A beautiful, but a lesser known destination near Mumbai, Bhandardara is a place full of exquisite natural sights and a wonderful peaceful ambience, which is the reason tourists those come for a Mumbai tour must include this destination in their itinerary. With towering hills on the background and surrounding lush greenery, Bhandardara exudes a colorful symphony and is also a home to diverse flora and fauna. A variety of tourist attractions awaits travelers with a serene, calming lake, enveloped in the embrace of dam, waterfalls, forts, valley and much more.
How to Reach Bhandardara from Pune
The nearest railway station to access Bhandardara is Igatpuri, which is located at a distance of 45 kilometers. Igatpuri station is located on the Mumbai-Nashik rail route. After reaching Igatpuri, you can catch the State run buses to reach Bhandardara.
Take a right turn after passing the Ghoti toll post on the NH 3 from Mumbai. The road ahead of Ghoti has few turns and curves in the remaining 30 kilometers stretch.
Catch the train from Pune to Igatpuri. The total length of this stretch is 133 kilometers. Post reaching Igatpuri, you can catch cabs, taxis or state run buses in order to reach your destination in Bhandardara.
The road from Pune to Bhandardara stretches 175 kilometers. Take Pune-Nashik road up to Gahrgaon and then take left on the SH# 21 and proceed till Bhandardara. Also at Kotul, SH#21 turns little left and becomes SH#44 which you can take to Bhandardara.
Attractions in Bhandardara
Conquered by Maharaj Chhatrapati Shivaji, Ratangad Fort is one of the major attractions in Bhandardara. The fort, apart from its beautiful architecture, is also popular amidst trek lovers. The panoramic views from the fort are simply breathtaking. At the top of the fort, there are two caves and there is a natural opening to the fort.
The Lake is popularly known as Lake Aurthur Hill. The lake is created by the dammed-up water of the River Pravara. As the lake is situated in the middle of dense green forest, the lake is a sought-after tourist spot for nature lovers. Constructed in 1910, Bhandardara Lake is 34 km long and serves as a reservoir for Wilson Dam. Randha Falls are the rivulets of 45 m that rush down from the lake.
Mt Kalsubai (1646 m) is the highest peak in the Sahyadri range. The mountain was used as a tower by Maratha Rulers to watch the movement of enemies. The mountain also provides nonpareil destination to take pleasure in trekking. There is a small temple on the top of the mountain. From the top of mountain, the views of the surrounding leave the visitors spellbound. After monsoon showers, the region is adorned with variety of flowers. A religious fair in the months of October and November is organized by locals.
Randha Falls is a rivulet of Bhandardara Lake and is praised for its height of 45 m. The water from the falls is used for producing hydro-power. The breathtaking view of the waterfalls leaves the visitors spellbound.
Monsoon is the best time to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Umbrella Falls. Due to rain the water level is high and thus, the falls are a treat to watch. The water from the falls is also used for the generation of hydro-electric power.