India Standard Time:
Call Our Travel Experts
Call Our Travel Experts

Asia & Rest of the world

Close

Khandala Travel Guide


Khandala At a Glance
  • Average Climate:24.3⁰ C
  • Best Time to Visit:July to September
  • Major Airports:Pune International Airport
  • STD Code:02169

Introduction

Tucked amidst the Western Ghats at an altitude of 550 m above sea level, Khandala is located on the top end of the Bhor Ghat on the link road between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plains. Boasts about picturesque landscapes, gushing waterfalls, and lush greenery, Khandala is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. However, the history of Khandala is vague and it is believed that it was once a part of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s empire. After the Marathas, it was passed under the Peshwas and it was taken over by Britishers in 1811.

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is the major link that connects these two metro cities, passing through Khandala. Blessed with the salubrious weather and splendorous vistas, Khandala is an amazing tourist destination among families, friends, and honeymooners.

Here is the detailed Khandala travel guide that can help in planning organized tours.

Why visit Khandala?

Nestled in the foothills of the Sahyadri, Khandala is a perfect weekend getaway for the people of Mumbai and Pune. This amazing hill town is immortalized by the popular Bollywood song ‘Aati kya Khandala?’ from the Ghulam movie.

Gorgeous waterfalls, scenic lakes, breathtaking meadows, and lush green Ghats, offer heavenly feels. If you are looking for a peaceful place away from the hustle-bustle then it is the perfect place to visit with your loved ones.

Lonavala is the sister hill station, which is situated nearby and is one of the must-visit places along with Khandala. Some of the most popular attractions of this enchanting hill town are Duke’s Nose Point, Tiger’s Leap, Karla Bhaja Caves, Bhushi Lake, and Amrutanjan Point. The overflowing cascades and majestic forts are a paradise for nature lovers as well as adventure fanatics. It has a number of viewpoints, which are perfect picnic spots and offers awe-inspiring views of the surroundings.

Khandala is also renowned for the large scale production of an Indian sweet called ‘Chikki’.

How to reach Khandala?

Khandala does not have its own airport or railway stations, however, it is well-connected from the nearby major cities by road network. The route from Mumbai and Pune to Khandala is scenic and the road trip offers amazing experiences.

Take a look at the detailed information about how to reach Khandala:

By Air

There is no direct connectivity to Khandala by flight. The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, which is situated 75 km. Another nearest major airport is Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, which is well connected with international and domestic destinations. This airport is located at 85 km and can be easily accessible via local transports.

By Rail

Lonavala railway station is the nearest railhead from Khandala, which is 5 km. The nearest major railhead is Pune Junction at 72 km, which is connected with the major cities of the country. From these railway stations, cabs and taxis are easily available for Khandala.

By Road

Khandala is well-connected from the nearby major cities by road network. It is located on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is connected by NH 48 from these cities.

Regular buses between Khandala and cities places like Mumbai, Pune, and Panjim (Panaji). Shared taxis and private cabs also operate from nearby cities including Alibaug, Mahabaleshwar, Kolad, Kamshet, and Karjat.

How to get around?

The most convenient way to get around Khandala is by walking or by bicycle. Private cars and cabs are also available along with several local buses that can be used to explore Khandala.

Best time to visit Khandala

Khandala is a year-round destination and experiences comfortable weather throughout the year. Although, monsoon season and summer season is the best time to visit Khandala. From July to September, the region experiences monsoon and transforms into mesmeric beauty. However, during the summer season, the Khandala is a perfect getaway from the scorching heat of Mumbai and Pune. Here is the more about the best time to visit Khandala:

Summer Season (April to June)

Summer starts in April and continues till June in Khandala. The temperature ranges between 20⁰ C and 32⁰ C in this season. This beautiful hill town experiences a mild climate, which offers refuge from the tropical heat of the plains. It is a perfect time to indulge in adventure activities including camping and trekking.

Monsoon Season (July to September)

The rainy season starts in July and lasts till September and temperature ranges from 21⁰ C to 24⁰ C. Khandala receives heavy rainfall, which makes it look mesmerizing. The overflowing waterfalls, brimming lakes, and lush green surroundings transform this hill town into a paradise for honeymooners and families.

Winter Season (October to March)

The winter season sets in from October and continues till March. This hill town is covered in mist and fog in winters. The temperature ranges from 18⁰ C to 30⁰ C and it is an ideal time for adventure activities. Lush hills and vegetation covered with dew enhances the splendid beauty and looks magical in winters.

Places to visit in Khandala

This lush green hill town of Western Ghats is one of the most frequented tourist places in Maharashtra. There are a plethora of places to visit in Khandala where tourists can spend their quality time and enjoy the beauty of this hill town. Some of the best places are:

Duke’s Nose Point: Popular for hiking and its jaw-dropping locales, Duke’s Nose viewpoint offers a panoramic view of Sahyadri. Named after the Duke of Wellington, it is locally known as Naaghphani or Cobra’s hood.

  • Timings: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fees:  Nil

Rajmachi Fort: Snuggled in the lap of Sahyadri, Rajmachi Fort is a paradise for trekkers. Encompassed by lush green meadows, overflowing waterfalls, and pearl-like streams, Rajmachi Fort is a perfect place to experience the untouched beauty of nature.

  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fees:  Nil

Tiger’s Leap: This cliff top with a sheer drop of 650 m offers breathtaking views of the lush green hills and the Western Ghats. Sunrise and sunset views can also be enjoyed from here.

  • Timings: 24-hours
  • Entry Fees:  Nil
  • Note: There is a waterfall near the Tiger’s Leap, which can be seen only in monsoon.

Bhushi Dam: Built on the Indrayani River, Bhushi Dam is a popular tourist attraction in monsoon when the overflowing water enhances the beauty of the dam. There is a waterfall located close to the dam and in monsoon, the water overflows, which adds charm to the natural beauty.

  • Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fees:  Nil

Karla Bhaja Caves: Dated back to the Hinayana phase of Buddhism, Karla and Bhaja Caves were built around the 2nd to 1st Century BC. Karla Cave is the largest Hinayana Buddhist temple in India and is one of the best examples of rock-cut architecture. Bhaja caves are a group of 22 rock-cut Buddhist caves, which houses 14 majestic stupas.

  • Timings: Bhaja Caves: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Karla Caves: 5:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: Indians: INR 15, Foreigners: INR 200

Bedsa Caves: Dates back to 1st Century B.C and were built during the reign of Great Ashoka ruler, Bedse Caves are amongst the oldest caves in the country. The complex comprises the two major caves that are adorned with sculptures of horse, elephant, bull, and deities.

  • Timings: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: INR 5

Things to do in Khandala

This beautiful hill station is situated along the lush green terrains of Western Ghats and there are a plethora of things to do in Khandala that can add more fun to the vacation. Here is the list of best activities to do in Khandala:

Trekking

There are several imposing structures in Khandala and their magnificence can be best explored while trekking. Some of the best places for trekking are -

  • Visapur Fort

Timings: 24-hours
Best time for trek: Monsoon season
Trek route: Bhaje Village route, Patan Village route, Gaimukh Khind route

  • Tamhini Ghats

Timings: 24-hours
Best time for trek: Monsoon season
Trek route: Mulshi Lake
Note: Night trek is preferrable

  • Lohagad Fort

Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Best time for trek: Monsoon season
Trek route: Malavalli route and Lohagad Wadi route

  • Tikona Fort

Timings: 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Best time for trek: Monsoon season
Trek route: Gavhandhe Village

Camping

Tucked amidst Western Ghats, Khandala offers a peaceful environment and natural beauty that can leave anyone mesmerized. Camping in Khandala is a great stress buster and some of the best camping places are:

Tiger Valley

  • Address: Karjat
  • Best time for camping: Monsoon Season

Canyon Valley

  • Address: Kune Village
  • Best time for camping: Monsoon Season

Mulshi Lake

  • Address: Peponi Mulshi
  • Best time for camping: Monsoon Season

Rajmachi Fort

  • Address: Rajmachi Village
  • Best time for camping: Monsoon Season

Pawna Lake

Address: Maval Taluka
Best time for camping: Winter Season

Witness the beauty from the viewpoints:

The panoramic views of Sahyadri that are blessed with splendid valleys, lush greenery, and dense forests can be enjoyed from the viewpoint. Some of the famous points in Khandala are -

  • Kune Falls

Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Preferred Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Entry Fees: Free

  • Sunset Point

Timings: 24-hours
Preferred Time: 20-30 minutes prior to sunset
Entry Fees: Free

  • Lion’s Point

Timings: 24-hours
Preferred Time: 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Entry Fees: Free

  • Shooting Point

Timings: 24-hours
Preferred Time:
8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Entry Fees: Free

  • Amrutanjan Point

Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Preferred Time: 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Entry Fees: Free

Ideal Duration

Khandala is a retreat for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. To enjoy the charm of this magnificent hill town, the ideal duration to visit Khandala is 2-3 days. However, it depends on the type of traveler as the adventure fanatics who wish to trek, camp, and hike in Khandala require more days for the Khandala trip.

Accommodation

Where to stay in Khandala is not something to worry about as there are several budget as well as luxury places to stay in Khandala including guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Some of the popular places of accommodation in Khandala are:

  • Felix Villa
  • Sunrich Villas
  • SaffronStays Orion
  • Duke’s Den Resort
  • Hotel Girija
  • Sunhill Resort

Where to eat in Khandala?

This idyllic hill town offers the best holidaying experience and when it comes to tantalizing the taste buds, it surprises tourists with luxury eateries to casual dining. When it comes to what to eat in Khandala, tourists have myriad options. Here is the list of best places to eat in Khandala:

  • Duchess Restaurant: It serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Chinese, Italian, and European cuisines are best known here.
  • El-Taj Restaurant: Must-try dishes are butter chicken and starters.
  • Mystica Resort: Serves a wide range of dishes and cuisines.
  • Volcano: Popular for party, dance, drinking, and games.

Shopping in Khandala

Khandala is popular for chikki, jams, and snacks, which are the must-buy things.  With a host of things to buy from Khandala, some of the best markets in Khandala are:

  • Cooper’s Fudge and Chikkis: Chocolate fudge and Chikki including Kesar Badam, Pista Kaju, and Kesar Kaju.
  • Maganlal and Sons: Chikki, dry fruits, namkeens, and sweets.
  • Aher Bag: Leather bags, hang bags, and luggage bags
  • Abbas Khan Garments: Branded clothes

Tips for traveling to Khandala

For those wondering what to pack for a Khandala trip and things to remember while in Khandala to have a great trip, consider the following tips:

  • Carry light woolens in monsoon and winters as temperature dips in the evening.
  • Do not forget to pack an umbrella and raincoat in the rainy season.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes while trekking and sightseeing.
  • Go with a registered tour guide while trekking and hiking.
  • Book your accommodation in advance as it is a small hill station and the probability of getting accommodation immediately might be less on weekends.




Other Cities of Maharashtra