Lonar – A unique tourist destination


Crater and Lake

Lonar is a small town located about 140 kms from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. About 50000 years ago it was stuck by a meteorite with tremendous force. The impact was such that not only the meteorite was completely vaporized but it also created a huge crater which today measures about 1.8 Km in diameter and about 150 mt in depth. This is only the third such crater in the world and hence this site is extremely important for Geologists and experts who visit from all over the world to study rock formations and  to collect samples to understand what could have happened 50000 years back when the impact took place. Today this crater is filled with highly saline water of alkaline nature. The water is not suitable for any living things either plants or any other type of living creatures. Only a special kind of algae survives these conditions giving the water a blue-green color. Lot of information about this place is available on the internet and hence instead of repeating it here I would like to share experiences of my recent trip which may be of help to others who want to plan a visit to this place.

Last week I joined a group of 50 enthusiasts from Pune on the trip to Lonar. What made this trip special was presence of a senior scientist from ‘Geological Survey of India’, who provided important information about this event and explained various signs in rock formation around the crater which helped us to understand this unique phenomenon.IMG_2487c

We started at around 0630 in the morning in a large bus and reached Lonar at about 0530 pm via Ahemadnagar and Aurangabad. Road from Pune to Ahemadnagar was very good, from Ahemandnagar to Aurangabad was okay and from Aurangabad to Lonar was extremely bad. This last stretch of the trip rattled every bone in the body as well as every bolt in the bus.


Daitya Sudan Temple

We stayed at MTDC resort at Lonar. The resort was fairly okay, of quality one can expect from MTDC. Food was simple but good.

Next day we took a tour around the crater first from top of the rim on bus and then after climbing down, from the lake surface level through the dense forest. In this forest there are a no. of old temples of Lord Ram and Hanuman. IMG_2491cSome on them have intricate carvings and some are just cave like structures. There was however no maintenance and no sign of any regular religious activity. On reaching the lake we tested the water using ‘litmus paper’ which changed it’s color immediately on dipping in water. This water also emits foul smell in summer due to sulfurous content and decomposition of algae. We again climbed up the slope and visited ‘Gomukh’ which is a steady stream of normal water supposed to have medicinal and spiritual value. After a good lunch at MTDC resort we went to visit ‘Daitya-Sudan’ temple, which is an very old Load Vishu temple with intricate carvings. After this last stop we started on our long way back to Pune.

Lonar is not a ‘normal’ tourist site. It is definitely not worth visiting as a lone destination as we did but without doubt is a place to cover with other popular tourist places like Aurangabad. Considering road condition, taking your vehicle will be strenuous both to you and your vehicle.

In-spite of limited entertainment options, one must visit this place which is famous all over the world and gets visits from tourist and scientist from different parts of the world. So much so that even small kids of the town have learned to say some English words like ‘Welcome’, ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Thank you’.

Keep your expectations in tune with the specialty of this place and you will not be disappointed.


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