Ratangad Fort, perched atop a 4,200-foot peak in the Sahyadri range, offers a thrilling and scenic trekking experience for adventurers of all levels. This ancient fort, shrouded in history and legend, promises breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit.Read more on ratangad fort trek :
Where is Ratangad Fort?
Ratangad Fort is located near the village of Ratanwadi in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India. It is approximately 175 kilometers from both Mumbai and Pune, making it an easily accessible weekend getaway.
Reaching Ratangad Fort: A Guide to Different Options
Reaching Ratangad Fort involves a combination of different modes of transportation depending on your origin and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the options:
- The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, located approximately 175 kilometers from the starting point of the trek.
- From Mumbai, you can either take a taxi or a bus to Ratanwadi village or Kasara, depending on your chosen route.
- Flights to Mumbai are available from major Indian cities and international destinations.
- The nearest railway station is Kasara Railway Station, located approximately 105 kilometers from Ratanwadi village.
- From Kasara, you can take a shared jeep or taxi to Ratanwadi village.
- Trains to Kasara are available from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik.
- Ratanwadi village is well-connected by road to major cities in Maharashtra. Regular buses and private taxis operate from Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik.
- You can also choose to drive your own vehicle to Ratanwadi village.
The Ratangad Fort Trek:
Trail to Ratangad Fort
The Ratangad Fort trek can be completed in a day or extended into an overnight camping adventure. The trek starts from the village of Ratanwadi and offers two main routes:
- Ratanwadi Route: This is the shorter and more popular route, taking approximately 3 hours to ascend and 2 hours to descend. The trail is well-maintained and involves moderate inclines, making it suitable for beginners.
- Samrad Route: This longer route starts from the village of Samrad and offers more challenging terrain with steeper climbs. It takes about 4 hours to ascend and 3 hours to descend, but rewards the effort with even more breathtaking views.
What to Expect on the Trek:
- Scenic Beauty: The trek offers stunning vistas of the surrounding valleys, lush green forests, and dramatic cliffs.
- Historical Significance: Explore the ruins of Ratangad Fort, including the fort walls, bastions, and a 1200-year-old Hemadpanti temple.
- Adventure and Challenge: The moderate to challenging terrain provides an exhilarating experience for trekkers.
- Camping Under the Stars: If you choose to camp overnight, you can enjoy stargazing under the clear night sky.
- Local Culture: Interact with the friendly villagers of Ratanwadi and learn about their traditions.
Planning Your Trek:
- Best Time to Visit: The best time to trek to Ratangad Fort is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and clear.
- Permits and Registration: There are no permits required for this trek, but it is recommended to register at the local gram panchayat office.
- Accommodation: Several guesthouses and campsites are available near the starting point of the trek. You can also choose to camp at the fort itself.
- Essential Gear: Pack sturdy trekking shoes, comfortable clothing, warm clothes (especially for overnight camping), a raincoat, sunscreen, a water bottle, snacks, and a headlamp.
- Guides and Porters: Hiring a local guide, especially if you are a first-time trekker, can enhance your experience and ensure your safety.
- Distance: The total distance of the trek varies depending on the chosen route:
- Ratanwadi Route: 6 kilometers
- Samrad Route: 7.5 kilometers
- Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
- Altitude Gain: 1,296 meters
Websites Offering Ratangad Fort Treks:
Here are some websites offering Ratangad fort treks:
General Trekking Websites:
- Indiahikes: https://indiahikes.com/documented-trek/ratangad-trek
- Thrillophilia: https://www.thrillophilia.com/tours/ratangad-fort-trek
- Trek The Himalayas: https://www.treksandtrails.org/tours/ratangad-fort-trek-2023
- TravelTriangle: https://www.trawell.in/itineraries/mumbai/one-day-trip/ratangad-fort-trek
- ClearTrip: https://www.trawell.in/maharashtra/bhandardara/ratangad-fort
Websites of Local Trekking Companies:
- Sahyadri Rangers: https://www.sahyadrirangers.com/
- Mischief Treks: https://www.mischieftreks.com/mischief-treks-blog
- Pune Trekking Club: https://lbb.in/pune/trekking-clubs-in-pune/
- Explorers India: http://explorersgroup.in/web/package/ratangad-amruteshwar-2/
- Trekking Monks: https://trekmonk.in/
- MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation): https://maharashtratourism.gov.in/
- Ratanwadi Village Gram Panchayat: https://www.onefivenine.com/india/villages/Ahmednagar/Akole/Ratanwadi
Please note: This list is not exhaustive and there may be other websites offering Ratangad Fort treks. It is recommended to do your own research and compare itineraries, prices, and reviews before booking your trek.
The Ratangad Fort trek is a perfect blend of adventure, history, and natural beauty. It offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for trekkers of all levels and promises memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your boots, pack your bags, and embark on this unforgettable journey to conquer the clouds at Ratangad Fort.