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Lonar crater
Lonar crater
Lonar is located in Maharashtra
Location in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 19°59′N 76°31′E / 19.98°N 76.52°E / 19.98; 76.52Coordinates: 19°59′N 76°31′E / 19.98°N 76.52°E / 19.98; 76.52
Country  India
State Maharashtra
District Buldana
Elevation 563 m (1,847 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 20,082
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Lonar (लोणार) 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 / 19.967°N 76.500°E / 19.967; 76.500 (Lonar Lake).

Lonar is situated around 550 km from Mumbai, around 160 km from Aurangabad and around 140 km southeast of the famous Ajanta Caves, about 4½ hours drive via Buldhana. Though it is in proximity to many tourist spots, it is not visited by many tourists.[1]


Lonar is located at 19°59′06″N 76°31′23″E / 19.98500°N 76.52306°E / 19.98500; 76.52306 (Lonar).[2] It has an average elevation of 563 metres (1847 feet). Lonar Lake is a saltwater lake at Lonar in Buldana district, Maharashtra, India, which was created by a meteor hitting the Earth during the Pleistocene Epoch.[1] The impact crater thereby formed is the only hypervelocity meteoritic impact crater on basalt rock.[2][3] A lake that evolved in the resulting basaltic rock formation, is both saline and alkaline in nature. Geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, naturalists and astronomers have reported several studies on the various aspects of this crater lake ecosystem.[4] Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (449 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres (5,900 ft) in diameter. The circular depression bears a saline water lake in its central portion.[5] The crater's age is usually estimated to be 52,000 ± 6,000 years (Pleistocene),[6] although a study published in 2010 gives an age of 656,000 ± 81,000 years.[7]


As of 2001 India census,[3] Lonar had a population of 20,082. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Lonar has an average literacy rate of 66%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 58%. In Lonar, 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.


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.

Notable features[edit]

Meteorite crater at Lonar shot from the edge of the crater on the side of the MTDC resort.
View of lonar lake from the inner circumference of the crater.
Lonar Crater in the evening

The Lonar crater is the world's only salt water lake in basaltic rock, believed to have been caused by a meteorite hitting Earth around 52,000 years[4] ago. It is surrounded by forests with a large variety of birds, particularly peacocks, owls, red-wattled lapwings and ducks. In the lonar sarovar there are number of medicinal and aromatic plants observed. Ph of water is 11. Kamalja mata mandir is situated in the sarovar which is 3 km away from the Rest house.

Side profile of the Daitya Sudan temple

The Daitya Sudan temple is carved in a style similar to Khajurao temples. It has an idol that is composed of a stone-like ore with a high metal content. There are clear visible evidences of invading Muslim forces trying to convert the historic Hindu temple into a Mosque.

The Lonar crater in Maharashta, India is around 6,000 feet wide and 500 feet deep and contains a saltwater lake. Scientists determined the structure was caused by an asteroid through clues such as the presence of maskelynite, a glass that is only formed by extremely high-velocity impacts. The impact occurred around 50,000 years ago.

Lonar short summary[edit]

Lonar is an extremely beautiful place. The place also has an importance of its own as it has the only lake in India that is created out of hypervelocity meteorite impact. The crater that is formed because of the impact is the third largest crater lake in the world. Geological studies have revealed that the lake is more than 40,000 years old.

The place is important not just for its crater lake, it is important also for its wonderful temples. Today, however, nothing but the ruins of the temple remains. The village around the crater is abound with legend of Lonar. You can also see numerous peafowls that has made the crater their home. You will also find lots of migratory birds.

If you want to travel by air, the nearest airport is Aurangabad. From there you will have to travel 140 km by road. The nearest railhead is at Malkapur. From Mumbai you can also travel to Lonar by road via Aurangabad and Jalna. The total distance on road is 600 km. There are a number of hotels and guest houses in Lonar. You will surely find accommodation there

Panoramic view of Lonar Crater
Forest area around Lonar Crater