Bhandardara TrekkingBhandardara, a picturesque hill station nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra, boasts of all bounties of nature. The sumptuous forests, the roaring waterfalls and the majestic mountains make this place the ultimate holiday spot for the city inhabitants. Set on a dam 117 km away from Mumbai, Bhandardara is an idyllic location offering panoramic views to all the tourists. It is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and can be easily accessed through an expansive network of roadways.
The small township is packed with a plethora of adventurous attractions with the best trekking tours in Bhandardara certainly topping the charts. If you are enthusiastically inclined and looking for some exploratory experience, there are unlimited trekking tours here, ranging from a simple to a hard-hitting climb. Mt. Kalsubai is the highest peak of the regal Sahyadri ranges. Renowned as the “Everest of Maharashtra”, this majestic peak is a famous trekking destination, offering commanding views of the Bhandardara dam and other nearby forts.
The trek is quite tricky and it attracts throngs of tourists all-round the year. You can also find man-made stairs leading your way to the top, in case you do not wish to trek. You can visit the Kalsubai temple located at the top of the summit and offer prayers to the local deity. A devout fair is organized here by the locals during the Navratras. Another very famous trekking spot is a magnificent fort known as the Ratangad Fort. Captured by the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his time, this opulent fort with striking architecture is a treat to the eyes.
It is situated in Ratanwadi, a small village overlooking the Bhandardara. The village also houses the famous and the exceedingly arresting Amruteshwar temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. You can also indulge in the best trekking tours in Bhandardara to Harishchandragad Fort to relish ostentatious views or follow the trails that lead to Ajoba peaks to satiate your adventure pangs in Bhandardara.
People Also Ask About Trekking in Bhandardara
What are the best places for trekking in Bhandardara?
1. Kalsubai: Elevated as high as 1646 meters, Kalsubai is the highest peak of Maharashtra which makes trekking to Kalsubai utmost important on your Bhandardara Trekking expedition. Settled on the Sahyadri mountain range, it is aca 6.6 KM long trail which takes you through a moderately hard difficulty level.
Originating from its east, Waki river is flowing at a little distance from the Hanuman temple established here which will come in between your route guiding you further. After that, rocky outcrops will welcome you just when you will be about to reach the peak overlooking the expansive valley below.
2. Ratangad Fort: Literally translating to jewel, Ratangad is indeed cherished as a prestigious fort overlooking the valley below from a height of 1297 meters. Nestled on the Ajoba mountain of Sahyadri range, the heights of the fort overlooks various other mountain peaks like Kalsubai, Kulang, Alang and Ghanchakkar.
Housing Shiva Temple rooting as back as 1000 years, the peak also offers you a timeless view of the Bhandardara Lake which beautifies the experience even more. Some adventurous souls like to set up a camp in the fort and spend a night stargazing the clear sky at night.
3. Sandhan Valley: Also known as the Valley of Shadows, Sandhan Valley is the valley where the ravines remain untouched by the golden rays of the sun. As it is formed with various heightened rock formations, you don’t just trek here but also rappel and climb rocks.
Besides that, it is popular due to the statues and the offbeat trail it owns and only offers to the people who come here in the quest of adventure. This 2 KM long trek takes about 5 hours of your patience and courage as it falls under moderate to difficult level of trekking.
4. Randha Waterfall: Falling off a cliff of about 170 feet height, Randha Waterfall originates from the crystal clean waters of Pravara River. People take a moderate trek to reach the heights to treat their eyes with this beautiful view of the waterfall as well as the temple situated on the bank of the river Pravara.
Make sure to bring a camera with you as you will want to capture every scene your eyes can get hold of. Make sure to take precautions from the bees which are living in the massive hives hanging under the rocky formation of the rocky outcrops in the gorge.
5. Umbrella Falls: A seasonal waterfall, Umbrella Falls take its shape in the month of monsoon when Wilson Dam starts overflowing. It is then a decent amount of water is extracted through a small opening placed on the northern end of the dam.
This water flows over a smooth semicircular rock formation which gives it a resemblance of an open umbrella giving it the name it has. A small bridge is created below the level of the waterfall which makes it easier for the onlookers to grasp a hearty view of the very picturesque man-made waterfall.
Which are some famous monsoon treks in Bhandardara?
1. Kalsubai Trek: Kalsubai is situated on a protruding Sahyadri range which also houses Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. These places turn into heaven in the season of monsoon with all the vegetation at its peak and the surrounding water bodies gushing with fresh water.
The small seasonal waterfalls, reverse waterfall and many more gifts of monsoon enhances your experience making monsoon the best time to go trekking.
2. Ratangad Fort Trek: The walls of the Ratangad Fort grow lush greenery on and around it taking the beauty of the gem to a whole different level. Not only the fort, but the surrounding valleys also cover themselves under the thick blanket of green leaves. This makes monsoon a great time to opt for this trekking which also saves you from the summer heat.
3. Umbrella Falls: Umbrella Waterfall is a seasonal waterfall which means that it flows only in the month of monsoon when the rain water fills the Wilson Dam with excessive water.
This extra water flushes out through a small opening in the dam to fall over a rock and create this beautiful tourist attraction. This is the reason which makes it the place to add in Bhandardara Trekking plan for monsoon.
4. Randha Waterfall Trek: Although extremely beautiful throughout the year, Randha Waterfall takes a whole different level of beauty in the month of monsoon. The river Pravara takes all the monsoon rain water and gushes with more force than ever making this waterfall extremely powerful. One should trek to Randha Waterfall in the month of monsoon to absorb sheer beauty.
5. Ajoba Hills Trek: Ajoba Hills are one of the highest peaks of Sahyadri range offering neat rock formations for the trekkers to climb on. However, monsoon soothes the heat on the mountain making it a very pleasurable experience in comparison to any other time of the year.
Which are some famous summer treks in Bhandardara?
1. Kalsubai Trek: Kalsubai is an all year around destination where one can go for trekking in Bhandardara. It is no news that Kalsubai is the highest peak in Maharashtra and the heights of the mountain range is much cooler than the lower altitudes. This temperature variation attracts a decent number of trekkers to hike up Kalsubai in the months of summer.
2. Ratangad Fort Trek: Ratangad Fort is located at an altitude of 1297 meters which makes it an ideal choice for Bhandardara Trekking in the month of summer. The cool breeze at that height cancels all the heat you faced at the lower altitudes. Also, the excellent views of the valley below never fails to spellbind you with its beauty.
3. Randha Waterfalls: Randha Waterfalls are originating from the river Pravara and it is a great idea to trek to a river in the summer months. One can also enjoy a quick dip in the river on the way to the fall where the flow is right.
Also, do not miss visiting the sacred temple located on the banks of the river. This whole thing will surely prove to beat the heat and have a memorable experience to count.
4. Ajoba Hill Trek: Ajoba hill is a semi rocky mountain partially covered under the greens of the local vegetation which proves to offer a different experience than other trekking destinations in Bhandardara. Elevating as high as 1375 meters, this hilltop is also a gateway to cool wind and spectacular views.
What kind of fitness am I expected to have for trekking in Bhandardara?
Most of the Bhandardara Trekking destinations falls in the moderate to hard level of difficulty in respect to its trekking route. Besides, all of these treks will at least require you to hike for more than 4-5 hours. These two factors makes it very important for you to have a decent fitness and here are few things you can do before going for the trek in Bhandardara:
- Start going for a morning jog at least a month before the trekking expedition is planned.
- Eat healthy food which is oil-free and less in sodium. Also stop eating sweets completely.
- A little exercise for strengthening the muscles would be a great touch in your daily routine.
When is the best time for Bhandardara trekking?
1. Monsoon: Best time for Trekking in Bhandardara is monsoon as this is the time when all the waterfalls are flushing at their best, the vegetation is the greenest, atmosphere is the cleanest and the temperature is soothing.
2. Winter: Winters are considered the best after monsoon as this time of the year also offers good temperatures and no humidity while you are out in the wilderness.
3. Summer: It is suggested to avoid summer months as this time of the year is very humid as well as the temperatures are quite high in respect to the rest of the year.
Will we stay in camps during trekking in Bhandardara?
If your Bhandardara Trekking expedition involves a night stay in the wilderness then you will be provided with accommodation in the camps erected on the site.
For example, the package for Trekking, Camping and Caving in Sandhan Valley goes as long as 3 days and 2 nights so it is inclusive of accommodation.
What kind of medical arrangements will be there during Bhandardara trekking?
The guide who will be trekking with you will be carrying a first aid medical kit which can come in the times of need. However, if you suffer from some specific problem like asthma, then it is highly suggested that you bring your medication with you.
Is there a chance of facing wild animals while trekking in Bhandardara?
No, there is hardly any chance of facing a wild animal while trekking in Bhandardara as all trails are safe. However, in a case of emergency, you can rely on your well trained instructors who will keep you safe from any kind of problems.
Do we need a walking stick on trekking?
No, you should not be needing a walking stick for Trekking in Bhandardara in case you have good physical fitness. However, if you think you lack a steady physical fitness then you can carry one for precautions.
Which is the easiest trek in Bhandardara?
Although the highest peak in Maharashtra, Kalsubai is considered as the easiest trek in Bhandardara. The trekking route houses a hanuman temple which makes it a popular trek among pilgrims which led to better infrastructure on the route like iron grills for safety making it more easy.
Is Bhandardara worthy enough to have a trekking trip?
Yes, Bhandardara is indeed more than worthy to have a trekking trip planned there. The place is surrounded with so many beautiful peaks, ancient forts, sacred temples, aromatic plantations and so much more that a numerous number of people visit here. It is advisable to plan it in monsoon to make the best out of your trip.
Is it safe for a solo female to trek in Bhandardara?
Yes, it is absolutely safe for a solo female to trek in Bhandardara. Bhandardara is a safe place and locals are helpful too. Besides, with Bhandardara Trekking packages by Thrillophilia you can get a group to enjoy the activities.
Witness the spectacular waterfalls which, as the name suggests, form the impression of an umbrella. Flowing over the naturally placed rocks, Umbrella Falls originating from Wilson Dam are one of the most rejuvenating tourist places in Bhandardara. You can witness the full might of the falls during the monsoon, when the cascade gets down from a height of 500 feet. A footbridge connecting Wilson Dam and the waterfalls offers a stunning view of the falls. Umbrella Falls, located in the Sahyadris, are also a prominent source to generate electricity.Location: Near Arthur Lake, Bhandardara
Built in 1910, Wilson Dam has a huge water reservoir and is surrounded by the magnificent Sahyadri mountain ranges. Also known as Bhandardara Dam, it is the largest earthen dam in India and gets its water from Pravara River. You can visit the garden at the base of the dam, which offers stunning views of the architectural marvel.Experience the sprinkling water at the garden edge, when the gates of the dam are open to release water. There are several water streams which emerge from the dam and make Bhandardara the green paradise that it is.Location: 11 km from Randha Falls, Bhandardara
Soak yourself in adventure by trekking to the Kalsubai Peak, which is the highest peak in Maharashtra. At 5400 feet, Kalsubai Peak is one of the best places to visit in Bhandardara if you want a tinge of adventure on your laidback sojourn.Enjoy panoramic views of lush greenery, nearby forts and Bhandardara Dam as you scale the peak. The trek offers easy to moderate trails as well as difficult terrain in places, which will test your hiking skills. You can also climb the man made stairs if you want to reach the top without hiking.Location: Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary, near Bari village