When the rainy season comes pouring down your windows, it’s tough to be satisfied with just tea and fritters. Those who are travelers at heart want to step out and not let the rains hold them back. Mumbaikars and Punekars are lucky because there’s no end to scenic places near the city. Hills and ghat regions are decked up in the rainy season, there are waterfalls at every corner in the ghats and the view from the top of mountains is simply picturesque.
Lonavala, a hill station near Mumbai in Maharashtra, treats visitors to great waterfalls, huge dams, sunset points, caves, and trekking routes. All the tourist attractions in Lonavala get a makeover in the monsoon, which invites many travel enthusiasts in the season. A road trip to Lonavala through the tunnels and curvy ghats as the rain pours on your windshield sounds like a perfect weekend getaway. Let’s see which are the fun things to do in Lonavala during the rainy season!
Trek Through Green Foliage That Open To Scenic Points
Check Out Ancient Relics And Architecture At The Forts
Explore History In The Caves Around Lonavala
Go Monsoon Camping Amid Breathtaking Landscapes
Get Drenched Under Beautiful Waterfalls
Go Boating On The Lakes Around The Region
Spend Peaceful Time Around The Dams In Lonavala
Witness Sunset From The Edge Of Mountains
Relish Street Food And Delicious Cuisines
At a distance of 7 km from Lonavala is the Duke's Nose point; there’s a trekking route that takes you through a forest and a steep slope to reach this point. From the top of the Duke’s Nose, you can see the Sahyadri Ranges spreading their arms out. When the monsoon arrives, you can see clouds settling on the top of the Sahyadri Ranges, a sight you shouldn’t miss. While you’re here, try rock climbing for some thrilling adventure. It’s safe when the rain is just a drizzle but you need to reconsider if it’s raining heavily.
You can trek up to the popular Rajmachi Fort, standing at the fort’s tip in the monsoon treats you to aerial views of rain-drenched forts of Karnala, Mahuli, the towns of Bhimashankar, Matheran, and the Ulhas River.
Embark on a countryside trek amid dense rainforests through the Bhimashankar trail. Occasional meadows of flowers, tiny rivulets crossing your path, and tribal settlements scattered along the trail make the Bhimashankar trail trek a unique experience.
Capture some Maharashtrian architecture in your camera rolls at the Lohagad Fort. You’ll be intrigued by the history of the place, the story goes that the fort used to house prisoners during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and later used to hide looted treasure. The grandeur of the fort structure is heightened by the scenic backdrop in the monsoon.
You can test your limits and trek to Visapur Fort sitting at a height of over 1,200 meters. Click pictures against the fort’s protective walls and run your fingers over the intricate designs in the fort’s interiors. The view from Visapur Fort in the monsoon is otherworldly; little waterfalls make way through the mountains of the nearby Khandala, treating you to some panoramic rainy views.
While you’re in the mood to check out the forts of Lonavala, consider trekking to the Tikona Fort. This triangular fort makes for some good photography opportunities because of the large doorways and striking views. The many water tanks here overflow with fresh water in the monsoon, a sight that both young and old will enjoy.
If you thought that Buddhist shrines are scattered only around Himachal, then you’re mistaken. This time we are talking about the 2,000-year-old Buddhist shrines located near Lonavala, which go by the name Karla Caves today. Don’t dread the darkness or bats and just enter these caves, for you will be treated with a unique sight. These age-old caves have some ancient pillars and big halls for you to marvel at.
Over a short distance from the Karla Caves lie the Bhaja Caves, which are a group of 22 rock-cut caves. These caves let you see and touch some brilliant rock-cut architecture that dates back to 160 BCE. The cool and quiet atmosphere inside the caves is a calming experience for many. It’s convenient to reach the Karla and Bhaja Caves, just hop on a local bus that takes you to the caves from the Lonavala Railway Station. It’s even easier to reach by car as Karla caves are located on the Pune-Mumbai Highway.
Also Read: 7 Offbeat Caves In India That You Must Visit
How about waking up on a bed of grass with trees around you, and as you step outside your tent, the view of a lake, and mountains beyond them greet you? Camping by the side of Tungarli Lake in Lonavala makes you feel one with nature. When the monsoon season arrives, mild fog settles on the lake’s surface every morning. Waking up to this sight is almost dream-like. The lake is just a 15-minute rickshaw ride away from the Lonavala Railway Station.
If you’re a fan of camping, try camping in Aundholi which is popular among the campers. The campsite is near the Aundholi village in Lonavala and offers an unhindered view of the mountains. As you sit by the bonfire at night, witnessing silhouettes of the mountains as light rain drizzles on them will be an ideal monsoon experience. Aundholi is about 9 km away from Lonavala proper; there are many trek and camp organizers that arrange camping at Aundholi for you from Pune and Mumbai.
Also read: 6 Interesting Camping Experiences In India
How can we talk about monsoon getaways and not mention waterfalls! There’s no scarcity of beautiful waterfalls in Lonavala. Kune Falls in Lonavala is the 14th highest waterfall in India which flows from a height of 200 meters. Witnessing these falls in all their pride in the monsoon would make for a refreshing experience.
Waterfalls like the Kataldhar Falls and the Bhivpuri Waterfall are popular among trekkers. Both these falls can be reached through a trek into the green Sahyadris. The Kataldhar Falls especially is a hidden gem, you can have some peaceful ‘me time’ after reaching the waterfall because of less crowd. Bhivpuri Waterfall is a little further away from Lonavala, but totally worth the visit because the falls are over 20 feet high and offer adventure sports for thrill-seekers.
Lonavala Waterfalls are the easiest to reach as they are just 7 minutes away from the railway station. It’s the most visited waterfall because of its proximity to the main town of Lonavala, and you’ll see many food stalls around the place when you reach.
But the best of all waterfalls in Lonavala is the Reverse Waterfalls near Lohagad Fort. You can see only this in the monsoon season. The water here beats gravity and flows upwards, because of the high-pressure winds. Take our word and don’t miss Lonavala’s Reverse Waterfalls in the monsoon!
The rainy season comes with brimming water bodies, and the lakes of Lonavala aren’t behind in the race. Tungali Lakes, Pawna Lake, and Lonavala Lake are visited by many travelers in the monsoon, as the rains make the lakes all the more romantic and photogenic. Pawna Lake has been gaining lots of popularity in recent years with many hotels and homestays sprouting up on its scenic shores.
You can enjoy water sports like boating, kayaking, and jet skiing in the calm waters of Pawna Lake. Who knew that Pawna Lake, a reservoir-turned-artificial-lake can be such a hit among adventure seekers? When you just feel like relaxing with a book in hand, dip your toes in the quiet waters of the Tungarli Lake and let the day fade away into a lovely sunset over the waters.
Anyone who visits Lonavala in the monsoon includes the Lonavala Lake in their travel itinerary. The nature around Lonavala Lake drowns in bright colors after the first showers of rain. The lake is very near to the town, so it’s easy to cover it if you are in a rush to finish sightseeing.
Lonavala is home to many scenic dams that are at their best during the monsoon. Unlike forts, which are frequented by youngsters who can handle tough treks, the dams in Lonavala are more of a family affair visited by elders too. The most popular dam in Lonavala is the Bhushi Dam; one glance around the dam and you will see families, couples, and youngsters having a gala time.
Bhushi Dam is built on the mighty Indrayani River, you might be tempted to jump into the water in the monsoon, but entering the deep waters of Bhushi Dam is not allowed. Don’t be disappointed, you can sit on the steps of the dam as they overflow with some cool gushing water in the rainy months.
Another dam that sits on the Indrayani River is the Valvan Dam, famous for its striking views. Valvan Dam is just 4 km away from Lonavala Railway Station and is easily approachable by road. The gardens and naturally rich landscapes surrounding the Valvan Dam make it an ideal one-day picnic spot in Lonavala.
Nestled between the hills of Western Ghats, Lonavala has abundant cliff tops to view sunsets from. If you’re a Mumbaikar, you must’ve already heard about the Rajmachi Point, or even visited it! Every evening, many people flock to the point, street food in their hands, to witness the sunset behind the Sahyadris. It can be tough to spot the sun setting in the monsoon, but you can feel the strong monsoon wind and see the rain hug the valley in front of you. Just beware of the monkeys here, they can steal your food!
You’re in for some spectacular panoramic views of valleys and faraway waterfalls if you visit Lion’s Point. This point is 11 km away from the main Lonavala town but visited by many tourists all over the year. Duke’s Nose and Tiger’s Leap are must-visit places in the monsoon; the Sahyadri ranges standing in all glory make for a good view in the monsoon from these points.
Look down carefully at the valley from each of these points, you’ll see tiny settlements, curving rivers, and little waterfalls making their way from mountain cracks. The experience is heightened after the rains wash the valleys of Lonavala in lush greenery.
Also Read:5 Hill Stations To Visit Close To Mumbai
Oh, the joys of eating a bhutta (roasted corn) and sipping on hot tea from a kulhad (mud cup) in the rains! One thing that you shouldn’t miss when in Lonavala is the Golden Vada Pav. What makes this Vada Pav unique is the spicy thecha(local chutney) that is served along with it. Don’t leave the Golden Vada Pav without trying their moong dal bhajia; the mere aroma of the fried bhajia will draw you towards it.
If you want to experience some delicious exotic cuisines, head over to the Kinara Village Dhaba in Lonavala. You can slide your fingers into some Mughlai, North Indian, and Chinese dishes at this hotel. The ambiance of the hotel is that of a traditional Maharashtrian Wada, with terracotta roofs and traditional-style verandas.
The food of Lonavala is incomplete without its famous Chikki, which was invented in the 19th century in Lonavala. Today, new varieties of chikkis like oats and walnut chikkis are as much loved as the original chikki (hard candy made of jaggery and peanuts). Chikki shopping is best done in Maganlal Chikki in Lonavala. While you’re at it, try the chocolate walnut fudge, trust us, one bite and you will claim the entire packet for yourself.
Though Lonavala has a railway station and has frequent trains operating on the Pune-Lonavala route, we would suggest traveling to Lonavala by road. By road, Lonavala is 83 km from Mumbai and 65 km from Pune. Half your sightseeing will be done en route to Lonavala, as beautiful sights greet you on both sides of the road. A bike ride in the monsoon to reach Lonavala surpasses any adventure ride in a theme park. Take the old Mumbai-Pune road NH4 for some visually stunning landscapes along the way.
For those little cravings you have for vacation, Lonavala-Khandala is always there for you. The forts, lakes, dams, mountains, and food around the two nearby towns attract hordes of visitors every weekend. Lonavala is surely fun in the monsoon, but comes with its own dangers too, beware of slippery rocks while trekking and of the deep waters of the dams.
What To Shop For In Lonavala?
You can shop for chikkis and fudges from Maganlal & Sons Main Shop or the National Chikki Mart. Buy some gifts for family and friends from Bakerally & Sons, you can find delicate and beautiful items with some detailed craftsmanship here. Check out the Lonavala Bazaar for some colorful trinkets, intricate wooden figurines, and cane products.
How Many Days Are Enough For A Lonavala Trip?
Two days are sufficient for sightseeing around Lonavala. Spend a weekend in Lonavala and Khandala trying the various activities it offers. Go boating, kayaking, trekking, camping, or just spend peaceful time in your hotel during the days you spend in Lonavala.
Which Places To Visit Near Mumbai During The Monsoon?
Hill stations like Panchgani, Igatpuri, Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, and Khandala are some beautiful scenic places to visit near Mumbai during the rainy season. If you’re a fan of beaches, try visiting popular coastal destinations near Mumbai like Alibaug, Dahanu, Kashid, Harihareshwar, and Ganpatipule.
Which Precautions To Take While Traveling In The Monsoon?
Always check the weather forecast before stepping out on a trip, charge your devices, carry surplus stock of food and water, carry a mini first aid kit and an extra set of clothes. If you’re going on a road trip in the monsoon, install anti-skid suspension tires and check if your car wipers are working fine. Try not to drive rashly in ghat areas or highways during heavy rains.
What To Carry On A Monsoon Trip?
Carry a waterproof bag, waterproof shoes, flashlight for emergencies, ziplock bags for your devices, and a fully charged power bank with you on a monsoon trip. Never forget the regular monsoon essentials like umbrellas and raincoats.
Why Is Lonavala Famous?
The hill station is famous for its gurgling waterfalls, lush green valleys, beautiful lakes and stunning caves.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Lonavala?
The hill station is a great place to visit all around the year. The tourist season in Lonavala begins during the monsoons between June and September, and the hill station sees a lot of crowd at this time.
How Is The Climate In Lonavala?
The climate in Lonavala varies from a warm and slightly humid climate to a cool and dry climate.