Nestled among the Sahyadri Hills, Bhandardara has all the makings of a beautiful holiday resort. Sky-high mountains, roaring waterfalls and lush greenery throughout the year, it attracts the tourists from all over. Sitting by the Pravara River, the site has a pristine ambiance. The Bhandardara Lake and the Randha falls are major tourist attractions.
Places to see at Bhandardara: Bhandardara is admired by a number of tourist spot including:
Lake Arthur Hill
Also popularly known as Bhandardara Lake; this came into existence when Wilson dam was built across Pravara River. Set like a huge jewel amidst dense canopied forests of the Sahyadri hills at a height of 750 meters, this clear and placid lake is one of the country’s largest lakes. The water level continues to be maintained by the river water and rainfall. Boating activities are also conducted on this lake.
Situated at a height of 150 meters above sea level It is one of the oldest dams in the country. The opening of sluice gates creates two 60 to 80 feet cascades of water that plummet to the rocks below creating a spectacular sight. The catch-ment area of this dam is 122 Sq. km. (47 Sq. miles). This dam consists of a spillway of 198 m. (650 ft.). The radial gates adjacent to the spillway, controls the dam storage of 313 Mcum. (11039 Mcft.).
This artificial waterfall is formed when one of the sluice gates from the Wilson Dam is opened (when water levels rise above acceptable limits during the monsoons or whenever water is needed for irrigation). It is vaguely umbrella-shaped as it fans out over the rocks. A pathway takes you from the park at the foot of the dam to within drenching distance of the falls.
ThIs is the third leading falls in India. The roaring River Pravara descends down from a height of 170 ft into a beautiful gorge. On the other side of the waterfall is a deep valley with gigantic beehive. The tribal climb down using rope ladders to collect honey.
Agasti Rishi Ashram
Situated on the bank of the Pravara River, this legendary dwelling finds a place in the scripts of the Ramayana. Different mythical stories are associated with Rishi Agasti. According to the one, Agasti Rishi gave lord Rama a miraculous arrow by which he killed Ravana. Legend also has it that the Rishi meditated here for a year, living only on water and air.
A trekker’s paradise; towering over Bhandardara like a watchful sentinel at almost 5500 feet above the sea, it is the highest peak in Maharashtra. The peak is said to take its name from a Koli girl named Kalsu. Kalsu, according to the story, was fond of wandering in the forest. One day she came to a village at the foot of the hill and took service with a Koli family on condition that she should not be asked to clean pots or to sweep. One day, one of the family ordered Kalsu to clean some pots and clear away some Utter. Immediately after being forced to do this, she climbed the hill and stayed on its top till her death. The peak has a small temple dedicated to Devi Kalsu on the bit of platform only a few yards in circumference, with an old well in its backyard. Many Kolis worship her as their household goddess.
This temple dates back to 1100 AD. The chief object of interest is its construction. The intricately carved temple was built in a distinct Hemadpanti style. The Sculpture is an architectural form or a style, which is named after its introducer and founder, the prime minister named Hemādri Pandit, also known as Hemādpant in the court of Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri. The period of discovery was during the 13th Century in Maharashtra. Main ingredient in the construction includes the black stone, which is locally available. This thousand-year-old Temple, which houses an idol of Lord Shiva, has a very high dome over the shrine. In front of the shrine door is a spectacular canopy. The inside of the shrine looks modern, but the rest of the temple inside and outside is covered with intricate and elaborate carving. It is a 50-minute boat ride from the shores of ArthurLake. The boat-ride itself is mesmerizing, passing by and through lake-side vegetation.
Nearby attractions from Bhandardara: From Bhandardara you can easily make a trip to the places like:
Just 32 km from Bhandardara, Purushwadi is a village where you can enjoy the excellent peace on the lap of nature alongwith the warm welcome of the villagers. Wake up to the chirping of birds and serene atmosphere in the mountains. Thus the place is an ideal getaway destination.
Not for nothing is it named the ‘Mahabaleshwar of Thane district. In beauty and climate it is no less. And there’s so much to see the majestic Dadara Kopra Falls, Jai Vilas, the palace of the tribal kings, the Hanuman and Sunset Points and the enthralling Shirpamal, where Shivaji chose to camp on way to Surat. Jawahar also offers you the unique opportunity to expose and enlighten yourself with the tribal way of life especially with the Warli paintings. The place is just 45 km from Bhandardara.
22 km from Bhandardara, Khanvel is surrounded by lush green hills. The river Sakartod flows by, and in the forests you can spot flying foxes, fruit bats, flycatchers and barbets. The drive from Silvassa to Khanvel is a pleasant one, passing majestic trees and tribal villages.
It is a sylvan paradise that derives the name “Silvassa” from the Portuguese word “silva”, which means wood. Silvassa is a place of spectacular beauty – it is surrounded by nature and there is a rare purity in the air of Silvassa. For lovers of history, travel to Silvassa to see the century-old church of Our Lady of Piety and the ruins of the Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple at Bindrabin. The Tribal Museum, in Silvassa, gives a realistic feel of local culture through a collection of masks, musical instruments, traditional jewellery and hunting tools … and you can even shop for souvenirs like Warli paintings, bamboo crafts and palm leaf mats handmade by the tribals.
Things to do at Bhandardara: Apart from sight seeing, this is a popular place for angling. Tourists can spot a number of large fish over here. Tourists can go angling, but boats are not allowed. One can also enjoy trekking here.
Best time to visit Bhandardara: The best time to visit Bhandardara, is in the mid monsoon season.
How to go ?
The nearest airport is Mumbai 177 km. from Bhandardara. From there you can hire private car to reach Bhandardara.
Igatpuri, 45 km. on Central Railway is the nearest railhead. Igatpuri is situated on Mumbai-Nashik rail route which is connected to some major cities in India like Delhi (Samta Express), Kolkata (Gitanjali Express), Chennai (Trivandrum Central) etc. From Igatpuri, you can take state transport bus (commonly known as ST bus) service or private taxi to reach Bhandardara.
Bhandardara is easily accesible from all parts of Maharashtra by road. State highway 44 (SH# 44) goes through this town.
From Mumbai/Thane: If you are coming from Mumbai, on national highway 3 (NH# 3), you have to take right turn after passing the Ghoti toll post. The distance from Ghoti to Bhandardara is around 30 km and the raod has mild curves and bends.
From Nashik: From Nashik, take NH# 3 towards south upto Ghoti and take left. From here continue on Ghoti-Bhandardara road for around 23 km and then take slight left onto SH# 44 and you will reach Bhandardara.
From Sangamner: From Sangamner, it is around 63 km towards west on the SH# 44.
From Pune: From Pune, Bhandardara is about 175 km. You need to take Pune-Nashik road (NH# 50) upto Ghargaon. From Ghargaon, take left on the SH# 21 and continue driving upto Bhandardara. At Kotul, SH# 21 turns slightly left and becomes SH# 44 which takes you to Bhandardara.
Where to stay ?
There are few accommodation options in Bhandardara. Some of which are:
Anandvan Resort: +91- 09920311221 Website: www.anandvanresorts.com
MTDC Holiday Resort:+91- 02424 257 032
Yash Resort: +91-7738772775 Website: www.yashresort.co.in
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.