Movies surely are a medium for entertainment but if you look from the perceptive of a yatri such as myself they are also a way for tour suggestions. For me and my friends the previous written words of wisdom came to existence when we all decide to go to “Khandala”, needless to say, by being inspired by the famous Indian song “Khandala” from the Aamir khan’s movie and frankly even after many years of its release we are thankful for their unintentional travel advice.
If you surf the location on the internet you get to know that Khandala is not just a place in a song, its an awestruck destination amidst the sprawling greens and the famous Sahyadri hills.
Our anxious trip to Khandala somehow justified the fact that we Indians have had a very old relationship with Hill stations and this relationship dates back to time immemorial. When we were traveling to our destination we were given a quick insight about Khandala by our local travel companions who told us that Khandala and Lonavla were like a twin hill stations amongst the myriad places to visit near the Sahyadri hills, which is also known as the Western Ghats. Sahyadri Hills is a mountain range running along the western coast of India from the state of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala. It is also believed to be one of the prominent bio diversities in the world. Proudly located near the city of Mumbai and Pune, Khandala is an unmatched beauty for not just the tourists to visit but also serves as a weekend retreat for the people living in and around the metropolitan city.
Khandala which is close to a place called Karjat, offers a blissful experience to its visitors through its astonishing greenery and picturesque view. Khandala is barely 3 kilometers away from another beautiful hill town of Lonavala. Both Khandala and Lonavala are well located within the region of Pune and are surrounded by the beauties of the Western Ghats. The tourists visiting Khandala must also visit the famous Rajmachi Point. Rajmachi Point is believed to be the command point for Shivaji and is very near to his Lohagad Fort which is also a place to visit.
When one is at a trip to Khandala and Lonavala which are in close proximity from each other, the Lonavala landmarks like Lonavala Lake, Ryewood and Rivali Parks also very much accessible. At Khandala, one should never miss a chance to trek at the renowned landmark; Duke’s Nose, which is named after Duke Wellington and this place resembles his nose. Other places of attraction near Khadala are the Karla caves, the Valvan Dam, the Tiger’s Leap cliff, the Bushy Dam, the Lion’s Point and the Wax museum near the Varsoli station.
Since we were fortunate enough that we reached here when the place was at its utmost best, so here are a few friendly suggestions.
1. Sahyadri hills lie on the windward side and hence the monsoon season sees huge amounts of rainfall in and around Khandala.
2. Important thing to keep in mind is the slippery tracks during trekking and mountain climbing.
3. Monsoon season is however a beautiful time to visit Khandala because of the scenic beauty.
4. Khandala is accessible all throughout the year but is very humid right before and after the monsoon season and thus winters are the best time to visit Khandala, mostly during January when the humidity is at its lowest and the temperature is pleasant.
This casual trip to Khandala embarked some unforgettable memories in our heart and when you are planning your getaway destination just keep your ears open (which worked in our case), because you never know when and which destination calls!!!
A fast train from Thane to Karjat – Rs. 500
Taxis from Karjat to Khandala - Rs. 250
Food in some local restaurant – Rs. 175 per head
Contributed by Manish Kukreti