On my visit to India in March, 2017, I had the opportunity to stay overnight in Lonavla, a town just more than half way to Pune from Mumbai on the Mumbai / Pune Expressway. First a note on spelling and pronunciation. On many maps, including Google Maps, Lonavla shows as Lonavala. In other places, notably Wikipedia, looking for Lonavala immediately redirects you to the page for Lonavla. This had always confused me. This confusion was solved on this trip when I noticed that the Roman character rendering of the town name included both Lonavala and Lonavla. They are both correct and reflect a nuance in the pronunciation (at least as far as I can tell from the Wikipedia article). The town name is pronounced with a slight pause between the V and the second L, hence the longer phonetic spelling of Lonavala. I will use Lonavla in this post, the first of two posts on the weekend trip to Lonavla and Tung Fort.
Lonavla is on the edge of the Western Ghats, where the higher Deccan Plateau gives way to the coastal plain also known as the Konkan. In my post from a few months back on a trip to Bhandardara, there was a location called KonkanKada, which is an overlook to the Konkan. Lonavla is another such place. Being on the road between Mumbai and Pune, it is a quick drive for a pleasant weekend out of the city. There are many natural and historic sites to visit in the area.
Here is a two teaser image to get you to continue through the whole post, a sunset from Della Resort in Lonavla.
We had a good bus to take us on our “kruze.”
Lonavla sits on the edge of the Western Ghat, as described above. You can see how the plateau drops off sharply and the town neatly nestled on top of the plateau.
We arrived at Della Resort in time for lunch. The resort is quite nice. The grounds are beautiful and the facilities are all first class. A reminder to foreign visitors: Bring your passport.
My room was very comfortable.
The bathtub was extremely large. I did not use it.
I did a bit of a double-take when I entered the Men’s room at the resort restaurant.
After lunch and a rest we headed out to see the sunset. Ironically, we parked next to Sunrise Point. This was actually a better view than Sunset Point, as the Sun illuminated the edge of the Ghat and there is a nice park area there. This is looking northwest.
Many people were enjoying the nice weather and view.
There was a playground with all iron climbing equipment over a dirt surface. Much the same way playgrounds were in the United States when I was a child. Now they are padded or plastic climbing equipment over a rubber and padded ground cover. We did fine without all the protection.
The views were very nice from the edge of the park.
Some local vendors selling food and other goods.
Per my discussion at the start of the post, one of the stores says “Lonavla” not “Lonavala.”
I imagine that some of the local vendors live in this modest dwelling.
We walked down to Sunset Point, passing more vendors on the way. None of the sunset pictures taken from Sunset Point are worth sharing, and the picture of the Duke’s Nose had power lines in the way.
There are contrasts. This small house is just a quarter mile from Della Resort. Note the satellite dish on the roof. Progress moves at the pace the consumer wants it to move.
At our return to the resort, we went to the upper part of the resort to watch the sunset. Below us there was a game of cricket under way — a common site in any empty field in India. We need to play more cricket here in the United States.
Lonavla is growing rapidly. As an easy destination from Mumbai and Pune, many people are building weekend houses. Many resorts and time shares are also build or under construction. It is a great place for a quick weekend getaway.
The last three pictures are from the upper resort. The Sun is setting in the west over Mumbai.
This is part one of a two-part series on the weekend in Lonavla. Next month I will publish the story of our trip to Tung Fort.