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About Bhandardara

Perched beautifully amidst the Sahyadri ranges in the state of Maharashtra, Bhandardara is a wonderful hill station for nature lovers. It is often called the Queen of Sahyadri ranges for its lush green natural landscapes. The name Bhandardara literally translates to valley of treasures and it is not a doubt to say that the natural beauty of this place certainly justifies the name. It is a picturesque retreat for the backpackers in Ahmednagar district and boasts of some scintillating natural attractions for those who are fond of raw beauty of nature.

The village has prominent places like Wilson Dam, Umbrella Falls and Arthur Lake where you can plan a picnic with your loved ones. The village is also a delight for history lovers as there are places like Ratangad and Harishchandragad Fort. Another famous tourist attraction of Bhandardara is Mount Kalsubai which is also hailed as the highest peak in Maharashtra. There are also many local villages where one can visit to relax and enjoy the pleasant weather of this scenic hill station in Maharashtra.  

For the adventure lovers, there are some enthralling activities where you can explore Ajoba and Ghanchakkar peaks to soak in the serenity of nature with the views offered by Sahyadri ranges. 

There are numerous trekking and hiking places in the Sahyadri ranges where you can savour an adrenaline rush. Bhandardara also has various resorts where one can enjoy the panoramic views and just relax with their loved ones. The gorgeous hill station offers a soothing environment with a cool climate throughout the year where you can refresh yourself and see some of the most eye-catching vistas of the Sahyadri ranges. 

Bhandardara is a small village where the tourists are in for a treat as they are surrounded by mountains and enchanted by gurgling waterfalls away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. The place is a wonderful respite when you are looking for a rejuvenating weekend getaway near the city of Mumbai.

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Bhandardara FAQ's

Which are the best places to visit in Bhandardara?

To experience the best of Bhandardara tourism, enlisted are the key places to visit in the city:

1. Umbrella Falls: 
Sprawling from a height of about 500 feet, the Umbrella Falls is a phenomenal beauty amid the majestic lush green Sahyadri Hills in the Bhandardara city. The name of the falls is derived from the way the waterfalls on the rocks in the form of an umbrella.

Location: It is located under the Wilson dam, close to Arthur Lake.

2. Arthur Lake: 
Formed from the waters of the river Pravara, Arthur lake is a perfect destination in Bhandardara city to enjoy the tranquillity and peace of nature. Boat riding, camping and long walks are the key activities of fun at the lake.

Location: The lake is located adjacent to the Wilson dam and acts as its reservoir.

3. Randha Falls: 
It is one of the spectacular falls of the Bhandardara city. The gushing waters of the falls spills and splashes on the rocks beside the Ghorpade Devi Temple. You can spend a quiet and relaxed time, sitting on the rocks beside the falls.

Location: The falls is located near the Bhandardara Dam.

4. Agastya Rishi Ashram: 
A pious temple and Ashram in Bhandardara city, created as a mark of devotion to Rishi Agastya. It is phenomenal in organizing the Mahashivratri Mahayatra. Devotees of the heavenly saint visit in large numbers to offer their prayers and seek blessings.

Location: The Ashram is located in the Akole Taluka along the banks of the river Pravara.

5. Kalsubai Peak: 
Situated at a height of about 5400 feet above sea level, Kalsubai Peak is highest in the Sahyadri Hills. It serves as a paradise for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts with its different mountain trails. A temple atop the peak is dedicated to the local deity Kalsubai.

Location: The peak is present within the premises of the Kalsubai Wildlife sanctuary in Bhandardara city.

6. Wilson Dam: 
Constructed in 1910, it is India’s largest earthen dam. Connected with the Arthur Lake and located on the river Pravara, the dam speaks about the sheer excellence of engineering, design and construction. There is a garden present at the base, beaming with plant life and glittering waters of the small streams.

Location: The dam is present near Aloke Taluka, nestled within the Sahyadri mountain ranges.

7. Ratanwadi Village: 
A pristine hamlet near the Kalsubai Peak, consisting of the Amruteshwar Shiva Temple and the renowned Ratangad Fort. About 30 to 40 small huts can be seen at the village scattered across the hill slopes. It serves as the base or the starting point for the Ratangad trek.

Location: As the name implies, the village is located at Ratanwadi.

8. Ratangad Fort: 
The fort is almost 400 years old and symbolizes the historical significance of the place. There are 4 gates at the fort, named as Konkan, Ganesh, Trimbak and Hanuman. You can observe many water cisterns inside the fort, which were essentially used to store potable water.

Location: The fort is situated at Ratanwadi in Bhandardara city.

9. Amruteshwar Temple: 
Established about 1000 years ago, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple houses a beautiful pond and a hot spring. The walls and columns of the temple, made of black stone, display intrinsic sculptural images of the God.

Location: It is located in Ratanwadi in Bhandardara city.

10. Harishchandragad Fort: 
Located at a height of about 4665 feet above sea level, the fort proclaims the bravery and pride of the Maratha rulers. You can observe the stunning landscape of the adjacent areas from the topmost point of the fort.

Location: The fort is present at Malsej Ghat on a hilltop.

What are the best things to do in Bhandardara?

The best things to do as part of Bhandardara tourism:

1. Fireflies Festival: 
Spend a night in the forest camp, surrounded by the glittering fireflies. It is a perfect picnic spot for nature admirers amid the bright fireflies lighting up the dark trails of the forest.

Location: Bhandardara Lake.
Price: Approximately INR 1440 per adult.
Timing: 2 days and 1 night.

2. Trek to Kalsubai: 
The trekking route to Kalsubai Peak is an exciting and challenging experience for the trekkers and hikers. The trek passes across lush green forests and fields and offers an enigmatic view of several mountain ranges.

Location: Starts from a village called Bari and ends at the peak.
Price: Approximately INR 688 per adult including breakfast and tea.
Timing: 2 days and 1 night.

3. Ratangad Trek: 
The adventurous trek spans across the historic Ratangad Fort and the captivating views of Chor Darwaza, Tryambak Darwaza and large water tanks inside the fort. You can witness the panoramic landscape with the mountain ranges and gorgeous valleys.

Location: Starts from Ratanwadi Village and ends at the fort.
Price: Approximately INR 1400 per adult, including breakfast, lunch and evening snacks.
Timing: 1 day.

4. Sandhan Valley Trek: 
Sandhan is a stunning valley nestled within the majestic Western Ghats mountain ranges. Trekking towards the 2 km long valley is thrilling and exciting.

Location: Starts from Samrad Village and ends at the valley.
Price: Approximate price per adult is INR 1700 which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening tea.
Timing: 2 days and 1 night.

5. Adventurous trek to Randha and Umbrella Falls: 
If you wish to experience the gushing waterfalls sprawling across the rocks, then you must venture into the adventurous trek to the two famous waterfalls of Bhandardara – Randha and Umbrella Falls. The trek also involves sightseeing of the adjacent places – the Wilson Dam, the Amruteshwar Temple and the splendid Bhandardara Lake.

Location: Behind the Wilson dam and near the banks of the river Parvara.
Price: Approximately INR 950 per adult including tea and snacks.
Timing: 1 day.

6. Bhandardara Sightseeing: 
Embark on a 1 day sightseeing across the prominent places of Bhandardara – Kalsubai Peak, Umbrella Falls, Arthur Lake, Amruteshwar Temple, Agastya Rishi Ashram and Wilson Dam. You can also enjoy boating in the scenic Bhandardara lake.

Location: Bhandardara.
Price: Starts from INR 942 onwards for 1 adult.
Timing: 1 day.

7. Ajoba Trek: 
Trekking to the Ajoba Hills is popular among trekker and adventure lovers. You can witness the enchanting Valmiki Ashram along the hills with its pristine water streams.

Location: Ajoba Hills.
Price: Starts from INR 1600 onwards per adult including breakfast, evening snacks and tea.
Timing: 1 day.

What are the famous camping sites in Bhandardara?

The prominent and famous camping sites of Bhandardara tourism:

1. Bhandardara Lake Side Camping: 
Camping at the Arthur Hill lakeside is one of the best ways to spend a relaxing vacation onto the lap of a picturesque location. Comfortable tents, campfires, music, dance and sumptuous food enhance the fun-filled experience of the guests at the campsite.

Location: Bhandardara Lake.
Price: NR 950 per adult including dinner, breakfast, tea, snacks and even a provision for BBQ cooked by the staff though in limited quantities.
Timing: 1 day and 1 night.

2. Bhandardara Dam Camping: 
The campsite at the Bhandardara Dam is one of the favourite vacation spots for nature admirers, surrounded by the magnificent waterfalls and the captivating views of the Western Ghats. You can engage in multiple indoor and outdoor sports activities at the camp location, that includes volleyball, badminton, dart game, cards.

Location: Bhandardara Dam.
Price: Starting from INR 1035 onwards per adult with evening snacks, dinner, breakfast and options for self-cooked BBQ.
Timing: 2 days and 1 night.

3. Sandhan Valley Camping: 
Camping at the Sandhan Valley is a stunning weekend escapade within the beautiful Madan and Alang mountains. Different adventurous activities like rock climbing, trekking and canyoning can be experienced at the campsite.

Location: Sandhan valley.
Price: Starting from INR 4750 onwards per adult including evening tea and snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Timing: 3 days and 2 nights.

4. Bhandardara Fireflies Camping: 
Camping in the dense green forests lighted by the sparkling fireflies is a phenomenal experience at Bhandardara. You can spend a relaxed evening gazing at the stars and enjoying the beauty of the darkness with the campfires, music, food and beverages.

Location: Bhandardara Lake.
Price: INR 1440 per adult with breakfast, tea, evening snacks and dinner.
Timing: 2 days and 1 night.

What is the best time to visit Bhandardara?

The best time to visit Bhandardara is during the winter season starting from October till February. The weather is pleasant and comfortable with the temperature dropping to 10 degrees C. The scenic beauty of the place flourishes with the lush green forest, glittering lake waters, the gushing waterfalls and the clear blue sky.

During the winter, the migratory birds visit the place providing a great opportunity for the bird-watchers to observe some of the rare species of birds. You can also visit Bhandardara during the monsoons between June and September if you are enthusiastic in experiencing the rain drenched landscape and mesmerizing waterfalls.

How far is Bhandardara from Mumbai?

Bhandardara is located at a distance of about 190 km by road from Mumbai. If you are travelling by road, you can hire a cab or drive your vehicle to reach the place from Mumbai. For people travelling by rail, the nearest station is at Igatpuri about 45 km away from Bhandardara. Several express trains are available at Mumbai to reach Igatpuri.

How can I go to Bhandardara by train?

The nearest railway station is at Igatpuri, situated at a distance of about 45 km from Bhandardara and on the Mumbai-Nashik rail route. Express trains ply in sufficient numbers from both Mumbai and Pune to reach Igatpuri. You can board a bus or hire a cab from the station to reach Bhandardara.

How to reach Bhandardara?

Bhandardara is well connected with the different cities of Maharashtra and the prominent cities of India by rail, road and air.

- By Road:
The distance between Mumbai and Bhandardara is 190km and the distance between Pune and Bhandardara is 175 km by road. Buses and cabs are available from both the cities to reach Bhandardara via the national highways.

- By Rail:
The nearest railway station is at Igatpuri, located at a distance of about 45 km from Bhandardara and lies on the Mumbai-Nashik rail route. You can either hire a cab or board a bus from the station to reach the place.

- By Air:
The nearest airports are Mumbai International Airport and Pune International Airport located at a distance of about 177km and 79km respectively from Bhandardara. Buses and cabs are available from both the airports to reach the place.

How many days are required to visit Bhandardara?

You will require a maximum of 3 days and 2 nights to visit all the key places as part of Bhandardara tourism along with several adventurous trekking and camping activities. Sightseeing will essentially consume.
1 day of the itinerary including Kalsubai Peak, Umbrella Falls, Arthur Lake, Amruteshwar Temple, Agastya Rishi Ashram and Wilson Dam.
2 days can be spent trekking and camping at the Kalsubai Peak, Sandhan Valley, Bhandardara Dam or near the Umbrella and Randha Falls.

What is the budget required to visit Bhandardara?

For 3 days and 2 nights, the price starts from as high as INR 4750 onwards per adult whereas if you want to spend only 1 day then the price starts from as low as INR 950 onwards per adult.

The budget required for Bhandardara tourism depends mainly on the duration of the trip, the tour package selected, the type of hotels you prefer to stay in and the kind of vehicles used.

Where is Bhandardara situated?

Bhandardara is situated in the district of Igatpuri in Maharashtra. It is a hill station on the banks of the river Pravara and nestled within the majestic Western Ghats mountain ranges. The place is about 190km away from Mumbai and 17km away from Pune.

Bhandardara Reviews

Komal Matade
Reviewed: 13 Dec 2022
Everything was absolutely perfect at the trek. My only concern is that thrillophilia doesn't give a confirmation mail or call even before 5 hours of the trek. We didn't receive a confirmation untill 4 hrs before leaving for trek. We eventually got annoyed and asked for a refund, that's when i got a ... Read More
Komal Matade
Komal Matade
Komal Matade
Komal Matade
Swarnendu Ghosh
Reviewed: 24 Mar 2021
We were looking for a luxury staycation on the outskirts of Mumbai, and this package seemed to be right up our alley. The smooth booking procedure, coupled with the resort’s amazing rooms and facilities made our weekend as beautiful as promised.
Rukhmani Adiga
Reviewed: 12 Mar 2021
My partner and I stayed at the Anandvan resort for our honeymoon. The Superior rooms, located in a lush natural setting, added perfectly to our romantic vacation. The resort arranged a boating tour for us as well, which definitely complemented the experience!
Nikhil Thorat
Reviewed: 02 Jan 2021
Worth every penny. Property is located on a very beautiful place. Staff is very courteous and polite. Food & barbecue was awesome. Not a single thing we experienced that is disappointing.
Gautami Guha
Reviewed: 16 Feb 2020
Highly recommended to try the stay once. You will love their hospitality and ambience. We have visited Bhandardara Lake which was near to the resort and had a great and fun time there. It was a calm property with positivity in the surroundings. We booked this resort after comparing prices on other w... Read More
Vaishnavi Shah
Reviewed: 15 Feb 2020
The tour was easily organized, The time was the main thing in this tour in which its happened as per-selected time by the team, Everything was on-time and well-arranged all trekkers were very understanding and follow it with due respect.

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