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Visit the Wild West at Khandala

by Madhav Srinivasan 1934 days ago

Hill stations and Indians have had a very old relationship and this relationship dates back to time immemorial. This relationship is prominent in the west where the Sahyadri steals the show. Amidst the sprawling greeens lies the town of Khandala.


Sahyadri hills, also known as the Western Ghats, is a mountain range running along the western coast of India from the state of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala, an approximate distance of 1600 km. It is one of the top 50 biodiversity hotspots in the world and known for its sprawling greenery and widespread natural beauty. Amongst the myriad places to visit, one of the most well-known places is the hill station twin of Khandala and Lonavala. Located near the mega city of Mumbai and Pune, Khandala is a beautiful hill station and a weekend retreat for people living in and around the metropolitan region and also the tourists who come to visit Mumbai and Pune.

Best Time to Visit

The western face of the Sahyadri hills lie on the windward side, which is an upwind side for the moisture laden winds. Hence, the monsoon season sees huge amounts of rainfall in the region in and around Khandala. The only thing one must keep in mind is the slippery tracks during trekking and mountain climbing. The roads are wet and the traffic is slow. Monsoon season is however a beautiful time to visit Khandala because of the scenic beauty. One must also be careful of insects and mosquitoes. Khandala is, otherwise accessible all throughout the year but could be very humid right before and after the monsoon season. Winters are the best time to visit Khandala, mostly during January when the humidity is low and the temperatures are pleasant.

Places to Visit In and Around Khandala

Since it has already been established that Khandala is a place worth visiting, let us list out some of the attractions that cannot be missed. Khandala is barely 3 km away from another beautiful hill town of Lonavala. Both Khandala and Lonavala lie in the municipal region of Pune and are surrounded by the beauties of the Western Ghats. People visiting Khandala must always visit Rajmachi Point. It was a command point for Shivaji and it is very near to his Lohagad Fort which is also a place to visit.

Once at Khandala, Lonavala is completely accessible since it is merely 3 km away, hence making Lonavala landmarks like Lonavala Lake and Ryewood and Shivali Parks also very much accessible. At Khandala, tourists should never miss a chance to trek in the nearby hills and especially to the landmark Duke’s Nose, which is named after Duke Wellington and this place resembles his nose. Other places of attraction near Khadala are the Karla caves, the Tiger’s Leap cliff, the Valvan Dam, the Bushy Dam, the Lion’s Point, the shooting point, I.N.S. Shivaji ‑ naval engineering training base, and the Wax museum near the Varsoli station.

How to Get There

Khandala is very well linked by roadways and trains. It is close to Karjat which is one the last stations on the Central Line of the Mumbai Locals. A fast train from Mumbai CST, Dadar, Kurla, or Thane can reach the tourists to Karjat from where local buses and taxis can reach the tourists to Khandala. There is direct bus service to Khandala since it falls on the Mumbai Pune Express Highway, approximately 65 km from Pune and 100 km from Mumbai. Many express trains also halt either at Khandala or Lonavala while going to Pune. The nearest airports are at Mumbai and Pune.

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