Located around 200 km from Mumbai, off the Mumbai-Nasik Highway, Bhandardara’s greenery and varied foliage makes it an ideal weekend getaway, finds Jayadev Calamur
There’s something that makes you fall in love with Bhandardara. Located around 50 km from Igatpuri off the Mumbai-Nasik Highway, the place is famous for the Arthur Lake, the Bhandardara Dam, the Amruteshwar temple and the Kasubai Peak.
Bhandardara is wonderful for the fact that it is located so away from civilisation. What won me over was the fact that I barely had any cellular network — something which I didn’t want at all.
The place we stayed: The MTDC resort had a direct view of the Arthur Lake. The lake is 270 feet deep without any shallow. Boating is done through the day and you have the option of going out boating late night, with prior warning of course.
There are a few places to see. The table top point is a popular picnic spot. There are a couple of dams, the Amruteshwar temple: an ancient temple built for Lord Shiva. There are a couple of points for trekkers: one of them is the Kasubai peak, which is the highest peak in the Maharashtrian Sahyadri range.
The food, however, was a problem. The food at the MTDC resort wasn’t up to our expectations, with food at other resorts at Karla and Tarkarli providing much better food.
The MTDC resort is reasonably priced, with the cottage, which houses three people, costing `2,400 per night in non-touristy season and `3,000 during peak season (monsoons). If you’re willing to spend a lot of money, then you can also look at the Anandvan Resort that has cottages made out of stone. In both cases, however, you need to book months in advance before you get the cottage.
To sum it up, Bhandardara is a perfect weekend getaway. There’s greenery, there’s peace, there’s quiet and most importantly, there’s no cellular network.
Getting there: If you’re taking your own vehicle from Mumbai, get onto the Mumbai-Nasik Expressway. Once you pass the Toll Plaza near Manas resort, go straight down.