You may like mountains, but what about a lake where the mountain seems to touch the water on the horizon?
Yes, it exists.
Pawna Lake near Lonavala is one of the most popular weekend destinations for couples and families in Mumbai and Pune. There are several camping sites around Pawna lake where you can camp in a tent with good facilities such as a toilet, food, sports and of course security. Camping at the bank of Pawna Lake is a thrilling adventure and totally worth the moments.
Where is Pawna lake?
Pawna lake is located at a distance of 21 Km from Lonavala, Maharashtra. After the construction of the Pawna dam is completed in 1973, the Pawna Lake became very popular among tourists over the years. The lake is surrounded by lonely mountaintops where you can feel the silence of nature. There are more than fifty well-maintained campsites around the lake that made it a very popular weekend destination among adventure lovers.
How to reach Pawna Lake?
Pawna lake is located between Pune and Mumbai. If you are coming from Mumbai, you can travel to Lonavala by train and then take a private cab to reach there. You can also hire a cab from Mumbai and directly visit Pawna Lake, covering a distance of around 115 Km.
If you are travelling from Pune, you can hire a car and reach Pawna Lake at a distance of around 55 Km. There is a nearby railway station called Kamshet from where you can also avail of a cab ride to Pawna Lake. The distance is approximately 22 km from the Kamshet railway station. So, pack your bag with the travel essentials you need to take and ride out for Pawna Lake!
In case you are coming to Pawna lake from outside of Maharashtra, you have options for train, flight and car. Depending on the distance from your location, choose a suitable transport. In my case, I travelled from Kolkata to Mumbai on flight and reach Pawna lake by an OLA cab. In case you are a beginner to travel on air, read the comprehensive guide to travel on domestic flight for the first time.
Attractions of Pawna lake
Near Pawna lake you can smell adventure in the air. Camping is the dream of every outdoor lover. The magnificent lake surrounded by big mountains and fresh greenery looks very beautiful during sunset. You can spend an amazing time with your loved ones there.
Staying in the tent next to the lake, the warmth of a campfire, mouth-watering barbecue, and enjoying the beauty of nature under the sky is every traveler’s wish. The overnight stay in the tent next to the lake gives an outstanding experience for a lifetime. For this reason, Pawna lake camp is one of the best camping places in India.
For entertainment with friends and family, there are different types of outdoor games like cricket, badminton, volleyball, carom, football, archery, paragliding, etc. in most of the camping facilities. Enjoy a campfire with delicious barbecue from 7:30 PM at Pawna lake camping. The dinner is served between 9:30 PM and 11 PM.
In the Pawna lake camping sites, you will get all the camping essentials to stay comfortably and enjoy the place. You do not worry about cooking or chilling your drinks, as all these facilities are available in the camps.
Apart from these activities, you can also trek and hike to the nearby hills which can be arranged by the camping authorities during the daytime. The cost of camping at Pawna lake is ₹1499 per person, including an overnight stay in tents (4 PM to 11 AM), welcome tea and snacks, barbecue, unlimited dinner, bonfire, music, breakfast, gaming and outdoor adventure facilities. Overall, I have found it to be worthy and valuable for money. You can book a camp at Pawna Lake here.
Pawna Lake: Nearby places
There are many beautiful places to visit around Pawna lake that has some great historical values as well as mesmerizing natural beauty. The Lohagad fort, Tikona fort, Bhaja cave, Tung Fort, Karla Caves, Rajmachi Fort, Duke’s Nose etc.
It takes around one hour to reach the Lohadad fort from Pawna lake. It has great historical value as Chatrapati Shivaji used this fort to keep his valuables. The Lohagad hike is an ideal destination for beginner trekkers/ hikers. You will be amazed to see how they would have managed to construct such a great fort at so much height. The top of the fort gives an excellent view of the surrounding mountains.
Karla cave is an ancient Buddhist cave situated on a hilltop near Pawna Lake. The main attraction of this cave is its massive prayer hall. It is an ideal example of great ancient architecture and a magnificent structure with rows of symmetric columns. The beautiful figures and sculptures are carved on the entrance to the cave as well as in the halls.
It is another great creation by the ancient artists between the second century AD and to fifth century AD. There are 100-120 steps that you need to climb to reach the Bhaja cave. The cave has 14 stupas with significant features and sculptures. It is a beautiful quiet place with attractive designs on the caves that look awesome from the top.
The triangular-shaped Tikona Fort is located just beside Pawna lake. If you stay at the Pawna lake camping facility and then on the next day you plan to visit the Tikona fort, it will be perfect for a 2-day trip. To reach the top of the Tikona fort, you need to trek a few kilometres on the hills. The one-day trek is perfect for beginners.
Tikona Fort Trek
When you reach the starting point of the trekking trail, you may notice many families and couples with even kids are on the way. This is one of the favourite adventure outings of nature lovers for a day there.
“Jai Shivaji! You can reach there. We are with you.”
Some parents constantly motivate their kids with these words. The trek, as well as these inspiring words, can really take out the negativity and teach them to self-belief, confidence, and bravery along with enjoying every bit of the moments. If you are planning for Tikona, use a pair of waterproof trekking shoes in the early and post-monsoon times to enjoy the magnificent beauty around.
It generally takes around one to two hours to reach the top and the trail can be identified very easily. You can enjoy the eye-soothing greenery while walking on the path surrounded by forest and hills. There are some temporary tea stalls on the trek route where you can take rest and have tea. If you feel hungry, enjoy local pakoras and omelettes there.
Some part of the path is steep and can be muddy somewhere else. You should be careful as in the monsoon it becomes slippery. After travelling for 30-45 minutes, you will witness the triangular-shaped pinnacles of rock that are covered by green grass and trees. There are some steep stairs at the entrance of Tikona Fort. You must be very careful and grab the side walls/ rope well.
Once you reach the top of the fort, the tiredness goes away with a mesmerizing view and cool breeze around.
On the top, you get an uninterrupted view of several kilometres of area. You can clearly see Pawna Dam and the Lake. You can see the Tung fort, Lohagad fort, and Visapur forts in a clear view. At the top, the cool wind, and the quietness will relax your mind and you will definitely love to spend much more time there.
Best time to visit Pawna Lake
You can visit Pawna lake throughout the year but the best time is during Winter (Nov-Feb) and the early rainy season (June). The trek to Tikona Fort as well as camping at Pawna Lake are easy and recommended in winter and early monsoon but a little bit risky in the rainy season because the trail is very steep sometimes & steps become slippery. But during the start and end of monsoon due to rain, the view from the top is breathtaking and the whole journey can give you a mind-blowing experience.
Tip: You can visit Pawna lake throughout the year. But during starting and end of the monsoon, you can see and enjoy the real natural beauty of this place.
Tips to visit Pawna Lake
- You should carry a raincoat and umbrella with you in monsoon time.
- The shoes should protect you from the slippery path and should be waterproof.
- Carry as much light baggage as possible.
- Bring a Torch, Odomos, and sanitiser if you are planning for camping by Pawna Lake.
- Take sufficient water if you are planning to trek.
- Enjoy the beauty as much as possible but do not litter garbage around. Always use a dustbin and help the amazing place stay clean.