Ratnagad fort is an ancient lofty structure located amidst mind-blowing spectacles that is roughly estimated to be constructed about 400 years back. This splendid fort was attacked and conquered by the great Maratha legend Chattrapathi Shivaji. This fort was his dearest and best-loved. Perched on the hill, the then strong fort is now a popular trekking spot. Ratanwadi is the base village which is located at the foot of the hill. 3 hrs of trekking is required to reach the fort from the base camp. Journey to Ratanwadi is itself very exciting as a boat must be hired to reach the base village. The glittering waters of the lake Arthur seperate Bandhandhara and Ratanwadi.
Ratangad has many must visit spots that are fascinating and arouses curiosity amongst the people. Close to the fort there is a natural aperture at the top of the hill which is assumed to be caused by erosion. Marathi people called it Nedhe or the “Neddle’s Eye”. The august fort has 4 grand and lofty doors called the Ganesh, Hanuman, Chor and Kalyan Darwazas. It is otherworldly experience to laze out happily after a 3 hour trek watching the fort and the surrounding green belt and feeling the flow of the swiftly passing wind.
After treating your senses with nature’s delight it’s now time to get into devotional mood. At the base camp there is an age old temple of Lord Shiva called the Amrutheshwar temple, constructed in imposing Hemadpanti style of architecture. Impressive and lovely murals beautify the walls of the temple. Legendary stories say that this temple was constructed by the Pandavas.
Bandhandhara Dam is also a good spot to visit.
Ratangad is a charming place filled with a delightful combo of devotion, history and nature at its best. It fills the tourists with energizing warmth.
HOW TO REACH
Ratanwadi is separated from Bandhardhara by the Arthur lake. Ferry services are available to reach the base village. Taxis and buses can be hired to Bandhardhara.
By Train : Igatpuri is the closest railway station.
By Bus : Bhandhardhara is about 35kms from Igatpuri and bus facility is available.