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Khandala, Maharashtra

 Khandala Maharashtra
The twin hill resorts of Khandala and Lonavala have a special attraction for the Mumbai crowd seeking a convenient weekend holiday in the hills. A mere 3 hours by road from Mumbai, beautifully landscaped Lonavala and Khandala are famous for their seemingly innumerable varieties of chikki. Khandala is one of the beautiful hill stations situated in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of about 625 meters at the edge of the magnificent Sahyadris, Khandala is quite a tempting location for rock climbing. Khandala is situated at a distance of about 3 km from Lonavala and about 7 km from Karjat. The Duke’s Nose peak and the Karla hills are the two most popular destinations for rock climbing.Khandala and Lonavala hill stations were discovered by Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay Presidency in 1871.

The Shivaji Park
The Shivaji Park refers to the cluster of residential buildings that flank the boundaries of Shivaji Park, the largest park in Mumbai. it is of historical and cultural value because of the political and social gatherings it has witnessed, both in pre- and post-independence Mumbai.

Visapur Fort
Visapur is a fort near lonavala. Visapur and lohgad are twin forts near lonavala. The height of the fort from the sea level is 3,556 ft.Visapur Fort is larger and at a higher elevation than its twin fort- Lohagad.The ruins of a large stone-built house are known as the Peshwa's palace.This place is of historical importance. When Shivaji raided Surat all the wealth was brought to this fort under the supervision of Netaji Palkar. Shivaji used to keep a watch on Konkan and Bhor Ghat from these forts. Generally most treks end with watching sunrise, this one starts with watching sunset.

The Bhaja caves
The Bhaja caves are regarded to be from the times of Hinayana phase of Buddhism, which is of 2nd to 1st century BC. These caves are also mainly Viharas and Chaityas and located just 3 km away from the main road amidst green surroundings.Stone carvings in Bhaja caves are not very deep, style is similar to the one of the moulded terracottas. Sculptures in Bhaja have elaborate headdress, garlands, jewellery. It is possible that initially these sculptures were covered with plaster and painted in bright colors.

Rajmachi Fort
Rajmachi Fort is famous for trekking. The beautiful place is has exotic natural locations as well as it is a historic site. Rajmachi can be reached via the town of Lonavla along the Khandala plateau.In 1657, Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort from the Adilshahi ruler of Bijapur. In 1704, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb captured the fort from the Marathas. However, the Marathas regained its control in 1705. In 1713, Shahu Maharaj handed over Rajmachi fort to Kanhoji Angre. Eventually in 1818 the British acquired the control of Rajmachi.

Valvan Dam
Valvan Dam has a garden at its foot, and is a popular evening spot 2 km from Lonavla.The dam supplies water to the Khopoli power station run by Tata Power at the foothills of the Sahyadris for generating electricity. The Kundali River feeds into the dam's reservoir.

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