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How to go Lonavala from Pune?

Discussion in 'West India' started by Tanushita, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Tanushita

    Tanushita New Member

    I need to go to Lonavala from Pune for the whole of next week. It will be a daily up and down drive.

    I would like some suggestions on what would be the best route to reach Lonavala from Pune, without getting any major traffic.

    As I have not been to Lonavala, I also would like to know what the road conditions are like and how long it would take me to reach Lonavala from Pune.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Tanushita, welcome to the forum!


    The distance between Pune and Lonavala is about 70 kilometres. Driving this distance can take around 1 hour to 30 minutes, more or less, depending on the traffic you encounter and how many stopovers you take along the way. There are three main routes that once can utilise to reach Lonavala from Pune. One is via the expressway route, another is via the old highway route and the other is via the Mulshi route. All three have their advantages and disadvantages, all three can also be utilised even by smaller cars. Below, we would highlight these routes, their road conditions and just how long it would take you to reach Lonavala from Pune by utilising any of them.

    How to Reach Lonavala from Pune (Routes)

    As mentioned above, you have two options, either go via the expressway route or via the Mulshi route. The conventional route is via the expressway route, which is the Mumbai Pune Expressway, also known as the Yashwantrao Chavan Mumbai Pune Expressway.

    1. Route via Mumbai Pune Expressway - Pune > Kasarwadi > Dehu Road > Mumbai Pune Expressway > Lonavala Exit > Lonavala (68 Kilometres)

    This is the first route that you can utilise to reach Lonavala from Pune. It is about 68 kilometres long, so driving time would be around 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Mumbai Pune Expressway stretches from Mumbai to different localities in Pune, with exit points for Khandala, Kamshet and Lonavala. If you like highway driving, smoother roads and availability of tourist facilities all along the way, then this is the best route for you.

    From Pune, reach Kasarwadi and keep driving until you reach the Dehu Road, into the Mumbai Pune Expressway. Roads here are six lanes with median dividers. Roads are also smooth and well-maintained because this is a tolled route. Two-wheeler vehicles are not allowed too, except in a small ghat section in the expressway. You would be passing through several tunnels that make the drive even more fun. If you travel during the monsoon season, the surrounding greenery and views of the Western Ghats can be very stunning. You would then take the exit to reach Lonavala proper or alternatively, take the bypass road that would take you into the town of Lonavala for a few kilometres, before merging again into the expressway area.

    Though the roads in this route are very smooth, there are some disadvantages still. For instance, during peak hours and weekends, the route can have too much traffic. This is because Lonavala is a favourite weekend getaway from locals of both Mumbai and Pune. Thus, if you must use this route during those times, it's better to leave very early in the morning to avoid the congestion that occurs during peak hours. Aside from that, some stretches in this route can have landslides during monsoon season. This can lead to road blockages and further, to delays and traffic.

    2. Route via Old Highway (NH 4) - Pune > Wakad > Dehu Road > Vadgaon > Kamshet > Pathargaon > Kinara > Varsoli > Lonavala (84 Kilometres)

    This is the second route that you can utilise to reach Lonavala from Pune. It is about 84 kilometres long, so driving time would be around 2 hours, more or less. The Old Highway route is also known as the NH 4 route. It was the route that locals used to utilise before the creation of the Mumbai Pune Expressway. It passes through smaller villages and scenic routes from Pune to Lonavala. Availability of tourist facilities might be more limited in this stretch though.

    From Pune, reach Wakad, into Dehu Road, but instead of taking entry into the Mumbai Pune Expressway, continue driving in the Old Mumbai Pune Highway. Drive until Vadgaon, into Kamshet, Pathargaon, until you reach Lonavala proper. The roads in the highway are mostly four lane ones, smoothly laid and easy to drive in. The route would also be passing through scenic views of the rural countryside and beautiful ghat sections. A short town traffic in the town of Lonavala would be encountered which you can bypass by taking the merging route from the Old Highway into the Mumbai Pune Expressway. Exit for Lonavala thereafter and you would have reached the hill station.

    This route is best taken during peak weekend trips to Lonavala. You can avoid the expressway traffic this way. Though the route is scenic, the roads are not as wide and the presence of two-wheelers plus other slow-moving vehicles can delay your road trip. Make sure that you bring your own snacks and beverages too as tourist facilities might be more limited on this route, with the exception of a few dhabas along the way.

    3. Route via Mulshi - Pune > Lavale > Mulshi > Telbaila > Aamby Valley > Kurvande > Lonavala (120 Kilometres)

    This is the last and third route that one can utilise from Pune to Lonavala. This is the most scenic route but also the longest one that you can use. It is a bit of an off the beaten path route. It can take around 3 to 4 hours to reach Lonavala with this one. However, if you enjoy slow driving, plus natural attractions, this route might be suitable for you.

    From Pune, reach Shiva Nagar, then into Pashan Road. Keep driving until you reach Lavale and into the Mulshi Paud Road. You would then reach Mulshi Lake, and until here, roads are pretty good to drive in. En route, you can visit the Mulshi Waterfalls but road conditions into this attraction are quite patchy and rough. Make sure you drive slowly especially if you have a smaller vehicle. Drive until Telbaila, where you'd be passing by Kundalika Valley and Pimpari Dam. Roads from the dam until Telbaila are pretty bad though but can be managed by driving slowly. From Telbaila to Lonavala, passing by Aamby Valley and Kurvande en route, roads are quite good again. On your way back, you can take the normal expressway or old highway route to reach Pune.

    This route should only be taken by patient drivers. The route is a mixture of good, bad and patch roads. However, there's no doubt that the views here are the most scenic, as you pass by waterfalls, streams, paddy fields and lush forest areas. If you want the lesser taken path to reach Lonavala from Pune, then opt for this one. However, make sure you have enough water, snacks and even an extra litre of petrol with you. There are few tourist facilities along the way with this route. Also make sure that you have your car checked with a mechanic prior to the trip.


    With these three routes, you can now decide how to reach Lonavala from Pune. If your main goal is just to reach Lonavala, then you can go via the expressway or old highway route. If your main goal is to have a fun road trip, then you can take the Mulshi route. You can also combine any of these routes for a more interesting drive from Pune to Lonavala. I hope this helps you!