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Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Base Station: Bhandardara

Nearest City to Bhandardara: Mumbai (172 Kms), Pune (157 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Bhandardara: September to February

Peak Season: September to November

State: Maharashtra | District: Ahmednagar

Bhandardara Weather: Summer: Maximum - 41°C and Minimum- 20°C
Winter: Maximum - 30°C and Minimum-9°C

At a distance of 70 km from Nashik, 104 km from Shirdi, 157 km from Pune and 172 km from Mumbai, Bhandardara is a small hill station and a holiday resort located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The place is known for its natural beauty and its soothing environment. it is one of the less known hill stations in Maharashtra and also one of the beautiful hill stations near Mumbai city. This is also one of the popular Maharashtra tourist places to visit in rainy season.

Bhandardara is situated at an altitude of 750 m on the banks of river Pravara. According to a legend, sage Agastya meditated here for a year. Pleased with his penance, Gods blessed him with a stream of river Ganga, now known as river Pravara. This tiny hill station is a blend of natural beauty, waterfalls, mountains, tranquility, greenery, refreshing air and pristine ambiance. It is an excellent place for trekkers and a popular stopover for tourists travelling to Nashik and Shirdi. It attracts a lot of tourists every year because of its eco-tourism opportunities. Important places to visit in Bhandardara are Arthur Lake, Randha Waterfalls, Umbrella Falls, Bhandardara Dam or Wilson Dam and Amruteshwar Temple.

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. It commands an excellent view all around and is said to be the favourite fort of the Maratha king, Shivaji. The Harishchandragad Fort was built during the 6th century, when the Kalchuri dynasty ruled. The famous Mount Kalsubai (1646 m), the highest peak in Maharashtra, is a favorite trekking place.

Mumbai International Airport is the nearest airport, which is about 163 km from Bhandardara. Igatpuri Railway Station is the nearest railhead, which is 40 km away from Bhandardara. It has regular trains from Mumbai, Shirdi, Howrah, Dharbhanga, Kolkata, Amritsar, Patna, Gorakhpur, Faizabad, Nagpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Firozpur, Puri, Pune, Delhi, Kochi, Ranchi, Goa, Lucknow, Nizamabad, Kazipet, Guwahati, Agra, Bangalore, Chennai and Manmad. Regular buses are available from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Shirdi and Igatpuri to reach Bhandardara.

There are many accommodation options in the form of resorts and budget hotels. All good hotels and resorts are situated around the lake. The MTDC Holiday Resort, Anandvaan Resort and Yash Resort are the popular accommodation options in Bhandardara.

The best time to visit Bhandardara is from September to February when the weather is convenient to explore the outdoors post monsoon. It is very hot and dry during the summer season from March to May.

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Poor
STD Code: 0242451
Languages Spoken: Marathi, Hindi and English
Major Festivals: Details Not Available
Notes/Tips:
None

HOW TO REACH BHANDARDARA


By Air

Nearest Airport: Mumbai - Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (163 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Igatpuri (40 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Bhandardara (0 Kms)

7 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN BHANDARDARA


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 500 m from Bhandardara Bus Stop, Arthur Lake is formed due to the construction of Wilson Dam and is fed by Pravara River. This lake is also known as Lake Arthur Hill or Bhandardara Lake. It is one of the top places to visit in Bhandardara hill station.

The clear and placid lake is bounded by thick forests of the Sahyadri hills. This lake is around 34 km long and the stream features a wonderful waterfall, named Randha Falls that come down from over 45 m height. This lake also holds religious importance, as Agastya Rishi meditated at this place.

Arthur Lake acts as a reservoir for the Bhandardara Dam or Wilson Dam. The construction work of the dam was started in 1910 AD and was completed in 1926 AD by the British. The dam is one of the oldest dams in India at a height of 492 feet and is famous for the nearby Umbrella Falls. When the gates opened, the outflow creates two huge cascades of water creating a spectacular sight. The dam was inaugurated by Lt. Col. .....


Waterfall

At a distance of 500 m from Bhandardara Bus Stop, Umbrella Falls is a beautiful seasonal waterfalls situated at the Bhandardara Dam in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. It is one of the top places to visit in Bhandardara and also one of the best waterfalls in Maharashtra.

When the Wilson dam overflows during monsoon, water gushes out from a small opening in its northern end over a semicircular rock, forming the picturesque Umbrella Falls. The water body is also used for hydro­electric power generation. There is a bridge right below the waterfall, tourists can get a full view of the waterfalls standing on the bridge. The waterfalls can be enjoyed only during the monsoon season, when the dam reaches full capacity.

The falls can be easily reached by walk from Bhandardara Bus Station which is around 500 m.


Waterfall

At a distance of 10 km from Bhandardara Bus Stop, 156 km from Pune & 177 km from Mumbai, Randha Falls is a beautiful waterfall located on the Rajur - Bhandardara road in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.

The waterfall is formed over Pravara River and cascades down from a height of 170 feet into a beautiful gorge. Considered as one of the prominent waterfalls in India, the jaw-dropping Randha Falls is a must visit place during monsoon and also one of the popular places to visit in Bhandardara. It is the chief source of hydro power in the Bhandardara region. There is a temple on the banks of the river and a viewpoint just above the falls provides a great view of the waterfalls. The rocky sides of the gorge are home to colonies of bees and one can see huge hanging hives under the rocky ledges.


Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 12 km from Bhandardara, 165 km from Mumbai & 174 km from Pune, Kalsubai Peak is a mountain peak in Sahyadri Hills in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The peak of Kalsubai perched at an altitude of 5400 feet (1646 m) and it is the highest peak in Maharashtra.

The Kalsubai Peak lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the top things to do in Bhandardara. The peak is a small plateau and offers a commanding view of nearby forts and Bhandardara Dam. It was used for keeping watch on their enemies during the Maratha rule in the region. Kalsubai Temple is Located at the topmost peak of Sahyadri mountain range of Maharashtra.

Mount Kalsubai is a famous trekking destination in Maharashtra. The trekking route attracts large number of visitors, some to conquer the highest peak in Maharashtra, some trek to Kalsubai to visit Mandir and offer prayers to local deity Kalsubai. The temple .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 17 km from Bhandardara, Amruteshwar Temple is an ancient Shiva temple situated on the banks of holy river Pravara at Ratanwadi village in the Igatpuri region of Maharashtra. It is among the popular Bhandardara tourist places and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered to be over 1,200 year old. This beautiful stone carved temple was built by the rulers of Shilahara dynasty in 9th century AD. This is one of 12 Shiva temples built by King Jhanj. Ratangad Fort is also located at a close distance from this Shiva temple.

The Amruteshwar Temple has been constructed in Hemadpanthi architectural style with beautiful rock carvings on the main shrine. It was built with black and red stones. The ceiling and the walls of the temple are decorated with some impressive and lovely murals. There is a mantapa with 12 pillars. All the pillars have beautifully carved statues and flowers.

The temple is .....


Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 6 km from Ratanwadi, 23 km from Bhandardara, 183 km from Pune & 197 km from Mumbai, Ratangad is an ancient hill fort situated at Ratanwadi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. It is one of the best forts in Maharashtra and an ideal place for trekking around Mumbai & Pune.

The Ratangad Fort is one of the most popular places to visit in Bhandardara and the place leaves visitors spellbound with its rich heritage. The fort is located at a height of 4250 feet. Ratangad Fort is 400 year old fort, which was used by Maratha warrior Shivaji. The fort was initially ruled by the Mughals and it was conquered by Shivaji Maharaj.

Ratangad has a natural rock peak with a cavity at the top which is called Nedhe or Eye of the Needle. The fort has four gates known as Ganesh, Hanuman, Konkan and Trimbak. There are two caves on the Ratangad Fort, one of the caves is smaller and can accommodate 8-10 people, while the .....


Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 8 km from Khireshwar, 50 km from Bhandardara, 166 km from Pune & 218 km from Mumbai, Harishchandragad is a historical hill fort situated in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of 1,424 m, the fort once played a major role in guarding and controlling the surrounding region. Harishchandragad is very popular place for trekking in Maharashtra and also one of the famous Bhandardara tourist places.

The fort originally dates back to the 6th century during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. 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 14th century AD. Later the fort was under the control of Mughals and Marathas captured it in 1747 AD. Remnants of Microlithic human inhabitants have been discovered here. The various Puranas like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana have many references about Harishchandragad.

Rohidas, .....

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