At times, it seems that a landscape with a roaring waterfall, gushing waters from a dam, towering hills in the background and greenery all around can only belong to the movies or the imagination of a writer. Not really! All this comes true at Bhandardara where green paddy fields create a colourful symphony with the bright blue skies and the waterfall provides a musical rhythm while you soak in the beauty of nature at its best.
At 185 kilometers from Mumbai and about the same distance from Pune too, Bhandardara is located to the north of Ahmednagar district in Akole tehsil and is considered a trekker’s paradise. While coming from Mumbai take a turn at Ghoti after Igatpuri and the road will lead you to Bhandardara via Bari, the village at the foothills of Mount Kalsubai. From Pune there is a diversion at Sangamner which will take you to Bhandardara via Akole. The nearest rail head is Igatpuri.
It is also a favourite with families who want to take a short break from the pressures of urban living. Bhandardara is also a hot-spot for the religiously inclined who visit the Amruteshwar Temple which is an ancient Shiva Temple. The temple also offers an interesting study of its unique architecture.
There are now many hotels and resorts that offer comfortable accommodation at Bhandardara, but the ideal place to stay is the MTDC Holiday Resort which comprises ten deluxe rooms, six lakeside cottages, eight standard rooms, nine special rooms and one dormitory for group accommodation. The resort offers a beautiful view of the Wilson Dam and Arthur Lake.
The nearest railway station is Igatpuri.
Bhandardara is 185 km. from Mumbai and almost the same distance from Pune. While coming from Mumbai take a turn at Ghoti after Igatpuri
Built way back in 1910 on the Pravara-River and standing 150 mts high, Wilson Dam is the largest earthen dam in India- a powerful testimony to the engineering skills of days gone by. At the base of Wilson Dam there is a garden endowed with thick greenery, streams and gigantic trees- the latter, home to hundreds of harmless fruit bats that hand precariously from the branches all through the day. During the monsoon, when the level of the lake rises, the dam opens its gates to release a torrent of water that finds its way down to the plains below. You could stand at the edge of the garden embankment and enjoy the cool spray, or visit the picturesque Umbrella Falls, which are another major attraction during the monsoon.
Arthur Lake, a tranquil blue mirror amidst the dense greenery of Bhandardara, is fed by waters from the Pravara River.
At 1,646 mts, Mount Kalsubai is the highest peak in Maharashtra A favourite of trekkers; it had great strategic importance during the Maratha wars as an observation post. There is a small temple all the top with an old well in its backyard. It is said that the water level in the well has never dropped below 3ft.
Agasti Rishi Ashram
This age-old dwelling is mentioned in the scripts of the Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama and his brother Laxmana visited Shri Agasti Rishi to seek his blessings. The Rishi gave Lord Rama an arrow, which he used to kill Ravana and rescue his wife Sita. The Ashram, situated on the bank of the Pravara River, continues to attract visitors
This ancient fort was one of Shivaji’s favourites. Very popular with nature lovers and trekkers, it offers spectacular views from its ramparts
Built in 1100 AD, this temple has been constructed in the distinct Hemadpanthi style.
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