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Bhandardara Tourism And Travel Guide
20° C / 68.1° F
July to February
2 to 3 Days
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (167 kms)
Igatpuri Railway Station (43 kms)
Bhandardara is a rustic hill resort in the Western Ghats of Ahmednagar district in the state of Maharashtra. A far cry from the typical life of the cities is a hill resort like Bhandardara that gives a back to nature milieu, both for a tourist who needs a cool relaxation with hardly anything to do, or for one who loves to explore and imbibe the freshness of the cool mountain air. With rolling hills peaked with ruins of ancient forts and carpeted with wild seasonal orchids, yellow Sonki and violet Karwi flowers, with butterflies and bees buzzing around, Bhandardara is the apt place to spend a weekend holiday.
Trek up Mt.Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, go on a pilgrimage to the temples, sit by the campfire on the banks of the picturesque Lake Arthur or go firefly watching in pre monsoon. Bhandardara has a simple laid back rural setting that is suitable for a quick weekend getaway or a relaxed holiday.
If you are planning a trip to Bhandardara, our travel and tourism guide should help you plan a good trip.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai that caters to international flights as well as to domestic flights from most Indian cities. From the airport you could travel by road to Bhandardara.
The nearest rail head is the Igatpuri Railway Station that serves train connections to several cities including Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Chennai, Hyderabad and New Delhi. Igatpuri is a short distance from Bhandardara and that could be connected with hired cabs.
You could drive to Bhandardara or hire a cab from Mumbai, Nashik or Pune. MSRTC buses ply to Igatpuri from most cities as well. There are state run buses from Igatpuri to Bhandardara.
There are not many options for vehicles in Bhandardara, so you would probably drive your vehicle or bike around. Most tourists prefer hiking around the region or the resort you stay in might arrange a shared jeep or a cab.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Bhandardara is a lovely place to visit through the year, but the monsoons and winters are more charming and pleasant than summers. Read on to know why.
Summer (March – June):
Summers are hot and rather humid and are not the favorable time for tourism. People do visit Bhandardara in summer to get away from the warmth of the plains. Pre monsoon showers in May and June are ideal to watch the fire flies.
Monsoon (July – September):
Monsoon turns the land into a paradise of greenery and these rainy months are some of the best times to spend in Bhandardara. But the showers do come in heavy and play a spoilsport to a lot of outdoor activities like trekking and rappelling.
Winter (October – February):
Winter with cold nights and partly sunny and cool days are the best months to explore the region and indulge in outdoor adventures as well as trip to the hill stations and pilgrim towns in the neighbourhood.
Things to Do
Sail a boat across the Pravara River to visit the villages near Bhandardara. Ratanwadi, Samrad and Ghatghar are some of the little hamlets that dot the environs of Bhandardara.
Camping by Lake Arthur:
A favorite passion amongst tourists is a camp out under the stars and with a roaring campfire, close to the Arthur Lake. The blue green of waters and lush Sahyadri bordering the lake are a delight to the eyes!
Trek up Maharashtra’s Highest Peak:
The trek up Mt.Kalsubai is challenging, yet filled with fun. The back to nature journey, be it a day trek or a night trek to watch the stars is bound to be the best adventure ever.
The 300 ft. high rock walls and the deep dark trails in between are what make Sandhan valley one of the best canyons of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Explore the magnificent canyon on a day’s visit.
Get off to an adrenaline pumping adventure time in the Sandhan Valley or sail across the beautiful Arthur Lake on a boat. Indulge in rappelling along the steep cliffs, explore the caves or clamber up the highest mist laden peaks!
Participate in the Fireflies Festival arranged by tourist organizations in Bhandardara and Kasara. Watch the little insects as they light up the darkness and flit about in search of a mate.
Cliffs of Harishchandragad:
Hike up the most challenging and steepest cliffs of Maharashtra, the Konkan Kada that gives the most spectacular view of the Konkan regions, over a sheer drop of about 4,000 ft.
Who wouldn’t love to watch a waterfall or listen to the gush of water as it bubbles over the rocks! Spend a cool monsoon day at the beautiful Randha waterfalls and the Umbrella Waterfalls that splurge over the cliffs from the Pravara River.
Visit the temple towns of Shirdi, Sangamner and the picturesque city of Nashik, just within a hundred kilometers from Bhandardara. Nashik is an ancient city renowned for the Kumbh Mela, while Sangamner’s Shanidev and Dyaneshwar temples are widely celebrated pilgrim centres.
Trip to Igatpuri:
If it’s of the monsoon and winter charms of Bhandardara that have you seeking more, take a trip to the quaint hill station of Igatpuri, just a short distance away. Immerse yourself in the charms of nature, with waterfalls, streams and verdant rolling hills aplenty.
As Bhandardara is a hill resort, there is very limited opportunity for shopping. But if you would love to carry home a keepsake and plan on travelling further on, Nashik has handicrafts, silver jewelry, brassware and wine, as well as chivdas, manukas or raisins, oranges and grapes that you could buy.
If you are visiting Shirdi, just within a hundred kilometers away, you could buy marble, bronze or wooden figurines of Shirdi Sai Baba, Sai Satcharitra and more religious books, shawls, lockets and tiny religious trinkets to be gifted away as souvenirs, prasad of bhoondi ladoos, incense sticks and oranges that are imported from Nagpur.
There are quite limited options for eating out in Bhandardara. Most restaurants should be informed in advance if you are planning to take a meal. Restaurants serve up Indian food including Maharashtrian, Punjabi and Gujarathi fare and you could even get Chinese food if you prefer.
Freshwater fish and shrimp as seafood are available and you could get delicious misal pav, usal and vada pav as well, along with the traditional varanbath or rice and dhal, with khanda poha or upma for breakfast. You could check out the sweet pedha that is sold in stalls over Bhandardara. You could stop over at remote villages where you will find tiny shacks that could cook up a rustic but delicious bajra roti with kadhi and onions.