Picturesque points and small caves are what make any hill station worth the money. Lonavala does not fall behind in this by any stretch. The place is such that from anywhere you see you will enjoy the beauty of nature. There are still many points spread across Lonavala. A couple of Buddhist caves made centuries ago will make the history buffs go gaga. The points and caves are as follows:
Rajmachi, a scenic region commands a view of Shivaji’s famous fort, Rajmachi. At the start of Lonavla, this point offers a lovely view of the surrounding valley. Regular State Transport buses ply between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla from the State Transport Bus Stand. The famous Waghjai Devi temple is located near the point.
Located on the outskirts of Lonavala, this point offers a view of the Sahyadri ranges that is bound to leave you speechless. The best time to visit here is in the rains. It is a treat to travel here in the shade of the clouds. The perfect point for people who are searching for some peace in the hills. A must visit!
Another heavenly point on the Lonavala-Aamby Valley Road. A plethora of waterfalls adorn the area in the rainy season. This coupled up with vast stretches of greenery make it the perfect place for nature lovers. A visit to Lonavala is incomplete without Lion’s Point. Strong winds blow through the valley and fill you up with fresh air.
With a rather peculiar origin to its name, this site is known for some of the widest and grandest views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests.
Owing its name to an apparent resemblance to Duke of Wellington’s nose is this ideal picnic spot amidst beautiful surroundings. A favorite place among trekkers, this place is the perfect one for a short trek. At a distance of around 10 km from Lonavala, this place is a sure shot for adventure seekers. Climbing the Duke’s nose in the rain will be among the most memorable things you will do.
Karla caves are a complex of ancient rock-cut cave shrines located near Lonavala. Dating as back as 160 BC, the cave shrines will give the history seekers something worth appreciating. The caves house a Buddhist monastery dating back to 2nd century BC. A temple dedicated to the Goddess Ekveera is situated inside the caves. The Goddess has a devoted following amongst the Koli community. The main cave features a large, intricately carved chaitya or prayer hall. The chaitya is one of the largest rock cut chaityas in India. The writings are in the Brahmi script which was prevalent during those days. So if you wish to have a walk down the timeline, take a stoppage in this cave.
Bhaja Caves are a group of 22 rock cut caves from the period of 2nd century BC. Having architecture along the lines of the Karla Caves, these caves are no less than the predecessor. Like Karla, these caves are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The caves are dedicated to the Hinayana Buddhism sect in Maharashtra. The carvings on the caves show that wooden architecture was present during those days. Another interesting carving shows a woman playing tabla. The stupas present in the caves signify the relics of the Buddhist monks who died here. These caves in the proximity of Lonavala are sure to leave you in wonderment.
Isolated from the city clusters and its noise, this hill station has many worthy places to visit. Being the most after hill station near Mumbai, the various points and caves is a regular visit for the tourists. I strongly advocate visiting Lonavala in the rains. Nature comes alive in the monsoon and will be something worth experiencing for yourself. Happy traveling!