A weekend roadtrip to Nashik, Ratanwadi, Bhandardara and Vaitarna

Tripoto
26th May 2018

Perks of introducing parents to the world of internet and voila, mom finds out the information on Fireflies festival + Camping + Trek in Ratanwadi from a WhatsApp forward! She even goes further to enquire and bargain to a deal of renting a tent for 4 at just Rs 500 per night minus the food!

Day 1

We planned our journey to reach Nashik city. We reached Sula Vineyards in Nashik, took their 45 mins Wine Tasting tour and had an amazing time there. We wanted to have Nashik's famous Sadhana Misal but they were closed by the time we reached.

Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S

We started our journey towards Bhandardara from Nashik as Ratanwadi is in the middle of the forest near Bhandardara. We took a small break for early dinner at Taked Jain Derasar. Post lunch, we started our journey to Ratanwadi.

We reached Bhandardara when it was already dark. The roads were terrible. We still had 1 and half hours of drive ahead of us in the dark and into the dense forest! We completed our formality at the forest checkpoint. We had already communicated with our group leader who would be meeting us directly at the campsite! As we were driving into thick forest, we realised our Airtel numbers had left the network. Thank god, we had downloaded the offline Google Map to reach the campsite. We were just driving and not sure if where will this map will lead us. While driving on the full moon night, we came across many trees swamped with fireflies like stars shining in the full moon night! The sight was magical and we didn't expect we would see them on the entire route. We took many pictures on our DSLR. This fireflies are scared of lights so we had to shut our flashes and car lights. Moving ahead, we came across the valley and this was one of the best views we ever had in life. All the trees in the entire valley were swamped with fireflies and it looked divine, magical, words that cant express what sight it was! It was like stars had come down to the earth! We didn't feel like leaving the place at all but we had to reach the campsite anyhow!

We reached our campsite and realised it is a small village with no to little electricity and few houses. Our tents were fixed on the dry river bed. Everyone on the camp had left to see fireflies. We thought of joining them and drove to their spot but we couldn't find them. But, instead we reached a spot which was equally magical. With no mobile networks. no electricity, we felt we had been transported to different world. World full of peace, beauty, calmness and serenity. We sat their for almost an hour and then we reached our campsite. Our group leader Prashant was very helpful. He showed us our tent and we decided to doze off as we were very tired. It was getting pleasantly cold in hot summers! There were no mosquitoes in the tent and really had a peaceful sleep. We woke up early to the very beautiful view of mountains that surrounded us. We had carried our own food so we had breakfast and were ready for our next adventure - Sandhaan Valley Trek!

Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Taked Budruk, Maharashtra, India by Tanvi S
Day 2

We drove for half and hour to reach this spot. It was super hot and sun right on head. We drank almost 2-3 litres of water and still felt dehyradated! When we reached the spot, we saw it was very crowded as it was last weekend before the monsoons, before schools/colleges reopens and this place fills up with water in monsoons closing the trek! The trek is a narrow trek between 2 mountains with huge rocks to cross. At the end of the trek which is almost 3-4kms long, is the reverse waterfall. To reach there, one has to go through waist high accumulated water in 2 spots. We couldn't go ahead as we were not sure since how long did that water stand there for? It would have been super unhygienic and so we stopped till there. But the overall trek was one the most adventurous and one of a kind trek. Not one to be missed but definitely not to be planned in the end of the summer season!

We drove back to Bhandardara with beautiful memories and with content in heart knowing my parents had wonderful and different time of their life! We were exhausted of the heat so we went to the park near Bhandardara Dam. The dam and river were all dried up with no water. My parents and R dozed off to get some rest under the trees inside the park. After sometime, I woke up and with an urge to explore the place, went to Umbrella Falls, which of course didn't had a single drop of water but it was a beautiful view. I went little more ahead and the walking and curiosity led me to the open space and what I see is the huge dam in front of me. I could walk right to the bottom of the dam and could see how brilliantly this dam is made of. It's a British engineering marvel and a gift to nearby villages. R caught me here gawking at the dam. I told him my earlier memories of visiting Bhandardara Dam when the dam was filled with water.

After Bhandardara, we left for Akole which is almost 30kms from Bhandardara. On the way we came across place called Wilson Dam Spillways of the dam water. It was super windy but the place was astounding. We have relatives in Akole so we decided to spend night with them.

Next day, after bidding adieu to relatives we went to Pravara River in Akole and then feft for Mumbai. On the way we came across Randha Falls, dry again. But the whole rocky formation of mountains looked nothing less than American Grand Canyon. Parents were still reeling with the joy of amazing trip and suggested we also drive up to Vaitarna Dam on the way! Their enthusiasm here is unimaginable!

The roads to Vaitarna Dam were very good. We came across another dam and dam spillways. Maharashtra is so beautiful without monsoons too! We couldn't reach actual Vaitarna Dam but we went to the riverbed of the river Vaitarna. We sat there for long time, soaking up the sun, cool breeze, birds chirping, music of river flowing!

#learningholiday

Had it not been my mom, I am sure, they wouldn't have been part of this trip if planned by us! At 59, She was super charged for this whole trip than I and R. My dad is a total routine person. Getting him to the trek and making him sleep in the tent is one of a challenge but he loved the whole experience without being fussy! This was sure a learning holiday for me since I could spend time with my parents and gave them a chance to explore places their own way which they hadn't done in their life!

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