Ratangad Fort is a Hill Fort, located at the height of 4255 feet above sea level. Base village for the fort are Samrad village near Ghatghar and Ratanwadi village. The durg located in Harishchandragad Kalsubai forest sanctuary it is often visited by campers who camp at Bhandardara Lake. Sahyadri fort found 45 minutes' drive from Bhandardara Wilson Dam. Roads leading to both the villages of Samrad and Ratanwadi are in terrible condition. Trek is medium-difficult with steel ladders; rock cut steps, ridge walking, you will need good endurance to complete the trek. On weekends fort is frequented by many hikers. Food is available in the base village; there are many options for homestays and camping. You can also spend a night inside the cave located on the Sahyadri fort. There are many monkeys along the way, and please take care of your belongings. Water tanks are available on top of the fort.
Ratanwadi recognized for Amruteshwar Temple is an intricately sculpted Shiva temple constructed over a thousand years ago. During the fireflies season that is post monsoon around June first week the forest near this village is filled with fireflies.
Ratan means Jewel in Hindi. This hill fort is indeed jewel in all the hill forts in Sahyadri Range. It is located in the district of Ahmednagar and is located about 4255 feet above sea level. It lies in the Ajoba mountain range surrounded by magnificent mountains of Kulang, Alang, Madan, Kalsubai, Katarabai, Ajoba, Harishchandragad, and Ghanchakkar.
Highlights of the Sahyadri Fort.
• It vests in the beautiful landscape with dense forests on one side and the vast spread of Bhandardara lake, one of the oldest artificial catchment areas, on the other side.
• High endurance level trek.
• The ultimate ascend is made easy by the iron ladders constructed by the forest department.
• The fort at the top of the hill provides its spectators a view of the Sahyadri ranges like Alang, Kulang, Madan, Harishchandragad, Patta seen easily.
• From the southern side, one can see Katrabai and Ajoba fort very close.
• On the right side of the fort, you can see a thumb-shaped pinnacle, which is known as Ratangad Khutta
Why you should choose this Sahyadri Trek.
• Easily accessible from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, and Kasara.
• Located amidst the dense jungles of Western Ghats, Durg is one of the unique architectures to witness in the region.
• It is also called Jewels of the Fort.
• There is a natural crack in the mountain top caused by wind erosion. This natural rock cavity has an emerging tip at the top known as Nedhe or the eye of the needle called due to its shape.
• The fort is origin for the river Pravara/Amrutvahini. The Bhandardara Dam built on this river.
Geographically Ratangad is at the banks of Bhandardara lake of Ahmednagar district. With views of lake and highest mountains in Sahyadri looks very much lost in time. This fort offers fabulous views of majestic Sahyadri ranges. Right from Katrabai till Sandhan Valley. One of the most beautiful forts in Flowering September, Ratangad, seems to shadowed by yellow Sonki Flowers. Many trekkers are visiting the fort post-monsoon as the fort covered in a carpet of yellow flowers. Once in seven years, the Karvi flowers bloom, Karvi include the fort in the purple color carpet not to miss for any Sahyadri explorer. You can also camp inside the caves you will need to carry your food and cook your food.
The remains of fort with bastions and stone walls. Cave on the top is cut from the rock face and can easily accommodate 25 people at a time. Water cisterns are usually filled with water throughout the year and trekkers use them as water source. Eastern side of the fort has some fortification left, one can see Rani mahal here. From the southern side on can see Katrabai and Ajoba fort very close. Climbing down the Nedhe to the western end of the fort leads closest to the Khuta pinnacle via Trimbak Darwaja.
By Train Nearest Station Kasara, Igatpuri and Nasik Road and hire local jeep taxi till base village Ratanwadi.
By Road from Mumbai - Thane – Kalyan - Igatpuri – Ghoti – Shendi - Bhandardara – Ratanwadi
By Road from Mumbai - Thane - Kalyan - Igatpuri - Bhavli Dam Road - Indore - Bari - MTDC Bhandardara - Samrad
By Road from Pune - Rajguru nagar - Narayangaon - Alephata - Bota - Bramhanwada - Kotul - Rajur - Shendi - Ratanwadi
Sahyadri Trek is one of the best Sahyadri Forts to be visted during monsoon you can start from Samrad village your trek and descend towards Ratanwadi. This way you will be able to cover the complete fort and enjoy the adventure of both the routes for the Killa. Local guides are available at the base village. There is no network in this region so plan accordingly nearest town with proper network is around 30 kms.