Saturday, 15 January 2011

Lonar



Lonar is a town and a municipal council in Buldhana district of the division of Buldhana of the region of Vidarbha in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a taluka of the district of Buldhana and is located near Mehkar. It is an important place in Buldhana district and is famous for Lonar crater and Lonar Lake, which is located at 19°58′N 76°30′E.

Lonar is situated around 550 km from Mumbai, around 160 km from Aurangabad and around 140 km via Buldhana with about 4½ hours drive southeast of the famous Ajanta Caves.

Situated on the outskirts of Loanar town in Buldhana District, the Lonar Crater was first discovered in 1823 by British officer, J.E. Alexander. It is also written about in ancient scripts like the Skanda Puran, the Padma Puran and the Aaina-i-Akbari. Lonar is distinguished by the fact that it is the world's third largest crater. It has its genesis nearly 50,000 years ago, when a 2 million-ton meteorite impacted the earth to create a depression 1.83 kilometers in diameter and 150 meters deep.

Since that cataclysmic event, Lonar has evolved into an idyllic expanse of sky blue water amidst a sprawling emerald forest that stretches around it as far as the eye can see. Today, it attracts casual tourists as well as members of the scientific community from across the world, including research agencies like the Smithsonian Institution of Washington DC, the US Geological Survey, the Geological Society of India, and Sagar University, Jabalpur, and Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, which have conducted extensive studies about the site.

But, the scientific angle aside, this destination also has much to offer wildlife enthusiasts as it is generously endowed in both flora and fauna. The crater is home to hundreds of peafowl, chinkara and gazelles, which browse amongst the shrubs and bushes ringing the lake. Other residents include egrets, moor hens, herons, coots, white-necked storks, lapwings, grey wagtails, grebes, black droungos, green bee-eaters, tailorbirds, magpies and robins - as well as numerous species of migratory birds that often visit the place.

Lonar impresses with the richness of its natural heritage. And, like the meteorite that put it on the map, leaves a lasting impression

How to Reach :
The nearest train station is Shegaon, Buldana near Khamgaon. Malkapur near Bhusawal railway-junction, on the Mumbai - Bhusawal - Nagpur route of Central Railway of Indian Rail and is around 100 km from Lonar. Buses also run to Lonar from Malkapur and Jalna.

If travelling from Mumbai or Pune, the most convenient route is to first reach Aurangabad via bus (Mumbai and Pune) or train/flight (from Mumbai only) and then take a state transport bus to Lonar. From Pune, air-conditioned and regular buses run every hour from the Shivajinagar bus stand.

Explore these places :
Amboli |  Anjaneri  | Anjanvel | Aronda | Battis Shirala | Baneshwar | Bhuleshwar | Bor Dam | Bordi | Dhutpapeshwar | Dive Agar | Durshet | GMRT Narayangaon | Igatpuri | Junnar Caves | Kanheri | Kolad | Khodala | Kopeshwar | Lonar | Marleshwar | Narnala | Nawegaon Bandh | Palghar | Phansad | Pitalkhora | Ramdara | Revdanda | Redi | Sagareshwar | Toranmal | Tulapur | Ujni |  more to come.