Lonar Crater, Asia’s largest crater which was created by a meteor hitting the Earth during the Pleistocene epoch, is a saltwater lake at Lonar in Buldana district, Maharashtra, India. A lake that evolved in the resulting basaltic rock formation is both saline and alkaline in nature. Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (449 ft) below the crater rim. It is the second largest impact crater in basaltic rock and is partially filled by a salt water lake.
The Lonar Crater was first discovered in 1823 by British officer, J.E. Alexander. It is also written about in ancient scripts like the Skanda Puran, the Padma Puran. Since that cataclysmic event, Lonar has evolved into an idyllic expanse of sky blue water amidst a sprawling emerald forest that stretches around it as far as the eye can see. Lonar impresses with the richness of its natural heritage. And, like the meteorite that put it on the map, leaves a lasting impression.
There is a mystery associated with the lake flowing inside the crater, nobody can say how it remains full through the year, a stream feeds this crater but up to this date no outlet was found. The other puzzle is that lake has two distinct regions that never mix, an outer neutral and an inner alkaline region. Both support different flora and fauna.
Several Hemadpanthi temples are found in the periphery of the Lake. Daityasudan Temple, at the centre of the Lonar town, which was built in honour of Vishnu's victory over the giant Lonasur, has beautiful carvings similar to what is seen at Khajuraho temples. Area out-side the sanctum is dark and the ceiling reveals beautiful carvings under a torch light and is built in the form of an irregular star. The exterior walls are covered with carved figurnes. The plinth of the temple has unfinished roof that suggests an intended pyramidal form for the tower.