Bhandardara is a holiday resort village on the western ghat of India. The village is located in the; Ahmednagar district of the state of Maharashtra, about 185 kilometers from Mumbai. Best time to visit: December to February.
I've always wanted to go camping here because I've heard so much about this place. This place has been recently getting a lot of attention. Many travel based companies/startups organize overnight camps at Bhandardara. However, I decided to take my group of friends along for a camping trip on my own. And it turned out to be the best decision! I knew how to get there since i have been to Kalsubai which is quite close to Bhandardara. Plus the travelling part was the easiest, there's no way you can get lost. In fact you save on a lot of money if you decide to go there on your own.
We were 20 of us, all pumped and excited for this trip. The planning had began 2 weeks in advance. We had to rent tents and sleeping bags since Bhandardara gets really chilly at night. There are many places in Mumbai that let you rent tents and sleeping bags with reasonable prices. like shadytents.com & rentsetgo.co etc. If you plan on buying a tent or sleeping bag, visit Decathalon. They have all the camping and trekking equipments and it's a traveler's paradise. We also decided to do potluck for dinner and that turned out to be a huge success. The food kept coming and nobody slept hungry. So we only spent on traveling and lunch on both days.
We decided to take the 11.54 train from Kurla station to Kasara. It took us about 2.5 hours to reach. Upon reaching the station, we started talking to jeep drivers who were just outside the station. Bhandardara is a very well known place, so these jeep drivers drop you right to the camping spot. Since these guys drive jeeps for their livelihood, at first they always quote high prices to the travelers. After some negotiation, we finally got a good deal of 1250 per jeep and since we were 20 we took 2 jeeps and that amounted to Rs. 125 per person which is a pretty good deal! A jeep can accomodate 10 people comfortably.
So we began our journey at 3 pm. We stopped at a dhabba on the way for lunch. Most of the dhabbas serve veg food but their food is delicious and very cheap and the service is quick. 20 of us ate till we were full and we paid 150 per person. Pretty cheap huh? On our way we also made a quick stop at a wine shop and 5 of us then got off and sat on the roof top of the jeep. If you go to Bandardadra in a jeep DO NOT EVER FORGET TO SIT ON THE ROOFTOP OF THE JEEP, you will love it! It was 6 and it was already starting to get cold. We were shivering during our scenic ride on the rooftop but it was exhilarating!!