Lonavla is raucous resort town about 106 km southeast of Mumbai. Its main drag consists almost exclusively of garishly lit shops selling chikki, the rock-hard, brittle sweet made in the area, and you get fun-for-the-whole-family kind of stuff like wax museums, go-carts and India's largest water park. But there are some pleasant side streets, serene residential areas and destination yoga places along with the pastoral surrounding countryside that means you can choose your own path here.
The main reason you’d want to come here is to visit the nearby Karla and Bhaja caves which, after those at Ellora and Ajanta, are the best in Maharashtra.
Hotels, restaurants and the main road to the caves lie north of the train station. Most of the Lonavla township and its markets are located south of the station.
he name Lonavla derives from Len (Prakrit, A resting place carved from stone) and Avali (Prakrit, series). Lonavli in Prakrit is a place which has a series of such Len around it.
Present day Lonavla was a part of the Yadava dynasty. Later, the Mughals realized the strategic importance of the region and kept the region for an extended time. The forts in the region and the "Mavla" warriors played an important role in the history of the Maratha and Peshwa empires. In 1871, the Lonavla and Khandala hill stations were discovered by Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency at the time
Lonavla and the adjacent Khandala are twin hill stations 622 metres (2,041 ft) 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 square kilometres (15 sq mi). Tourism peaks during the monsoon season. 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. Another place of interest is the Tungi fort, one of the forts captured by Malik Ahmad near the village of Karjat and was known for its natural strength. The Andharban trek begins from village Pimpri, passses through dense forests, valleys and waterfalls and ends in Bhira.
Lonavla is on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is well-connected to several towns of Khopoli, Karjat, Talegaon Dabhade, etc.
Lonavla is well-connected by train. Local trains run from Pune at 2 hour intervals. Those originating from Mumbai along the central line have Khopoli as their last station. Buses are available at regular intervals to complete the remaining 15 km of the journey to Lonavla from Khopoli bus station. It takes 2.5 hours by train from Mumbai and 1 to 1.5 hour from Pune. All trains, travelling between Mumbai and Pune, halt at Lonavla. Trains from Mumbai halt at Karjat to attach banker locomotives before the train starts journey up the western ghats to reach Lonavla.
Lonavla does not have an airport, though the Indian Air Force station Troppo is situated on the way to Aamby Valley City. The city of Aamby Valley has its own private airport. The nearest commercial airports are Pune International Airport at 64 km and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 104 km. A seaplane service is also available between Juhu and Pawana Dam, which is 14 km away from Lonavala.