In the month of July, a rainy morning in Nashik means you can expect almost a continuous drizzle for the whole day. On July 6, 2016, we (myself, my wife and sister) decided to go for a trip to Bhandardara which is almost 75 KM from Nashik and 165 KM if you are coming from Mumbai. People from Pune can also enjoy a one day trip to Bhandardara by starting early, it is approx. 190 KM from there. Bhandardara is one of the most beautiful hill station in Maharashtra because of the multiple waterfalls and scenic view of Sahyadri ranges.
We Started from Nashik
Like any other trip, I was worried about the road condition and timing as I am an early starter even for such a small road trip. Well, we didn’t start early because everybody was casual about the destination because of a very little distance from Nashik. We started this trip at 12:00 PM and were ready to be back to Nashik by 7:00 PM. As we have a Labrador dog (Ajax) and a Persian cat (Bob) at home, it was compulsory to be back on the same day (didn’t plan to stay in Bhandardara). From Nashik, we went towards Ghoti which is on Nashik – Mumbai Highway and from there we took a left turn towards Ghoti – Shirdi (via Sinnar) road. After driving for almost half an hour, we saw the board to take right turn towards Bhandardara (Yes, we left the Shirdi road there). Now you can see some small waterfalls beside the Bhandardara road.
As it’s July, villagers in that area were busy in planting the rice crops. What a beautiful view it is. People are using a special bamboo made umbrella named “Irna” to protect them from rain.
As we were reaching closer to Bhandardara, it started raining heavily. Before reaching to the destination, you can see Kalsubai Peak (1,646 m, the highest peak of Maharashtra) from the road side. People go for trekking to Kalsubai and it takes around 3 hours to trek the peak. Well, we didn’t plan for the trek that’s why we kept moving towards Bhandardara. Finally, we reached the destination at around 2:00 PM.
You need to pay Rs. 100 for four-wheeler and Rs. 30 per person as entry pass to enter inside the forest area of Bhandardara. Well, the forest department also keeps track of all the vehicles roaming inside the forest. There are many wild animals in the area such as leopard, bear, monkeys etc.
At this entry-gate only, we thought to have a guide with us as this was our first trip to this place. Guide would be a great help in finding better waterfalls and scenic places. Guides are easily available for Rs. 300 – 500 (bargained price) for showing all the popular places. It is worth for the first timers.
The first waterfall we came close to in Bhandardara is named as Pandra Waterfalls. Pandra means white in marathi language. Water looks pure white and that’s why the name Pandra.
Beautiful River in Bhandardara
We stopped for a cup of tea in Ghatghar eco city area and saw this beautiful river flowing. Eye caching view from this point.
Back Side of Kalsubai Peak
One can see the back side of Kalsubai peak from Bhandardara forest area.
Eco city of Ghatghar is having a dam made in collaboration of India and Japan. You can visit the dam and even see the water level from dam area. No restrictions.
Valley View Point
The last point on the road is valley view point where you can see the valley area. When I reached there, there were heavy fogs. The view was not clear but one can see the dam area and village in valley.
As the name suggests, the waterfalls look like a necklace.
There is a man-made bridge in front of this waterfall. You can go on that bridge and experience the waterfalls from there. You can also try egg bhurji and bhajjis from the local shops. Tea is not so good because no vendor is using regular milk but the milk powder.
A beautiful temple of lord Shiva where the shiva linga is submerged in water. You need to give some space for the light to come and then only you can see the shiva linga. This place is the source of Pravara river.
Bhandardara is having a very old dam named Wilson dam on Pravara river. In the month of November/December, one can see the high water level of this dam and as the overflow of this dam or when the authorities release water, Umbrella waterfall starts. That also is a nice waterfall to see.
Here I am with the guide Tushar Pawar who is also completing his studies and working as a guide in leisure time. Nice person with good knowledge about the area.
As it was continuously raining in the area, so not a single chance to see any sunset or something. Around 6:00 PM, we dropped Tushar near Shendi village and started moving towards Nashik. Again we followed the same router Bhandardara – Ghoti – Nashik and reached to the Hari Om Dhaba (26 KM from Ghoti) on Nashik – Mumbai highway. Finally we had the best tea of the day and also shared one plate of Poha. At 8:00 PM, we reached Nashik and met our pets, Ajax and Bob.
The best part of this trip was the scenic beauty of the river in Ghatghar area. The water looked so pure and clean and one can spend a complete day by just sitting beside that river.
Recommendation – If you are travelling from Nashik to Bhandardara for a one day trip, I would suggest to make a good tea at home and carry that to the waterfall. You will not find a good tea there.
Where to Stay in Bhandardara
Well, there are many resorts and hotels in Bhandardara but the most popular ones are,
- Anandvan Resort
- Cotton Resort (earlier Yash Resort)
- MIDC Resort
If you have already traveled to Bhandardara, please share your experience via comment.