Ratangad Trek Information:
- Height: 1296m (4255ft)
- Trail: Combination of forest trail and iron ladders.
- Trek Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
- Trek Endurance: Medium to High
- Trek Length: Approx. 6 km
- Trek Location: Ratanwadi, Maharashtra 415407
- Trek Best Time: June to February
- Distance from Mumbai: 178 km
- Distance from Pune: 175 km
Begin the trek from Ratanwadi village and visit the 1,200-year-old Amruteshwar temple. Follow the trail on the left side of the Pravara river, opposite the temple. Hire a guide from the village to avoid confusion along the marked trail.
From the temple, you'll have a clear view of Ratangad fort, recognizable by its "nedhe" (Eye of the Needle) and Ratangad Khutta pinnacle. The trail starts with flat terrain, crosses a recently built dam, and continues along the water body formed by the dam. Enjoy the scenic views and reach a small clearing after about 45 minutes.
The trail enters a dense forest with moderate ascents. The canopy of trees keeps the trail cool and enjoyable. After 30-40 minutes, you'll reach a second clearing where villagers run a shack on weekends for refreshments.
At the second clearing, you'll find two trails: one leads to Ratangad and the other to Harishchandragad. Take the right trail towards Ratangad. Climb a small hill through the forest, followed by a rock patch with steel ladders. Be cautious while climbing the ladders.
Upon reaching the first gate of the fort, continue for a few minutes to find the fourth ladder. A large cave to the right can serve as shelter or refreshment stop. Stone steps lead to the second gate, which has beautiful sculptures and carvings. A round bastion and panoramic views await at the top, including the breathtaking Sahyadris.
Explore the fort by walking along the trail from the round bastion. Discover water tanks, a gate bastion, and the famous Sandhan Valley. Look for a deep pit on the trail's right side, leading to a dark cave with a water cistern. Continue until you reach the nedhe, a steep ascent with a risky route. Enjoy the mesmerizing view from the highest point of the fort.
image captured during Karvi flowering season (once in 7 years)
Descend from the nedhe, take the route to the left for another gate, or take the narrow trail covered in tall grass on the right. This completes the full round of the fort. Follow the same trail back to Ratanwadi, which takes approximately 2 hours.
Things to Carry:
- Backpack (waterproof or covered with waterproof cover)
- Trekking Shoes with Sturdy Grip (must)
- Trekking Pants
- Full sleeves quick-dry T-Shirts (must)
- First Aid Kit
- Water 3L(Minimum)
- Energy Bars