Lonar sanctuary is a small sanctuary spread over only 3.8 sq.km surrounds the famous Lonar crater. The Crater is notified National Geo-heritage Monument. It is located at Lonar town in Buldhana district, Maharashtra. Within the only known Extraterrestrial impact Crater found within the great deccan traps basaltic formation. It is recognized as an impact crater by the hypervelocity impact of either a comet or an asteroid. While Lonar lake is famous for being the largest basaltic impact crater. The Crater was formed 52000 year ago, when a blazing ball of fire crashed into the earth at an estimated speed of 90000 km per hour. Lonar is named after the demon, Lonasura, and is ringed by fascinating temples, including one with erotic sculptures reminiscent of Khajuraho.
TThe Crater was formed fifty-two thousand years ago,when a meteor crashed into the earth at an estimated speed of 90,000 kmph, weighing 2 million tones. The Lonar Crater is the only crater in Basaltic rock formed by a meteorite impact in India ranking the 3rd biggest in the world.
United states Geographic Survey in America and the Geological Society of India, Physical Research Laboratory of India have done a lot of research on this lake.
Lonar ranks amongst the world’s five largest craters. Lonar Lake, which was created by a meteor hitting the Earth during the Pleistocene epoch, is a saltwater lake at Lonar in Buldana district. 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.
Gomukh Temple, is located along the rim of the crater and there are some more temples of archaeological importance are located near the sanctuary.
The floral diversity is conspicuous owing to the variation of crop composition from place to place. Umbar, Arjun, Tendu, Jamun, Vad, Medshing etc.
Being the perennial Saline Lake having blue-green algae the Sanctuary attracts large number of winter migratory birds between November and March. Hyaena, Sloth bear, Neelgai, Wolf, Chital, Barking Deer.
It is having a very extreme climate, Winter are very cold and pleasant whereas summers are very hot and july being the rainiest month.
All mobile range is available.
Wear loose fitting and simple clothes that blend with the sanctuary surroundings.
Forest Rest house is available at Lonar town, facing Lonar crater, having two suits which can also be booked by tourists online using www.magicalmelghat.com. There is one MTDC resort having cottages in Lonar town which can be booked online.
Address:- Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 21 km away from Mehkar on Washim- Aurangabad State highway. Sanctuary is just 21 km away from Mehkar Town.
District:- Buldhana (Taluqua-Lonar)
Nearest City:-Akola, Washim, Mangrulpir
Best time to visit:The best season for visit is from November to March.
Nearest Railway Station- The nearest railhead is Jalna, 90 Km away, Shegaon & Akola Railway station of Central Railway.
Road- There is also a Lonar Darshan bus every day which shows you around the important tourist attractions in Lonar otherwise regional public transport service is also quite nice. Get the ticket for Lonar Darshan bus a day in advance to avoid inconvenience. Buses, Taxis from all major cities in Vidharbha up to Mehkar and frequent Busservice and Taxi service available on Mehkar-Lonar State highway No. 171 .