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Lonavala & Khandala

Lonavala & Khandala are two charming hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, 5 km apart, that straddle the Mumbai-Pune highway at an altitude of 625 m. The name `Lonavala' is derived from the Sanskrit word `Lanavli', which means a city surrounded by many caves. Caves like the Karla caves, caves near Ekvira temple are famous, where the 'Pandavas' lived. Khandala is smaller and the cooler of the two and also much closer to nature.


Mahabaleshwar is the highest point in the Western Ghats, situated at an altitude of 1372 meters. It is the most visited hill station in Maharashtra. The table land, a mountain top completely flat spread over 2.5 sq. km. area is famous due to its rear nature. Also para-gliding can be enjoyed at Mahabaleshwar. In the heart of the town is a beautiful lake where tourists enjoy the scenic beauty while rowing and sizzling through the cold water. The orchids at Mahabaleshwar offer the freshest strawberries. At most of the farm houses you can actually pluck your choice of strawberries and many other fruits.


Matheran is an undulating hilltop cloaked in shady trees, that sprawls languidly at an altitude of 800 m. The journey involves an adventurous 2 hrs ascent in a toy train. Its 8 sq kms cover a hilltop in the Sahyadris, or Western Ghats and is the closest hill station of Mumbai. It is unique in that no motor transports is allowed within its area. Matheran's cliffs with incredibly steep drops to the plains below create stunning viewing points. These panoramic vistas, by day and night, leaves one feeling light-headed.


If you visit Mahabaleshwar you have to visit Panchgani and vice versa. Panchgani is a well known hill station of Maharashtra. It derives it's name from the five hills around it. At an altitude of 1334 mts, it is just 38 mts below Mahabaleshwar. The distance between the two hill stations measures about eighteen kms while the fall in altitude is just 38 mts.

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