Introducing Lonar Meteorite Crater
If you like off-beat adventures, travel to Lonar to explore a prehistoric natural wonder. About 50,000 years ago, a meteorite slammed into the earth here, leaving behind a massive crater, 2km across and 170m deep. In scientific jargon, it’s the only hypervelocity natural-impact crater in basaltic rock in the world. In lay terms, it’s as tranquil and relaxing a spot as you could hope to find, with a shallow green lake at its base and wilderness all around. The lake water is supposedly alkaline and excellent for the skin. Scientists think that the meteorite is still embedded about 600m below the southeastern rim of the crater.
The crater’s edge is home to several Hindu temples as well as wildlife, including langurs, peacocks, deer and numerous birds.
MTDC Tourist Complex has a prime location just across the road from the crater, and offers eight rooms of relatively good value, considering the location. There are a couple of buses a day between Lonar and Aurangabad (₹150, 3½ hours). It’s also possible to visit Lonar on a day trip from Aurangabad or Jalgaon if you hire a car and driver, and don’t mind dishing out about ₹2400.