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.
Food stalls are present on the top of the fort as well as easily available in the base village of Ratanwadi.
The caves on the Fort offer excellent accommodation. The largest cave can easily hold up to 30 - 40 people. The smaller caves can also be used for camping.
1. Hire a guide, no matter how confident you are. They will keep you on track and protect you from the almost deadly monkeys. 2. Remember to wear a windsheater for protection from fog and rains.
The first thing you need to do when you reach Ratanwadi, before starting the trek, is pay a visit to the Amruteshwar temple, without visiting which your trip is sure to remain incomplete. Stating on the trek route, the beginning is a terrain of a pretty steep uphill climb which will test your endurance, but reward comes in the form of exotic fauna which you will see nowhere else. The rote is rather jagged and if you go in a season of fog, it's really easy to miss your route and get lost, therefore it's suggested that a guide be hired for a safe and fast climb to the fort. River Pravara graces you from the start of the route and most of the trek is alongside this river. The climb through the jungle is grueling but relief presents itself as two plateaus that fall in the middle of the trek, plateaus which will surely be monumental for catching your breath and rejuvenating yourself. The Ladders that you find in the last leg of the trek will be a piece of cake to climb on, which will lead you to the Tryambak darwaja, the official entrance to the Fort. The Fort is lined with a number of caves that make the place even more intriguing and mysterious along with the structure of the Fort. Importantly, beware of the monkeys that tend to attack in gangs! This is an all round experience that you should not miss for the world.
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
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.
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