Enroute Mumbai to Pune in the Maharashtra state of India, one will come across the beautiful little hill station of Khandala. It’s located at a height of 625 m on the western slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range and serves as perfect retreat for the nature lovers. Minty fresh air and the greens have a rejuvenating effect on the senses here, drawing locals and tourists in hordes all round the year.
Image: By Alewis2388 [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The attractiveness of this venue (Khandala) is enhanced by the fact that it’s dotted with a number of mesmerizing lakes, caves and small moderately bustling bazaars. Visit the centuries-old famous Buddhist Chaitya caves nearby, engage in trekking, hiking and other sports activities, spend the day picnicking and relaxing at resorts – Khandala offers visitors a number of fetching options.
Places of Interest in and around Khandala
Lakes near Khandala
There are a number of interesting lakes in and around Khandala hill station in Maharashtra. Some important ones include Tugauli Lake, Lonavala Lake and Bhushi Lake. There’s also the Valvan Lake that has a nice dam, garden as well as a pisiculture centre.
Karla and Bhaja Caves
Karla and Bhaja Caves found at a distance of just 16 km from Khandala are significant places one can visit. These rock-cut cave temples date back to 2nd century BC and are regarded amongst the oldest and best examples of Buddhist rock-cut temple in India. These structures belong to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism.
Satayam Shivam Sundaram Waterfall
Satayam Shivam Sundaram is a gorgeous man-made waterfall with an adjoining pool. This is a very popular spot of vacationers.
Apart from a huge cave, the Lohagad Fort located very near from Khandala has few magnificent-looking entrance gates and a water tank. The cave was, once upon a time, used for storing grains.
You can also see the Tunga Fort surrounded by the Pavana Dam in this region. The Tunga Fort also has an old Hindu Mahadeo temple within its precincts.
Kaivalya Dham Yoga Centre
Kaivalya Dham Yoga Centre is here is quite popular with the health enthusiasts. People of all age and walks of life come here to participate in the yoga classes held at the institute.
Bhairavnath Deva Sthan
This place comprises a stretch of green belt abounding in deep valleys, variety of animal and plant life. As Vehicles are banned to this area, visitors will have to rely on walking for going about their way.
About just five kilometers away from Khandala is the Lonavala hilly station. This too is rich in forest cover, ponds, lakes and other seeable spots. The fine infrastructure connectivity makes both these places a popular holiday hub.
Best season, climate, and clothing for Khandala
The optimum time to visit Khandala is between the months of October and May every year. It is suggested not to come here during monsoons from June and September due to the heavy rains. You can bring normal jeans, trousers and other casual clothing on your Khandala trip.
Accommodation at Khandala
There are a number of hotels in Khandala that cater to the needs of a large number of visitors who throng this beautiful hill station. As such, accommodation should not be a problem. There are a few 3 Star as well as budget hotels in Khandala that take care of accommodation of the tourist coming to this serene place. The food served here is pretty decent too. Since connectivity by road and rail to the nearby cities is decent, people come and go the year round.
How to Reach Khandala?
Khandala is very well-linked by road and rail. Infact almost all trains and cars heading towards South India from Bombay via Pune have to pass through Khandala. Khandala does not have an in-town airport. To reach here, you can either fly to Mumbai (Bombay) or Pune. Both the cities are located nearby from Khandala.