Bhandardara is a holiday resort village on the western ghat of India. The village is located in the Ahmednagar district of the state of Maharashtra, about 185 kilometers (115 mi) from Mumbai. Bhandardara sits by the Pravara River, and is a blend of natural beauty, waterfalls, mountains, tranquility, greenery, invigorating air and pristine ambiance. The Bhandardara Lake and the Randha falls are major tourist attractions.
Bhandardara is full of attractions - from Wilson Dam to Arthur Lake. As legend has it, Shri Agasti Rishi meditated here for a year, surviving only on water and air, pleased with this display of devotion, God came down to Earth and blessed Shri Agasti Rishi with a stream of the Ganges river, which is now known as the Pravara River.
From Bhandardara, you can climb up to see the Ratangad and Harishchandragad fort. Or, you can follow the trails that lead to Ajoba and Ghanchakkar peaks. Also, if you are up for a challenge, the highest peak in Maharashtra, Mount Kalsubai (1646 m), stands tall for you to conquer. The starting point of this challenging trek is Bari Village, located 12 km away from Bhandardara. Atop, there is a small temple and standing. Standing at the summit, you can have panoramic view of Sahyadris and Bhandardara.
Places of Interest:
Bhandardara is home to Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak (5,400 ft or 1,600 m) in Maharashtra.
Another tourist attraction is the Wilson Dam on the Pravara River, which was built in 1910. The scenic Umbrella Falls also draw visitors, although it can be seen only during the monsoons between July and October. About 10 km away from Shendi Village is the Randhaa Waterfalls. The Ratangad Fort is around 22 km from Shendi/ Bhandardara, and is connected by both roadway, and ferry across the Lake Arthur. On the Kalsubai side, at the far end of a 22 km roadway across luscious forests, and tribal villages, is Konkankada from where the views of the plains are breathtaking. Harishchandragad is another nearby mountain hiking spot with ancient temples on top.
Bhandardara provides plenty of opportunity for small treks and hikes for adventure lovers. The most interesting and exciting trek is the small trek to Ratangad fort; to reach Ratangad fort one should take the boat over the small lake near the village Ratanwadi.
Ratanwadi is known for its scenic boat rides. Ratangad is an interesting fortress, situated at the edge of ghats with numerous water cisterns and caves. It also commands an excellent view all around and is said to be the favourite fort of the Maratha king Chatrapati Shivaji.
A popular resort is Anandvaan Resort, located 2800 feet above sea level. The resort boasts both hill and lake views, where visitors reside in private cabins ranging in size and location.
Built in 1910 across River Pravara, Wilson Dam is situated at a height of 150 m above sea level. It’s one of the oldest dams in the country. The opening of sluice gates creates two 60 to 80 feet cascades of water that plummet to the rocks below. It’s a spectacular view. Tourists can amble in the circular garden located at the base of the dam.
The clear and placid lake is bounded by thick canopied forests of the Sahyadri hills. The Lake gets its water from the Pravara River. The Lake and its surroundings offer an enchanting spectacle.
Randha Falls is a good waterfall to visit. The roaring River Pravara descends down from a height of 170 ft into a beautiful gorge. However the waterfalls are magnificent only during monsoons and are not so great in other seasons.
Located 22 km from Bhandardara, Ghatghar is a popular viewpoint in the area. It offers a panoramic view of the Sahyadri ranges.
From Bhandardara Tourist can see the highest peak of the sahyadri range, mount kalsubai. Kalsubai with its height and view is popular for trekking and so are the hills near kalsubai. The trek is physically demanding, as Bhandardara is located on a hill and to reach this place one has to do lots of trekking.
Ratnagad fort was captured by chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj. The fort lies near the Maharashtra tourism resort and has ample of grounds to interest trekkers. The fort commands a good view of the surrounding areas.
This is popular place for angling. Tourists can spot a number of large fish over here. Tourists can go angling, but boats are not allowed.
Bhandardara is easily accessible by road also from Mumbai which is around 185 km far and Pune
which is around 191 km far. Please be careful with the narrow roads while driving on the ghats towards bhandardara.
The nearest airport is in Mumbai, while Igatpuri
Railway Station, 45+ km away, has the nearest railhead. One can board a state transport bus from Igatpuri to reach Bhandardara. Regular buses are available from both the cities to reach Bhandardara, or you can also hire a taxi to reach the destination.