HILLSTATIONS OF MAHARASHTRA
Khandala (Marathi: खंडाळा) is a hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, India, about three kilometres from Lonavala and seven kilometers from Karjat.
Khandala is located at one (top) end the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat (meaning valley in Marathi) on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. The ghat carries an extensive amount of road and rail traffic. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the main link between the major cities of Mumbai and Pune, passes through Khandala.
Due to the ease of accessibility from nearby cities, Khandala is a common area for hiking. One destination is the nearby peak of Duke's Nose, which offers a panaromic view of Khandala and the Bhor Ghat.
It is home to a Management college, Kohinoor Global Campus which in itself has Kohinoor Business School, Kohinoor IMI. This 9 acres of beautiful college is surrounded by hills, ghats, Mumbai-Pune express highway and gives a way to nature in the students' life of his few years of education. It is the best place to spend some of the education years and being launched for the great career.
Khandala has its own market and fulfills the demand of the localites and also the tourists. It has some of the great hotels. Khandala is best in monsoon season when its completely covered by green carpet and dark blue blanket of sky with clouds around and mind boggling nature.
In popular culture:
The town was mentioned in a popular song from the Hindi film Ghulam named "Aati kya Khandala?" ("Will you come to Khandala?"). Ashok Kumar's character in the 1975 classic Chhoti Si Baat is a retired army Colonel that lives in Khandala.
Lonavla or Lonavale (Marathi: लोणावळा) is a city and a hill station Municipal Council in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is about 64 km away from the city of Pune, 96 km away from the city Mumbai and 340 km from Surat. It is famous throughout India for the hard candy sweet known as chikki and is also a major stop on the rail line connecting Mumbai and Pune.For Mumbai suburbs local trains are available from Karjat It is also an important town on the Mumbai-Pune road link. Both the Mumbai-Pune Expressway as well as the Mumbai-Pune highway pass through Lonavla. Lonavla comes to life during the monsoon season as the countryside turns lush green with waterfalls and ponds. The population of Lonavla is around 100,000 as of 2009.
Lonavla and the adjacent Khandala are twin hill stations, 622 m. above sea level, in the Sahyadri ranges that demarcate the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan coast. The hill stations sprawl over an approximate area of 38 km² and are popular holiday destinations during the monsoons. People prefer visiting Lonavla and Khandala in the rainy season. Lonavla and Khandala were discovered in 1871 by Sir Elphinstone, the Governor of the Bombay Presidency. The name Lonavla is derived from the Sanskrit lonavli, which refers to the many caves like Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and Bedsa that are close to Lonavla. A trip to Lonavla and Khandala can be combined with sight-seeing visits of Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa caves and also the two fortresses, Lohagad and Visapur.
By road: Lonavla is situated on the halfway of Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is well connected to several other towns of Khopoli, Karjat, Talegaon dhabade, etc
By AIR: Lonavla has its own airport used by Indian Air Force on the way to Aamby Valley city.
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- Rajmachi Point:
Rajmachi Point is located about 6.5 km from Lonavla. This point commands a view of Shivaji's famous fort, Rajmachi (Royal terrak7ouioce) and the surrounding valley. Regular State Transport buses ply between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla from the State Transport Bus Stand. The famous Vaghjai Dari is also located here.
- Ryewood Park & Shivaji Udyan:
This is an extensive garden situated in Lonavla. The garden covers a lot of ground and it is full of tall trees. There is an old Shiva temple in the park. The garden has plenty of place for children to play. Tungarli Lake Tungarli Lake supplies water to Lonavla town. There are no buses to the site, but taxis and auto rickshaws are available from Lonavla Station (3 km).
- Valvan Dam:
Valvan Dam has a garden at its foot, and is a popular evening spot 2 km from the town. The dam supplies water to the Khopoli power station at the foothills of the Sahyadris for generating electricity. The Kundali River feeds into the dam's reservoir.
- Lonavla Lake
Lonavla Lake is surrounded by natural scenery, about 1.6 km from the town. The lake dries up during the winter months.
- Duke's Nose
Duke's Nose stands 12 km from Lonavla, clearly visible from the highway while driving towards Mumbai. This landmark in Khandala is popular with hikers. The cliff owes its name to the Duke of Wellington , whose ample nose it resembles.
- Tiger's Leap;
Tiger's Leap is a cliff-top with a sheer drop of over 650 m, giving an extensive view. Buses are available up to I.N.S. Shivaji and the remaining distance of about 1.6 km has to be covered on foot.
- Karla Caves:
Karla, located near Lonavla, is a complex of cave shrines built by Buddhist monks around 3rd to 2nd century B.C.
- I.N.S. Shivaji:
A Naval Engineering Training Base.
- Lohagad Fort:
A robust climb of about 11.2 km from Malavali Railway Station takes you to the 'Iron Fort', once a formidable battle-station of Shivaji. The fort commands a view of the surrounding hills and hamlets.
- Bushy Dam:
A waterfall near the dam is a popular spot between Lonavla and I.N.S. Shivaji. Buses running on the I.N.S. Shivaji Road stop here.
- Lion's Point:
Scenic point midway between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley.
- Tungarli Lake and Dam:
This lake and Dam come to life during the Monsoon season, where youth climb the mountain top to the Dam. This dam was built during the British era and features a serene surrounding. An excellent place for back-pack Camping. You can see hotel Laguna from the top and also see some celebrity bungalows.
- Shooting Point:
Another sceinic point in the town of khandala (Bazaar peth), which provides magnificient view of the Rajmachi Fort and the valley. Also the home for the St. Mary's villa.
Matheran (Marathi: Marathi: माथेरान is a city and a Hill Station municipal council in Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station in Karjat TahsilWestern Ghats range at an elevation of around and is also the smallest hill station in India. It is located on the 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. It is located at , around 90 km from Mumbai, 120 from Pune and about 320 km from Surat. Matheran's proximity to the three Metros makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means either "forest on top" or "mother forest".
Matheran is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. It is one of the few places in the world where vehicles are not allowed, which makes the place different from others. Matheran takes you over a hundred years back in time when there were no vehicles.
Because of vehicles being banned in Matheran, the place is quite peaceful despite the thousands of visitors coming to visit throughout the year.
There are lots of lookout points that provide spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Matheran has a reasonably dense forest cover.
The beautiful hill station of Matheran is perched on a plateau rising 800 m high in Western ghat ranges. one of the most popular trekking destinations. The rugged terrain is covered with evergreen forest. There are around 38 designated look-out points in Matheran, including the Panorma Point that provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is breathtaking. The Louisa Point offers crystal clear view of the Prabal Fort. The other points are the One Tree Hill Point, Hart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambgh Point, and more.
Tourist can trek either from Panvel or Neral. Neral to Matheran is an 11 km tar road trek and is an ideal trekking trail for the beginners. From the top, one can have a panoramic view of the lush plains, silver rivers, the undulating hills. The hardcore trekkers can take the Dhudani route, which is 15 km away from Panvel.
The best time to go trekking is soon after the monsoon when the slopes are covered with multi-hued foliage and waterfalls cascades down in full glory.
Matheran is located at. It has an average elevation of 800 metres (2224 feet).
Getting to Matheran:
Matheran is located about 100 km from Mumbai, 120 km from Pune. and 320 km from Surat. It lies on the busy Mumbai-Pune rail link and the nearest train station is at Neral, approximately 11 km from Matheran. From Neral, one can either rent a taxi (50 rupees for a shared cab, 250 for the whole car) to the entrance of Matheran. From the taxi stop at Matheran, one can walk to the city center or rent a horse (150-200 rupees per horse).
Since October 11 2008 a bus service has been started till Dasturi Park from Neral and Karjat. For the same reason the cab drivers conducted a one day strike as a mark of protest.
The nearest airport is in Mumbai that is located around 100 km away from Matheran. Reaching here, one can hire a direct taxi to Matheran. The nearest railhead is in Neral that is connected with Matheran by a toy train. Neral Junction is well connected by local trains coming from CST along the CST-Karjat route. Matheran is also very well connected by road with Mumbai and Pune. Matheran can be reached from Mumbai via Navi Mumbai and Panvel. Dastiru Naka is the last stop up to which the vehicles are allowed.
Set off on the Surat-Mumbai road (NH-8) through Udhana-Sachin-Palsana (approximately 30 km)
Get on the Surat-Mumbai Highway at Palsana junction and continue till Manor in Maharastra. Stop at Manor from there take left and move towards Bhiwandi. From Bhiwandi to Kalyan to Ambarnath to Badlapur and continue till Neral there you see one road for Matheran and second towards Karjat/ Khopoli. Go straight on Matheran Ghat Road after a very steep ascent you will reach Matheran's Dasturi naka- a parking place for cars and other vehicles. No vehicles are allowed beyond this point as Matheran is an Eco-sensitive region declared by state government of Maharastra. Buy tickets on Municipal counter and move to Matheran (2.5 km away) by Walking or by riding on a Horse or Hand-pull Rickshaw taking about (150-200 rupees per person). Reaching at Matheran bazarpeth will take about 1/hr approx.
Set off on the old Mumbai-Pune road (NH-4) through Dadar, Chembur, Navi Mumbai
Get on to the Mumbai Pune Expressway at Panvel (Near McDonalds). Get onto the expressway to avoid the congested road through Panvel.
Take the first exit (Shedung/Khopoli Exit)that comes less than 5 minutes after you get onto the expressway at McDonalds. (Here you will need to Pay a Toll at the toll-booth for using the expressway).
This exit gets you back onto the Old Mumbai-Pune Road. Follow directions to proceed towards Pune. Once again you will have to pay a toll for using the old Bombay Pune Road. (Toll in both places is about Rs.25 each).
Follow the old Mumbai-Pune road for approximately 10 km. This will bring you to a crossing where a big green sign asks you to turn left for Karjat/Matheran. (Do not miss this crossing as otherwise you will end up in Khopoli. There is a large statue of Hindu god Shiva on right side of the old Mumbai-Pune Highway which can be seen from a long distance. The left turn about 50 metres before the statue).
9 km After turning left you reach another crossing called Charphata Karjat where you need to turn left towards Neral.
11 km After turning left, you will reach the bottom of the Matheran Hill ghat road.
Turn left here and climb 7 km to the Matheran Dasturi Car park.
It is a steep and narrow road but well surfaced for the most part. When you reach the car park find a parking space in the designated area and park your car. The parking entrance fees and daily parking fees need to be paid here.
No vehicles are allowed beyond this point. Matheran center is a 40-minute walk from Dasturi Car Park. Before you enter the limits of Matheran, Matheran Municipal council charges a fees of Rs 25 per adult and Rs 10 for children.
Once you enter, red dusty pathways welcome you to the nature. Porters are available to carry luggage. You can enjoy the walks through the red pathways or ride on horse. Manual 'rikshaws' are also available, each riskhaw is 'driven' by a couple of operators.
Matheran is connected by toy train to the mainline rail route at Neral Junction. Neral Junction is well connected by local trains from CST along the CST-Karjat route. Click to get the Subarban rail mapand timetable. Those coming by long distance trains should alight at Karjat Junction. Many trains on Pune-Mumbai route can serve the tourists coming from Pune side.
The journey is a visual delight for the tourists with a range of scenes to enjoy. The ascent begins a little after the Hardar Hills and reaches the Jamnapatti station, where it appears that road and rail have almost come together. They part here, though to meet again a little further beyond the steep slope of Bhekra Kund. The Horseshoe embarkment near the Mount Barry is a captivating scene to look at. The route runs another mile before it enters into the lone tunnel on the way. Emerging from the tunnel, the line zig zags sharply backwards and forward twice. Thereafter, the train crosses the Panorama Point and the Simpson Tank to reach straight to the Matheran Bazaar.
The journey on a 2 feet gauge commences from Neral at 08.40 hrs, 11.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs. The journey from the other direction begins at 17.45 hrs, 13.10 hrs and 14.35 hrs. The train covers a maximum of 12 miles in an hour thereby allowing the passengers ample time to soak in the beauty of the surroundings.
It is advisable to have your bookings done earlier through internet or by other means as getting tickets for the toy train becomes difficult in peak tourist seasons.
Neral - Hardal Hill - Jammapatti Station - Bhekra Station - Mount Barry- Panorama Point - Simpson Point - Matheran Bazaar.
Places of interest:
Points to see;
- Alexander Pt.
- Rambag Pt
- Little Chowk Pt
- Chowk Pt
- One Tree Hill Pt
- Belvedere Pt
- Olympia Race Course
- Lords Pt
- Charlotte Lake
- Cecil Pt (Actually a water fall mouth)
- Echo Pt.
- Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt)
- Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt)
- Khandala Pt
- Madhavji Garden & Point
- Matheran Railway Station
- Louisa Point
- Mayor Pt
Igatpuri is a city and a Hill Station municipal council in Nashik District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is located in the Western Ghats. The station lies in Nashik District between Mumbai and Nashik Road on the Central Railway. Igatpuri is known for its Buddhist Pagoda for Medititation called Vipassana and wada pavs . Trains on this route usually change locomotives on this stop and also change the guards and drivers. The place is one of the best places to visit in Maharastra in monsoon. It is a hill station on busy Mumbai-Agra NH-3 only 70 km from Nasik and 130 km from Mumbai.
Convent High School is a very old and good english medium school runs by the catholic nuns in this town.
Igatpuri is surrounded by the highest peaks in Sahyaadri i.e. Western Ghats, most of them are forts built in Satavahana dynasty. It's heavenly for trekkers and hikers, Most bollywood movie outdoor scenes specially songs are/were shot in Igatpuri region. Igatpuri is a place of significance in terms of Vipassana meditation. The International Centre for Vipassana meditation called Dhammagiri, supposedly the largest Vipassana Center, is located here This region consists of those mountains which are accessed by trains going from Mumbai CST to Kasara and Igatpuri. Local trains only go up to Kasara, and don't climb the Thal Ghat from Kasara to Igatpuri. Hence to go to Igatpuri, one has to either take a long distance train or reach Kasara by a suburban train and then take a bus uphill.
Igatpuri is located atIt has an average elevation of 586 metres (1922 feet). It is 12.42 km from Kasara.
Igatpuri is well coneccted by Rail And Road. By NH-3 to Agra And By, Cental Railway to Mumbai, Howrah, Guwahati, New Delhi, etc. It is an major railway station, As Loco Changes are made here for trains from and to Mumbai.