist cave complex, consisting of the “Great Chaitya”, “Ekveera Temple” and fifteen other caves, exhibits intricate architecture of the second century BC. The rock-cut complex contains detailed carvings of human and animal figures. Presently, it is under supervision of the Archeological Survey of India.


Getting Here:

State transport buses ply from Lonavala to Karla, covering 12 km distance. All buses that run between Mumbai and Pune also make a halt here.

The caves, being a hilltop destination, call for an uphill journey to reach which might be quite strenuous for elder people and children.  You need to climb around 350 steps from the hill base to reach the caves, but if you come via cabs or private cars, it is around 200 steps from the parking lot.


Once You Reach:

The majestic entrance features  a horseshoe shaped window and sculptures curved  during the reign of Satavahana King Pulumavi. You can also visit the Bhaja Caves (7km), Lohagad Fort (10.5km), and Sausage Hills (15km) on the same trip, if you have a private car.

Relevant Details:

Open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. There are some restaurants offering a hearty meal from the traditional Marathi cuisine.



Pawna Lake

Pawna Lake Lonavala Place to Visit in One Day

Nourished with the water of Pawna Dam, this artificial lake is a source of water for the city of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The nearby forts including Tung, Lohagad, Visapur and Tikona overlook the vast lake that is home to a diverse flora and fauna.


Getting Here:

The lake is approximately 20 km away from Lonavala station, so it is btter to get a cab or a rented car to get here. The nearest town Kamshet (35 km away) provides various transportation option including bus and shared cabs. You can directly come from Mumbai, Pune, or Lonavala by road as well.

Once You Reach:

You may enjoy watching various migratory birds if you come in June, July or August. Other, more exciting, activities include boating and paragliding. But you have to make prior arrangements for paragliding here. It is also a good place to watch the sunrise and sunset from. It is better not to go into the water at all, and if you do, remain the shallow area.

Relevant Details:

Entry is fee; during weekdays the paragliding charges are within INR 2,000-2,500 per head, and on weekends the ranges vary from INR 2,900-3,000.

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year, as the weather is always pleasant.


The charming beauty of Lonavala mesmerizes tourists from all over the world. So, during your Mumbai or Pune visit coming to the beautiful Lonavala is a must, to indulge the nomad that you are at heart.

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