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Maharashtra: Bhandardara , The Hill Resort - A Travel Guide
Bhandardara: The pretty and appealing hill resort, Bhandardara, situated at an altitude of 750 meters, is a place where you can take delight in its impressive natural locales. Tourists who want to spend their holidays lavishly, however, would be disheartened. About 180 km away towards the north- eastern side of Mumbai, Bhandardara, is truly a class-apart destination which can comfortably be visited during any of the weekends. On the lap of green nature, it’s a place for all the nature lovers.
Even though watching the natural splendor of Bhandardara would be an entrancing experience for the throng of holiday makers, but one of the prime and foremost attractions which pulls crowds every year in abundance since its installation in 1910 is the Wilson Dam, situated at a height of 150 meters, about 8 km away from Ghoti. It has now become a lifeline of the surrounding places. Water power plant, Park and Arthur Lake are the appealing spots around the dam. Water that is being reserved is assisting a lot of farmers in the close proximity.
The water stream of a small River comes out of the Arthur Lake and flows through the valley. The River is coming down from a height of 45 meters and hitting the plains with the name of Randha falls.
To conquer the historical Ratangarh fort of Shivaji you have to climb up the nearby hill. A number of deities are residing in the fort. Watching caves on the way to the fort would be an enticing experience for all of you as well.
Once popularly known as the watch tower during Maratha period, the Mount Kalsubai, is located at an elevation of 1646 meters, atop the Sahyadri hill. The highest peak of Sahyadri hill, the Mouth Kalsubai, offers an agreeable panoramic view around.
Trekking lovers would enjoy the trip to the ancient temple and well of cold water in Bhandardara. Other coveted spots of Bhandardara are the captivating Umbrella falls, holy Amritsar temple of 11th century (22 km away from Bhandardara), Vishnu Tirtha and the Ashram of Agastya (on the banks of the Pravara River). According to the mythological tales, Ram, Lakshman and Sita had come on the divine land of this Ashram. It is the place where saint Agastya had given the weapon to Sri Ram to kill Ravana.
Situated at an altitude of 580 meters, Igatpuri, is just 8 km away from Bhandardara. The meaning of the word Igatpuri is the “Town of difficulties”. This is the place where Ghat road starts from. Train here marks its way on the twisted track through 10 tunnels of the Ghat road and crosses 11 bridges.
If you are interested, then you can take a trip to the riveting Vaitarna dam, about 48 km away from Igatpuri. The dam, amidst wonder cosmos, would rejuvenate your spirit with its spectacle.
Few noteworthy hotels where tourists can stay overnight at Igatpuri are Hotel Ambassador and Manas Hotel. A number of other privately owned hotels are there in Igatpuri as well. To stay close to nature you can book a room in Rest House or in Forest Rest House here.
Another pretty attraction nearby is Tansa Lake, lies 25 km off Khardi. Watch natural extravagance from a different perspective altogether standing on the banks of the Lake. Vajreshwari Hot spring, about 78 km away from Khardi, can also be accessed from Khardi.
How to reach Bhandardara: The nearest railway station of Bhandardara is Igatpuri. You can hire a jeep from the railway station to visit Bhandardara, about 42 km away from Igatpuri. Share jeeps are also available on this route. Even though share jeeps are cheaper but take a lot of time.
Avail a ferry service and go beyond the Bhandardara Lake to visit the consecrated Amritsar temple. Even though the buses are available but it’s recommended to avoid buses while going to the Amritsar temple.
Where to stay at Bhandardara: Holiday Resort of MTDC and Lake side cottage.