Your Pawna Lake adventure need not end with the rejuvenating camping experience at the Pawna Weekends camp. The area around Lonavala is blessed with nature’s resplendent beauty – lush green valleys, breathtaking landscapes, numerous waterfall and serene water bodies. Here’s a list of five places you must visit after your camping sojourn at the Pawna Lake camp:
Tikona Fort – 4km
This beautiful hill fort is the perfect destination for trekking enthusiasts. It is a relatively easy trail that takes around an hour and a half to reach the top. There are many pit stops along the way where you can catch your breath if needed. Once you make it to the summit, you are rewarded with spectacular aerial views of Pawna Dam with Tung fort in the background. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding valleys, with the nearby forts of Lohagad and Visapur visible in the distance. Feel the strong breeze in your hair and let nature work its magic on you! Built during the Silhara dynasty, Tikona fort historically served as the center of the entire Malwa Pawna regions. The fort encloses a lake, Satvahan caves and the temple of ‘Trimbakeshwar Mahadev’. A paid parking is available at the base of the fort and refreshments can be easily procured at nearby eating joints. Be sure to stock up on snacks and liquids before starting the trek because you won’t find any options along the trail.
Pawna Dam – 4km
After a night of camping under the stars at Pawna Lake, Pawna Dam makes for a wonderful daytime picnic. Built on the Pawna River, Pawna Dam offers visitors a chance to enjoy boating and water sports. There is also a small island where you can camp overnight. With the scenic beauty of nature and majestic views of the Logagarh, Tungi and Tikona forts, Pawna Dam is a picture-perfect place for capturing some memorable photographs. About 15km from the dam, here is a Hadashi temple which is also worth a visit. The best time to visit Pawna Dam is during the monsoon season when the area comes alive with the lush green hues of nature and a rich variety of flora and fauna. A visit to the Pawna Dam will surely add an extra special touch to your Pawna Lake camping trip.
Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum – 26 km
You must have heard of the world-renowned Madame Tussauds museum featuring celebrity statues crafted out of wax. Well, Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum near Pawna Lake Camp is a smaller but still significant replica of that. Started by India’s foremost wax sculptor Sunil Kandalloor, the museum features over one hundred wax figures of both Indian and international celebrities. Opened in 2005, it is India’s first wax museum which showcases the artist’s spectacular creative skills. The wax figures include prominent historical figures, saints, sportspersons, social activists, politicians, actors, and musicians. Sunil’s Wax Museum is a fun spot to click some photographs with your favourite famous people while in the Lonavala area.
Karla Caves – 30 km
The Karla Caves are the largest cave temples (Chaitya) in India and one of the finest examples of the complex ancient rock-cut architecture to be found in the country. Used in ancient times by Buddhist monks, these caves are thought to have been built over two periods – from 2nd century B.C to 2nd-century C.E and during the 5th – 10th century. The oldest of these caves is believed to date back to 160 B.C. The main Chaitya features 37 huge octagonal pillars. These are adorned with magnificent carved figures of men and women as well as animals such as lions and elephants. These intricate carvings perhaps tell tales of the ancient times while reflecting the immense architectural skills of the artisans who could achieve such fine craftsmanship on the rocky terrain. The Karla caves enclose the Buddha viharas, which was where the monks sat for meditation over long periods of time. The caves exhibit Buddhist ideologies through the various inscriptions and stupas. The Karla Caves are on a major ancient trade route, running eastward from the Arabian sea into the Deccan.
Korigad Fort – 30 km
Another easy trekking destination, Korigad fort has a flat top that offers a great view of the Mulshi Lake. The entire wall of the fort is intact and you can walk around its entire perimeter of about 2 kilometers. The fort is home to a temple to patron goddess of the area, Korai devi, along with several smaller temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva. The Korai devi temple has been recently renovated, featuring a 3-foot high Deepmala (tower of lamps). The fort has a massive gate and six cannons. the largest canon is called Laxmi Toph, and is located near the Korai Devi temple.