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What to See in Bhandardara - A Traveler's Guide

Perched high in the Sahyadri ranges, Bhandardara is a picturesque little hill station with breathtaking natural beauty. Having visited Bhandardara numerous times over the years, I'd like to share my favorite things to see and experience for anyone considering a visit to this offbeat destination.

Situated around 185 kilometers from Mumbai, Bhandardara makes for an ideal weekend getaway for city dwellers looking to escape to nature. From gushing waterfalls to picturesque trekking trails, and ancient forts to emerald green lakes - Bhandardara's charm lies in its diverse landscapes.

As a travel writer and photographer, I find immense joy in exploring the rich beauty of Bhandardara through my many sojourns.

Wilson Dam and Lake

The first spot I'd recommend visiting is the gorgeous Wilson Dam built across the Pravara River. One can admire the massive stone and masonry structure of the dam while boating on the sparkling Arthur Lake that it backs up. Marvel at the still green waters contrasted against towering mountains, especially during monsoons when filled to the brim. Don't miss witnessing the dam's floodgates open on specific days - it offers a peek into the engineering mastery involved.

What to See in Bhandardara

Umbrella and Randha Falls

For waterfall lovers, Bhandardara has two stunning cascades - the 145-foot-high Umbrella Falls and the picturesque Randha Falls. I'd suggest starting early and trekking through lush forests to view Umbrella Falls in its full glory during the monsoon season. The gushing silvery water pouring down amidst a canopy of trees is a sight to behold.

Next stop by the tranquil Randha Falls that drop into a rocky basin surrounded by greenery. The sound of water hitting the rocks along with chirping birds makes it a hotspot for nature photography. Don't forget to capture the picture-perfect reflection of the falls.


Ratangad Fort

If ancient hill forts enthrall you, the hike up to Ratangad Fort should definitely be on your Bhandardara itinerary. Perched at over 2600 feet above sea level, parts of the Ratangad Fort hike can get challenging but push through - the payoff is worth it!

Climbing up the last stretch to view the intact bastions and stone structures with Ratanwadi village and Pravara valley sprawled below is an unforgettable experience. For some added adventure, try rock climbing at the fort.

Agasti Rishi Ashram

After ticking off the nature spots, I recommend making a stopover at the ancient Agasti Rishi ashram tucked by the banks of the Pravara. Soak in the spiritual vibes as you admire sixth-century shrines nestled amidst lush forests by the gurgling river.

Visit the nearby Shiva temple as well to take in lovely stone carvings and intricate architecture.

Camping and Stargazing

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I'd suggest camping by the serene Arthur Lake for a night to fully relish Bhandardara's wilderness. Imagine waking up to misty sunrises, birdsongs from the woods and no other sound except nature itself.

Hire a tent or stay in quaint homestays, and enjoy a bonfire night under the stars while listening to folk tales from the locals. I guarantee this experience will help wash away your city fatigue in no time.


Conclusion

With its abundant natural splendor yet crowd-free vibes, Bhandardara indeed makes for a rejuvenating weekend trip away from urban chaos. Follow my travel guide to soak in the best of what Bhandardara has to offer. Go at your own pace, allow yourself to get immersed in nature's calming energy and discover beautiful little joys in every corner of this quaint hill station.

Trust me, you'll leave with a rested body and mind ready to get back to city life.

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