Posted: March 21, 2010 by varunheble in Medium


Grade: 7 on a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 as tough

How to Reach:

Reach Bhandardara after passing Igatpuri and deviating about 35 kms via Ghoti on the Mumbai-Nashik highway. From Bhandardara, take the road which goes to Ratanwadi (about 25 kms) The road to Ratanwadi is full of potholes but very scenic as you will see the beautiful Bhandardara (Arthur) lake to your right. There are also state transport buses from Bhandardara to Ratanwadi, but one should check the timings/schedule etc before hand.


It is said that Ratangad was one of Shivaji Maharaj’s favourite forts. The path to the fort is very tricky and one can easily lose your way. For novice trekkers, it’s recommended to take a guide along. The trek starts with a walk through rice fields and walking along the banks of the river.

After walking for about an hour and a half, you will come across an open land from where you will be able to see the Bhandardara lake from a distance. The entire path to the fort is very scenic and goes through dense jungles.

After walking for another hour you will come across a metal ladder. This patch is quite tricky as the railings of the ladder are very loose. After crossing this ladder, there is another ladder. Upon climbing that ladder, there is a narrow patch which is quite steep and one has to have proper body balance and hand/leg movement. This is definitely not recommended for those who have a fear of heights.

You would then reach the Tryambak darwaza, the main entrance to Ratangad fort. There is one small temple on top and besides that there are 2 caves. The outer cave is open and one can have a magnificent view of the mountains from both sides with the Bhandardara lake right in front at a distance. The inner part of the cave has a metal grill and can accommodate around 20-25 people.

Night stay can be done in both the caves. There is no fear of animals/insects except monkeys.

One should reach the top in about 3-4 hours from the base village.

Best time to visit:

October to February

Availability of Water / Food:

There is a water tank on top of the mountain which has potable water. But its recommended to carry ample water. Food is available at the base village Ratanwadi. If you are lucky, the villagers can arrange to get the food on top at a price.

Contact person: Sandip (09637524385). This guy stays in Ratanwadi and serves as a guide for trekkers. He can also arrange food.


Carry whatever essentials which normally trekkers carry on every trek. Nothing specific.

If you plan an overnight stay in the cave on top, ensure you carry clothes to survive the cold. It gets really cold and foggy at night.

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