Mar: लोणावळा lōṇāvaḷā

‘Cave Row’  Town/Hill Station,  Maharashtra

From Mar: lēṇē, ‘(man-made, decorated) cave’, ‘rock-cut temple’; and Mar: āvali, ‘row’, ‘range’.

This refers to the sequence of ancient caves nearby (mostly Buddhist) with carvings, stupas, temples and shrines including the Karla, Bhaja, Khondane and Bedsa Caves.

A village close to the Ajanta Caves is a name twin.

Lonavla and the nearby Khandala hill station stand 622m above the Deccan Plateau in an area of  area of nearly 40 sq. km.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Maharashtra place names.

 

Chaitya Hall, Bhaja Caves (Lonavala), photograph by Anandajoti Bhikkhu          Photo Dharma