Lonavala, a beautiful retreat away from the chaos of the city, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra. Often called the ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’ and the ‘City of Caves’, this hill station boasts of a spectacular setting that includes lush green valleys, stunning waterfalls, serene lakes and remarkable caves. The myriad places to visit in Lonavala that include historical sites, natural wonders, religious attractions, etc. never fail to impress visitors.

Take a look at some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Lonavala that ought to be in your itinerary to make the best of memories of your vacation in this hill station.

Places to Visit in Lonavala:

1. Tiger’s Leap, Lonavala

Tiger’s Leap, Lonavala

Tiger’s Leap | #1 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

 

Tiger’s Leap is a prime tourist attraction that sits in the lap of nature at a height of 650 metres above sea level. Interestingly, this vantage point has been named so because of its shape that resembles a tiger taking a leap into the valley. It is frequented by adventure seekers who indulge in trekking and hiking here.

This beautiful site with an echo point and a stream flowing nearby offers stunning views of the valley below that attract vacationers in large numbers. You can always pack a picnic lunch and head to this place to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

  • Location: Near I.N.S. Shivaji Base, Lonavala
  • Timings: 24X7

2. Bhaja Caves, Lonavala

Bhaja Caves, Lonavala

Bhaja Caves | #2 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Bhaja Caves is a set of spectacular rock-cut caves, which has been classified as a national monument. It is believed to be one of the oldest caves in India, belonging to 2nd to 1st century BCE, and the fine Buddhist excavations in these caves date back to the Hinayana phase of Buddhism.

Along with exploring these caves that primarily include Chaityas and Viharas, you may take a refreshing dip in the nearby waterfall as well as take a tour of the lush surroundings. You need to take a zig-zag trail to reach the caves from its base at Bhaja Village.

  • Location: Bhaja Village, Lonavala
  • Timings: 8 am to 6 pm

3. Karla Caves, Lonavala

Karla Caves, Lonavala

Karla Caves | #3 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Not too far from Bhaja Caves lies another popular tourist attraction – Karla Caves that houses the largest and most well preserved Hinayana Buddhist Chaitya in the country. Associated with Mahasamghika sect of Buddhism, these are one of the oldest rock-cut caves in India with the oldest one dating back to the 1st century BCE.

You will be amazed to see fine motifs, sculptures, inscriptions, stupas, pillars and 37-pillar aisle at Karla Caves that boasts of over 2000-year-old beams, amongst which some of them are still alive. You will also come across a temple at the entrance that has been recently built using pillars from the Buddhist period.

  • Location: Karli, Lonavala
  • Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

4. Bhushi Dam, Lonavala

Bhushi Dam, Lonavala

Bhushi Dam | #4 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

If you are looking for a picnic spot to spend quality time with friends and family, then head straight to Bhushi Dam, which forms the popular Bhushi Lake. There are steps to access this masonry dam on the Indrayani River, where you can sit and soak the warm sunshine as well as enjoy the stunning views of the surroundings.

This popular tourist attraction tends to get overcrowded during weekends, especially in the monsoon season, when you may face difficulty in finding a decent spot to sit on the steps. You must note that swimming is prohibited here because of the inconsistent water flow.

  • Location: I.N.S. Shivaji Road, Lonavala
  • Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

5. Duke’s Nose, Lonavala

Duke’s Nose, Lonavala

Duke’s Nose | #5 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Being a hill station, Lonavala has numerous vantage points, and Duke’s Nose is an amazing viewpoint that has been named after the Duke of Wellington because of the resemblance in shape. This place is also called Nagphani as its shape looks like a snake’s hood, and at the top, there is Mahadev Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Along with impressing nature lovers with its picturesque location, this place with long trails and rocky outcrops also attracts adventure seekers for trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, etc. Moreover, it is a famous picnic spot that you can visit with your friends and family for a fun outing.

  • Location: Via Main Bazar Road, Lonavala
  • Timings: 24X7

6. Tikona Fort, Lonavala

Tikona Fort, Lonavala

Tikona Fort | #6 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Tikona Fort, a popular historical site of the Maratha empire, acquires its name because of its triangular shape and is perched at a height of 1066 metres above sea level. Once captured by the Mughals, Shivaji Maharaj regained its control in the 1670s and continued to remain a prime fort of the Marathas (who called it Vitandgad) till the reign of Sambhaji.

The fort entrance is through a small cave, which leads you through a guard tower and a cluster of five caves. Within the fort, you can see a broken temple and a massive stone wheel, and at the top of the fort, you will come across a few water tanks and a Buddhist cave.

  • Location: Near Kamshet, Lonavala
  • Timings: 8 am to 8 pm

7. Pawna Lake, Lonavala

Pawna Lake, Lonavala

Pawna Lake | #7 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Pawna Lake, surrounded by spectacular landscape, is a popular picnic and camping spot in Lonavala. This artificial lake is formed by the impounded water of Pawna Dam that provides a perfect escape into nature’s arm. The natural beauty of this place, along with the distant view of Lohagad Fort, Tikona Fort and Tunga Fort, makes for a great backdrop for memorable pictures. While picnicking here, you can avail the facility of motor and row boating that adds to its overall appeal.

While monsoon is the best time to visit this place that abounds with incredible sights, you come here during the winter season as well to enjoy barbeques by the lake.

  • Location: Pawna Dam, Lonavala
  • Timings: 24X7

8. Lohagad Fort, Lonavala

Lohagad Fort, Lonavala

Lohagad Fort | #8 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Another architectural marvel of the Marathas is the Lohagad Fort (Iron Fort) that commands a visit while you are in Lonavala. The hill fort acquired its name because it was considered as an impregnable edifice due to its strategic location at a height of 1050 metres above sea level. This historical site has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties over the centuries, including Nizams, Marathas and Mughals.

Not only is it popular among history buffs and nature enthusiasts, but also adventure seekers because of trekking that has to be done to reach the fort, where you can spot the Vinchu Kata – a series of hills resembling Capricorn.

  • Location: Lohagad Wadi, Lonavala
  • Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

9. Ryewood Park, Lonavala

The extensive Ryewood Park with landscaped lawns, lush gardens and a children park is the best place for picnicking in Lonavala. Situated near the Lonavala market, this place was originally designed as a botanical garden but renovations were made to convert it into a park.

Spread over 25 acres, the park is rich in flora with numerous old tree species, ornamental plants, flower beds, etc. There is also a Shiva Temple within the premises that is perfect for meditation. Besides, the children park with swings keep the young visitors entertained for hours. So just pack your picnic basket and head to this park to spend some enjoyable time with loved ones.

  • Location: Siddharth Nagar, Lonavala
  • Timings: 8 am to 7 pm

10. Valvan Dam, Lonavala

Valvan Dam, Lonavala

Valvan Dam | #10 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Valvan Dam is a preferred choice of visitors wanting to break free from the hectic city life. Situated at a height of around 26.4 metres and stretching over 1356 metres at the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains, this gravity dam serves as the source of Tata Power’s Khopoli Power Station.

This scenic spot with lush greenery and calm surroundings is built across the Kundali River and its impounded water forms the artificial Valvan Lake, which has a beautiful garden in its vicinity. Hence this perfect combination of a dam, a lake and a lakeside garden makes for an ideal spot for a family outing in Lonavala.

  • Location: Near Khopoli Power Plant, Lonavala
  • Timings: 24X7

11. Rajmachi Fort, Lonavala

Rajmachi Fort | Places to Visit in Lonavala

Rajmachi Fort | #11 of 11 Places to Visit in Lonavala

Rajmachi Fort, also known as Manoranjan Balekilla, undoubtedly tops the list of inescapable places to visit in Lonavala. Built by the popular Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, the historical site actually comprises two fortresses – Shrivardhan and Manaranjan – that were built at a height of about 3000 feet on a rugged hill in the Sahyadri Range to keep an eye on the surroundings. The fort boasts of many ancient caves and temples, such as Kal Bhairava Mandir, with few of them existing even before the fort was built. This place offers breath-taking views of the verdant surroundings and is extremely popular among vacationers, especially nature lovers and trekkers.

  • Location: Rajmachi Village, Lonavala
  • Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

Other popular places to visit in Lonavala include the Celebrity Wax Museum, Sausage Hill, Tungarli Lake, Amrutanjan Point, Aamby Valley, Kune Waterfalls, Lonavala Lake, Kataldhar Waterfall and Bhairavnath Temple, also known as Devasthan. Although you can visit Lonavala throughout the year, in case you visit this hill station during the rainy season, don’t forget to explore other popular monsoon destinations in Pune as well.