The Wilson dam and Arthur lake, Kalsubai Peak, The Amruteshwar temple and the Randha Falls - This region in the Sahyadris is truely a little paradise, a secret well kept and Ratangad true to its name is like a jewel in the majestic crown of Bhandardara. Bhandardara has a special charm. An easy going sleepy rustic charm that makes Bhandardara a refreshing getaway for both the active and not so active weekend traveller.
The Sahyadri ranges in Bhandardara has a surreal aura about it especially during and after monsoons. The entire region around Bhandardara gets covered in an emerald green with countless waterfalls adorning the facades of the hills. The Bhandardara lake and the Randha Falls are the major attraction in Bhandardara. Bhandardara is also the base for treks to forts like Ratangad and Harishchandragad and the trek to the highest peak in Maharashtra - Kalsubai.
Ratangad a 400 year old fort at 4250ft was as per folklore one of the favourite forts of Shivaji Maharaj. The base village of Ratangad is Ratanwadi about an hours drive away from Bhandardara. On the way to Ratanwadi from Bhandardara is the 8th century Shiva temple - Amruteshwar temple. The trek to Ratangad from Ratanwadi would take about 2 to 3 hours.
Bhandardara is approximately 170 Kms from Pune about 150 kms from Mumbai. From Pune one has to take the Nasik Highway uptil Narayangaon and further take the state highway to Bhandardara. From Mumbai also the route to take is the Nasik Highway uptil Asangaon from where SH leads to Bhandardara. Visit the 'How to Reach' section for detailed driving direction and road map to Bhandardara from major cities.
The Bhandardara lake also called the Arthur hill lake was created when the wilson dam was built across the Pravara river. The dam is one of the country's oldest and at a height of 492 ft has an interesting design and structure. When the sluice gates are opened it creates two huge cascades of water creating a spectacular sight. The garden at the wilson dam is in a state of neglect but still worth a visit.
The tranquility of Bhandardara is shattered only by the roar of Randha falls. The Pravavra river plunges 170ft into a gorge creating a breathtaking sight and the third largest waterfall in India. There is a temple on the banks of the river. A lookout point just above the Randha falls provides a great view.