We recently shared with you one of the Hidden Gems of Mumbai- the Gilbert Hill that stands right in the heart of Andheri, a perfect touristic spot to explore which has been a secret amongst the citizens itself while it has had geographical importance of centuries ago. Today we bring to you another Scientific and Geographical miracle that is not in Mumbai but surely only 500 KM away from the city.
Science & Geography Of The Place:-
Lonar Carter Lake was formed around 52,000 years ago as a result of a meteor striking the surface of the Earth, the Lonar Carter lake is one of Maharashtra’s best-kept secrets. For scientific description, the meteor weighted 2 million tons and was traveling at an estimated speed of 90,000 kmph.
The Lonar Carter Lake has had it’s geographical and scientific misconception for quite some while, for a long time it was assumed as a Volcanic origin, due to its location in a basalt field made from Volcanic rock dating back 65 million years. However, when the presence of Maskelynite, a glass that is only formed from high velocity impact, it was then determined as the extraterrestrial origin.
Mythological Belief Around The Region:-
A more popular local story about the lake blissfully ignores science and goes on to state that Lonar Lake formed when Lonasura, mythical demon who used to harass and troubled local people so much so that Lord Vishnu descended to earth to vanquish him, was pushed back into the netherworld with tremendous force by Vishnu!
Reasons To Explore This Place:-
Most tourist come to nearly Aurangabad to visit the Ajanta and Ellora caves, but hardly make it to Lonar. So, here are few reasons why Lonar Crater Lake needs to be on your bucket list:-
1. The Lonar Carter is the best preserved impact crater formed in basalt rock and is only one of it’s kind on Earth. From the number of meteors that drop towards Earth anywhere from 30,000 to 1,50,000 each year- this one managed to create the Earth’s largest and only hyper-velocity impact crater in basaltic rock.
2. Fan of Nature and Bird Watching? Definitely a place to come to as you will get to spot numerous amounts of migratory and local bords. To name few, Shelduck, black-winged stilts, brahminy ducks, red-wattled lapwings, blue jays, bayaweavers, hoopoes, barn owls, golden oriole, larks, tailorbirds, parakeet and peafowl, spot them all!
3. The Lonar Lake is an exceptional “bowl of unparalleled biodiversity”. The nature’s glory doesn’t just stop at the beauty and abundance of birds but also animals that includes gazelle, langur, bats, mangoose, barking deer and chinkara who have their habitat in surrounding jungle spread with teak trees. A belt of large trees, about a mile broad, runs all round the basin in rings of tamarind and babul trees.
4. The temple’s that are in the surrounding region of the lake are exceptionally beautiful and truly deserve a visit. The Ram Gaya temple, the Kamalja Devi temple, and the partially-submerged Shankar Ganesha temple, are all situated near the lake. The most significant temple, however, sits in heart of the Lonar town – the Daitya Sudan temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, exterminator of the demon Lonasura.
5. And finally, if trek is your mantra, Lonar Lake has it for you. The trek involves covering the 6 KM perimeter of the lake. Every section of the lake has different experience to offer. There are multiple starting points to the trek, such as the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Hotel.
Location: Lonar is a small town in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra.
How To Reach:
By Train: More than 20 trains run between Mumbai and Aurangabad via Manmad Junction. A post-monsoon rail journey is the best to witness stunning views of the misty mountains, lush fields and waterfalls.
By Road: The central bus stand in Aurangabad is about 1km from the train station. Buses to Lonar ply via Jalna and take about 5 hours.
Where to Stay:
The MTDC Resort is closest to the lake and is a decent option for stay and food.
Best Time to Visit:
Winter (October to February) is the best time to visit Lonar. The weather is mild, with clear skies, gentle breezes and average daytime temperatures that range between 12-25°C.