Due to the beautiful surrounding landscape and a variety of attractions, Bhandardara has become a great destination for camping and trekking. Bhandardara camping offers great opportunities for those who want to escape the noise of the city and rush into the nature. There are many campsites dotting the landscape around Bhandardara, offering a variety of experiences from camping at lakeside to camping in a jungle. There are also many trekking routes around Bhandardara which you can combine with your camping trip
While camping at Bhandardara, you get to explore the gorgeous landscape of the Western Ghats along with magnificent views. You also get to explore the flora and fauna that flourish near the village. But apart from these, there are many other places you can visit to make your Bhandardara camping trip even better.
While camping at Bhandardara, you can visit the Wilson Dam, one of the oldest dams in India. The dam was constructed in 1910 and it sits across River Parvara at an altitude of 493 feet above sea level. Another great place to visit is the Arthur Lake, a clear blue, placid lake that is fed by the River Parvara. It is surrounded by thick canopied forests of the Sahyadris and is a great spot for camping and stargazing. Randha Falls is a must-visit when you're doing Bhandardara camping. It is where River Parvara descends from a height of 170 feet. The waterfall is in its full glory in the monsoon season, so be sure to check it out during your monsoon camping in Bhandardara.
Bhandardara is not only a great camping destination but also a great place for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. The village is surrounded by some of Maharashtra's top treks. You can easily combine your camping trip in Bhandardara with any of these treks and make your visit to Bhandardara even more adventurous.
While camping in Bhandardara, you can trek to Kalsubai peak, Maharashtra's highest point at 5,400 feet above sea level. You can even trek to the historic forts of Ratangad and Harishchandragad, and explore their ancient ruins. Or you can conquer the peaks of Alang-Madan-Kulang, one of the toughest treks in Maharashtra, or trek to the Sandhan Valley, a 200 feet deep river-cut valley.
Every year, just before the monsoon, thousands of fireflies gather in secluded spots of the Western Ghats for their yearly mating ritual, lighting up the forests with their tiny glimmers. Bhandardara is one of the best spots to witness this phenomenon. Bhandardara is a perfect spot for the fireflies trek and camping. Many operators conduct fireflies trek in Bhandardara every year and let you witness their mesmerizing dance in the night.
While fireflies camping in Bhandardara, you check-in at the campsite in the late afternoon. And as dusk falls, you embark on a short trek to the surrounding forests to watch fireflies dashing all around you. You then return to the campsite and retire to your tents. In the morning, you check-out and head home.
Visit our blog on fireflies treks in Maharashtra to know more about the fireflies season.
Note: Fireflies treks and camping trips only take place for a short duration of time just before the start of monsoons. Generally, this period is from mid-May to mid-June.
Visit our page on monsoon treks in Maharashtra to explore more options.
Note: Do note that there no ATM's in the vicinity of Bhandardara for at least 30 km, so carry sufficient cash
Day 1: Check-in and enjoy
Day 2: Check-out
Day 1: Check-in and enjoy
Arrive at the campsite by 15:00 hours and check-in to your allotted tents. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the campsite. In the evening, sit around a bonfire before having dinner. Then, retire into your tents for the night.
Day 2: Check-out
Wake up to a gorgeous sunrise at Lake Arthur. Have breakfast and then go for a boat ride on the lake. Then, freshen up and check-out of the campsite. The trip ends here.
Accommodation will be in tents on twin/multi-sharing basis. All equipment required for camping and boating will be provided by the operator. Sleeping bags, air pillows and chairs will be included at the campsite. Common kitchen/dining tents and toilet tents will be provided.
Life jackets and boats will be arranged for the boat rides for a safe boating experience. Meal package includes dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 2 including along with morning/evening tea. Bonfire arrangements along with munchies like snacks/starters will be included for a fun bonfire night. Safe parking spaces are available near the campsite. Services of experienced tour guide and camping crew is included. All applicable taxes are included.
Transport between base city to campsite and back is not included. Services begin from the time you reach the campsite. Travel or medical insurance is not included. Personal expenses such as tips to staff, alcohol and beverages, etc. are additional. Any costs arising due to unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, road blocks, etc. will be additional. Any item not mentioned in inclusions will be additional.
Day 1: Spotting fireflies
Day 2: Return home
Day 1: Spotting fireflie
Arrive at the Kasara railway station at 12:00 hrs and meet the rest of your group. Then take a local transport to the base village and check-in to your tents. In the evening head on a short trek and witness the gorgeous fireflies dashing through trees and shrubs all around you. Return to the campsite and retire into your tents for the night.
Day 2: Return home
Wake up early to a gorgeous sunrise over the Western Ghats. Have breakfast and then check-out of the campsite. Then, head back to Kasara railway station and board the train back to your city. The trip ends here.
Travel arrangements from Kasara to campsite and back to Kasara in shared vehicles is included. Accommodation in alpine tents for one night on triple-sharing basis along with all the equipment required for camping such as alpine tents, pillows and blankets and basic first aid kits are included.
All meals from evening snacks on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 2 will be provided along with some bonfire snacks. Services of experienced tour leader and camping crew will be included to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience. All permit charges, entry fees and camping charges are included in the package. All applicable taxes are inclusive.
Travel costs between base city and Kasara are not included and will need to be arranged at your end. Lunch throughout the trip is not included and will be additional. Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks, etc. will be additional. Personal expenses such as tips to staff, additional meals or beverages, etc. are not included. Adventure travel or medical insurance is not included. Anything not mentioned in inclusions will be additional.
The best time for Bhandardara camping is the monsoon season, from July to September. During these months, the landscape of Bhandardara transforms into a green paradise that's dotted here and there with natural ponds, streams and waterfalls, along with the gorgeous views of the green hills of the Sahyadris.
The second best season for Bhandardara camping is winter. During these months, from October to February, there is a nip in the air and the temperatures pleasantly range between 8 to 19 degree Celsius. In winter, the mornings are misty and the nights cold.
Bhandardara is a resort village located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. It is located 185 km from Mumbai and 190 km from Pune. The closest railway station to the village is Igatpuri, lying on the Mumbai-Nashik route, at a distance of 45 km. From there, you can either take a local bus or taxi to reach Bhandardara.
There are also various state and privately run bus services connecting Bhandardara to the major cities of Maharashtra like Nashik, Mumbai and Pune.
Driving your own car is also a great option. If you're coming from Mumbai, then take the National Highway 3 and take a left from Ghoti toll post onto the State Highway 44. If you're coming from Pune, then take the National Highway 50 and take a left from Ghargaon onto the State Highway 12, followed by another left from Kotul onto State Highway 44.
For the Bhandardara camping trip, you need to wear comfortable clothes like t-shirts and joggers/pants along with a hoodie or light jacket for the night. For the night, it is recommended that you wear full sleeve t-shirt and full length pants to avoid mosquito bites. Also carry a raincoat or poncho for your Bhandardara camping trip.
The tour operator will provide all the equipment required for camping including tents, matts, sleeping bags, etc. However, do note that some budget operators do not provide sleeping bags and blankets. So check the inclusions of the camping trip you're booking properly.
Apart from this, carry a backpack, closed shoes, personal toiletries and med kit, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat/cap, raincoat/poncho, etc. There are no ATMs near Bhandardara, and the nearest one is 30 km away. So carry sufficient cash with you too.
There are no fitness requirements for Bhandardara camping. However, if you suffer from any diseases or disorders, then remember to carry your medicines on the trip and inform your camp leader in advance.
Also, keep in mind that some campsites are located at a short distance from the parking lot. So check the package you're booking thoroughly if you have any member in your group who might find it difficult to cover the distance on foot.
There are many things you can do while camping in Bhandardara. You can either go on short hikes to explore the surrounding regions, or you can visit various monuments of Bhandardara like Arthur Lake, Wilson Dam, or Randha Falls.
If you're into adventure and trekking, then you're in luck as Bhandardara is flanked by some of the most famous treks in Maharashtra like Ratangad, Harishchandragad, Ajoba peak, Kalsubai, Alang-Madan-Kulang and Sandhan Valley.
The best season to go camping at Bhandardara is during the monsoon season. During this season, the landscape flourishes in lush greenery with various streams, waterfalls and natural ponds dotting the landscape. Another great season for Bhandardara camping is winter when the atmosphere is cool and breezy, with misty mornings and cold nights. Camping during this season is a pleasant experience.
Read our blog on why what makes trekking in Sahyadris during monsoon such a great experience.
Your operator will provide most of the camping equipment you need. Budget operators may expect you to carry your own blankets and utensils, so do check the inclusions of your package carefully. If you’re going camping in the winter, it is a good idea to carry extra blankets, because it can get very cold at night.
The closest station to Bhandardara is Igatpuri which lies on the Mumbai-Nashik railway line. You can catch a train from Mumbai to Igatpuri and then take a local bus or taxi to reach Bhandardara. If you're driving your own car from Mumbai, then you can take the National Highway 3. At Ghoti toll post, take a left onto the State Highway 44 which runs across Bhandardara.
If you're driving from Pune, then take the National Highway 50. At Ghargaon, turn left onto the State Highway 12 followed by another left from Kotul onto State Highway 44.
You can even take a bus from both cities to reach Bhandardara
The tour operator will provide all the equipment required for camping in Bhandardara including tents, matts, sleeping bags, etc. Do note that some budget operators do not provide sleeping bags and blankets for the night, so check the inclusions of the trip you're booking carefully.
Apart from this, carry all your essentials like a backpack, comfortable full sleeve t-shirts and full pants, shoes, personal toiletries and med kit, raincoat/poncho, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. Remember to carry a mosquito repellent as they can be a nuisance in the Western Ghats.
There are no age restrictions for Bhandardara camping. Many families with children and senior citizens enjoy camping in Bhandardara. Do note that some campsites are located a short distance from the parking lot. So check the package details carefully before booking if you have a member in your group who might find it difficult to cover the distance on foot.