By Accommodation Times News Service
One of the best weekend getaways in and around Mumbai and Pune is Lonavla. A perfect place to visit, rejuvenate and get back to work, Lonavla is a hill station in the Pune district, located in between Pune and Maharashtra. It is around 96 kilometres from Mumbai and about 64 kilometres from Pune.
Lonavla is a major station on the Mumbai – Pune line and can be easily accessed via local trains from Pune. It falls on the Mumbai – Pune expressway and the Mumbai – Chennai expressway. Apart from the lush green hills, Lonavla is famous for its chikkis (hard candies) and INS Shivaji, Indian Navy’s Premier Technical Training Institute. The word Lonavla is derived from the Prakrit words Len meaning a resting place carved from stone and Avali meaning series. So in Prakrti, Lonavli means a place with a series of Len around it.
A Brief History of Lonavla:
In 1871, the then Governor of Bombay Presidency Lord Elphinstone discovered the Lonavla and the Khandala hill stations. In ancient times, Lonavla was a part of the Yadava dynasty. The Mughals appreciated the strategic location of this place and maintained the region. The ‘Mavla’ warriors and the forts of this region played a crucial part in the history of the Maratha and the Peshwa empires.
As per the 2011 census, the population of Lonavla is 57,698. Lonavla has a literacy rate of 89.33% which is higher than the state average of 82.34%.
Property Rates in Lonavla:
Lonavla is fast becoming a choice of second home for many. And this is affecting the property prices. Availability of all kinds of facilities makes Lonavla a very popular place to invest in property. One can buy a property for as low as Rs 1 Lakh here and the property prices can go as high as Rs 49.00 Crores. The average property is around Rs 3.84 Crores. Property prices have grown by 24% in the last 1 year in Lonavla. Similarly, the floor prices vary widely ranging from Rs 750 to Rs 17,550 per sq.ft. with the average being around Rs 7790 per sq.ft.
Lonavla is extremely well-connected through road and rail. As mentioned earlier, Lonavla lies in both the Mumbai-Pune expressway and the Mumbai-Chennai expressway. Through the Mumbai-Pune expressway, it is well-connected to places such as Karjat, Talegaon Dabhade and Khopoli.
The hill station is extremely well-connected through a train. It is accessible via local trains from Pune which run at an interval of every 2-hours and it takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to reach. From Mumbai, you can access it through the central line where you have to get down at Khopoli located 15 kilometres away from Lonavla. This train journey takes around 2.5 hours. Buses run from Khopoli bus station to Lonavla at regular intervals. All trains running between Mumbai and Pune halt at Lonavla.
Although Lonavla does not have an airport of its own, the city of Amby Valley is located around 45 minutes away and has its own private airport. Moreover, there is an Air Force Station at Troppo which lies on the way to Amby Valley from Lonavla.
Facilities in Lonavla
While the picturesque hills and valley make Lonavla an ideal place for a weekend getaway, Lonavla is also a great place to conduct a lot of activities. Since it is only about an hours drive from Pune, Lonavla is a location of choice for conducting various corporate events. Pune IT Park is located about a one and a half hours away, the ICC Towers and the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture are about an hour away, both RMZ Westend and Nanospace IT Park are within two hours reach.
Lonavla has several reputed schools including the Ryewod International School, Kaivalya Vidya Niketan and Sinhgad Public School and colleges such as Valwan College and SKN Sinhgad Institute of Technology and Science. It also has a number of large hospitals such as the Ashirwad Hospital, Shraddha Hospital and Yash Hospital. Malls are a part of our everyday life nowadays. Lonavla has several malls such as the Lonavla Square Mall, Uphill Mall and Triose Plaza.
Places of interest
Being a tourist place, Lonavla has several places that one can see:
Rajmachi Point: This viewpoint located around 6.5 kilometres away from Lonavla has a breathtaking view of the hills along with a fort built by Shivaji Maharaj and Rajmachi. The place can be reached through normal state transport buses which run between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla.
Lonavla Lake: A massive seasonal lake surrounded by scenic beauty, this is a place worth a visit. It is located less than 2-kilometers from the town and has a crowd of walkers and joggers especially during the monsoon. The lake has pretty less water during winter though. Another attraction of this place is the mouthwatering street food available around this lake. A perfect place to spend an evening with family and friends.
Ryewood Park and Shivaji Udyan: A beautiful garden with trees of several species, this park is an excellent place to spend some time. There is an old Shiva temple located in the park as well.
Valvan Dam: This dam, located about 2-kilometres from the town, was built by the British and is more than a century old. There is a garden at the foot of the wall of the dam and is a great spot to spend some time. The dam is fed by Kundali river and supplies water to the Khopoli Power Station located in the Western Ghats.
Tiger’s Leap: This cliff top with a sharp drop of around 650 meters has the most amazing view of the valley. The place can be easily reached through buses which go till INS Shivaji. It is a 1.6 kilometres walk from this location. There is a nice waterfall located nearby which is full of water during the monsoon. The fall is high with a magnificent view. If you like adventure, you can trek down the stream.
Lonavla packs in itself leisure and necessity. If you are looking forward to investing in Lonavla, it is a good idea and this is the correct time to invest. Later on, prices may get too high afford a place.
(Edited & Compiled by Rohit Sharma)