Unveiling Khandala where misty hills and tranquility embrace

Unveiling Khandala where misty hills and tranquility embrace

Nestled in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Khandala is a captivating hill resort that beckons weary souls with its natural splendor. Picturesque valleys, verdant hills, serene lakes, and misty waterfalls define this enchanting destination. Situated at the base of the Sahyadri range, Khandala offers a tranquil escape for urban dwellers, especially those from Mumbai, seeking respite from the daily grind. Its timeless charm and breathtaking landscapes make it a coveted haven for nature lovers and seekers of serenity.

How to reach
The distance between Lonavala and Khandala is roughly 10 kilometers, and taking a taxi is simple and convenient. The nearest domestic airport is in Pune, around 50 kilometers from Khandala. The taxi fare from Pune to Khandala is approximately Rs 2,000. A taxi from Mumbai to Khandala costs around Rs 3,000. Traveling by bus is convenient, as is traveling by car. Many young people ride their motorcycles from Mumbai to Khandala, which may be a fantastic experience because the journey is gorgeous.

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Best time to visit
Khandala is best visited from July to September, which is the monsoon season. With intermittent, pleasant rain, the town's lush vegetation makes the entire area look gorgeous. Khandala is also best visited between April and June, when Mumbai and Pune experience their heaviest summer temperatures. Atmosphere-pleasing sights include the brilliant sunset colors and the day's uninterrupted azure skies.

Rajmachi Fort
Rajmachi is a small village in the Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra's Konkan region. Rajmachi is famed for its medieval fortifications, which comprise two fortified peaks, Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, and are located near the well-known hills of Lonavala and Khandala.
Udhewadi, another name for Rajmachi, is a village at the base of the fort. Rajmachi has passed through the hands of several rulers, including Shivaji Maharaj, Emperor Aurangzeb, Shahu Maharaj, and, lastly, the British. Rajmachi Fort is popular among trekkers and adventurers. If you want to do a full-fledged hike, start from the Kondhane caves side and climb for 3–4 hours, but you can alternatively drive right up to Udhewadi village (from the Lonavala side) and then trek for approximately 20–30 minutes to the fort's peak. Rajmachi is a popular beginner's trek because of the easy and well-marked way in both directions.

Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort, near Khandala in Maharashtra, India, is a medieval hilltop stronghold with a major history in the region. The fort, perched atop the Sahyadri mountains, is a monument to the architectural prowess of the time. The name "Lohagad" means "Iron Fort" in English, and the fort's robust design reflects this.
For those who want to explore Maharashtra's rich history and take in the rugged allure of the Sahyadris, Lohagad Fort is a must-visit location. It combines history, natural beauty, and adventure.

Tiger's Leap
Tiger's Leap viewpoint is around 8 kilometers from Lonavala and is a popular tourist destination. It is a clifftop with a precipitous drop of about 650 meters that provides a panoramic view of the hills and the Western Ghats. It is well-known for its spectacular sunrise and sunset views, especially on a clear day.
Tiger's Leap is an uncommon name given to this location because of the shape's resemblance to a tiger leaping into the valley. This viewpoint, which offers an attractive view of the valley below, is not far from INS Shivaji. The breathtaking views should, however, be viewed from a safe location rather than from the cliff's edge.
The Tiger's Leap viewpoint is accessible through the Bhooshi dam or the INS Shivaji path. After passing through the Lonavala bus station, proceed to the next junction at Kumar Resort. Turn left and continue straight until you reach the very first right T junction. Take a right turn and continue straight till you reach Tiger Point, past Lonavala Lake, Bhooshi Dam, and INS Shivaji.

Visapur Fort
The Visapur Fort is a popular hill fort near Visapur village located close to Lonavala. Also called Visapoor Fort, it is a popular weekend getaway from Pune and Mumbai. The majestic fort is a very popular destination for a trek. The climb to the Visapur Fort is rocky but welcoming. Starting at Bhaje village, it is about 2.5 to 3 hours long each way and ends at the height of 3556 feet.
The fort stands at the height of 1084 meters above sea level offering panoramic view hills covered in a thick blanket of green. Monsoons are definitely the best time to visit Visapur Fort - the greenery, brimming waterfalls, and the beautiful fog. This massive fort was built as a twin of the famous Lohagad fort, but at a higher elevation and covering a larger surface area.
The Visapur fort is surrounded by tall veranda walls and is dotted on the inside with caves and cisterns of water. There is a well inside the fort too which is said to have been built by the Pandavas!
Sri Hanuman, or popularly known as Maruti, was the patron deity of the Visapur fort. Hence, the walls of the fort have a beautiful huge carving of the great Lord Hanuman made to pay homage to the lord. In addition to the gigantic carving of the lord, the walls are flanked with smaller intricate drawings made in his respect. Also, the premises of the splendid fort have many temples dedicated to the lord. There are a few remains of an old Mahadev shrine which is a shrine built to honor Lord Shiva.
During the year of 1885, by the north wall of the fort rested a ten-foot long iron gun with the initials "E R" inscribed on it. The gun is suspected to be a bounty from one of the English ships during the reign of Queen Elizabeth by Kanoji Angre or another such valiant Maratha commander.

Dated August 11, 2023