- 185 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Near Bhandardara
Difficulty Level: Easy
Located about 4255 feet above sea level, Ratangad is an ancient hill fort and a popular trekking destination situated near Bhandardara.
Ratangad is an ancient hill fort situated about 12 km away from Bhandardara. It is a part of the Kalsubai Range, which comprises some of the highest mountain peaks of the Sahyadris. Located about 4255 feet above sea level, the fort is a popular trekking destination.
Ratangad is about 400 years old and was conquered by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his time. Ratangad literally means ‘Jewel Fort’. During the month of November, the hill is covered in seasonal flowering plants. One of the main features of Ratangad, which makes it easily recognizable is its ‘Nedhe’ or ‘Eye of the Needle’, a natural cavity in the rock peak.
Ratanwadi is the base village of Ratangad Fort. Make sure to visit the incredible ancient temple of Amruteshwar located in Ratanwadi. Built in the Hedampanthi style of architecture, the temple is about 1200 years old and is famous for its intricate rock carvings and sculptures. The Pravara River flows by the Amruteshwar Temple. The trail of the Ratangad trek starts from the left of the Pravara River.
The Ratangad trek is moderately difficult and takes about 5 hours to complete. Some part of the trek is through densely forested areas. For the convenience of trekkers, iron ladders have been installed wherever there are steep and rocky patches. It is best to be extra cautious while climbing the ladders during monsoon as they will be slippery. The gates of Ratangad have beautiful carvings. The highlight of the trek is the stunning panoramic view of the entire region below from the top of the fort. From this point you can see the Bhandaradara Dam, Kalsubai Peak, Harishchandragad, Alang, Malang, Kulang and Sandhan Valley.
There are a couple of caves on the fort and the larger cave can accommodate up to 40 people. On weekends, villagers set up food stalls near the cave selling tea, lime juice, snacks, etc. They can also be requested to arrange lunch and dinner. There is a water cistern atop the fort containing potable water.
- The larger cave of Ratangad can accommodate 30-40 people and is suitable for overnight stay.
- On weekends, villagers from Ratanwadi set up food stalls near the cave selling tea, lime juice, snacks, etc.
- The locals can be requested to arrange lunch and dinner as well.
- There a potable water cistern near the second cave on the fort.
- However, it is always advisable to carry your own food and sufficient water for the trek.
- Mode of Transport: The best way to reach Ratangad is by car.
Things to do
- Enjoy an exciting trek to Ratangad, a stunning ancient fort, part of the the Kalsubai Range.
- Walk through densely forested areas and traverse through rocky patches with the help of iron ladders.
- Explore the ancient remnants atop the fort including caves and beautifully carved entryways.
- Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Bhandaradara Dam, Kalsubai Peak, Harishchandragad, Alang, Malang, Kulang and Sandhan Valley from the top of Ratangad.
- Visit the architecturally stunning ancient temple of Amruteshwar, located in Ratanwadi village.