While quite a few times I have been to Mumbai and Pune, I never got a chance to visit this in-between heavenly place called “Lonavala”, but always remained in my to-visit list. As an exciting traveler and based in Chennai, I always wanted to escape the heat and humidity and experience the natural beauty of Lonavala. Finally, 2 weeks back I had a business meeting in Mumbai and greatly I managed to grab a day from my busy schedule to explore 625 meters above sea level, Lonavala with few of my friends. Thanks to the monsoon that arrived late this year, it was just the right time for us to get started. Otherwise, the ideal time to visit Lonavala is between June-September, when the rain hardly agrees to stop. Since we were in a leisure mood, I didn’t want to explore all places notably in Lonavala but our target was just to hang around and have a good time.
The day started at 5 am for us as we head into the cab to reach the destination. This is place is located 96 KM away from Mumbai (accessible from the express highway) and I must say the travel itself looked like the destination. The greenery, blooming picturesque view, wonderful tunnels, and occasional rain droplets made our entire drive extremely pleasant. We reached around 8 am and decided to quit cab, as the trek was more fun to choose. Our first point was “Bushy Dam” which is the most sought after place for visitors. You have to climb a little to reach the dam (without footwear and rent cost for footwear is 20rs) and this view was breathtaking. The entire place looked snowy with the white water dashing on each step. It started raining as we stepped on the flowing chill water and this made the experience really enjoyable. After splashing and playing like kids in waterfalls for a long time we decided to munch a little. We found mind-blowing hot vada-pav and chai (not so expensive) that just went perfect with the flow.
Moving ahead, it was already 11 am and planned to trek till tiger’s leap which is about 4-5 km from the bushy dam. Trekking was the most enjoyable part of the journey; the climate was superb to walk with rain showering once in a while with the cool wind making the atmosphere so charming. The juicy sweet corn (maize) served with chili powder, lemon and salt is not something to be ignored. It was almost a challenge to trek around this mountain region; however, being an experienced trekker this was not scary at all. Finally upon reaching Tiger’s leap also called as Tiger Point the view was simply stunning. We saw the entire view of Lonavala, and huge mountains covering them. It was a perfect blend of cool breeze and mist which made us stay there for a long time. We then had a chance to have hot ginger tea and bajia’s in foggy weather, never will I forget!
We came down pretty fast and stopped near the bus stop to find a good pure vegetarian hotel in Lonavala. And we found hotel Chandralok (located near the bus stop), one of the best budget hotels I would say in Lonavala. I had lip-smacking pure veg thali that included Roti, Sabji, Dal, Rice, Raita, Sweet Dish and lot more, served with utmost love and respect by waiters that most other hotels fail to offer. Rates were reasonable, but most importantly the food was awesome! On our way back we managed to shop for Lonavala’s famous Maganlan chikki and popular ready-to-make juices! Although there are many other places to visit in Lonavala like Wax museum, Rajmachi Point, Lohagard Fort, etc, that I will probably visit next time! Rest, I was relaxed and refreshed being at this Nature’s Paradise, loved it totally!
Gulshan Bafna is one of the luxury travelers in India. He, along with his wife, has traveled to many exotic places that one could dream. With their travel journey, they bring us the best face of those places. He compiles all of his travel journeys to give the taste of traveling to his readers. In his writing, he jots down the best things to do in all those places that he has visited. Reading these would help one know better about the place. He is also a seeker who loves exploring and discovering new places and share his experiences with everyone.