It’s scenic, amusing, and mysterious. Both science and religion have put claims on this natural wonder, which, strangely enough, is saline and alkaline at the same time. So if you’re anywhere in or around Maharashtra, add Lonar Lake to your travel bucket list.
Located in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra, Lonar Lake is a meteoric crater lake. Science claims that it was formed when a meteor weighing 2 million tons – travelling at a speed of 90,000kmph – hit a basalt field. This was almost 52,000 years ago, and the result was a beautiful water body right in the heart of Maharashtra.
But if you ask a Buldhana local, they’ll tell you that the lake was formed when Lord Vishnu was battling a demon called Lonar, and the site where the lake now stands was the demon’s den!
Lonar Lake for Nature Lovers
Lonar Lake is stunning as it is. But there’s a lot more to see when you visit this place.
Nature lovers will be glad to know that several species of local and migratory birds can be spotted around the lake. This includes beautiful birds such as the shelduck, larks, black-winged stilts, red-wattled lapwings, blue jays, bayaweavers, hoopoes, barn owls, parakeets and many more.
Temples near the Lake
There are beautiful temples surrounding the area, including the Ram Gaya temple, the Kamalja Devi temple, and the partially-submerged Shankar Ganesha temple, which is a must-see.
There’s also the Daitya Sudan (Vishnu) temple that dates back to 6th century AD.
Trekking at the Lake
So this can probably complete your adventure travel — a 6km trek around the perimeter of the lake. Sounds wonderfully refreshing, right? While the trek itself is fairly easy, you must carry water and wear the right shoes (non-slip footwear).
Lonar town is well-connected with its surrounding metro cities, the nearest one being Aurangabad, which is also the closest airport for Lonar. If you’re visiting the Ajanta-Ellora caves, add the lake to your itinerary, as it is very close by.
The best time to visit is in the cooler months, between November and March. However, if you visit right after monsoon, you’ll be able to witness the lush green trees, cloud-covered peaks, and fresh waterfalls.
The MTDC Resort is closest to the lake. The government-run property offers a decent stay and basic dining options.
Finally, don’t miss the route with the rocks and the pebbles. Look out for the shiny, glazed, and crystalline ones. Keep them as souvenirs and call them stardust — because they actually are!
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