Ratangad is hill fort in the Sahyadris, near Bhandardara dam. The fort, initially ruled by the Mughals, was conquered by Shivaji Maharaj who loved it like a jewel! It is known to be more than 20 centuries old and is the origin of the enormous river Pravara, also known as Amrutvahini. It boasts of clear views of the Kalasubai peak and the Kokan-Kada (where the Sahyadris descend steeply into Konkan), thus becoming a trekker’s and photographer’s delight.
The 1000 year old Amruteshwar temple at Ratanwadi, the base village is a must visit. At the start of trek, the trails leads into a thick forest which will last for one hour. Then you come across long and firmly fitted series of 5 ladders which brings you to the enormous cave where around 50 people can be accommodated comfortably. On the way to the top, there are huge water tanks which trekkers use as a source of water. It is full almost throughout the year. Half an hour trek into knee deep grasses, we reach the top. At the top there is a giant hole caused by wind erosion called ‘The needle’. The view from there is spectacular. A perfect site for photography enthusiast.
Travel Itinerary -:
10:50 pm - Board Kasara fast local from CST starting at 22:50.
01:18 am - Gather at Kasara railway station and start journey to base village Ratanwadi in private car.
04:00 am - Reach base village. Have an introduction round followed by important instructions. Start trekking
06:30 am - Reach the caves. Have breakfast and trek towards the ‘Needle’ point. Enjoy the beautiful views.
08:30 am - Start descending.
11:00 am - Reach the base village and have lunch.
12:30 pm - Start journey to Kasara in private jeep.
02:30 pm - Reach Kasara and depart for home with the happy memories.