Brief About Ratangad Fort Trek
One of the best places to visit in Maharashtra for trekking is Ratangad Fort, located in the district of Ahmednagar. The fort is situated at an altitude of 4255 Ft. above sea level in the Ajoba mountain range, surrounded by the majestic mountains of Kulang, Alang, Kalsubai, Katrabai, Ajoba, and Ghanchakkar. It is a perfect destination on my list of most refreshing treks. You can just escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life and enjoy trekking through the beautiful Sahyadris region.
Upon reaching the fort, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of several mountains, including Alang, Madan, Kulang, and Harishchandragad. The Bhandardara lake is also visible from the fort, and you can witness the mesmerizing cliff as you walk along the edge.
In monsoons, the trekking area is surrounded by lush greenery, and you can witness gorgeous waterfalls. In winters, the dense forest is filled with fog, and you can view the vagrant white running clouds, making it a surreal experience. A trek to Ratangad Fort is an unforgettable adventure for those seeking an escape in nature.
Key details of the Ratangad Fort Trek:
- Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1 day
- Trek Distance: 6 km
- Trek Altitude Range: 4255 feet
- Starting Point: Ratangad Village
- Nearest Railway Station: Igatpuri Railway Station (27 km)
- Nearest Airport: Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport, Mumbai
Table of Contents
Best Places to Visit & Explore around Ratangad Fort Trek
At Ratangad Top, you can immerse yourself in the spectacular views of foggy clouds and multi-colored flowers. From the top of the fort, you can marvel at the panoramic views of the stunning surroundings, including the powerful mountains and forts like Alang, Madan, Kulang, Harishchandragad, and others.
As you explore the surrounding areas of Ratangad, Kalsubai peak is a must-visit location. The highest peak of the Sahyadri range, it offers beautiful views, adventurous trekking experiences, and waterfalls during the trek. I was really taken aback by the stunning views here.
Bhandardara is another popular nearby hill station in Igatpuri, around 190 km from Mumbai, offering lush greenery and a relaxing atmosphere. You can visit places such as Arthur Lake and waterfalls in Bhandardara.
Additionally, the Amruteshwar Temple, located in Ratanwadi village, is a beautiful temple carved of stones and dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracting visitors for its ancient beauty.
What is the best time to visit Ratangad Fort Trek
If you’re planning to visit Ratangad Fort in Maharashtra, the best time to go is between November and February. The winter months provide comfortable weather and make the trek more enjoyable.
However, if you want to witness the beauty of the dense forest and valley views from the top, the monsoon season is the ideal time to go. This is also a great time to camp on the fort and enjoy the beautiful morning view of the clouds.
Overall, Ratangad is a great place to visit throughout the year, with the winter season being the most favorable.
How to reach the starting point of the trek?
Ratanwadi is the starting point of the Ratangad trek, located 56 km away from Igatpuri. One can take a train to Igatpuri from Mumbai or Nashik, hire a shared jeep to Ratanwadi, and then trek to the fort.
Private vehicles are recommended to save time. The trek is accessible by road as well, with a diversion towards Ratanwadi from Sangamner-Akole-Bhandardara or Igatpuri-Ghoti-Bhandardara road. The road from Shendi to Ratanwadi is mesmerizing with untouched nature, but one needs to be careful of leopards in the area.
Availability of accommodations and food near the trek
Food: Visitors can find caves for camping and enjoy local food with their group.
Travellers can explore various homestay and resort options as well as conveniently located hotels in and around Ratanagad Village.
Here are some good accommodation options to consider.
1: Wanderlust Resort: Wanderlust Resort in Rājur is a 3-star hotel that provides a garden, terrace, and restaurant for the guests. It has a business centre, tour desk, and currency exchange. The hotel offers buffet and continental breakfast options to the guests. It also provides bike hire facilities for cycling enthusiasts.
2: Paradise Knock: Paradise knock is an apartment in Igatpuri, which is 46 km away from Pandavlena Caves. This apartment offers an outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi, a shared kitchen, and room service. It has 1 bedroom, a living room, and a terrace with mountain views. Guests can also rent a car through the car rental service available at the apartment.
3: Casa De Recurso: Casa De Recurso is a farm stay located in Ghātghar. It offers a terrace, a restaurant, and free private parking. The farm stay provides towels and bed linen, and guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The 24-hour front desk speaks English, Hindi, and Marathi.
The Difficulty level of the Ratangad Fort Trek
The Ratangad Fort Trek is a manageable climb, with an approximate height of 1192 meters above sea level, and assistive equipment such as ladders, making the trek relatively easy. The rocks on the fort are non-sticky, making the climb less strenuous for visitors.
However, the difficulty level is medium, requiring good endurance levels, and visitors are advised to carry enough water, wear full sleeves, and good hiking shoes. Although the complete trail is marked with white arrows on stones, there are many offshoots from the main track, so it’s advisable to take a guide from the village to avoid getting confused.
Preparation required for the Ratangad Fort Trek
It is important to note that there are no washroom facilities on the mountain, only available at the base village. Avoid carrying heavy weight and wear trekking shoes while trekking. Keep valuables in polythene bags and use repellents to keep bugs away. Stay close to your group and keep family and friends informed about your whereabouts.