Bhandardara October 2016, Part 1

During my trip to India in October, 2016, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Bhandardara, a small resort village about 115 miles north-east of Mumbai. This post documents the first day of the trip, to Bhandardara and Rhanda Falls. There will be another post that chronicles our second day.

We left early Saturday from Powai, next to the office in Hiranandani Gardens. Hiranandani is a major developer in India, who has a distinct architectural style that includes fancy tops to the buildings in his developments.

Powai Hiranandani towers at our starting point

We were headed to a much more rural location. The monsoon had ended just a few weeks before our trip, so everything was green and lush. I’ll step outside the narrative to show a view from the Andavan Resort in Bhandardara. A very pretty location.

A view of Lake Arthur from the resort

There was a bit of driving involved. It took us about four and half hours to get to Bhandardara, with a stop for refreshments at the Manas resort, which is located on the highway to Nasik, just as you reach the plateau above Mumbai. The view below is on the highway just north of Thane.

Heading on toward Nasik

It seems there are some Christian activists at work in Maharashtra. I saw this marked in several places. I don’t like graffiti.

This graffiti was in many places on our drive

Crossing a river, we saw people out doing the laundry in the river. Easy this time of year with the rivers full of water from the monsoon.

Laundry being done along the river

We arrived mid-afternoon at the Andavan Resort.

We arrived mid-afternoon at Andavan Resort

The resort is very nice. It is in great shape, the rooms are well outfitted and clean, and the food in the restaurant is excellent.

The accommodations were quite nice

After a late lunch, we set off to Rhanda Falls, south of Bhandardara down the Pravara river that comes from the outlet of Lake Arthur. Wilson Dam forms Lake Arthur and was built (according to Wikipedia) in 1910. There are a large number of these very old and overgrown concrete houses downstream from the dam. It would make sense that these were built to house the workers who built the dam.

Houses built, I think, to support the workers who built the dam 100 years ago


Goats along the road

The area around Bhandardara is extensively cultivated, primarily with rice.

Rice is cultivated extensively around Bhandardara

When you arrive at Rhanda Falls, there is an overlook over the river and a temple.

Outlook on the Pravara River near Rhanda Falls

An outlook over the Pravara River

There are local vendors who sell snacks.

Fresh snacks are sold here

I believe this is Rhanda Falls. It is on the Pravara river and has a small temple that gets almost inundated during the peak of the monsoon.

A small temple by Rhanda Falls

Downstream from the falls is a placid lake. This lake is formed by a dam approximately eight miles downstream near the village of Nilwande, known as the Nilwande Dam. During the dry season, the stretch of the river in this picture is almost empty.

The placid Pravara River downstream of Rhanda Falls

Looking back west to Rhanda Falls, the temple, and the sunset.

Rhanda Falls, a month after the main monsoon has ended

This area is quite pretty with the land green and lush from a generous monsoon that finished several weeks before our visit.

The placid river is held back by a dam several miles downstream.

In the dry season, this lake is entirely empty

Note the white birds on the tree on the right side of the photo.

Note the white birds on the right

Several of our group had some spiced, fresh cucumber prepared by this vendor.

A local merchant supplies fresh cucumber for visitors

There is another, small waterfall that comes from a seasonal tributary to the Pravara river.

Looking back toward some falls that come down from the side

These falls can be quite impressive at the height of the monsoon.

These pretty falls can be very impressive during the monsoon

The water from this flows separately from the Pravara River

There were people out doing late afternoon laundry in the fresh water.

A late day laundry

This area is quite mountainous with high peaks in the background in many directions.

Mountains can be seen in the distance behind the falls

Looking downstream on the placid lake of the Pravara river.

This is a deep empty canyon in dry season

As we left, the Sun was setting, providing a nice end to the day.

A beautiful sunset

The resort provided excellent dinner service in the three-bedroom villa. We went outside after dinner for conversation and to enjoy the pleasant eventing.

A nice evening with the team back at the resort

This small cat showed up soon after we opened the back door. It ate many pieces of chicken, no doubt taught by many guests that we are sources of good food, and plenty of it.

This little cat was quite hungry, eating many pieces of chicken

The evening ended late, with conversation around a small fire provided by the resort staff.

Good conversation around a small fire

Part 2 of this trip will be posted in a subsequent entry.