Ratangad Fort Trek
Ratangad Fort is one of the most popular trekking spot in Bhandardara. It is located at the base village Ratanwadi which is situated in Bhandardara, in Ahmednagar district in the state of Maharashtra. It is placed at an altitude of 1297m (4250 Ft), from sea level. The fort lies between the boundaries of Ahmednagar and Nashik districts. As the name depicts this fort is also known as “jewel of Sahyadri “.
Ratangad is often covered with blossoming flower plants, especially Karwi, in the month of October and November. It offers scenic view, which is like a treat for trek lovers. (Karvi Flower: That blooms once in seven years.)
Ratangad fort is nearly 400 years old. It was initially ruled by the Mughals and later on it was captured by the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale in 1660. Then again it was concurred by the Mughals in 1688. After that Maratha empire recaptured it in the year 1720 and at the end it was ruled by the British in 1818.
Ratangad Fort Trek :
Ratangad fort is considered as a part of Kalsubai ranges, in Sahyadri mountain ranges of western ghats in Maharashtra. Massiveness of Sahyadri can be experienced only from few forts and Ratangad is one of them, its like a view point to Bhandardara Dam and Sahyadri.
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Bhairavgad Trek : One of the most difficult trek in Maharashtra
Trail Information :
- Base Village: Ratanwadi
- Difficulty Level : Moderate
- Trek Duration : 1.5-2 hr (one way)
- Height : 4250 ft.
- Nearest Railway Station: Igatpuri and Kasara
- Nearest Town : Shendi
1. As soon as you reach at the top of the fort you get to see astounding view of the “Eye of the Needle” also called as ‘Nedhe’
2. While your trail you will come across some dense forest and you will have to climb iron ladders to reach at the top of the peak.
Trek Details :
- Ratangad trek basically initiates from the base village which is Ratanwadi. There is another route which starts from Samrad village. Trek route from Samrad village is a little bit difficult as compared to the route from Ratanwadi. The route from Ratanwadi Village is the most popular.
- To reach the base village Ratanwadi either you can go by road from Ghoti-Bhandardara road or you can take boat from bhandardara directly. By boat Ratanwadi is total 10 km away, 6 km of boat ride and then 4 km of walking distance.
- When you start your trek from Ratanwadi be sure to visit the ancient Lord Shiva Amruteshwar temple. This temple is 1200 years old Hemadpanti temple and adore the marvelous carvings and sculptures. This temple is located at the base village.
- Then further trek route passes through the dense forest. Enjoy the beautiful route surrounded by a lush green landscape.
- Then further you will come across a dam built on a river. After passing through some village fields and flat surface, you can spend some time admiring the water flowing through dam and green fields.
- The surface is almost flat until you touch the hill base. After that you need to climb the hill. Till then you are 45 minutes into the trail, arrow markings along the route guides you at every 10 to 15 minutes.
- After 30 to 40 minutes, you reach the forest area where you see number of plants like karvi, terda, barka and sonki.
- Then there are two trails ahead of you, the straight one takes you towards Harishchandragad and the trail on your right takes you towards Ratangad. You have to take right from this point to reach Ratangad.
- After going through some forest area to the right there is one rocky patch. You have to climb with the help of iron ladder. It will take you at the top of the peak. Care should be taken while climbing the steps in monsoon season.
- After the adventurous climb you will get to see the trimbak gate. It will take you toward the point from where you can see the Katrabai peak.
- Turning to your left you will see a small water pond. Which comes after you enter the trimbak gate. Here you can take rest, have some snacks and enjoy the scenic view from the top of the fort.
- Now, after the resting session you are ready to head back to the base village following the same route. After 1-2 hours of descending, you will reach at the base and will successfully complete your Ratangad trek.
How To Reach :
By Road :
The first thing you need to do is take the bus to Shendi Village in order to get to Ratangad. From Shendi village you can take a share jeep or taxi to reach base village Ratanwadi. But chances of getting a jeep from here is very less. Best option is come here with your own vehicle. It will be beneficial to you.
Ratanwadi is located at a distance of 28 Km from Shendi. There are regular buses from Kasara, Igatpuri, and Ghoti to Shendi operated by the MSRTC. Rather than relying purely on public transportation, I suggest that come here with your own vehicle. There are many tourist places near Ratangad that we can visit.
Pro Tip : By bus, it will take a long time for you to reach your destination. The buses don’t run at the times we want, which is also frustrating.
By Train :
Kasara and Igatpuri are the nearest stations to Ratangad. You have to catch the train to Igatouri or Kasara. From Igatpuri railway station about 5-10 min. of walking distance you will get Igatpuri bus stand. From bus stand you will easily get no. of buses to reach Shendi. You can take a share jeep or taxi to Ratanwadi.
Places To Visit Near Ratangad:
As Ratangad is located in the sahaydri mountain ranges, there are lot more places where you can pay a visit along with Ratangad. Some of them are mentioned below.
1. Amruteshwar temple
2. Randha Waterfall
3.Umbrella Waterfall, Bhandardara
5. Bhandardara Hill Station
8. Kalsubai (Highest peak Of Maharashtra)
Best Time To Visit :
Monsoon is best time to visit this Ratangad. Along with the fort, you will get to see the supernatural beauty of the Sahyadri mountain range. Wandering in the monsoon gives next-level experience. Winter is also the best time to visit Ratangad. Between October to November, different types of plants blossoms at this period of time, which give a very picturesque view of the mountaintop.
1. Where is Ratangad Fort located in India ?
Ans. It is located in Ahmednagar district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Is it situated very close to Bhandardara lake.
2. How much time does it take to reach Ratangad?
Ans. It depends on which route you take. If you start the trek from Ratanwadi, it will take 2 to 2:30 hours. And if you start the trek from Samrad village it will take 2:30 to 3 hours to reach the top. My suggestion is that you start the trek from Kotamwadi.
3. Ratangad Fort Trek Difficulty Level ?
Ans. Moderate difficulty Level.
4. Which is the nearest railway station to Ratangad?
Ans. 1. Igatpuri Railway Station. It is located at a distance of 60 Km from from Ratangad.
2. Kasara Railway Station : It is located at a distance of 80 Km.
5. How can I go to Harihar fort from Shendi ?
Ans. From Shendi you can take share jeep or taxi to Ratanwadi. But chances of getting a jeep from here is very less. Best option is come here with your own vehicle. It will be beneficial to you.
6.Which villages are at the foot of the Ratangad Fort?
Ans. Ratanwadi and Samrad are the two base villages located at the foot of the fort.