Just like the name suggests it's a ‘jewel’ of a fort. Ratangad Fort is situated atop a hill overlooking the Bhandardara region. Kalsubai peak and the Konkan-Kada are visible from here. Standing tall amidst other great peaks of Alang, Kulang, and Kalsubai, Ratangad fort is also a part of the Ajoba mountain range. Ratangad is the origin of the river Pravara. Ratanwadi is the base village of the fort. There is a beautiful Amruteshwar Shiva temple in the village built in the 9th century in Hemadpanti architectural style. The view of lakes from atop will leave you speechless!
Altitude: 1297m / 4255ft
Difficulty level: Easy - Moderate
Best time to visit:
Undoubtedly monsoon is the best time to visit Ratangad fort but the trek can be done throughout the year.
Highlights of the trek:
Check the next section for itinerary and detailed information about the trek.
Departure by Ajantha express at 06:10pm from Secunderabad junction.
It will be around 6am by the time we reach Manmad station. We will have to freshen up in the train itself. We will get into our hired vehicles and start to the base village.
The base village for the Ratangad trek is Ratanwadi village. First, visit the Amruteshwar temple devoted to Lord Shiva which is a 1200-year-old temple. The Pravara River flows by the temple. The trail starts from the left side of the Pravara river, exactly opposite the Amruteshwar temple. From this temple, with your back towards Bhandardara dam, you can see the gigantic Ratangad right in front of your eyes. It can be easily recognized by its nedhe (Eye of the needle) on top of the fort. On the right side of the fort, you can see a thumb-shaped pinnacle, which is known as Ratangad Khutta.
The trail first goes through village fields and is flat till we come across a dam. We will cross the river and climb up the dam wall keeping the river to our left. The trail is fairly flat with slight ascents to the base of the hill. We need to climb up this small hill to reach a small clearing. The trail from here we’ll get into a dense forest. After 30-40 mins of walk, we will reach another clearing. Here we have two routes where the right climbs to Ratangad and the straight trail takes you to Harishchandragad.
Once we take the right and walk further the route opens up to a huge rock patch. We have 3 iron ladders set up to help us climb that rock patch. Our trek leader will always be with the group to help you out at every point when needed. After climbing the ladders we’ll reach the first gate of the fort. Walk ahead for 2-3 minutes till we reach the fourth ladder. On ascending this ladder, we will see a large cave to your right. This is where we are going to camp for the night. This is not the pinnacle of Ratangad peak, but the most feasible place for camping. We will pitch our tents and leave our bags here to move forward to the peak. There are a few stone steps to the left which lead us to the second gate of Ratangad. Few more steps ahead and we reach the top of the fort. We will walk till we see the nedhe on the top right of the fort. There is a steep ascent of 15 minutes to climb up the nedhe. Stormy wind blows through the Eye of the Needle. We can even climb up on the top of the nedhe. We will have to be very careful while doing so, since it's monsoon it is going to be slippery.
We are now at the highest point of the fort! The view from the top is mesmerizing. You can get a complete 360-degree panoramic view from this point if the weather is clear and if there is no fog. We'll spend a good amount of time here and click group photos too. From here we will get back to the camping site and have our dinner and retire for the day.
1.There will be no washrooms at the camping area so please carry tissues and sanitizers.
2.Carry your own water bottle to avoid buying plastic bottles and littering the place there. Be a responsible trekker!
Our trek leader will give a wakeup call early in the morning, and we'll have our breakfast prepared by the locals at the campsite. After breakfast we will pack our tents and start to descend the fort. For the descend we are going to take a different route towards Sandhan valley. This trail route will lead us to the base village of Sandhan valley which is Samrad. This side of the trail is quite different from the ascending route with narrow steps to descend having high rock walls on either sides of the trail, very similar to that of Sandhan valley route. Once we trek down the fort from this side we will reach Samrad village. Our hired vehicle will already be there at Samrad. If the weather is harsh or if it's raining heavily we will not be able to take this route since it's too risky, in that case we will descend down the fort in the same route as we ascended.
We will get into our hired vehicles from the base village and start back to the railway station to board our train to Hyderabad.
We will reach Hyderabad by morning on Monday.
Clothing & Footwear
Food & Beverage
✅ Hyd to Hyd transportation by Train (Sleeper Class)🚂
✅ Local transportation
✅ Accommodation (Camping)
✅ Food (One dinner, One breakfast) 🍱
✅ First Aid
✅ Certified Trek Leaders