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Bhandardara is a beautiful yet lesser known hill station near Mumbai in North Maharashtra state.

Understand[edit]

Bhandardara is home to rich fauna and flora. There is a variety of attractions in Bhandardara, including a serene lake surrounded by hills, waterfalls, a dam, forts and a valley.

Climate[edit]

Although it is situated in the hills, Bhandardara is not cool in summers. The best time, to witness the beauty of Bhandardara, starts from mid Monsoon season.

Bhandardara Season Summary
Season Months Temperature Conditions
Summer March–May 20°C to 38°C Clear skies, mild hot during days. Cool in midnight.
Monsoon June–September 24°C to 33°C High humidity and cold winds. Plenty of rainfall.
Autumn October–November 20°C to 29°C Clear skies, best time to visit.
Winter December–February 8°C to 19°C Pleasant, cool sunny days, colder nights.

Get in[edit]

Bhandardara lake from MTDC resort

Bhandardara is well connected to other parts of Maharashtra by roads.

By train[edit]

The nearest railway station is Igatpuri which is 45 km from Bhandardara. Igatpuri is situated on Mumbai-Nashik rail route. From Igatpuri, you can take state transport bus (commonly known as ST bus) service or private taxi to reach Bhandardara.

By road[edit]

Bhandardara is easily accessible 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 road has mild curves and bends.

  • You can you local train too. Get off at Kasara station from Central railway. There are a number of tempos available to take you Bhandardara lake side camp, it roughly takes around 3 hours.
  • From Nashik

From Nashik, take NH# 3 towards south up to 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) up to Ghargaon. From Ghargaon, take left on the SH# 21 and continue driving up to Bhandardara. At Kotul, SH# 21 turns slightly left and becomes SH# 44 which takes you to Bhandardara.

Get around[edit]

Maharashtra state transport buses ply around the nearby villages and towns. There are private taxis also running regularly but these are always overloaded.

See[edit]

There are a lot of options for tourists visiting Bhandardara, including lakes, waterfalls, dams, temples and forts. Some of the interesting places are listed below.

  • Bhandardara lake.
  • Wilson dam. This dam was built in 1910 on the Pravara river. The Umbrella fall is just below the dam but the waterfall can be seen during monsoon or whenever the gates of the dam are opened.
  • Umbrella falls.
  • Randha falls. These falls are a great sight to see! The water falls from 45 m producing a marvellous scene. It is 10 km from Shendi Village.
  • Amruteshwar temple. The temple is built with sculpted stones. It is 1000 years old temple. The presiding deity is Lord Shiv.
  • Ratangad fort. Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji's favorite fort. Trekkers' delight.
  • Harishchandragad fort.
  • Kalsubai temple (1646 m). Kalsubai temple is situated atop mount Kalsubai which is the tallest peak in Maharashtra. A great place for trekking enthusiasts.
  • Alang hill. This is good
  • Madan hill.
  • Kulang hill.

Do[edit]

  • Bird watching.
  • Boating.
  • Angling.
  • Trekking.
  • Pilgrimage.
  • Sight-seeing.
  • Tent stay by the lake side

Buy[edit]

Most places including resorts and local shops do not accept plastic currency, and the nearest ATM is around 30 km from Bhandardara. Please carry adequate cash for food, hotel room rent and miscellaneous expenses.

Eat[edit]

There are limited eateries in Bhandardara. You can find most of these in the main market. When you visit this place, you must try traditional village (home cooked style) fare at least once.

  • Hotel Vaibhav. Very close to MTDC resort, this is a small restaurant popular among the tourists for its typical local dishes.
  • Hotel Yashanjali, MTDC, Bhandardara dam, Akole, District - Ahmednagar, +91 2424 257311. Hotel Yashanjali is situated in MTDC resort. It offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food with local flavor. The restaurant is equipped with water purification plant and you get safe drinking water in this hotel, though packaged water is also available.
  • Hotel Kaka. This is the cleanest hotel in the market area in Bhandardara. It offers Gujrati Thali only. During off-peak season, you have to order in advance on the phone and you may have to wait up to an hour for your Thali!

Drink[edit]

  • Pravara hotel (Shedi chowk), Shendi (Near mtdc and village center), +91 8888269394. 14.

Sleep[edit]

  • MTDC resort, +91-2424-257032, +91-2424-257171. Check-in: 10:30AM IST, check-out: 9AM IST. MTDC resort gives you the best view of Bhandardara lake. There are various lodging options available. Six cottages are situated above the lake. Each cottage has a beroom and a living room. In the living room, a mini fridge and a television set is available. Tariff per night is ₹3000.00 (₹2400.00 in off-peak season) for a cottage. There are 10 deluxe rooms which are really big. Tariff per night is ₹1600.00 (₹1300.00 in off-peak season) for a room. MTDC resort has 9 special rooms which are also specious. Tariff per night is ₹1500.00 (₹1200.00 in off-peak season) for a special room. If you are on a tight budget, then go for standard room. Tariff ₹800.00 (₹700.00 in off-peak season) a night. There are 2 group accommodations also. 12 beded accommodation is available for ₹2000.00 (₹1600.00 in off-peak season) per night and 20 beded for ₹3300.00 (₹2600.00 in off-peak season) per night. Group accommodations have 3 bathrooms and 2 lavatories each. All the rooms are equipped with specious attached bathrooms with hot water facility. Tax at 10% is levied on the tariffs mentioned above. Please note that MTDC resort does not have air conditioning in the rooms.
  • Anandvan resort, Ghatghar Road, Village Shendi, Bhandardara, Dist. Ahmednagar., +91-9920311221, +91-22-2604 7290, +91-22-4244 3300. If you want to splurge, then Anandvan resort is the right place for you.
  • Yash resort, Bhandardara (Shendi Village), Taluka – Akole, District – Ahmednagar PIN-414601, +91-2424-257031, . Check-in: 1PM IST, check-out: 11AM IST.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Triyambakeshwar, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India, is just 80 km from Bhandardara and it is worth a visitable place.
  • Shirdi, a holy place of Sai Baba is just 90 km from Bhandardara.
  • Shani Shingnapur, the most famous temple of Shani in India, is just 135 km from Bhandardara.
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