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Visiting the Majestic Lonar Crater Lake - A Complete Guide

India is home to many natural wonders, one of them being the Lonar Crater located in Maharashtra. As a major tourist attraction, many people wonder - how to go to Lonar. From transportation to accommodation, this comprehensive guide shares my experiences to help you plan your own trip to this magnificent site.


Nestled amongst the lush green forests of Buldhana district, Lonar crater is the world’s third largest natural crater formed by a meteorite hit nearly 50,000 years ago. This saltwater lake is a sight to behold with its clear blue-green waters set against the reddish-brown crater walls. The juxtaposition of a perennial water body amidst dry deciduous forest makes it a unique ecosystem.

how to go to lonar

As a nature lover and avid traveller, visiting Lonar has been on my bucket list for years. I finally made the trip last winter and want to share everything I learned to help fellow visitors.

Getting There

Lonar is 420 km from Mumbai and 140 km from Aurangabad. The nearest railhead is Jalna which is 90 km away. While public transport is limited, here are some convenient ways to reach Lonar:

  • Flight/Train to Aurangabad: The closest major city, well connected by flight and train. From here you can hire a taxi or take a bus.

  • Private taxi: Hire a taxi from any major city like Mumbai or Pune. Allows flexibility but is expensive.

  • Own vehicle: Drive your own car or bike. Gives freedom but tiring for long distances.

  • Bus: There are MSRTC buses every hour from the Aurangabad central bus stand. The cheapest option for budget travelers.

I took an overnight train to Jalna and then hired an auto to cover the last stretch. But driving my own car would have been more comfortable.

Where to Stay

Lonar has limited stay options, mostly simple guest houses and lodges costing ₹500-2000 per night. I stayed at a family-run guest house which was humble yet neat and hospitable. Some popular options are:

  • MTDC Holiday Resort: Decent rooms with a restaurant

  • Lonar Tourist Complex: Budget rooms set around a garden

  • Hotel Sunil: Basic but inexpensive rooms to crash for the night

  • Sai Plaza Hotel: Small lodge with a hometown vibe

Book in advance during holidays when tourist influx peaks. Be prepared for basic amenities only even at higher-end places. Carrying some snacks helps as dining choices are limited.

When to Visit

The serene lake and green forest make Lonar beautiful all year round. But the best time depends on what you want to experience:

  • Monsoons (July-Oct): The forest comes alive making it perfect for nature lovers. However, heavy rains can restrict outdoor activities.

  • Winters (Nov-Feb): Pleasant weather, lush greenery, and migratory birds make it ideal for photography and sightseeing.

  • Summers (Mar-June): Avoid if possible as the heat is exhausting. The water level also reduced substantially.

I visited in December which was wonderful. But the post-monsoon landscape would be a treat for nature photographers.

What to See and Do

While the lake itself leaves one awestruck, there are several archaeological and natural sites to explore:

  • Crater Lake: Walk along the circumference (7 km) to fully admire the vast jade-green waters encircled by towering basalt walls.

  • Daitya Sudan temple: An old ornate temple dedicated to Vishnu’s incarnation Lord Narasimha.

  • Kamalja temple: Scenic Shiva temple overlooking the lake. Built-in Hemadpanti architectural style using no cementing agent.

  • Museum: Showcases artifacts found around the crater giving insights into history. Worth a dekko after temple visits.

  • Tracking: Hike through the thick Sal forests abundant in wildlife. Guides are available for company and safety.

  • Boat Ride: Float leisurely on the lake enjoying the greenery while spotting some aquatic life. Very relaxing!

There’s much to soak in across landscape, history, architecture, wildlife and culture. You need minimal of 2 days to explore without feeling rushed.

Traveling Responsibly

While tourism creates livelihoods, it also leaves an impact on any destination. As responsible travelers, we must be mindful of preserving Lonar’s ecology and local lifestyle. Here are a few ways to make your visit sustainable:

  • Support local businesses for food, stay and transport

  • Do not litter, plastic usage must be limited

  • Stay on designated trails when trekking

  • Say no to activities disturbing wildlife

  • Respect local culture and etiquette

  • Follow rules and regulations at all sites

Small mindful actions go a long way in conserving Lonar’s splendor for generations to come.

An Unforgettable Spectacle

In ancient legends, Lonar was formed by a falling god’s teardrop. As I gazed spellbound at the vibrant green waters contrasting the sterile crater walls, I understood why such mystical stories exist! This geological marvel is truly a traveler’s delight.

I hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Lonar. Let the picturesque landscape and historical sites leave you with memories to cherish forever. Feel free to save questions for the comments. Happy journeying


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