Ratangad fort trek is one of the best trekking spots in Maharashtra. One can see scenic natural beauty, splashing waterfalls, green fields, Pravara river, high mountain ranges and Bhandardara dam while trekking on this fort.
Best Time To Visit: June to February is the best time to do Ratangad fort trek.
Location: Ratanwadi, Bhandardara district, Maharashtra, India.
Ratangad Fort Trek Information:
Ratangad fort is located in the Bhandardara district of Maharashtra. This fort is among the very old forts in India and it is about 2000 years old. The fort stands at a massive height of 1142 meters (4250 feets) above MSL. The fort has a rocky peak with a cavity at the top which is known as Nedhe or Eye of the Needle. One can feel the strong winds near this peak. Ratangad fort trek is one of the best trek routes in Maharashtra. It offers very scenic views of the mountain range and surrounding region.
Ratangad was among the personal favourite forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This is why Ratangad fort trek is very famous among trekkers & nature lovers. As the name suggests Ratan (means Jewel), this hill fort had a very important position in the Sahyadri mountain range. Its position is on the banks of Bhandardara dam and near the highest mountains of Sahyadri. Nowadays, it has few remains of the fortress with stone walls, Rani mahal and bastions.
Ratangad fort trek has many waterfalls and passes through small fields along the dense jungle by Pravara river. The route can be divided into three parts separated by small plateaus. Take right turn after crossing the second plateau to reach atop the fort. The left jungle route from here goes to the Harishchandragad fort. There are two consecutive ladders at the end of the Ratangad fort trek to reach on top of the fort.
Ratangad fort offers magnificent views of the surrounding Kalsubai mountain range, Sandhan Valley and Bhandardara from its top. In the first half of September, various wildflower species takes birth on the top of this fort which looks very beautiful. It takes about 3 to 4 to reach the top from Ratanwadi village. The entrance to the Fort is hidden and you need to enter it from a chimney which is very interesting!
Ratangad fort trek is an amazing location amidst Sahyadri Mountain Range for camping. Trekker can carry their own tents at the top. Caves are also there for accommodation purpose. An iron grill is there at the top for safety reasons. Sometimes local people from Ratanwadi sell food like Kanda Bhaji and Pithla-Bhakri but do not rely on it. Carry your own food & water!
Ratangad fort trek starts on the north side and descends to the west side. You can see Khutta Pinnacle via Trimbak Darwaja while descending from the fort. There are some water cisterns which usually remains filled with the water all year round. Trekkers can use this water for drinking & cooking purpose. Aajoba fort and Katrabai are very close to the south side of this fort.
Ratangad Mandir & Village
Ratanwadi village has a beautifully carved Amruteshwar temple. This 1000 years old temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple dates back to the Hemadpant Era of the 8th century. Black stone and lime are used in the construction of this temple. The carvings on this temple display very fine and beautiful art. The fort is a source of the river Pravara/Amrutvahini on which The Bhandardara dam (Arthur dam) is built. All of this make this fort, one of the best forts in Maharashtra.
Elevation: 1142 meters (4250 feets) above MSL
Time Required: 1 day is enough to do Ratangad fort trek.
Difficulty: Medium Grade.
How To Reach:
- Buses: Buses are available from Kasara & Igatpuri to Shendi Village. The first bus for Shendi leaves at about 05:15 am. Shendi is 20 kms away from Ratanwadi. After reaching Shendi, catch a jeep for Ratanwadi village. They generally charge Rs. 1200 per van for the 2-way journey.
- Boats: Boats also ply to Ratanwadi village from Shendi or Bhandardara dam (Near MTDC Resort). It is a 6 kms journey by boat. However, Boats are not available during monsoon season.
- Nearest Railway Station: Kasara (50 kms) and Igatpuri (65 kms) are the nearest stations to reach Ratanwadi. After reaching by ferry you need to walk about 4-5 kms.
Eating Stuff: Be sure to carry your own food & plenty of water with you while going to Ratangad fort trek. Because there are not much food options in the village. You can also request villagers to provide the food.
Staying Options: There are few caves at the top of the fort. Out of them, one small cave can accommodate 8 to 10 people and one big cave can accommodate 40-50 people.
Map To Reach: