Bhandardhara is a very scenic and beautiful option among weekend getaways from Mumbai. Located 185 Kms away from Mumbai, Bhandardhara is an ideal holiday offering scenic mountain views, gushing waterfalls, a magnificent lake, the largest earthen dam of India and lush green forests. You can stay in a lovely cottage by the Arthur Lake and visit the numerous water falls as well as the origin of Pravara River, making Bhandardhara an exciting option among weekend getaways from Mumbai.
Bhandardhara is 185 Kms away from Mumbai and convenient to reach among weekend getaways from Mumbai. The closest railway station is 45 kms away at Igatpuri from where taxis and buses are available. If coming from Mumbai, you can take a local train from CST till Kasara. Jeeps and buses are available from Kasara to Igatpuri or Bhandardhara directly.
If coming by Road you can drive down on Nasik Highway and turn right after crossing Igatpuri at Ghoti Village. There are directions all the way from Ghoti to Bhandardhara.
MTDC has lovely resort in Bhandardhara. Lake facing cottages are a real treat. You also get dorms and rooms. The canteen is decent and you get freshly cooked food, making Bhandardhara a comfortable option among weekend getaways from Mumbai.
Bhandardhara goes back to the Ancient Times. Long ago Sage Agastya had meditated by the Pravara River in Bhandardhara for a full year surviving on only air and water. Pleased with his devotion God gave him a part of River Ganga and that became the River Pravara. Bhandardhara also finds mention in the Ramayana, the great Epic. Lord Rama has supposed to have met Sage Agastya in his ashram located in Bhandardhara and collected the divine arrow which was used ultimately to kill the demon king Ravana.
Arthur Lake is formed by the Pravara River and serves as the reservoir for the Wilson Dam. The Lake looks serene at all times of the year and adds to the beauty of the landscape of Bhandardhara. Arthur Lake is 34 kms long and has a few breathtaking waterfalls like Randha and Umbrella Falls. These make Bhardhara an exciting option weekend getaways from Mumbai.
Wilson Dam is India’s largest Earthen Dam. It was built in 1910 and is 150 meters high. The base of the Dam is a popular hangout for visitors as there is a beautiful garden with scenic views. There are several fruit bats for company in this garden making Bhandardhara a charming option among weekend getaways from Mumbai.
During the monsoons Randha Falls is an incredible sight as a roaring Pravara Rover falls down from a height of 170 feet into a gorge. These falls are the third largest of India.
The Ashram of Saint Agastya lies besides Pravara River in a dense forest. During the Ramayana age, Lord Rama and Lakshmana came here to take the Rishi’s blessing. Agastya gave them a divine arrow which finally killed the demon king Ravana. There is a cave near the Ashram where Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshamana had spent some time during their Panchavati days. Bhandardhara has its share of history among weekend getaways from Mumbai.
The best viewpoint for the magnificent Sahyadri ranges is at Ghatghar. Located 22 kms away from Bhandardhara, Ghatghar provides panoramic views of the beautiful mountain ranges all around Bhandardhara. During the monsoons visibility turns near zero with fog and mist covering the entire landscape. Monsoons really make Bhandarshara a compelling option among weekend getaways from Mumbai.
Mount Kalsubai is Maharashtra’s tallest peak at 1646 meters, another reason to visit Bhandardhara among weekend getaways from Mumbai. The base village for Kalsubai is Bari which is very close to Bhandardhara. Not only is Kalsubai a favorite for Trekkers of Sahyadris, but it is also a famous pilgrimage. There is a Temple of Kali right at the top of the peak. Kalsubai also has a well of mystery. This well which lies behind the temple, has never had water going below 3 feet.
Ratangad is a 400 year old fort overlooking the Arthur Lake. Ratangad fort which was once captured by Shivaji Maharaj is today a very popular trekking destination. Ratangad Trek is very enjoyable due to its approach. You need to take a ferry over the Arthur Lake to get to the base camp. A series of waterfalls and a thick jungle follow next. Finally the entrance to the Fort is well hidden and you need to enter it from a chimney! How much more excitement can you find among weekend getaways from Mumbai! For a travelogue on Ratangad trek, click here.
The Amruteshwar Temple is located in Ratanwadi, the base village of Ratangad. It is more than a 1000 years old with Lord Shiva as the main deity. Some say it was built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata period. Amruteshwar Temple is built in the unique Hemadpanthi style of architecture. This style uses black stone and lime in the construction and was propagated by Hemadpanth, the prime minister in the court of Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri. The Amruteshwar Temple has several carvings worth including Bhandardhara among weekend getaways from Mumbai.
For a travelogue on a Tribal Hill Station famous for Warli Art, near Mumbai, visit Jawahar
For my travelogues on other weekend getaways from Bangalore, visit Bangalore Weekend Ideas.
For weekend getaways from Delhi, visit Holiday ideas near Delhi
For weekend getaways from Chandigarh, visit Holiday Ideas near Chandigarh