Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE

Tripoto
28th Sep 2018
Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack


GENERAL INFORMATION
Location     : Lonar, Buldhana, Maharashtra.
Popularity : Low.

TRANSPORTATION
[From MUMBAI]
Lonar can be reached by both bus and train easily.

BUS: Buses generally go till Aurangabad, from there you need to take another bus going to Lonar (150kms). Although, the frequency of the bus is very less.
(OR)
From Aurangabad go till Jalna (60kms) by hired vehicle/bus. From Jalna buses are available for Lonar (90kms).
(OR)
You may go to Sultanpur (142kms) from Aurangabad by bus. From Sultanpur, frequently buses go to Lonar (13kms). This is a slightly longer route, but at least one doesn’t have to wait at the bus stands.

TRAIN: We travelled by this option during our trip. The nearest railway station is Jalna and from there one has to travel by bus, as mentioned above. The Jalna Bus Stand is 2-3 kms away from the railway station, so you may walk till the stand or hire a rickshaw (50-100Rs).
We travelled by 17057 Devagiri Express that departs from Mumbai (CSMT) at 9:10 pm and reaches Jalna Station at 5:00 am. Thus, it does not waste your day in travel and also one gets a good sleep.

Devagiri Express

Photo of Lonar crater lake, India by GuyWithABackpack

WHERE TO STAY
There are few lodges available near the Lonar bus stand. We stayed in Krishna Lodge, just opposite to the bus stand and paid Rs 800 for a room (3 people). The room was decent and very clean, worth the money.
Also, the Lonar Lake is only 2kms from the bus stand, so reaching the lake is not an issue. But if you want to stay close to the lake then, you may choose to stay at the MTDC.

FOOD
The food options are quite limited in Lonar as there are very few hotels in this small town. There are no non-vegetarian hotels in the town. You have to go out of the town, if you want non-veg food. We had our lunch at Gulmohar Hotel (Veg and Non-Veg), near the lake and it was completely worth it. The food was simple and little spicy. Do not try anything fancy in food and try to go for the local food options.

Local style chicken curry

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Note: Just opposite to Gulmohar Hotel, a trail goes towards the lake and a descend of 10-15 minutes takes you near the lake.

WHAT TO SEE

• Lonar Crater: The Lonar crater is the world's only salt water lake in basaltic rock, believed to have been caused by a meteorite hitting Earth around 52,000 years ago. The crater is 1.8 kms wide (mean diameter) and 150 m deep.

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack


• Lonar Lake: The Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kms and is about 137 m (449 ft) below the crater rim. The lake is both salty as well as alkaline in nature. The water in the lake is 7 times saltier than the sea water. It is a wonderful scene to watch the sun rising or setting below the lake walls.

View of Lonar Lake during sunset

Photo of Lonar Lake, Lonar, India by GuyWithABackpack

•Ancient Temples around the lake: There are many ancient temples surrounding the lake like Vishwanath temple, Wagh Mahadeo temple, Shiva temples, Shree Kamalja Devi temple, Sun temple, Mahadev temple etc. All these temples are in ruins except for the Shree Kamalja Devi temple.

Vishwanath temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Mahadeo temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Wagh Mahadeo temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Shree Kamalja Devi temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Amberkhana/Sun temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

• Daityasudan temple: This beautiful temple is located in the middle of the Lonar town and was built in the honour of Lord Vishnu's victory over the giant demon Lonasura. This temple dated to the Chalukya Dynasty which ruled Central and Southern India between the 6th and 12th centuries.

Beautiful carvings on the temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Daityasudan temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

• Gaumukh temple: This temple is located along the rim of the crater. A perennial stream emerges from here and pilgrims visiting the temple bathe in the stream. It is also called Sita Nahani temple and Dhara.

Gaumukh temple

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

• Limbi Barav/Stepwell: This stepwell is also located in the Lonar town, not very far from the Daityasudan temple. The gate was closed so we couldn’t go inside but by the look of it, we guessed it might be few centuries old. The stepwell was in ruins and not maintained properly by the respective authorities.

Limbi Barav

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

EXPENSES
No. of People.   : 3
Cost per person: Rs 2100
Inclusions          : Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner) + Travel (Train, Bus etc.) + One Night Stay at Lodge.

SUMMARY OF OUR TRIP
We started out journey from Panvel at 8:00 pm and boarded a local train going to Thane, where we had to catch the 10.15 pm Devagiri Express. The train was few minutes late but that’s expected from the Indian Railways. We got our seats, had Chicken Biryani and Panner Bhurji in dinner and later slept as we
had a longer day ahead. The train reached Jalna Station at 5:45 am after getting delayed by 45 minutes. We got down from the
train and then started walking to the Bus Stand which was 3kms away from the Railway Stand. We had some tea at the bus stop and immediately got a bus for Lonar. The roads are fine but the last hour of the bus ride was full of potholes and bad roads. After we reached Lonar, quickly we got a room in a lodge and checked in. By 10:00 am we were ready and left the hotel to eat some light breakfast nearby. Later, we started walking towards the Lonar Lake but decided to have lunch before trekking down to the lake.
We had our lunch and at 12:30 pm we started descending towards the lake. We explored the lake, the beautiful jungle and all the temples surrounding the lake. We were done exploring everything by 4:30 pm and climbed up the crater. Since, we had nothing else to do, we decided to wait for the sunset. Later at 7:30 pm we went back to the hotel, freshen up and had our dinner. After dinner we went to sleep as it was a very tiring day.
The next day we were up by 7:00 am and got ready to go to explore at 8:00 am. We went to see the Daityasudan temple and the Limbi stepwell in the town and were back to the room at 10:30 am. Since, the train for our return journey was at 10:00 pm at Jalna, we decided to go to Sindkhed Raja to visit couple of places. We packed our bags and checked out of the hotel to catch the bus going to Sindkhed Raja at 11:30 pm. We visited the birth place of Rajmata Jijabai and her father Raje Lakhojirao Jadhav Samadhi and Rameshwar Mandir.
By 5:00 pm we reached Jalna and had some tea and snacks at a hotel. But still there were 5 more hours to wait, so we decided to watch a movie in a nearby theatre. At 8:00 pm we were done with the movie and had our dinner in a hotel close to the railway station. The train arrived at the station at 10:30 pm and we got to our seats and just slept thinking about the places visited in the past two days.

Lakhojirao Samadhi (outside)

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Rajmata Jijabai Birthplace

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack
Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Lakhojirao Samadhi (inside)

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack

Statue of Jiajbai and young Shivaji

Photo of Lonar Crater TRAVEL GUIDE by GuyWithABackpack
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