View from MTDC cottage
Bhandardara – the perfect weekend getaway for the stressed out Mumbaikar! Situated at a distance of about 180kms, it can be reached in about three to four hours from Mumbai.
Get on to the Mumbai Nashik highway (NH3) and just beyond Igatpuri, you will see an exit to the right for Bhandardara via Ghoti village.
The roads overall are excellent except for the roads in the Ghoti village which are narrow and crowded. The signage all along to Bhandardara and back is good to ensure you do not lose time asking for directions.
The MTDC resort overlooks the placid Lake Arthur which is formed by the dammed waters of the Pravara river. Legend has it that Shri Agastya Rishi meditated continuously for a year, living only on water and air. Pleased with his tremendous devotion the Lord came down to earth, blessed him and left leaving behind a stream of Ganga - now known as Pravara River .
The Wilson Dam built in 1910 on the Pravara river, is almost 150 meters above the sea level. When the sluice gates of this dam are opened, the Randha waterfalls are in action. The water cascades down 45 meters - an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. Besides being a scenic spot, these falls are also used for hydropower generation.
If you are energetically inclined, hike up to Mount Kalsubai , Mahrashtra's highest peak at 1646 m. This is a day's trek from Bhandardara, and can be combined with Ratanwadi, 22 km away; the 8th century Amruteshwar temple; and the 400-year-old Ratangad Fort where the Maratha warrior Shivaji rested on his laurels. The ancient Agastya Rishi Ashram on the banks of the Pravara River is another attraction. The ashram is mentioned in the Ramayana as the spot where Ram met Agastya Rishi.
In Bhandardara, you can hire a guide to take you around for fees ranging between Rs.100/- to Rs.200/- for the day.
If you just want to chill out you can do exactly that and maybe go for a boat trip across the lake. The fishermen, when not using the boat for fishing, will gladly take you around the lake for a small price. The price varies depending on the season.
Fish lovers can enjoy the freshly netted catch from the lake. The MTDC restaurant serves a pretty good ‘Fish curry and rice’ and is a multi-cuisine Value For Money eatery.
The MTDC accommodation can now be booked online at www.maharashtratourism.gov.in
The railhead closest to Bhandardara is at Igatpuri, 45 km away on the Central Railway. From Igatpuri, State Transport buses and taxis take around one hour to get to Bhandardara.
From Bhandardara, you can also visit Nashik(70kms), Shirdi(110kms) or Trimbakeshwar(70kms).