Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lonar

Marthwada-Vidharbha Circuit- 8 days, 1750 Kms
Pune-Ahmednagar-Parbhani- Navagarh-Jintur (480 Kms)

Jintur-Lonar-Mehekar-Karanja (216 Kms)

Karnja-Amravati--Chikhaldara (153 Kms)
Chikhaldara-Partwada-Muktagiri (44Kms)
Chikhaldara-Semadoh-Chikhaldara (50Kms)

Muktagiri-Achalpur-Akot-Shegaon (120 Kms)
Shegaon-Mehekar-SindkhedRaja-Jalna-Aurangabad- (265 Kms)
Aurangabad-Nagar-Pune (236 Kms)


Type: Meteoritic Crater, Historical Place, Birding
Base Village: Lonar
Where: From Aurangabad its around 150 Kms. Nearest town is Sultanpur-14Kms away. Alternatively it’s about 80 kms from Jintur if you are approaching from Parbhani side.
Route: Jintur-Lonar
Time visited: October 2011
Time to see around: Half day atleast, Early morning are better
How to reach: From Jintur side there is a narrow but a good road to Lonar. You approach the lake directly and MTDC resort is right in front of the crater
Lodging-Boarding facilities:  MTDC and 1-2 hotels.
Guide: Available at rate of Rs 400+ at MTDC Resort
My Meter reading from Pune: 580 Kms




The unique crater lake formed by a meteorite impact over 55,000 years ago is second largest in the world formed on Basaltic rock! The Lake water appears completely green and is saline in nature with PH value of 11.

The whole area is dotted with different kinds of herbs and medicinal trees and the forest is thick as you go deep. A natural water springs can be seen.

The place has historic angle as we find 9 temple built around it. Bagicha, Wagh, Mor, Kamalaja, Mahadeva, Mungda, Amarkhana, Deshmukh and Chopda. The other important temples are Gaimukh and Daitya Sudana. The temples are said to be built from 11-15th century.

You can climb down from MTDC resort. Only one temple is easily accessible from here in the jungle. If you want to take full tour around the crater then it can easily take up to 3/4 hours as the temples are scattered all around the rim.
If you are visiting early morning you could be greeted by hundreds of chirping birds. Unfortunately I was walking down in hot afternoon but still I could catch a glimpse of few birds like Ibis, ducks etc.





If you are luck you could find burnt out rock parts of meteorite. It appears like regular but a porous stone and which is very light in weight. It floats on water.










Dhara Mandir situated on the rim of the crater is also a historical monument and visited by several devotees every year. This can be easily accessed by road. A natural water flow is seen here continuously falling in the kund below.





Close by to the Ambar Lake is a nondescript little temple dedicated to Hanuman.

What is interesting is that the idol of the god is an actual piece of the metorite and for long its magnetic properties had fascinated the people who built a temple to house it.

Daityasudan temple built in the 10th century is a Khajurao style temple is truly worth seeing. Click here for details.

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