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Reaching Bhandardara from Igatpuri - My Travel Guide

As an avid traveler and nature lover, I'm always seeking new places to explore in India. Recently, I set my sights on Bhandardara - a quaint hill station nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra.

Known for its lush green landscapes, gushing waterfalls, and tranquil Arthur Lake, Bhandardara had been on my bucket list for a while. The only trouble was figuring out how to get there from Igatpuri, the nearest major town with good rail connectivity.

After some research and advice from friends, I decided to make my way by road - a journey of just 70 km that takes around two hours. With stunning views along the route, the drive seemed half the fun.

As someone new to the region though, I did face a few hurdles planning this trip. Here I'll share my experiences to help fellow travelers make this journey from Igatpuri to Bhandardara with ease.

How to reach Bhandardara from Igatpuri

Choosing the Right Mode of Transport

While buses to Bhandardara are available from the Igatpuri bus stand, they tend to be infrequent and often get full, especially during holidays. A taxi or private car is a more flexible and convenient option though that does stretch the budget a bit.

If you have a group of 4-5 people, it makes sense to rent a car from Igatpuri which costs around ₹2,500-3,000 for a round trip. For solo travelers like me, state transport buses work alright but keep buffer time as they sometimes get delayed due to road conditions.

I'd booked an Uber from Igatpuri to Bhandardara for around ₹1,100 one way but had to cancel last minute when the driver cited poor phone networks en route to decline the trip. Luckily, the hotel manager helped arrange a private car instead within an hour. So do have a backup transport option!

Picking the Best Route

There are two main routes you can take from Igatpuri to Bhandardara - one via Ghoti village which is usually preferred during monsoons and another shorter route via Shendi village. Both offer breathtaking views but the Shendi route has better road conditions year-round, takes less time and is the one I'd recommend. It took us just under two hours to cover the 70-odd kilometers including a quick tea stop.

While Google Maps worked fine most of the way, connectivity got patchy at stretches. So having the route handy on paper as backup came in useful when we had to ask locals for directions once or twice!

Making the Most of the Drives

The true joy of this road trip lies as much in the destination as the visually stunning journey! Early mornings are perfect for hitting the road with mist-swathed mountains fresh after rains. Pitstops like the iconic Wilson Dam brimming with water, the historic Amruteshwar Temple, and of course, tea breaks at the numerous colorful stalls along the way - each sight prettier than the next - made the trip completely worth it.

The mountain roads do turn narrow and curvy at times. But taking it slow to enjoy the views really worked for us. I'd budget about two and a half hours from Igatpuri to Bhandardara with enough buffer time to account for stops, traffic or weather conditions.

Finding Your Footing

Since Bhandardara has limited stay options, booking accommodation in advance is a must during peak seasons. Igatpuri town has plenty of hotel choices though in case you need a base to plan your onward journey.

I relied a lot on locals for tips on how to best plan this trip - from taxi drivers in Igatpuri to chaiwallahs en route. So don't be shy to ask around! Once in Bhandardara, the area near MTDC resorts is the most tourist-friendly to find your footing, with shops, eateries and transport rentals all available easily.

Reveling in Bhandardara's Alluring Beauty

As our car entered Bhandardara village nestled beautifully amongst Sahyadri peaks, it felt like I'd discovered a secret slice of heaven! Arthur Lake stretched out shimmering before me as we drove over the dam filled to the brim after monsoon showers.

Everywhere I looked was a postcard-worthy view - from the gushing Umbrella Falls to the towering Randha Falls visible from our resort balcony. Watching the sunset paint Mount Kalsubai a brilliant orange as the hillsides resonated with evening temple bells, was the perfect way to end an incredible trip.


Making my way from Igatpuri to Bhandardara was an experience as memorable as my time exploring this gorgeous hill station itself. I hope my experiences help you plan your own journey to discover the magical beauty of Bhandardara.

Whether by cars, bikes or buses, this is one route definitely worth traversing for any nature lover or intrepid traveler.


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