MESMERIZING VIEW OF BHANDARDARA LAKE
Bhandardara is best place for Mumbaikars, Punekars & Nashikkarsand seasonal travellers. Bhandardara is Holiday gateway near Igatpuri in the western Ghats of India. this village is located in Tehshil Akole Ahmednagar District of the state of Maharashtra, about 185 KM from Mumbai.
I have visited Bhandardara Many Times, But First Time i was in Bhandaradara with my College Group In Monsoon season of 2015 ( Best Season To Visit) . It was epic Trip, like every Friends group there was late comers. Me & my friend Sambhaji was going from Aurangabad and other 3 (Surti, Neha, Priyanka) Friends from Nashik & remaining 1 (Afsha) From Mumbai so Total 6 People was there on this journey. we had hired Vehicle From Nashik. Vehicle picked up me & Sambhaji from Sangamner Village. We had lot fun on that day it was like special combo of Friends+Monsoon+ Awesome View + Greenery+Waterfalls.
That was first time we have been to this place in monsoon. It was covered with lust greenaries and surrounding valleies,after talking with some villagers we came to know about this place and they made us understood why this place is called “Mini Kashmir” in rainy season as there are so many waterfalls with milky white look and temperature downs at night. Due to weather condition we could not do camping which was killing all of us from inside.We reached here in the afternoon,so we visited Amruteshwar temple and Umbrella fall & Bhandardara Dam as we were running out of time and went to Nashik city at night for stay as next day we had to move to Trimbakeshwar temple.
I have visited this place in winter season also for Night Camping at Bhandaradara lake. Best things about Bhandardara Winter Camp is Dark Chilly Night, Sky full of Stars if your lucky then you will get to see shooting Stars also and Campfire and last but not least Shivering Morning &Tent covered with Dewdrops.
Night Beauty ( Moon & Star )
HOW TO REACH:-
Bhandardara is easily accessible by road from Mumbai,Pune ,Nashik and other cities or states.
From Mumbai distance is 180km, from Pune 170km and from Nashik 70km.
To reach Bhandardara from Mumbai route is Mumbai-Igatpuri-Ghoti-Shendi village-Bhandardara.
Nearest railway station is Igatpuri which lies between Mumbai-Nashik route and it is 40km from Bhandardara.From there local transportation buses are available till Bhandardara.
From cities like Pune,Nashik,or other can come to Igatpuri and reach further to Bhandardara.
(Buses frequency is less from Igatpuri to Bhandardara and its on timing basis).
One can take MSRTC bus till Igatpuri from Mumbai or any other city and can take next bus till Bhandardara.
The closest airport to reach Bhandardara is Mumbai and Shirdi. From there one can take train or bus or can hire private vehicle to reach Bhandardara.
WHERE TO STAY:-
There are various resorts and MTDC hotels available in economic price at Bhandardara itself,search on Make my trip,Goibibo. In summer and winter season traveller crowds to experience lake side camping adventure with Campfire and barbeque on side. One can pitch own tent if you have and can take matrises on rent for night from local villagers. you will also get tents on rent for camping which may charge you around 800 per tent for two people. Woods are also available on rent for Campfire.
BHANDARDARA is a holiday village situated in western ghats of India near Igatpuri village. This village is located in Akole Ahmdenagar district of Maharashtra.
There is huge lake form by Dam which was built in British raj on River Pravara. Earlier Bhandardara was not so popular as it is hidden between mountains of sahyadri range but now It has become most popular and romantic place for nature lovers and trekkers. Bhandaradara is covered by valley of mountain which describe the lust greenaries and ‘CHHOTA KASHMIR OF MAHARASHTRA IN RAINY SEASON’ for its breathtaking waterfalls.
Bhandardara attraction includes Wilson Dam and Arthur lake. The recent attraction is fire flies camp in Purushwadi area.There are many historic and natural places of interest for traveller. Visitors can climbed up to Ratangad fort and Harishchandragad fort to see most awesome view of sahyadri range. The highest peak of Maharashtra Mount Kalsubai is located at Bari village which is 12 km from Bhandardara and situated at height of 5400 feet. This fort has its own feature due to which it is known as Kalsubai.
WHAT TO SEE:-
The clear and placid lake bounded by dense forest at Bhandardara. Arthur lake is situated at Bhadardara village of Ahmadnagar district. The lake get its water from Pravara River. Surrounding of the lake has its own beauty spreads along with colourful flowers and flavor of camping and boating experience. It is one of the most loved tourist place from that region. For hikers and nature lovers it is known as resting place with thrilling and romantic experience. Those who are camping at lake should never miss sunset view.
SUN SET AT ARTHUR LAKE
EXPERIENCE OF BOATING WITH SUN SET VIEW
Boating timing-8am to 7pm
200 per head for 1 hour.
The Wilson Dam built on Pravara River in 1910 is largest earthen dam which speaks of the engineers excellence of those day.
The base of this dam is covered with garden and big trees with lush greenary. In the monsoon when the water level rises the gates of the dam is open to release the water and you can go to edge of garden to enjoy the sprinkles of water. Construction of the dam was started in 1910 and completed in 1926 by British.It is one of oldest dam in India at height of 490feet. The dam was inaugurated by Lt Col Leslie Orme Wilson who was governor of Bombay hence named Wilson Dam.
RANDHA FALL (SEASIONAL):-
At a distance of 10km from Bhandardara Randha fall is beautiful waterfall situated at Rajur village from Bhandardara. The height of this waterfall is around 170 feet.
Waterfall is formed over Pravara River and cascade down into beautiful gorge. One of the well known waterfall in India. Thus Jaw droping waterfall is must visit place in monsoon.The rocky side of gorge are home to the colonies of bees and one can see huge hanging hives from the edge of rock.
UMBRELLA FALL (SEASIONAL):-
UMBRELLA FALL IN HEAVY RAIN
Umbrella Falls the milky waterfall is situated at the old Wilson Dam in Bhandardara. The ideal time to visit the waterfalls is during the monsoon season,when water level in the Pravara River is the highest. It is beautiful tourist spot,which is located below Wison Dam. Randha Fall is also nearby from this location.
This waterfall is used as hydropower for Bhandardara. In heavy monsoon the beauty of this waterfall is mesmerizing.
At a distance of 17km from Bhandardara Temple is situated of Lord Shiva named Amruteshwar temple. It is situated on Pravara River of Ratanwadi village. It is one of the popular tourist place from Bhandardara and maintain by archaeological survey of India.
This temple is of 1200 years old and dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple has got amazing structure and art on it. The stone which is been used in construction of this temple has got beautiful murals on it. Ratangad fort is also situated near this temple. it is said that temple was built in one night only by Pandavas. Even in summer you will feel cool inside the temple.
AGASTI RISHI ASHRAM:-
Agasti Rishi Ashram is situated on the Pravara River in Bhandardara, This is same Ashram which finds reference in Ramayan,where Lord Rama met Agastya Rishi. During this visit Lord Rama,Agastya Rishi gave arrow to him that helped him kill Ravana. There is also cave near this ashram that was used by Lord Rama,his wife and his brother during stay at Panchwati.
VIEW OF FORT FROM BASE VILLAGE
This fort is one of the famous tourist attractions of India. It is situated at Ratanwadi village which is 15km from Bhandardara. The elevation of this fort is 4200 feet which gives breathtaking experience for trekkers and nature lovers.
It is easily accessible from Amruteshwar temple. There are four gates to this fort which has their own wells. Top of this fort gives spectacular view of Sahyadri range which is not comparable to any other fort,there fore known as Jewel of Forts.
IRON LADDER TO CLIMB AT ONE LEVEL
HIGHEST PEAK OF MAHARASHTRA
MOUNT KALSUBAI TEMPLE ON PEAK
Kalsubai is known for highest peak of Maharashtra which is situated on 5400 feet.
It is known as Everest of Maharashtra as it lies on highest peak. Surrounding of this fort is covered with Alang,Malang ,Kulang , Harishchandra fort. Treking to Kalsubai peak is always an dream with memorable adventure and gives you thrilling experience.There is one temple on top of peak therefor name has given Kalsubai. It is said that in Navratris 9 days there is festival held on peak where trekkers from Maharashtra rush there to visit.
Asias second largest valley spreads on 2 km is known Sandhan valley. It is situated in Samrad village which is 23km from Bhandardara. To reach the entrance of valley you have to walk 15 min from Samrad village. The path to complete this valley is from 4-5 feet heights of rocky patch.You have to cross two water bodies in valley. At few point the width between the valley is not more than 6 feet, therefore Sunrays doesn’t reach at this point,hence known as Valley of Shadows.
This has its own beauty in it and can not experience hiking like this anywhere.
VALLEY OF SHADOW
WATER BODIES TO CROSS THROUGH VALLEY
EXIT AND RAPPELLING POINT OF VALLEY
It takes almost 5-6 hours to cross the valley and return to the entrance point of base village. To complete the valley one needs complete gears of rappelling because after finishing 80% of route you need to descend through 20 feet rock where rappelling is must. With proper gears you can descend this complete valley and reach to another village.
-To explore all places of Bhandardara one needs minimum three days.
-In monsoon waterfalls has its own beauty henceforth It is really safe and joyful to kids and families.In monsoon camping is strictly not allowed,so the stay can be done in hotels or resorts only.
-In winter temperature falls down so carry your winter stuff.
-Crossing Sandhan Valley is not allowed in monsoon,due to its water flow and level.
-Try to plan your trip by own vehicle which will help you to explore all places in minimum budget.