& Khandala - Maharashtra
and Khandala are two charming little hill stations, in Maharashtra,
located on the western slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range.
These are perched at an altitude of 625 m, and are five km
apart. Quite popular as health resorts, there are a number
of sanatoria dotting the hills, in both towns. Khandala is
smaller and relatively calmer of the two, though browsing
through Lonavala's bazaar could yield some wonderful surprises.
Both these sites offer scenic views of the surrounding hills,
and in the monsoons, with myriad waterfalls, it is sheer magic.
Karla, about 12 km from Lonavala,
is the site of the largest Chaitya caves
in India, built in 80 B.C. Among the best-preserved
Buddhist temples in India, they represent the zenith, in terms
of purity of design of this style of temple architecture.
Taxis and autorickshaws, easily available in Lonavala and
Khandala, are the best ways of getting to and from Karla.
Temperatures vary from 12 deg celsius to 36 deg celsius throughout
the year. October to May is the best time to visit.
How to Get There
Pune, 66 km away, is the nearest airport. All trains from
Mumbai to Pune and the south stop at Lonavala. Mumbai is 104
km away by road.