5 reasons to visit Bandardhara

Bhandardhara sits by the Pravara River. It is a blend of natural beauty, waterfalls, mountains, tranquility, greenery, invigorating air, and pristine ambiance. The Bhandardhara Lake and the Randha falls are major tourist attractions.
 
The literal meaning of Bhandardhara is the valley of treasures. Here the elements of nature are in perfect harmony. From the highest mountain peak in Maharashtra to one of the largest lakes and oldest dams in the country. It is the mother of all tourist destinations with its cascading waterfalls, this locale has it all.

Still not enticing enough, here are 5 major reasons you should consider visiting this place.


Bandardhara Backwaters:

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Pristine water, blue sky, and mountain in the backdrop. It’s all that makes Bandardhara Lake a unique and perfect weekend getaway. One can also avail boat ride and you can enjoy the view from the center of the lake.

Randha Waterfall:

Randha waterfall

The waterfall is formed over Pravara River and cascades down from a height of 170 feet into a beautiful gorge. Considered as one of the prominent waterfalls in India, the jaw-dropping Randha Falls is a must visit during monsoon. Also its one of the popular places to visit in Bhandardara.

It is the chief source of hydropower in the Bhandardara region. A temple on the banks of the river and a viewpoint just above the falls provides a great view of the waterfalls.


Amruteshwar Temple:

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Shiva temple situated on the banks of holy river Pravara at Ratanwadi village in the Igatpuri region of Maharashtra.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered to be over 1,200 years old. The Shilahra dynasty built this beautiful stone carved temple in the 9th century AD. Ratangad Fort is also located at a close distance from this Shiva temple.

It was built with black and red stones. The ceiling and the walls of the temple are decorated with some impressive and lovely murals. There is a mandapa with 12 pillars. All the pillars have beautifully carved statues and flowers.


Umbrella Waterfalls:

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Umbrella Falls is a beautiful seasonal waterfall situated at the Bhandardara Dam in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. It is one of the top places to visit in Bhandardara and also one of the best waterfalls in Maharashtra.

When the Wilson dam overflows during monsoon, water gushes out from a small opening in its northern end over a semicircular rock, forming the picturesque Umbrella Falls. The water body is also used for hydro­electric power generation. There is a bridge right below the waterfall, tourists can get a full view of the waterfalls standing on the bridge. One can enjoy the waterfall during monsoon only.


Kalsubai, Ratangad & Harishchandragad – The three must-visit places for trekkers.

Kalsubai:

The highest peak in Maharashtra does test your endurance with 3-hour long trek. The trekking route attracts a large number of visitors, some to conquer the highest peak in Maharashtra, some trek to Kalsubai to visit Mandir and offer prayers to local deity Kalsubai. The temple houses an old well, where the water level never drops below 3 feet

The best time to Kalsubai trek is from September to February.

 

 

Ratangad Fort:

Mughals initially ruled the fort. Later on the great Maratha warrior Shivaji Maharaj captured it. It dates back to 400 years.

Ratangad has a natural rock peak with a cavity at the top which is called Nedhe or Eye of the Needle. The fort has four gates known as Ganesh, Hanuman, Konkan and Trimbak. There are two caves on the Ratangad Fort, one of the caves is smaller and can accommodate 8-10 people, while the other cave is larger and can accommodate 40-50 people. It also has many wells on the top. The base village Ratanwadi has Amruteshwar Temple which is famous for its carvings.

 

Harishchandragad Fort:

The fort originally dates back to the 6th century during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. Sage Changdev used to meditate here in 14th century AD. Later the fort was under the control of Mughals and Marathas captured it in 1747 AD. Remnants of Microlithic human inhabitants have been discovered here. The various Puranas like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana have many references about Harishchandragad.

Its a difficult level trek.