Khandala is located on the western slopes of the Sahyadri mountain ranges about 100 kms from the major Indian metropolitan, Mumbai. Its height of 625 meters makes it a cool pleasant hill station and an ideal weekend destination. The small town has immense natural beauty to offer through a brilliant mix of gushing waterfalls, dense deep forests, steep mountain slopes and placid lakes. Khandala attracts a lot of honeymoon couples and there are special honeymoon packages available. It has been often called the velvet country because of the lush green grassy slopes.
Khandala’s history tells that it was a part of the area that was ruled by Chatrapati Shivaji. Later on this region came under the rule of the Peshwas and after that it was given away by the Peshwas to the British rulers after the Peshwa defeat.
[caption id="attachment_946" align="alignright" width="384" caption="Khandala on Western Ghat"][/caption]
How to reach
Khandala is well connected to big cities such as Mumbai and Pune.
The nearest railway station is to Khandala is Lonavala and it is well connected to the major cities of Mumbai and Pune. Lonavala is around 5 kms away from Khandala. It falls on the busy route connecting Mumbai to South India and so is a frequented spot.
Pune is the nearest airport to Khandala, which is 69 kms away.
Places to see
Tourists on a package tour to Lonavala definitely make a point to visit Khandala. There are innumerable hiking trails and trekking routes. There are also adventure sports such as paragliding for the more daring tourists. Splendid lakes such as Tugauli Lake, Bhushi Lake, and Lonavala Lake are found in and around the small hilly town. Karla and Bhaja Caves that are situated about 16 kms away from the town are ancient rock-cut cave temples and dates back to as far as 2nd century B.C. These Buddhist temples belonged to the Hinayana sect and are important and rich examples of Indian art and culture. Duke’s Nose peak that has derived its name form its peculiar shape is also an important tourist attraction.
Famous spots you must not miss
Lonavala, Amrutanjan Point at the Khandala Ghat, lush manicured gardens such as Shivaji Park and Ryewood Park, Bushy dam on the Bushy Lake, Rajmachi Park along with Rajmachi Fort are also attractive tourist destinations. Several tourism agencies offer budget packages as well as luxury packages to suit various needs that cover all these interesting sightseeing spots situated nearby.
Khandala is famous for its local sweet popularly known as chikki. Maganlal and Sons is the most popular outlet where you get some for these mouth-watering sweets. Navaratna Chikki, Rupam Chikki, The National Chikki Mart, and Cooper’s Fudge and Chikkis are some other favorite haunts of sweet-loving tourists.
Places to stay
Some of the finest hotels providing luxurious staying experience in Khandala can be named as La Revival, Fun N Food Hotel, Vallerina Hotel, Kamats Hotel, Velvett Country Resort, and Hotel Dukes Retreat. Girija Hotel and Zara’s Resort are two budget hotels.
Best time to visit
Khandala sees a huge number of tourists from different parts of India all through the year. But the best time to Khandala would be the months between October and May. Monsoon months are better avoided because of the heavy downpour that the city receives.
Khandala being a hill station has pleasant climate throughout the year and receives very heavy rainfall in the monsoons.