Khandala is a hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, India, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Lonavala and 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from Karjat. Khandala is located at one (top) end the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat (meaning valley in Marathi) on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. The ghat carries an extensive amount of road and rail traffic. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the main link between the major cities of Mumbai and Pune, passes through Khandala.
Due to the ease of accessibility from nearby cities, Khandala is a common area for hiking. One destination is the nearby peak of Duke's Nose, which offers a panoramic view of Khandala and the Bhor Ghat. The route near Khandala Sunset Point and Khopoli has been there since centuries used to connect the coastal cities like Sopara to Pune. The transport from base of khopoli was by carts both hand pulled and horse drawn, which was tarred during British time somewhere in 1840.
The railway route from Karjat to Pune was started under the guidance of Great Indian Peninsula Railway Chief Engineer 1849–1862: James Berkley (surveyor and route designer). The chief Engineer had a bungalow near the current day st Xaviers Villa in Khandala facing towards Duke's nose hill, The construction of the Khandala tunnel was a herculean job as the tunnel had to be bored through basalt. There were four bouts of cholera in Khandala during the construction of the Tunnels and Khandala Railway station, Which is well documented by the paper published by sir James Berkley.
Places of interest
Tiger's Leap : It is one of the most fascinating places in this area. If someone carefully observes the valley from this point, it will appear as if a tiger is leaping into the valley.
Amrutanjan Point : Amrutanjan point is yet another point located high up in Khandala. It provides excellent view of the places nearby. The point is a well suited location for an enormous sight of the valley as well as the Duke's Nose.
Duke's Nose : Duke's Nose, also known as 'Nagfani' is named after Duke Wellington, who had a pointed nose resembling the cliff.
Karla and Bhaja Cave : Karla and Bhaja Caves are historical rock cut caves, situated at a distance of 16 km from Khandala. Karla Caves are the ancient Buddhist caves. Bhaja Caves are similar to Karla Caves but are on a much smaller scale. This caves are also in Chaitya style.
Bhushi Lake : Bhushi Lake situated in Khandala is the ideal spot for all those who wish to relax in the lap of Mother Nature. Its serene and tranquil surroundings and crystal clear water provides immense opportunities for the tourists to rest in peace.
In popular culture
The town was mentioned in a popular song from the Hindi film Ghulam named "Aati kya Khandala?" ("Will you come to Khandala?"). Ashok Kumar's character in the 1975 classic Chhoti Si Baat is a retired army Colonel that lives in Khandala.