|4.7||297 Ratings | 246 Reviews|
Things To Do In Igatpuri
The uncultivated green slopes of the Western Ghats with patches of wild flowers that burst out in monsoons, the rippling streams and the wild waterfalls are some of the best places where you could find tranquility as you trek up the muddy slopes, drink out of the pure sweet water of the springs and imbibe the fresh fragrance of the mountain air.
Igatpuri is one of the idyllic places near Mumbai where you could enjoy a tryst out amongst the bounties of nature. Treat yourself to a hike up the hills in monsoon or in camping out near the streams, watching the moonlight cast a silvery glow on the pristine waters. Visit the hill stations or the hamlets close by to get immersed in the rusticity of village life. There are a number of things you can do in Igatpuri and here’s a list of some activities that could invigorate your spirits.
Igatpuri has a wide number of choicest places to trek to, if that’s what you want to do. Group treks are arranged to places like Ratangad Fort, Harishchandragad and Harihar forts. If you are going off on a wild trek all by yourself, you can get a local from the villages at the foothills of the peaks who would be only too glad to act as a guide.
Some of the most popular trekking places roundabout Igatpuri are the mountains of the Sahyadri that run from north to south with the Kalsubai, Alang, Madan and Kulang peaks on one side and the Aundh, Patta and Mhasoba on the other. Most peaks have forts on them and you could combine a lovely trekking with a historical tour as well.
More Adventure Sports
There are organizations that arrange for a complete adventure experience in Igatpuri where you could camp out beneath the stars, with a campfire and music and indulge in night time trekking if you would love a nocturnal walk under the starlit sky. The streams that are ensconced by high mountain peaks are ideal places where you could indulge in rafting, boating and kayaking as well.
Check out the numerous other adventures you could indulge in, like rappelling, valley crossing or river crossing, exclusively in the Sandhan Valley, one of the largest canyons of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The adventurous at heart and trek happy tourist would not want to miss a trek at Sandhan Valley which is considered one in a lifetime experience. Sandhan Valley sits near a little village called Samrad near Bhandardara and is surrounded by the Alang, Kulang and Madan peaks.
Avid birdwatchers and birders would find Igatpuri and its neighboring slopes interesting places to watch for some exotic birds. If you are visiting Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary you would find colorful butterflies and beetles apart from more small insects, as well as Kingfishers, Barbets, Shrikes and water birds like Egrets, Pond Herons, Black Ibis, White Necked Storks, and Cormorants in addition to Water Hens.
Apart from the resident birds, you would find a lot of birds migrating in for roosting in the winters. If you are visiting Igatpuri between the months of October to March, do keep an eye open for the birds. Stroll along the shores of the lakes where you would find waders, more so after the monsoon months.
A pristine hill town with great scenery made most charming with good seasons, Bhandardara is a beautiful place that is bound to take you far away from the humdrum of the monotony of life in the city. Drive to Bhandardara that has a number of places that you ought to visit. Check out for instance the Wilson Dam that was built by the British way back in the early 1900s. The sluice gates are opened in the monsoons, the waters gurgle and splash over the landscape to cascade down the rocks as the Umbrella Falls.
Visit the Randha Falls as it thunders down into a deep gorge or spend a serene evening watching the sun set and shimmer in oranges and red over the pristine Bhandardara Lake, one of the hottest touristy spots of the hill town.
Dams and Rivers
For a quiet place to visit during the monsoons, when you have nothing more to do than a relaxed place to holiday in the midst of nature, visit the picturesque reservoirs and dams near Igatpuri. The Bhavali dam is a small earth fill one over the Dharana River, a tributary of the Godavari. The river gurgling up and down the dam is a tranquil one, where you could watch the sun set beyond the waters as you munch on vada pav or missal pav.
There is a small waterfall beyond the dam which is a lovely place for the kids to get a dunk. There are wide footpaths that people walk on to get a closer view of the dam and the gushing waters and that’s a lovely sight, to feel the chill spray of the waters on a cool monsoon day. The Bhavali dam and waterfalls is about 10 km ahead of Igatpuri.
Camel River Valley
Yet more places made most charming and picturesque during the monsoons, the Camel River Valley and Bhatsa River Valleys are places that should be on your bucket list. The Camel River Valley is on the highway, just about 3 km from the township. Camel River Valley does not have particular view points, but you could spend a few hours watching the sights. Monsoon rains fill up the stream that surges through the valley, while the adjoining misty slopes turn green and moist with the rains.
Adjacent to the Camel River Valley is the Bhatsa River Valley, yet another charmer. Watch the Bhatsa River as it meanders down the slopes that are just about carpeted with green. The River Valleys are located on the highway from Mumbai to Nashik and every tourist car does stop over to soak in the luxuries of a beautiful nature. The undulating mist covered mountain ranges, the valleys and the rivers are spectacular.
Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are keen on trekking in the wild forested ranges or staying in a forest lodge, waking up to the cries and growls of wild animals, take a trip to Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a part of the Sahyadri mountain ranges and has the highest peak of Mt. Kalsubai in its precincts. The Sanctuary is home to a variety of animals like leopards, jungle cats, jackals, foxes and rabbits as well as a plethora of smaller reptiles and birds.
The Sanctuary has within its confines a number of temples like the Kalsubai and Hanuman shrines, forts and peaks that could be visited on a day or two. The region has lovely trails for trekking fringed by lush vegetation, broken only by streams and several small waterfalls. Kalsubai is in Akole in Ahmednagar and can be reached from Igatpuri via the Mumbai – Nashik road.
The Magic of a Waterfall
Check out the spectacular cascades that are some of nature’s gifts to the monsoon months. The hills in and around Igatpuri are dotted with waterfalls, big and small, and they are some of the most lovely touristy places that one ought to visit, with a camera or binoculars. Enclosed with the dense forested slopes of Igatpuri are the gently undulating cliffs from which cascades the Vihigaon or Ashoka falls from a height of about 120 ft. to collect into a pool below. It’s a place known to be a hot spot for film shoots. Vihigaon Falls are about 13 km from Igatpuri.
Yet another waterfall you should check out on is the Vaitarna Waterfall and dam that lies on an offbeat location and you might probably need a guide to help you access the falls that does involve some trekking and clambering up the rocks to get the falls. It’s quite a bit of an adventure by itself but worth the effort!
Drive and a Trek to Anjaneri Hill
In monsoons go for a long drive to Anjaneri hills that lies at an altitude of about 4200 ft. at the Thrimbakeshewar- Nashik mountain ranges. The hills are said to be the birthplace of Hanuman’s mother Anjana and the peaks where Hanuman spent his early childhood. The hills are popular trekking trails especially during the monsoons.
You can visit the Anjana Mata temples, the ancient Jain caves said to date back to the 12th century and the Anjaneri fort which is believed to be the place where Hanuman was born, as well as check out the picturesque Anjaneri Lake which meanders through a plateau on the top of the hill, the waterfalls and Mata Sita cave. The Anjaneri Lake, by the way, is shaped like a foot and is said to be the place where baby Hanuman braced himself before leaping at the sun. Anjaneri Hills are about 51 km from Igatpuri.
Monsoon trip to Karoli Ghat
If it’s the monsoons and you are tempted with a long drive, take a trip to Karoli Ghat, winding ghat road that leads from Samrad village located in Ratangad to Dehne village in Shahapur. The highways fringed by greenery on both sides and the misty peaks at a distance are an experience to cherish, especially if there is a cool shower. The ghat road meanders through dense trails, with waterfalls, rivers and brooks along the way.
The Ghat promises one of the most exciting trekking adventures, for most trekking buffs plan on the exciting Sandhan Valley to Karoli Ghat trek during winters. Take a break from a hectic sightseeing trip, with a relaxed drive to the ghats where it’s a good idea to stop, stretch your legs or take photographs to remember your trip by.