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 other cave is larger and can accommodate 40-50 people. It also has many wells on the top. The base village Ratanwadi has Amruteshwar Temple which is famous for its carvings. The Pravara River originates in Ratangad Fort. According to the local legend, Sage Agastya meditated and performed penance in Ratangad. At that place two drops of Amrut was dropped and water started flowing out from Ratangad continuously resulting in the river Pravara hence the name 'Amrutvahini'.
There are numerous trekking trails near this fort, from where tourists get beautiful view of the valley in the Sahyadri mountain range. The trek to Ratangad from Ratanwadi, base village of Ratangad trek, would take about 3 to 4 hours one way. It is a simple trek and the undulating trail will take visitors through small fields and thick forests. One has to cross Pravara River on the trail. Towards the end of the trek there are two ladders. The base village Ratanwadi can be reached by road or boat from Bhandardara. By boat, it is a 6 km journey and further it is a 4 km walk till Ratanwadi.
The best time to visit Ratangad is post monsoon season of October to December.