Bhandardara

A beautiful village nestled amongst the vast and green hilly ranges of the Western Ghats, Bhandardara is a trekker’s paradise. With its bright blue skies, green paddy fields, cascading waterfalls and surrounding blue-green hills, this quaint hamlet acts as a perfect retreat for families seeking to escape the bustle of the city for a long weekend. Located at a distance of about 185 km from Mumbai, Bhandardara lies to the north of Ahmednagar district. The Wilson Dam in Bhandardara and its adjoining Arthur Lake, add to the scenic beauty of the village and provide some good camping opportunities for adventure-seekers and astronomy enthusiasts. A circular waterfall called the Umbrella Waterfall because of its distinctive shape, can be seen forming at the dam during the rainy season. There are many cosy resorts in Bhandardara that offer glorious views of the dam and the lake. Another highlight of this region is the majestic 2,000-year-old Ratangad Fort, which has a distinctive natural rock formation at the very top with an arch-like cavity that overlooks the valley below. The four gates of this fort called Ganesh, Hanuman, Konkan and Trimbak are noteworthy. The availability of water at this height, once made this fort precious to Chhatrapati Shivaji. There are many wells in the fort and the River Pravara, on which the Wilson Dam is built, also originates from this fort. A trek up the ramparts of the fort gives you a bird's eye view of the entire Bhandardara region. The village at the base of this fort, Ratanwadi, can be accessed by boat from Bhandardara. The main attraction in the village is the Amruteshwar Temple that dates back to the 8th century. This ancient Shiv temple draws many tourists annually, both pilgrims and those who are archaeologically-inclined.

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