About Ratangad fort:
Ratangad is the best weekend getaway for trekking, from Mumbai and Pune. It is a 400-year-old fort and is located in Ratanwadi village near Bhandardara Dam and is around 180 Kms away from Pune. Ratangad has an eye like a hole in the rock at the top which is popularly called Eye of the Needle.
About the trek:-
We started around 9:30 am from Mumbai by a private bus, and reached there around 04:45 pm and then all of us took some evening snacks.
The trail to Ratangad starts right after the temple. After 5 pm, we started to climb Ratangad along with our trek leader and other participants.
We started climbing and after an hour, it became too dark and since we were in the midst of dense forests, it’s too dark due to dense forest. There were a couple of sounds of animals. After 2 hrs of the trek, we finally reached a point from where a small river was flowing.
At this point, We took a short break of 5 minutes and headed towards the ladders. It was 8:00 pm and it was quite dark in the forests. Due to darkness and dense forest, we were moving slowly.
We all were enjoying the trek but also at the same time, we all were scared too as it was a dense forest and we could listen to the different noises of animals. This was our first time when we were doing a night trek in the dense forest. So after 3 hrs of trekking, we all reached to a ladder, from where we had to climb that ladder to reach the top of the fort but climbing it was very difficult and adventurous as if we slipped from the ladder we would have straightly fallen 200 ft below the mountains.
The ladder was shaking continuously and because of the darkness, we were facing a lot of problems while climbing it. Mostly, all the people out there were shivering because there was a ladder one after the other moreover, there was no support. So after this adventurous ladder experience, we reached the top of the fort and after that we reached that eye cavity point. Then we settled up our tents in that cavity and then had our dinner. After that, we started playing some games, cards and enjoyed the view from the top of the mountain.
It was now around 5:30 am, it was a very beautiful view of the sunrise from the top of the mountain. We waked up all the ones who were sleeping and all of us saw the beautiful sunrise view.
Around 7 am, we started our descending trek to the base village. At 10 in the morning, we reached the base village then we had a breakfast there and continued the return journey to Mumbai.
Places to visit nearby Ratangad trek:-
- Bhandardara – You can enjoy the camping and other activities.
- Randha waterfalls is also a good option to visit, it’s a big waterfall and best in monsoon season.
- Amruteshwar temple
How to reach:-
For Mumbai and nearby Mumbai travelers, the pocket-friendly way is to take a Central Railway train for Kasara, and then hire a private vehicle or opt the shared taxi to Ratanwadi. The train journey takes around 2-3 hrs from Mumbai to Kasara takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Best time to visit:-
Monsoon season and November to February are the best time to trek in Ratangad fort. The trek is little difficult during monsoons and too hot during summers. So, make the most of this season and visit this offbeat place near Mumbai for a memorable experience.