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Top 15 Tourist Destinations You Must Visit At Bhandardara

People Enjoying Together in Bhandardara Destination with Hikerwolf

Located in the heart of Maharashtra and sitting on the banks of the river Pravara; “Bhandardara” is a mystic holiday destination. Situated 115 km from Mumbai, It is in the birth land of Anna Hazare – i.e. Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Bhandardara is a nature’s blessing as it is nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra. The lush greenery, the humble waterfalls, surrounded by high mountains makes for the perfect holiday spot. Moreover, It is Home to “Mount Kalsubai”, the highest peak of Sahyadri in Maharashtra. Bhandardara allows its visitors to savor its versatile beauty of flora and fauna and offers a variety of sightseeing. It is one of the most promising weekend getaways in Maharashtra. But before we get to the list of top 10 tourist destinations that you must visit at Bhandardara, let’s see how to reach Bhandardara.

How to Reach Bhandardara:

It is located in the Ahmednagar district of the state of Maharashtra near Igatpuri. 185 kilometers away from Mumbai, 171 kilometers from Pune and 72 kilometers from Nashik. The closest airport to reach Bhandardara is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport Mumbai. As Igatpuri is the nearest railway station, only 35 kilometers away from where visitors can board state buses or taxis to reach the destination. Since, the distance is not that much, travellers can choose to drive to this place from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik or other nearby places.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit is during monsoon season or post monsoon and winters are the best too. Mostly, October to February is when the beauty of Bhandardara can be fully experienced by you, with the perfect weather comes the perfect trip. Embark your journey during this time for the best weekend trip to Bhandardara.

Places to visit in Bhandardara:

1) Ratangad Fort, Bhandardara

Bhandardara Ratangad Fort

Ratangad Fort is a 400-year-old historical building, where the Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj used to rest. Shivaji Maharaj had captured this fort, and he uses to spend leisure time here. Situated in the Sahyadri range, near the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Resort. Ratangad Fort is known for its beautiful surroundings and different types of trekking tracks. There are numerous trekking trails near this fort, from where tourists get the beautiful view of the valley in the Sahyadri Mountain Range. The top of the fort features two caves that were and still are suitable places for living.  

How to Reach:

23km from Bhandardara bus stop, this fort is a part of the heritage of Ratanwadi which is 6km away by boat, 4km walk to the village and then trek towards the Ratangad Fort will be feasible for the tourists to visit this beauty.

Best Time to Visit:

October to December

Highlights:

  • You can visit the most prominent places near this area which goes back to the Hemadpant ages and find out the unknown history of these pristine regions.
  • There are other places to visit such as Bhandardara hillside gateway where you get to see the panoramic view of lush green meadows and beautiful landscapes.
  • Perfect place for photography enthusiasts who can capture the beauty of Eye of the Needle.

2) Randha Falls, BhandardaraRandha Falls, Tourist Destinations You Must Visit At Bhandardara

Randha Falls is situated in the Igatpuri region, near Lake Arthur Hill. It is located at a distance of 11 km from the famous Wilson Dam. Randha Waterfalls generally falls from a height of 45 m. It is the third-largest waterfall in the country. It gets water from the Pravara River. While River Pravara descends from over 170 ft to fall into the Randha Falls. It is approximately 185 km away from Mumbai. Monsoon season is the best time to visit this Randha Falls.  

How to Reach:

At a distance of 10km from Bhandardara bus stop, Randha falls is located on the Rajur – Bhandardara road in Ahmednagar district, you can reach by bus, taxi or your own vehicle.

Best Time to Visit:

June to March

Highlights:

  • Randha Falls is every photographer’s delight as the white stream of water emerging from the Pravara River which forms a captivating sight for them.
  • As you can easily go for sightseeing, turtle walks in nature, click pictures and make memories.
  • Not only you get to go Kayaking but also there will be Camping which would make the trip more worthwhile.

3) Mount Kalsubai, BhandardaraMount Kalsubai, Tourist Destinations You Must Visit At Bhandardara

Mount Kalsubai is 1,646 ms in height and consequently the highest peak of the Sahyadri mountains. It is situated in the Igatpuri region. During Maratha rule, it was used to keep watch on enemies. Mount Kalsubai is famous for its trekking destinations like Kalsubai Temple, Ratangad Fort, and Harishchandragad Fort. The Temple of Kalsubai has its old well and surprisingly the level of water in the well never falls below 3 ft, so between October and November, the locals organize religious fair this temple. Hence September through February is the best time to trek in this mountain range.  

How to Reach:

To reach the summit there are various trekking routes. The most popular route starts from the village of Baari which is about 10km from bhandardara bus stop, one has to travel to igatpuri by bus or any vehicle on the Mumbai Nashik route to reach the base village of Baari.

Best Time to Visit:

July to March

Highlights:

  • The laborious trek will all be worth it when you reach the top of the hill and visit the pristine Kalsubai Temple.
  • One can also do a night trek and enjoy the astonishing sunrise at Kalsubai.
  • Have some hot pakora with green chutney which will complete the whole moment to cherish it as one of your best memories.

4) Arthur Lake, BhandardaraArthur Lake, Tourist Destinations You Must Visit At Bhandardara

Formed by the water coming from river Pravara Arthur Lake, popularly also known as Lake Arthur Hill. Agastya Rishi meditated at this place for over a year, hence It holds a lot of religious importance. The dense forests cover this lake. It is around 34 km long and also features a waterfall, named Randha Falls which falls from the height of 45 m. The government uses this waterfall for generating hydropower. While tourists can enjoy boating at this lake, boats are the main transportation option for traveling to the nearby Bari and Ratanwadi villages.  

How to Reach:

To reach the summit there are various trekking routes. The most popular route starts from the village of Baari which is about 10km from bhandardara bus stop, one has to travel to igatpuri by bus or any vehicle on the Mumbai Nashik route to reach the base village of Baari.

Best Time to Visit: 

July to March

Highlights:

  • The laborious trek will all be worth it when you reach the top of the hill and visit the pristine Kalsubai Temple.
  • One can also do a night trek and enjoy the astonishing sunrise at Kalsubai.
  • Have some hot pakora with green chutney which will complete the whole moment to cherish it as one of your best memories.

5) Amruteshwar Temple, BhandardaraAmruteshwar Temple , Tourist Destinations You Must Visit At Bhandardara

Located at the start of the Ratanwadi village in the Igatpuri region Amruteshwar Temple is a 1,200-year-old temple. It features Lord Shiva as the main deity. Constructed in Hemadpanthi architectural style, this temple has beautiful rock carvings on its main shrine. Surrounded by the varied mountain ranges Amruteshwar temple is at a close distance from Ratangad Fort. Traveling by road to this temple is very difficult due to rough roads on the hills. Tourists can take boats from Arthur Lake to visit this temple. while the temple is approximately 8 km away from the point where you alight the boat.  

How to Reach:

If travelling by car or taxi one can reach directly to the temple through these modes of transport, if you are travelling by bus from Igatpuri it will reach till Shend. Further, the tourists have to walk to reach the temple.

Best Time to Visit:

September to March

Highlights:

  • The Amruteshwar Temple has been constructed in Hemadpanthi architectural style with beautiful rock carvings on the main shrine. Witness the beauty of this structure which is over thousand years old with impressive murals.
  • Apart from visiting the temple, one can enjoy boat rides in Arthur Lake.
  • There will be a spiritual atmosphere where you get peace and calmness.

6) Wilson Dam, BhandardaraWilson Dam, Bhandardara

Constructed alongside Arthur Lake, Wilson Dam is one of the famous tourist spots in Bhandardara. Built-in 1910, on the river Pravara this dam is, in fact, an ideal picnic spot. Moreover, there is a swimming pool and a circular garden situated at the base of this Dam. Situated around 750 m above the main sea level, this dam is famous for the nearby Umbrella Falls. located at a distance of about 11 km from Randha Falls, it is one of the oldest dams in entire Asia. The closest airport from Wilson Dam is Mumbai International Airport and Igatpuri is the main railway station.  

How to Reach:

As it is 11km from Randha Falls in Bhandardara and 21km from Bhandardara bus stop, one can reach Igatpuri and from there you can travel by road in your own vehicle, bus or taxi which are always available for tourists.

Best Time to Visit:

June to October

Highlights:

  • You get to witness the main water reserve surrounded by beautiful Sahyadri mountain lines.
  • Boating in Bhandardara Dam main water reserve to explore the dams boasting its scenic natural beauty for your eyes.
  • The architectural view of this place will make you mesmerized for sure.

7) Ratanwadi, Bhandardara

Situated on the Kalsubai Mountain, at a base of the famous Ratangad fort, lies the small village called Ratanwadi. This village is the base point for trekkers coming here for trekking. The village also houses an old Amruteshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a remote village which is quite far from the main town. Due to, rough and not so well maintained connecting roads, traveling to this village via road is difficult. Boat rides from Arthur Lake to this village is a better option as compared to traveling by road. Moreover, it takes around 20 minutes to walk from the place where the boat drops to reach Ratanwadi village.  

How to Reach:

As Arthur Lake is around 500m from the Bhandardara bus stop, Boat rides from Arthur Lake to this village are a better option as compared to traveling by road. Moreover, it takes around 20 minutes to walk from the place where the boat drops to reach Ratanwadi village.

Best Time to Visit:

June to March

Highlights:

  • As the other tourist attractions like Ratangad fort, Kalsubai peak and Amruteshwar temple makes this place a base point for all the trekkers.
  • This village will offer you the best view of greenery and shiny nature being maintained by the villagers.
  • Try the local food, homemade food which will be a treat for your taste buds as it would have some unique flavours in Missal with Ratanwadi’s specialty the cuisine will be more spicy and authentic than the usuals.

8) Umbrella Falls, Bhandardara

Located below the old Wilson Dam in Bhandardara Umbrella Falls is a beautiful tourist spot. The ideal time to visit this waterfall is the monsoon season when the water level in the Pravara River is highest. It is situated at a short distance from the Randha Falls. This waterfall is the main source of the generation of hydropower for the Bhandardara region. It is easily accessible from Nashik, Igatpuri, and Mumbai.  

How to Reach:

It is just 500m away from the Bhandardara bus stop and by walking itself you can easily reach this beautiful gushing waterfall resembling the shape of an umbrella. If you want to travel by taxi or car, this heaven is easily spotted and can be reached without any obstacles.

Best Time to Visit:

September to March

Highlights:

  • Boat rides are definitely the most fun rides you could get here and enjoy with your family or friends to make memorable moments.
  • There’s a bridge below the waterfall, tourists can get a whole view of waterfalls standing on the bridge which can be enjoyed during the monsoon season as the dam reaches its full capacity.

9) Ghatghar, BhandardaraGhatghar

Located at a distance of 22 km from Bhandardara, Ghatghar is a small village that provides a beautiful view of the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, situated in the Junnar Taluka. Which is also a part of the Pune District in the state of Maharashtra. This village is located about 75 km from the main city of Pune and around 106 km from Mumbai. It is famous for the Ghatghar Pumped Storage Scheme, managed by the Irrigation Department of Maharashtra Government. This scheme helped in the installation of two reversible pump-turbine or generator motor units inside an underground powerhouse complex.  

How to Reach:

From Bhandardara bus stop, take an upper route controlled by the forest officers who will charge you an entry fee. Drive on the road for 15 minutes, you will reach Arthur Lake, drive further to reach Kokankada (hill view point) and around this area you will find many big lakes made under Ghatghar Hydroelectric projects on Pravara river. Nearby towns like Junnar have road connectivity to Ghatghar which will help you to reach there.

Best Time to Visit:

September to February

Highlights:

  • The amazing part of Ghatghar is you can get to see sparkling fireflies which makes the best place for camping and enjoy the moonlight view with your loved ones.
  • This green paradise will be a treat for your eyes as the alluring lushy meadows, beauty of architectural dams, chill vibes and great weather make for a perfect trip.

10) Agastya Rishi Ashram BhandardaraAgastya Rishi Ashram Bhandardara

Agastya Rishi Ashram is situated on the banks of the Pravara River in Bhandardara. This is the same ashram, which finds a reference in Ramayana, where Lord Rama met Agastya Rishi. During the visit of Lord Rama, Agastya Rishi gave an arrow to Him that helped Him kill demon Ravana. There is also a cave near this ashram. The cave was used by Lord Rama, his wife, and brother during their stay at Panchavati. Travelers can visit local attractions at Bhandardara at any time of a day, be it morning, afternoon, evening, or night. Single sightseeing in Bhandardara can take half a day or one day but for exploring all the above places, travelers need to stay in Bhandardara for 2 days to 3 days. Do visit Bhandardara and let us know your experience of visiting “The Queen of Sahyadri” in your comments below  

How to Reach:

It is 40km away from Bhandardara bus stop, you can travel by bus, car or taxi whichever is convenient as all types of transportation facilities are always available there.

Best Time to Visit:

October to March, also Mahashivratri and Ramnavmi

Highlights:

  • It’s not only for all the adventure seekers who love trekking but also for the people who are spiritual and looking for peace, they can definitely find that here.
  • The chirping birds, cool breeze, soothing positive energy passing through will all be an undeniable soothing experience one can have to cherish for a long time.
  • If you are fond of historical and mythical scriptures, here you can learn and gather knowledge about the hindu mythology and explore the various temples beside Agastya Rishi Ashram.

11) Harishchandragad Fort, Bhandardara

Situated in Malshej Ghat, the historic fort boasts of the swelling pride of the erstwhile Maratha rulers, if you are an adventure enthusiast, the fort now offers excellent trekking trails leading to the Harishchandragad fort located at an altitude of 4665 feet. The fort originally dates back to the 6th century, the citadel was built during this era and various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century AD. Sage Changdev used to meditate here in the 14th century AD. Experience stunning greenery along the route as clouds cross your path while hiking towards the fort. There can be seen several temples throughout the route to the fort, Harishchandreshwar temple is a marvelous example of the fine art of carving sculptures out of stones that prevailed in ancient India and it will definitely make your trail exciting and alluring.

How to Reach:

It is a 50km travel from Bhandardara bus stop and 15km from Malshej Ghat where you can travel by bus, personal car or taxi to reach Harishchandragad fort. A three hours trek to uphill climbing which will be one way.

Best Time to Visit:

September to March

Highlights:

  • Harishchandragad trek is one of the most famous among the trekkers who would want to experience it all over again because of the beauty it holds and the scenery that it offers.
  • There are quite a few shopping areas for shopaholics in and around Harishchandragad and tourists can buy a variety of local handicrafts as well as other items which are very affordable.
  • Popular places for shopping are Govind plaza, Savlaram market, Aadhar shopping mall, Manchar market yard and the Sundarai market.

12) Malshej Ghat, Bhandardara

The lofty rugged hills of the Western Ghats is one of the picturesque places to visit in Maharashtra and among the popular hill stations near Pune. Situated at an altitude about 700m, Malshej Ghat is an ideal retreat from the ruckus city life and a paradise full of natural beauty. It is a must visit destination for people who are looking for a quality time to spend with family, friends or your loved ones. Malshej falls, Harishchandragad fort, Pimpalgaon Joga Dam, Konkan kada, Ajoba hill fort, Sindola fort, etc. are some of the top Malshej Ghat places to visit.

How to Reach:

It is 35km away from Bhandardara bus stop, but from Kalyan, one can hire a taxi or a bus to reach straight till Malshej Ghat, it is well connected to various major cities and towns like Mumbai, Pune, Kalyan, Junnar, Ahmednagar by road via state transport or private tour buses. The best option to reach Malshej Ghat is by hiring a cab or by your own vehicle.

Best time to visit:

July to March

Highlights:

  • For the outdoor enthusiasts and the adventure seekers, there are many hiking trails along with the scenic hilly routes and waterfalls.
  • There are many private resorts to spend a day or two in this beautiful place.
  • During monsoon season tourists are most attracted to this place when the surroundings come alive with lush greenery and captivating waterfalls.
  • The place hosts numerous activities that will enthrall and keep its visitors busy.

13) Sandhan Valley, Bhandardara

As it is Asia’s second largest valley, Sandhan valley is known for large cliffs and caves situated near Samrad village which offers an amazing view of sunrise. Sandhan valley is just 25kms away from Bhandardara which is a home for various waterfalls that are active only in the monsoon season. It is surrounded by kalsubai, harishchandragad fort and provides 360 degree view of mountains in western ghat. This trek is all about rocks, adventures and excitement.

How to Reach:

It is best to take a train to Igatpuri or Kasara from Mumbai, the train journey from Mumbai to Kasara takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes. Samrad is at a distance of around 80km from Kasara railhead. You can hire a jeep to get you from Kasara to Samrad. If you want to go to Sandhan valley while touring Bhandardara, it is 27km away from Bhandardara bus stop where you can travel by bus, taxi or car as every transportation will be available.

Best time to visit:

November to February

Highlights:

  • Sandhan Valley is a great combination of canyon and valley which makes a good trekking spot for tourists.
  • Photographers will get tempted by the amazing night sky with plenty of stars and a beautiful moon to capture nature.
  • For adventurers, the sandhan rappelling will be an enthusiastic push for your active soul.
  • The Valley of Shadows offers us giant swings, rock climbing, etc. which will be the most memorable moments for you as you will enjoy it to the fullest.

14) Naneghat, Bhandardara

Naneghat is a place located about three hours from Mumbai (120km) situated in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra near Junnar in Pune (150km). It is a cryptic mountain from which the waterfalls flow in the reverse direction, well known as “Reverse Falls” this happens because of the strong force of the winds that pushes the gushing waters upwards. As Naneghat is popular among serious trekkers, the first timers can also enroll for a trekking to this region where it beholds the beautiful white cascading waterfall that does not know the law of gravity. Mainly, it is better to visit during monsoon as this beguiling beauty only occurs with such major force at that time.

How to Reach:

Take the state bus from Kalyan bus stand to Junnar. Naneghat is easily reachable by road as the destination is located on the Malshej Ghat road close to Vaishakhare village. Another option is Malshej Ghat 35km away from Bhandardara bus stop one can go by bus, taxi or from your own vehicle to reach Naneghat.

Best Time to Visit:

August to February

Highlights:

  • Witness one of the earth’s most mysterious places which disproves the law of gravity by gushing waterfalls in reverse.
  • Photographers can be creative with this place’s beauty that it flaunts and live in the moment of experiencing the unseen nature.
  • Travellers can drive their vehicles towards the top of the mountain and enjoy some bhajiyas with hot tea at the small dhaba located there.

15) Nahani Fall, Bhandardara

This waterfall is located near Sahyadri Mountain Range in Bhandardara, the white gushing waters looks magnificent only during monsoons which is one of the unexplored places yet, the nature’s serene beauty will encapsulate the panoramic view of Nahani waterfalls for your eyes. Near Bhandardara in Ahmednagar district, you’ll find this gem hiding in between the valleys just waiting for someone to explore this paradise.

How to Reach:

As it’s very near to Bhandardara bus stop, one can go by taxi, car or bus towards the Nahani Falls and all modes of transportation are available for the visitors which will never be a problem for them.

Best Time to Visit:

June to March

Highlights:

  • Soak into the pristine waterfall which is not discovered by many people.
  • Enjoy the angelic view of cascading waters flowing on rocky mountains and the aroma which this place offers will surely be a treat for yourself.

Suggested Reads- Top Places to visit near Pune for a holiday getaway

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