The sanskrit word Charaiveity - means "Keep Walking" in English.

Random musings on my wanderings and everything under the sun.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Lonar - Maharsahtra, India

It was more than 10 years back. I was flying Indian Airline (IC - now merged with Air India) from Mumbai to Calcutta. After about half an hour since take off the pilot asked passengers seated on the right had side to look out for the Lonar crater. He said this was formed by a meteorite hit and amongst a handful of such geological sites in the world. I could not see this as  I was on seated on the left hand side window. But this information created a deep interest in me to visit the Lonar crater.

Here is a report on the Lonar experience and some tips.

The Lonar lake and region is made of basaltic rock. The regular natural water reacts with the rocks and forms an alkaline water in the lake. In short this is a soda lake and not a fresh water lake. 

The lakeside is dotted with places of worship. Most have been abandoned and some still in worship. 

Pic: An old temple by the lake (pic copyright: authors)

The whole area is atmospheric. A part of the lake side is also under cultivation as there is sweet water available in that part.

Pic: Exquisite stone carvings at the entrance of a ruined temple by the Lonar lake (copyright: authors)

We hired a local boy as our guide who seemed quite knowledgeable about the place. It is a  2-3 hour hike/trek along the lake bed. WIth some interesting flora and fauna thrown in. We spotted the ibis, flycatchers, malabar hornbill, black collared dove etc. and of course the ever present langurs.

       Pic: Langurs scamper by the trekking path along the lake bed in Lonar (copyright: authors)

Lonar is frequented by geologists from across India. We shared our guide with an interesting set of people - very senior geologists from the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM). They explained to us how the rocks were formed and also offered some clues as to which direction the meteor could have come and hit the ground. 

The crater area falls under the jurisdiction of the Dept of Forests and we saw some interesting birds and also langurs.

No visit to Lonar is complete without visiting the Daityasudan temple which is in the center of Lonar town. This is a beautiful structure built in Hoysala style. This is a Vishnu temple and under protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Extraordinary stone sculpting in minute details.

Pic: The Daityasudan temple- Lonar town (pic copyright: authors)

Reaching there:

The nearest rail head is Malkapur on the Mumbai - Howrah line. However more trains stop at Jalgaon. We hired a car from Malkapur. It is a good 2 hour drive to Lonar. You can also do this as a rushed day trip from Aurangabad.


The only place to stay is the MTDC resort that overlooks the lake. This is your best bet. The restaurant at MTDC is really the only option here. You have to make do with what you get.

Pic: Lonar lake (pic copyright: authors)

Hire a guide. The MTDC can also arrange for one. Some self appointed guides will approach you anyway. It costed us 200-300Rs for a half day guiding of Lonar lake and nearby attractions. A small guide book by a local professor is also available at the MTDC resort.


1. Children throwing stones at the langurs is common. 

2. Come evening and the youth of Lonar run up and down the crater as a fitness test. I was told that they were preparing for police recruitment examinations. It seemed that everyone was keen to join the police in this town.
I have great respect for the fitness regime but would have preferred more peace and quite in a forest area.

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