Bhandardara is a beautiful yet less known hill station near Mumbai in Sahyadri hill range in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state.
Bhandardara lake from MTDC resort
Bhandardara is situated at a height of 750 m above sea level. It is home to rich fauna and flora. There is a variety of attractions in Bhandardara for the tourists. You can find serene, calm lake surrounded by hills, waterfalls, dam, forts, valley and much more in Bhadardara.
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
|| 20°C to 38°C
|| Clear skies, mild hot during days. Cool in midnight.
|| 24°C to 33°C
|| High humidity and cold winds. Plenty of rainfall.
|| 20°C to 29°C
|| Clear skies, best time to visit.
|| 8°C to 19°C
|| Pleasant, cool sunny days, colder nights.
Bhandardara is well connected to other parts of Maharashtra by roads.
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.
Bhandardara is easily accesible from all parts of Maharashtra by road. State highway 44 (SH# 44) goes through this town.
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, 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, it is around 63 km towards west on the SH# 44.
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.
Maharashtra state transport buses ply around the nearby villages and towns. There are private taxis also running regularly but these are always overloaded.
There are a lot of options for tourists visiting Bhandardara. Lakes, waterfalls, dams, temples, forts and much more! 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.
- 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.
- also,one should see two hydro power stations which are in operation here.
- Bird watching.
Most places including resorts and local shops do not accept plastic currency, and the nearest ATM is around 30kms from Bhandardara. Please carry adequate cash for food, hotel room rent and miscellaneous expenses.
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 upto an hour for your Thali!
- Pravara hotel (Shedi chowk), Shendi (Near mtdc and village center), ☎ 8888269394. 14.
- MTDC resort, ☎ +91-2424-257032, +91-2424-257171, . checkin: 10:30 AM IST; checkout: 9:00 AM 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 Rs. 3000.00 (Rs. 2400.00 in off-peak season) for a cottage. There are 10 deluxe rooms which are really big. Tariff per night is Rs. 1600.00 (Rs. 1300.00 in off-peak season) for a room. MTDC resort has 9 special rooms which are also specious. Tariff per night is Rs. 1500.00 (Rs. 1200.00 in off-peak season) for a special room. If you are on a tight budget, then go for standard room. Tariff Rs. 800.00 (Rs. 700.00 in off-peak season) a night. There are 2 group accommodations also. 12 beded accommodation is available for Rs. 2000.00 (Rs. 1600.00 in off-peak season) per night and 20 beded for Rs. 3300.00 (Rs. 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, . checkin: 1:00 PM IST; checkout: 11:00 AM IST.