Time Required : 1-2 days
Entry Fee : Free
Ratangad is a 400 year old fort, captured by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his time. It is situated in Ratanwadi which is it's base village and overlooks the Bhandardara.
The natural rock formation has an emerging tip at the top known as 'Nedhe' or 'the eye of the needle'. There are many wells on the top each near the four gates of the fort - Ganesh, Hanuman, Konkan, Trimbak. The Fort at the top of hill provides its spectators a view of the Sahyadri range that can be compared to no other, a true paradise of the photographer. The trek is a stimulating one and will keep you on your toes throughout the journey while the surrounding scenes mesemerize you.
Rail: Kasara or Igatpuri house railway stations that are well connected by the trains network will all major cities. Once you reach any of these of these towns, DT buses are available that will take you till Shendi, which is 20 kms away from the base camp. From Shendi, you will have to hire a private vehicle that will take you to Ratanwadi as the road from there can't be expected to tolerate a heavy vehicle like a bus.
Road: Ratanwadi is about a distance of 220 kms from Pune and 150 kms from Mumbai. A road trip from these major cities is pretty plausible and an option well exhausted by many. Hiring a vehicle and reaching Ratanwadi from any major city of Maharashtra is convenient as the village is well connected because of its popularity as a trekking destination.
Approx trek time : 1 hour maximum (if it takes longer, you are probably lost)
Base Camp : Ratanwadi
Days required for the trek : 1 to 2 days
Difficulty level : Medium - Difficult (prior trekking experience required)
Height above sea level : 1142 meters (around 4250 feet)
Nearest Airport : Ozar airport or Shirdi airport
Nearest Railhead : Kasara (which is a small town 50 kms from the base village); Igatwadi (which is 65 kms from the base village)
Region : Sahyadris
Starting point of trek : Ratanwadi village; a small village on the foothills of the hill about a 20 kms away from Shendi, the nearest village.
Type : Hill - Forest - Fort
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