Khandala lies in the Sahyadri Hill ranges of western Maharashtra. It is 70 kilometers away from Pune town and 100 kilometers away from Mumbai. The first recorded ruler of Khandala was Shivaji, the legendary Maratha warrior king of the 17th century. Later it passed on to the Peshwas and was then captured by the British. Lonavala, another picturesque hill station, lies just 5 kilometers away from Khandala. Khandala is the smaller and less crowded of the twin hill stations of Khandala-Lonavala. On weekends, Khandala is full of tourists who wish to escape the commotion of the metropolitan Mumbai and Pune. A visitor to Khandala is treated to the fabulous sight of waterfalls and forested slopes.
Tourist Attractions at Khandala
Khandala Lake and Bhushi Lake are worth a visit. Karla, 15 kilometers from Khandala, has large man made caves dedicated to Lord Buddha. Built in 80 BC, these well-preserved caves are one of the best examples of temple architecture in India. The Bhaja Caves, more than 2,000 years old, are monasteries that housed Buddhists monks of yore. This group of 18 caves has magnificent rock cut artwork. Many avid rock climbers visit Khandala for climbing and rappelling down unusual structures like the Duke's Nose. The Duke's Nose was reportedly named so due to its resemblance to the nose of the Duke of Wellington. There is a Shiva temple atop Duke's Nose. The Reversing Station Point is famous for its breathtaking view of Duke's Nose and trains changing lines on either side. Vaghdari, or Tiger's Leap, offers a splendid view of Lonavala town.
How to reach Khandala
The best time to visit Khandala is October to May, before the outset of the monsoons.
Pune Airport is 66 kilometers away.
Mumbai is 104 kilometers away on the Mumbai Pune Highway. Taxis and vans are available from Mumbai and Pune.
Trains from Mumbai and Pune stop at Lonavala Station. From Lonavala, Khandala is just 5 kilometers away. You can hire a taxi or auto rickshaw from Lonavala to take you to Khandala.