Lonavala is a popular weekend retreat and hill station town located about 64 kms from Pune and 96 kms from Mumbai. Both Lonavala and the adjacent Khandala are twin hill stations located approx 622 metres (2,041 ft) above sea level, in the Sahyadri ranges that demarcate the Deccan plateau and the Konkan coast.
It has excellent boarding schools, spiritual retreats and alternate medicine centers and is now a well-established destination for senior living. It is also famous for its sweet Chikki – a hard candy and a preferred choice for celebrity events and parties. The hill station covers an area of approx 38 square kms (15 sq mi) and tourists throng here during the monsoon season.
Lonavala is also home to INS Shivaji (formerly HMIS Shivaji), the Indian Navy's premier technical training institute. It is also a major halt on the railway line connecting Mumbai-Pune and both the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Mumbai-Chennai highway pass through here.
As per the 2001 India census, Lonavala had a population of approx 55,652 residents. Males constituted about 54% of the population and females 46%. Lonavala has an average literacy rate of 75%, which is higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 69%.
As per prevailing trends an increasing number of buyers are opting to buy here, since it offers a good quality of life and is within a short commute from Pune and Navi Mumbai. Experts opine it’s only a matter of time before Lonavala becomes an end-user driven realty market. Some of the more prominent developers active here include: Tata Housing, Kalpataru, Puranik, Ajmera and Lakhani.
Rajmachi Point: Located about 6.5 km from Lonavala, it affords a spectacular view of Shivaji's famous fort, Rajmachi.
Valvan Dam: With a garden at its edge, this dam is a popular evening spot 2 km from the town.
Lonavala Lake: Surrounded by nature at its best, this lake is approx 1.6 kms from the town and is a popular picnic spot.
Duke's Nose: Standing tall about 12 kms from Lonavala, this point is clearly visible from the highway while driving towards Mumbai.
Lohagad Fort: A sheer climb of about 11.2 km from Malavali Railway Station brings you to the "Iron Fort", once a formidable battle-station of Shivaji.
Tungarli Lake and Dam: This lake and Dam comes to life during the monsoons when youth attempt to climb the mountain top to reach the Dam.
Transport & Infra:
Lonavala is on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is connected to towns like Khopoli, Karjat, Talegaon-Dabhade and Pune. Local trains run from Pune at 2 hour intervals, while those coming from Mumbai terminate at Khopoli. All trains, travelling between Mumbai and Pune, halt at Lonavala. However there is a need to enhance direct train connectivity between Lonavala and Panvel.
Lonavala does not have an airport, though the Indian Air Force station Troppo is situated on the way to Aamby Valley City, which has it won private airport. The nearest commercial airports are Pune International Airport at 64 kms and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 104 kms. A seaplane service is also available between Juhu and Pawana Dam, which is about 14 kms away from Lonavala.
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