Camping in Bhandardara: Starry Skies and Bonfire Nights




In the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Bhandardara is a holiday resort village near Igatpuri in the Western Ghats’ Sahyadri Hills. It has become not only a popular offbeat destination for many tourists due to its surreal scenic beauty with its lush greenery, cascades, mountains, and lakes, but it is also emerging as one of the top places to camp in the region.


Due to its locations, scenery, and the presence of multiple camping operators, camping in Bhandardara, which is situated on the Pravara river’s banks, is a highly sought-after experience.


The following is a camping guide for Bhandardara:


The best time to camp in Bhandardara is during the monsoon season and the early winter months, from June to September. You can experience spellbinding charm during this season, when the temperature is at its highest and the region is awash in lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. Temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees, keeping the air cool and breezy. Even though summer isn’t considered the best time to camp, there are still a lot of tourists there.


Additional Activities for Camping in Bhandardara


After setting up camp along the crystal-clear Bhandardara lake, get out and explore the area. Some camping packages include a boat ride on the lake’s clear waters. As the sun sets, the real fun begins. After the mesmerizing sunset, there will be a clear sky filled with stars. People especially take their cameras and telescopes with them to enjoy the clear night sky without clouds or pollution. Some campers even bring their musical instruments with them when they light a bonfire. Singing, dancing, and stargazing dominate the evening. Because there are no wild animals there, camping at Bhandardara is very safe.


Things to Do and See


1. Trekking

There are a number of hikes and treks in Bhandardara. The trek to Ratangad fort is one of those that is very popular. One of Maharashtra’s best forts is Ratangad, an ancient hill fort in Ratanwadi village. An exciting and fulfilling experience is this four-hour trek across the Pravara river through thick forests and fields.


The Harishchandragad fort is another popular destination for trekking. The Kalchuri dynasty built this fort in the sixth century. Rohidas, Taramati, and Harishchandra are the three peaks of Harishchandragad. The panorama and scenic view of the surrounding area are provided by these peaks. From the nearby Paachnai village, a 5-kilometer trek through lush forests and rocky areas is the trekking path. Despite the strenuous nature of the journey, it is a rewarding one. On the peak, you can even camp.


2. Boating


You can also go boating at the well-known Bhandardara Lake, which is 500 meters from the bus stop in Bhandardara. Also known as Arthur Lake, the lake was created when Wilson Dam was built and is fed by the Pravara River. The Wilson Dam uses this 34-kilometer lake as a reservoir. It is one of India’s oldest dams. The Randha Falls are the lake’s most distinctive feature.


A boat ride on Arthur Lake, which is surrounded by the lush green Sahyadri Hills, will undoubtedly provide you with a tranquil experience as you take in the stunning scenery and tranquil waters. Other popular tourist destinations in the area include Ghatghar, Mount Kalsubai, Umbrella Falls, and Sandhan Valley.


What Should You Bring When You Camp in Bhandardara?


Sleeping mats, camps, and meals are all included in a camping package. However, the following items should be carried:


  • Clothes
  • Additional food
  • A flashlight with batteries
  • Water
  • A first aid kit with personal medication
  • A bedsheet
  • A backpack
  • A mosquito repellent¬†
  • Raincoat
  • And thick blankets made of wool


Do’s and Don’ts


  • Check ahead of time because the majority of camping packages require a minimum age of 18 years.
  • Remember to bring proof of your ID with you.
  • It is not allowed to swim in the lake.
  • Utensils are not included in some camping packages. Plates and spoons should be carried.
  • Wear hiking boots of high quality.


How to Get to the Bhandardara Campsites


The nearest railway station to Bhandardara is Igatpuri which is 45 kilometers from the destination. Igatpuri station lies on the Mumbai-Nasik rail route. From the station, you can either take a cab or a bus. It is also easily accessible from other roadways.


So, this weekend, drive to Bhandardara and return with unforgettable memories of sleeping in the heart of nature under the starry blanket of the sky.