Hill stations are mostly preferred as a holiday destination in India. The charismatic aura of the hill stations makes up for a perfect spot for you to rewind and relax in the lap of Mother Nature. You would be spoilt for choices here. Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar are two hill stations of Maharashtra that attract tourists for their mesmerizing scenic beauty. Surrounded by lush green valley these hill stations are situated in the Western Ghats of India and are easily accessible from any part of the world. In today’s write up we are doing Mahabaleshwar Vs Lonavala for you.
The two most visited hill stations of western India have many similarities. A captivating panoramic view awaits you along with the green lands of both the hill stations.
Mahabaleshwar has been popularly known as the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra for its beautiful plains with sloppy peaks surrounded by woods. The Lingamala Falls, Sahyadri Mountains, and Venna Lake are some of the natural elements that would keep you engaged when you are here.
Lonavala is situated at an elevation of 622 meters in the exotic Sahyadri Ranges. Apart from the enticing nature’s view with lakes, hills and waterfalls around, the Karla Caves and the Bhaja Caves and other Buddhist shrines would keep you indulged.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Lonavala is between December to February. Lonavala has something to offer throughout the year; however, the June to September are the monsoon months with heavy rainfall. If you love rain and clouds, then this is also a great time to enjoy the flavors of the place. Summers in Lonavala are hot and humid.
The prime time to be in Mahabaleshwar is from March to June. At this time the place experiences pleasant weather and is good for sightseeing. Months from December to February are considered to be equally good when the temperature drops down to 20°C and the scenic hill station beautifies itself even more.
Both the hill towns are so charming that you want to be glued there for a lifetime. However, our lifestyle wouldn’t allow it.
For Mahabaleshwar, 4 days would be sufficient to touch-base all the prime scenic spots. 4 days of unwinding should be enough for you to get back to your daily schedule.
2 days trip to Lonavala would be quite refreshing for you. If you want, you may consider an extra day so that you can cover all the tourist sites of the place.
Due to huge competition in the tourism industry, every trip can be quite affordable if planned well in advance. Rates would vary between peak and slack season, however, if you book everything ahead of time, you would surely get a delighting deal.
A breakup cost for visiting Lonavala can be something like this:
Flight fare to Pune (round trip) – INR 12,000 – 13,000
Pune to Lonavala bus fare – INR 350 – 500
Hotel Accommodation – INR 1,700 – 3,000
Food and others – INR 2,000 – 3,000
On average, it might cost you around INR 32,000 for a 3 days trip to Lonavala. Prior bookings can fetch you half the price.
A breakup cost for visiting Mahabaleshwar can be something like this:
Flight fare to Pune (round trip) – INR 12,000 – 13,000
Pune to Mahabaleshwar bus fare – INR 400 – 500
Hotel Accommodation – INR 1,500 – 2,500
Food and others – INR 1,500 – 2,000
On average it might cost you around INR 27,500 for a 3 days trip to Mahabaleshwar. Bookings can yield lesser rates.
Inter-state travelling from India to any of these places wouldn’t require a VISA approval. If you are travelling from some other country outside India, you should have a VISA in place to be produced by the immigration department.
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Mahabaleshwar Vs Lonavala: Places To Visit
In this section of the article, we are going to acquaint you with some of the popular places to visit in Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar. This will help you to sort your itinerary well.
Places To Visit In Lonavala
Tiger’s Leap: This is one of the famous places to stop by during a sightseeing trip to Lonavala. This place is unique because the lush green hills resemblance a tiger leaping into the valley. It is a distance of around 8 kilometers from the main city and is close to INS Shivaji. When you are here, don’t forget to enjoy the echo sound at the echo point. The tourists enjoy a comprehensive view of the Western Ghats.
Bushi Dam: It is yet another amazing place to visit at Lonavala. The masonry dam is settled conveniently on the Indrayani River and its a must-visit spot during the monsoons. During this time, the water of the dam flows over the Dam’s steps into the rocky terrain and offers a fascinating view for the visitors to witness. This place is often crowded with visitors.
Lonavala Lake: A major attraction of Lonavala in Lonavala Lake. This is a great picnic spot where you can spend candid moments with your family and friends. Munching on the delicious hard chikki by the lakeside is a unique experience that you cannot enjoy every day. The sweet breeze along the serene lake is quite mesmerizing and would make you spend hours by its side.
Rajmachi Fort: The fort is located midway between two famous hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala. This is a very ancient fort and is famous for the surrounding landscape which is considered to the charm of nature. You would be able to enjoy the view of many beautiful attractions which include the Duke’s Nose, Karnala, Mahuli and Ulhas River. You would be surprised to visit the historic mansion.
Karla Caves: The Karla Caves are one of the oldest Indian Buddhist cave shrines which carved in an interesting format inside a rocky hillside. This cave was carved almost 2000 years back and has amusing stories to narrate from the past glory. The cave has a huge collection of Viharas or monasteries and Chaityas or halls that tell you about more about the ancient times of the Buddhist period.
Suggested Read: 8 Places To Visit In Sangli For A Mind-Boggling Experience On Your Trip To Maharashtra!
Places To Visit In Mahabaleshwar
Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple: First on the list is the Mahabaleshwar temple which lies in north Mahabaleshwar and is one of the prime destinations for pilgrimage for the Hindus. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is built brilliantly in a South Indian architectural approach. The has many mythologies stories to tell and features the 300 years old damru, Trishul, bed, and Rudraksha of Lord Shiva which can be cherished during your visit.
Wilson Point: This place is often called the Sunrise point. It stands at a height of 4710 feet above sea level and lets you enjoy the captivating view of the sunrise. This spectacular tourist destination has three platforms built up of stone where visitors can sit and praise the amazing landscape. There are 3 watchtowers built for the tourists to conveniently adore the scenery of the surroundings.
Lingamala Falls: If you are a naturist, you would be super delighted to visit Lingamala Falls. The magisterial falls are one of the best and tranquil spots of the city. To reach the falls, you would have to traverse through the forest and walk on a rugged trail which makes it more adventurous. The waterfall is at zenith during the monsoons and becomes an even more sublime.
Venna Lake: This Lake was built in the year 1942 and is a major tourist attraction of Mahabaleshwar. It is an artificial lake built by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj during his rule. There is rich vegetation sprawled on the surrounding space of the lake and overall setup looks heavenly. There are boating options, mini train rides for the children and fishing facility.
Tableland: Known for being the second-highest mountain range in Asia after the Tibetan plateau; this place brags for its 95 acres of aesthetic lush green grass. To get the best view of this place you should be here during August or September when the grass is the greenest and makes it for a panoramic view. You can also enjoy horse riding, paragliding, and scrumptious food at the stalls here.
Suggested Read: 8 Places To Visit Near Trimbakeshwar That’ll Help You Learn A Lot About Maharashtra
Mahabaleshwar Vs Lonavala: Shopping
When you are at Mahabaleshwar, do not forget to pick up the essentials of this place like fresh strawberries, raspberries, locally made jams, jellies, and honey. Also, the handicrafts, Kolhapuri footwear, and leather items are some of the things that would lure you to buy them from the Town Bazaar.
Try the authentic chikki at the National Chikki Bazaar Lonavala and also pack some for your home. Lonavala Bazaar is the best place to buy some souvenirs of the lovely hill place.
Suggested Read: https://traveltriangle.com/blog/festivals-in-june/
Mahabaleshwar Vs Lonavala: Getting Around
Ola and Uber facilities are not available at Lonavala, however, they are there at Mahabaleshwar. When in Mahabaleshwar, you can either take the services of Uber and Ola or rent a taxi to travel in and around the city. When you are at Lonavala, you would have to rent a taxi or commute by public transport.
Firther Read: 12 Top-Notch Alibaug Hotels You Must Opt For A Comfy Stay In Maharashtra 2022!
With a detailed comparison on both hill places of western India, it might be easy for you to make the best choice that wouldn’t call upon regrets later. Budget wise both of them are almost similar. It would entirely depend upon your preference to plan a trip to anyone of them. So, whether it is a monsoon getaway to Mahabaleshwar or summer escape to Lonavala, you can have the most soul-soothing experience.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Mahabaleshwar Vs Lonavala
How far is Panchgani from Mahabaleshwar?
It is about 40 minutes drive from Mahabaleshwar to Panchgani. There are no direct flights or trains on this route. You have to hire a cab or taxi to commute.
Is the place Mahabaleshwar fair enough for Honeymoon?
Yes, of course, it is. Spending time with your beloved in the serene dreamlike surrounding is a thing to be relished after marriage. You would get to collect beautiful memories of togetherness from here.
Are there any camping grounds at Lonavala?
Yes, there are several places in Lonavala where you can quench the thirst of camping under the open sky. Some of the amazing places for camps amidst the West Ghats are Pawan Lake, Babdardhara, Shirota Lake and Korigad Fort.
How far is Lonavala from Mumbai?
It is 83.1kms and takes around 1 hour 50 minutes to reach. There are direct trains from Mumbai or you can also opt for a rented car to travel. It is one of the prime weekend getaway destinations from Mumbai.
Do we get to see snowfall in Mahabaleshwar or Lonavala?
There isn’t any snowfall in Mahabaleshwar or Lonavala as the temperature in both the places are too warm for snowfall. The frozen dew during the winter months forms a snowy look though.