Aati Kya Khandala? Why The Hill Station Is An Ideal One-Day Getaway
Heading off to Khandala? It is one of the easiest weekend destinations for Mumbai residents. Of course, Aamir Khan crooning away “Aati kya Khandala” to Rani Mukherjee, did bring this hill station to the public’s attention back in the 90s. We’ve rounded up the top tourist spots that you can explore in the present day.
Duke’s Nose is a cliff named after Duke Wellington – shaped like a nose and hence the name. The easily spotted rock structure from a distance is known for its views of the lush ghats of Khandala. You can easily trek up to Duke’s nose, starting from Khandala and walking up the plateau. There’s also a small temple on the top of the hill – Shiv’s temple. It’s a delightful trek and can easily be done by families, group of friends or with your partner.
Adding to the many beautiful viewpoints that exist in Khandala, Shooting Point is the best one to go spot to catch an aerial view of the Rajmachi Fort and the lush, green valley beyond the fort. One can see gorgeous waterfalls during the monsoons and the greenery that carpets the ghats. It also makes for a photographer’s haven – as you can capture wonderful landscapes here.
In the mood for some historical exploration? Then Rajmachi Fort is our best bet – as it offers a beautiful view of the landscapes of the Deccan plateau. Located right at the tip of the Western Ghats, Rajmachi comprises of two forts – situated at the Shrivardhan and Manaranjan peaks. From here we can catch the beautiful view of Duke’s nose, Theran and Ulhas river. During the monsoons, a small pool is made at the fort – so if we’re up for a quick dip in the pond – we’re planning on jumping in.
Pavana Lake is essentially an artificial lake brought into existence due to the Pavana dam. A picturesque sight, the Pavana Lake, along with the Pavana Dam is for visitors looking to skip the busy town of Khandala and other more popular tourist spots.
Celebrity Wax Museum
End the trip with this hilarious cherry on the top – go to Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum and pose with the likes Michael Jackson, Kapil Dev, Rajiv Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Michael Jackson, Kapil Dev, Adolf Hitler, AR Rahman among other artists – just for kicks really. It’s situated at the old Mumbai-Pune highway, and as the museum suggests – why visit London when we can just drive down to the museum? Book your tickets online here.
Lohagad Fort (aka ‘Lohgad Fort’) is located right near Malavali village (on the outskirts of Lonavala), which can be reached either by local train or by car.The fort is accessible by steps and is most popular for trekking because of the steep incline. Some of the structures like the walls and ramparts are still intact, which make it a popular tourist attraction, and great for taking photos. We think it’d make for a great monsoon-destination trek with your squad (more on that here).
Considered as one of the best-built forts of the Maratha Empire, Lohagad is situated at a height of 3,389 feet above sea level. The iron fort divides the Pavana-Indrayani basin, thus guarding the trade route from Deccan Plateau to Konkan during the reign of Shivaji.
The climb to the top of Lohagad is quite simple and is suitable for all ages. Magnificent during rainy season, this trek is full of picturesque views of the tall hill ranges and the dark green meadows. Once you reach the top, the fort is enveloped in mist and cloud and the path is particularly wet with moss and vegetation.
This waterfall, which is also one of the highest waterfalls in India, gathers a lot of attention due to its high altitude and the greenery amidst which it finds a way down. Situated in Lonavla-Khandala Valley, Kune Waterfalls has a height of 660 feet, making it the 14th highest waterfall in India.
One of the most gorgeous waterfalls in whole of Maharashtra, the best time to visit is during mid-monsoon. Enveloped in lush green forests, Kune Falls is a three-tier waterfall that cascades down the hilly terrains of Sahyadris from a height of 200 metres. The place attracts a lot of tourists during the rainy season. We hear swimming and bathing at the footfall is allowed and safe when there are no heavy rains; so make sure you carry extra clothes. While you’re at Kune, we recommend you also check out the quaint Kune Church and eat at Triose Plaza, which is full of eateries like Cream Stone, Kareem’s, Chaat Cafe and more.
Bedse Caves are a group of Buddhist rock-cut caves and an architectural marvel that can be traced back to first century BC. The stairs leading to Bedse caves are well laid out and can be climbed to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscape.
After witnessing a breath-taking aerial view, we assure that you would not want to head back. Do not miss out on beautiful sculptures depicting animals and dancing postures. Did you know that the interiors include two main caves -chaitya and vihara along with a small stupa that viewers initially experience?
For those who are put off by crowded places, you will fall in love as you can peacefully explore the site with very few people around. The next time, you are here, we assure you that you will be mesmerized by the spectacular aerial view. Don't forget to carry your cameras and go-pros to shoot the lush surroundings. Travel enthusiasts, history buffs or photography fanatics- whoever you are, this place offers something for everyone. If you’ve already tried out and loved the Karla and Bhaja Buddhist caves in Lonavala, your next stop should be the Bedse Caves, located at Bedse village in Kamshet which is about one and a half hours away from Pune.
Visapur Fort is a fort in Maharashtra, where you have to trek through gushing water down the steps. That’s one for the realistic bucket list right there. This fort is located very close to Lonavala, about 2 hours (close to 98 km) away. There are twin forts that are very close to Lonavala – Visapur Fort and Lohgad Fort, of which Visapur is the higher fort. The path leading up to the fort is of medium difficulty. During the monsoon season, there is a mini waterfall that you have to trek through on the way to the fort.
Although the path up will be slippery (carry good grip shoes), and the trek might leave you weary, but the view from up top is amazing, with a glimpse of the Pawna dam as well.
It’ll be a really fun experience, and you can make a trip with your friends here. The waterfall experience is only in the monsoon, so hurry up and go soon.