Lonavala Knowledge Guide
Present day Lonavala 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 "Mavala" warriors played an important role in the history of the Maratha Empire and that of the Peshwas. In 1871, the Lonavala and Khandala hill stations were discovered by Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency at the time.
Lonavala and the adjacent Khandala are twin hill stations 622 metres (2,041 ft) meters 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 Lonavala is derived from the words 'leni' which means caves and 'avali' which means series. i.e. 'a series of Caves' which is a reference to the many caves like Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and Bedsa that are close to Lonavala. A trip to Lonavala 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, passes through dense forests, valleys and waterfalls and ends in Bhira.