As city dwellers, Mumbaikars are constantly on the lookout for new weekend getaways. Bhandardara is one such getaway which is known to embrace nature lovers and adventurers. Its close proximity to the city of Mumbai makes it perfect for a motorcycle trip.
Bhandardara is nestled in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra, but it’s easily accessible through a strong road network. The hill station attracts campers and trekkers, as it is quite close to the highest peak in Maharashtra, which is Kalsubai. If you decide to take a bike trip to Bhandardara, your journey will be accompanied with beautiful landscapes surrounding this enormous mountain.
Other than the breathtaking landscapes on your ride there, you will find yourself surrendering to gorgeous waterfalls, unwinding at Arthur Lake or stargazing at a camping spot. If you have more than a day to spare, we would recommend turning it into a multi – day trip to capture a sky full of stars. Keep these things in mind before you hit the road from Mumbai to Bhandardara.
Planning The Trip to Bhandardara
Best time for the road trip
Bhandardara is one of the best monsoon destinations in Maharashtra. The period from June to October is the best time to visit Bhandardara. If you choose to go in the summers, it can get really hot and humid, but you can cool off with some refreshing drinks in Ratanwadi village. You can also take a dip in the water bodies around, which is an experience in itself.
Mumbai to Bhandardara route
Going wherever the road leads sounds like a call for adventure, but it’s often better to have a planned route in mind before you set out for your journey. By planning the route before you go, you can learn about interesting spots along the way, which you may want to see or stop at for a meal. You also learn about any areas that might have heavy traffic or roadblocks. Nowadays, Google maps can help you find these spots and detours. However, here’s a brief idea about the route to Bhandardara.
The Ideal route to get to Bhandardara is taking the Mumbai – Nashik Expressway which connects Mumbai to Bhandardara.
This is the route we recommend.
Starts with Eastern Express Highway – Mulund – Thane – Kalyan – Nashik Expressway – Kasara – Igatpuri – Ghoti Budruk Toll Post (take a right turn) – you reach Bhandardara.
The entire journey will take you about 4 hours to reach Bhandardara. After all it is just 170 kilometres away from Mumbai
About The Bike Trip From Mumbai to Bhandardara
To have a memorable experience of this road trip, it’s a good idea to do some planning before you hop on your bike. There are a few things you can do that will help you to make the most of your motorcycle road trip. Here’s what you need to know before you start your engines.
As they say Mumbai is a city that never sleeps which makes the traffic jams start sooner than you’d expect so it’s advisable that you start your journey as early as possible, between 6 AM is an ideal time to leave. You can avoid traffic and reach the outskirts of the city without any stalling. Once you’re on the Mumbai – Nashik Expressway it makes for an exciting ride as you witness the sun rise in the distance.
The overall journey is a really pleasant one and easy to follow. Once you reach Ghoti Budruk, take a right from Ghoti Garden. If you’re low on fuel, the last petrol pumps are situated on this road, about 10 mins away from Ghoti Garden. So make sure you fuel those tanks up. From here, the last patch of roads are a bit bad, especially during monsoons. So you should brace yourself for a bumpy ride. But if you’re good at dodging stuff, you can dodge the potholes for a smooth ride. You’ll be surrounded by farms and hills from here on out, so take some time and enjoy the view.
Once you reach Bhandardara, you can plan your time here exploring the interesting spots we’ve mentioned. If you prefer a laid back trip, spend your time taking in the views of the famous Arthur Lake.
Wear all your safety gear and fill up your tank before going on the trip. Also, ensure that you check your bike for any issues before leaving. Make sure all your bike’s documentations are in place too. Please have sufficient sleep before going on the trip and take breaks wherever necessary. You want to be able to enjoy your ride right from the moment you get the engine revving, and not regret it later.
While on the road, play it safe. Follow all the speed limit signs, don’t weave through traffic, and only ride when conditions are safe. Considering the best time to visit the place is during the monsoons, the roads can be dangerous if you’re speeding. It may take you a little longer to get to your destination, but that’s a much better alternative than ending up in a hospital.
Interesting Sites You Can Visit
You’ll likely come across some scenic opportunities while visiting these sites. So, try to find some time along the way to stop for pictures. Once your road trip is made, you’ll be glad you had these snapshots to look back on. Part of the fun of a road trip is the journey itself, it’s not all about the destination. So, stop and feel the breeze occasionally, and enjoy riding on the open road.
Wilson Dam – Also known as Bhandardara Dam, this was built on Pravara river in 1910. It is the largest earthen dam in India, which speaks of the engineering excellence of those days. When the water levels rise during the monsoons, the gates of the dam open to release water into the plains, and you can go to the edge of the Garden to enjoy the sprinkles of the water.
Arthur Lake – This lake is pretty close to Wilson Dam and is the main tourist attraction. This would be the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the gorgeous views of the sky. People prefer this spot for setting up tents and having a bonfire session. An advantage is that bikes can pretty much go up all the way to the lake.
Umbrella Falls – The Umbrella Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall formed under the Wilson Dam. It is created when the water is released from the Dam on naturally placed rocks, which gives the waterfall an impression of an umbrella.
Kalsubai Peak – If you’re a trekking enthusiast, you can station your bike at the base village situated at the foot of Mt. Kalsubai, known as Bari. It’s around 13 km from Bhandardara. Mt. Kalsubai is also known as the Everest of Maharashtra, as it is the highest peak in the state. Experienced trekkers usually find their way to the top with some difficulty. There are now man-made stairs to reach the peak to make it easier.
See also: Bike Trip from Mumbai to Lonavala
Our article sums up how easy it is to make a bike journey to Bhandardara especially from the city of Mumbai. So it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced rider or fairly new, this is a great road trip to experience without much difficulties. If you’re making this trip along with your friends and don’t have enough bikes, you can always rent a few so that each of you get to have your own solo bike experience!