500 Kms From Mumbai, A Mystical Meteor Lake Awaits

500 Kms From Mumbai, A Mystical Meteor Lake Awaits
Vishakra Shah

Every time a weekend rolls around, the people of Mumbai pack up and head to the same old stomping grounds in Lonavla, Panchgani or Alibaug. This year it’s time to get adventurous and start delving into the unexplored secrets Maharashtra has to offer. The first place on your list should definitely be the enchanting Lonar Lake. Located in the Buldhana district, this area is truly one of a kind as it was created by a meteor impact during the Pleistocene epoch and is the only known hyper velocity impact crater in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth - yes, read that again if you must. The waters have the curious property of being both alkaline and saline which has drawn the attention of the international science community and even the likes of NASA.

The lake is named after the demon, Lonasura and temples are scattered around its edge. Although these ruins bear some erotic sculptures and art to rival even Khajuraho, its seems hardly anyone has heard of the place apart from locals and hardcore trekkers. The easiest way to reach Lonar is by train - but if you prefer to stick to the road then from Jalna in Aurangabad it’s a peaceful four hour journey through picturesque paddy fields that will end at a government guest house which is where most people set up camp.

The walk down to the lake is pretty gruelling but it’s definitely worth it though and the lush green forests hold quite an array of treasures. From centuries old abandoned temples, ancient formations of maskelynite (a glass-like mineral) and a staggering variety of birds and animals.

The best time to visit is definitely winter as the summer heat is unforgiving and nobody really wants to trek in the rain. This hidden destination has an irresistible charm and deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting. So next time you’re stuck for a holiday plan, hop on a plane to Aurangabad and hightail it down to the lake that defies science for a 100 percent unique holiday experience.

Image source: Lovell D'souza (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovelldies/10479246903)
Image source: Lovell D'Souza (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovelldies/10478748086)
Image source: Akshay Charegaonkar (https://www.flickr.com/photos/akshay_charegaonkar/5998494742)

Feature Image Credit — Vishakra Shah

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