- 172 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Nashik Road
Blessed with incredible natural beauty, Bhandardara is a spectacular hill station near Igatpuri, situated along the banks of River Pravara.
Bhandardara is a serene hill station nestled in the Sahyadris. A delightful holiday resort village, Bhandardara is situated in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, about 172 km away from Pune and 43 km away from Igatpuri. Owing to its amazing natural splendor and countless attractions, Bhandardara has become one of the most popular destinations near Pune for a memorable vacation with family and friends.
Bhandardara literally translates to ‘Valley of Treasures’, and the place does full justice to its name. According to legend, revered sage Agastya Rishi meditated in Bhandardara for a year. Located right by the banks of Pravara River, the hill station is home to the magnificent Wilson Dam, the serene Arthur Lake, the impressive Randha Falls, the majestic Kalsubai Peak, the amazing Ghatghar viewpoint and many more fabulous attractions.
Wilson Dam, also known as Bhandardara is one of the oldest dams in India and was built by the British in 1910. When the dam’s gates are opened two spectacular waterfalls of 60 ft. and 80 ft. each are seen plummeting down to the rocks below. One can enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the dam and its cascades by visiting the garden located at the base of the dam.
During monsoon, between the months of July and September, the enchanting Umbrella Fall is formed right under the Wilson Dam. The waterfall flows over naturally placed rocks that give an impression of an umbrella. The Umbrella Fall is visible only when the rain is at its peak and when the dam’s gates have been opened.
Bhandardara’s most popular attraction is the incredible Arthur Lake, which is formed by the backwaters of the Wilson Dam. The lake itself is absolutely serene and picturesque. One can enjoy a leisurely boat ride in the blue waters or set up a picnic by the scenic lakeside. In the evening, a stunning sunset paints the entire lake and its gorgeous environs in dazzling golden hues.
Randha Falls is another famous waterfall in Bhandardara, which is best enjoyed during monsoon. Situated near Arthur Lake, Randha Falls is considered to be the third largest waterfall in India and falls from a height of about 45 meters. The marvelous waterfall is in full force only when monsoon is at its peak, between the months of July to September. One feels absolutely refreshed watching the white cascades of water surrounded by lush green hills.
There are also many exciting trekking destinations in and around Bhandardara. One of the most popular spots for trekking is Mt. Kalsubai, the highest peak in the Sahyadris and in all of Maharashtra. The Kalsubai trek is considerably difficult but thrilling, and the views from the top of the peak are simply breathtaking.
Besides Kalsubai, one can also trek up the ancient Ratangad Fort, which is about 400 years old. The ruins of the fort are immensely beautiful and views from the top are utterly spellbinding. ‘Nedhe’ or ‘Eye of the Needle’, a natural cavity in Ratangad’s mountain peak is a major attraction. In November, this hill is covered with pretty pink and purple flowers.
Another unmissable attraction is the ancient Amruteshwar Temple situated in Ratanwadi, the base village of Ratangad Fort. Amruteshwar Temple was built in the 9th century during the rule of the Shilhara Dynasty. Constructed in Hedampanti architectural style, this Lord Shiva temple is adorned with elaborate and intricate rock carvings. Another nearby must-visit place is the Agastya Rishi Ashram, located on the banks of River Pravara.
Situated around 24 km away from Bhandardara is the Ghatghar viewpoint, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Sahyadris. Sandhan Valley, a strikingly carved valley in the Western Ghats is another popular trekking destination about 23 km away from Bhandardara. Harishchandragad and the trio forts of Alang-Madan-Kulang are also situated very close to Bhandardara.
- Bhandardara has many hotels and resorts suitable for every budget.
- The hill station also has several restaurants serving both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.
- Mode of Transport : The best way to reach and explore Bhandardara is by car.
Things to do
- Enjoy a memorable vacation with family and friends at the spectacular hill station of Bhandardara.
- Visit the magnificent Wilson Dam and enjoy boating in the serene Arthur Lake.
- During monsoon, witness the sheer spectacle of the Umbrella Falls and Randha Falls.
- If you love adventure, trek up the majestic Mt. Kalsubai or embark on an exciting trek to the impressive Ratangad Fort.
- Make sure to explore the 9th century Amruteshwar Temple, which is beautifully carved and extremely photogenic.
- Marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of the Sahyadris from the Ghatghar viewpoint.
- Hike up Harishchandragad or the trio forts of Alang-Madan-Kulang.