Igatpuri: The Western Ghat Mountains of Maharashtra

igatpuri-travel-guide

Table of Contents

Introduction

Igatpuri is one of the most popular getaway destinations for people living in cities like Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra. The Western Ghats of Maharashtra are famous for transforming into a beautiful landscape during and right after rains. However, there is much more to them than just fresh greenery. Igatpuri is situated perfectly to help you explore and marvel at this mountain range. In this guide, we will tell you everything that you need to know about Igatpuri.

Geography

igatpuri

Igatpuri is a hill station located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. It is the perfect spot for nature lovers spread across an area of around 15 square kilometers. It is famous for some mesmerizing views of the Sahyadri Mountains, forts, waterfalls in Igatpuri hills, and the globally popular Vipassana International Academy.

History

Igatpuri falls in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. Nashik was known as Panchvati before the Ramayana period and has a lot of historical and cultural significance. It is believed that Nashik got its name from an incident in the Ramayana where Lakshmana cuts Shoorpanakha’s nose. According to mythology, Lord Rama had made Nashik his abode during the 14 years of exile. Since Lakshmana cut the nose of Shoorpanakha, the place was named Nashik (which means β€˜nose’ in Sanskrit).

Vaitama-Dam
Vaitarna Dam

Apart from this, there are many mythological, historical, and cultural stories associated with Nashik (including Igatpuri). You can discover them as you explore the land.

Best Time to Visit Igatpuri

Igatpuri weather is the best during the winter months of December to February. The days are cool and pleasant and the nights are chilly. Igatpuri temperature can climb up to 38 degrees C during the summer months March to May and is usually considered off-season. While monsoon can be beautiful in Igatpuri, travel during the months of June to November only if you are comfortable trekking in rain.

How to Reach Igatpuri from Pune

vihigaon waterfall
Vihigaon Waterfall

Igatpuri is connected to all important cities via a network of highways and well-maintained roads. Here are some ways to travel to Igatpuri from Pune:

By Train 

There is one train that plies between Pune and Igatpuri – Pune – Bhusaval Express. It runs every day of the week. 

By Road 

Igatpuri is around 210-250 km by road from Pune. You can take the Bengaluru Mumbai Highway (distance of around 250 km and travel time of around 5 hours) or NH60 and NH61 (distance of around 210 km and travel time of around 5.5 hours). You can book a chauffeur-driven Pune to Igatpuri taxi and travel comfortably.

By Flight 

Nashik Airport is the closest airport to Igatpuri. There is one flight between Pune and Igatpuri every week. The distance between Nashik Airport and Igatpuri is around 67 km. You can book a cab from Nashik Airport to Igatpuri and reach there in around 1 hour and 20 minutes

Places to Visit in Igatpuri

Igatpuri is famous for a lot of interesting places that attract tourists around the year. Here are some places to consider for Igatpuri sightseeing:

avandha fort
Avandha fort
  • Vipassana International Academy – A globally popular academy that teaches the ancient technique of meditation called Vipassana. The place is also called Dhammagiri or the hill of Dhamma.
  • Vaitarna Dam – This gravity and earthfill dam built over the Vaitarna Igatpuri Lake is one of the most famous places in Igatpuri. With stunning views of the Western Ghats and a dense forest, it is a must-visit dam near Igatpuri.
  • Bhatsa River Valley – Just before you enter Igatpuri, right at the end of Thal Ghat, lays a picturesque valley called the Bhatsa River Valley. This unsullied valley can rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
  • Tringalwadi Igatpuri Fort – The Tringalwadi Fort is located at a height of around 3000 feet in the Sahayadri Hill Range. It is believed that the fort was built in the 10th century.
  • Vihigaon Waterfall – A slope that has a waterfall from over 1000 feet, this is an excellent spot for an impromptu picnic with family and friends.
  • Kalsubai Peak – This is the highest peak in Maharashtra at a staggering height of 1646 meters. It offers some breathtaking views and requires an average level of fitness to reach the summit.
  • Ghatandevi Mandir – Dedicated to Ghatan Devi or the protector of the hills, this temple is located in Awal Khed against a picturesque backdrop of Durvar Utvad, Trimbak, and Harihar peaks.
  • Camel Valley – This is a must visit during and right after monsoon since there are numerous waterfalls spouting out and the valley becomes rich in flora. There are some adventure activities in this valley too.
  • Amruteshwar Temple – This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be more than 1200 years old. It is located along the banks of the River Pravara in Ratanwadi village.
  • Talegaon Lake – An ideal spot to set up a personal camp while enjoying the mesmerizing views of the valley and soaking in the serenity of the lake.
  • Avandha Fort – Located in the Aundhewadi village, this fort stands tall at 4300 feet and is a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts.

Things to Do in Igatpuri 

  • Trekking – Igatpuri has a lot of options for trekking. You can trek up to places like Ratangad Fort, Harishchandragad, and Harihar Fort. You can also go for a trek along Kalsubai, Alang, Madan, and Kulang peaks. 
  • Adventure Sports – Apart from trekking, there are various other adventures that you can indulge in like rappelling, valley crossing, river crossing, etc.
  • Birdwatching – Igatpuri is also famous for lots of birds and butterflies that make the Sahyadris home in winters.

Places to Eat in Igatpuri

Igatpuri-trek
  • Zaika Family Restaurant, Ashwin Nagar – Indian, Chinese, and Asian food
  • Greenland Pure Vegetarian Restaurant, Mumbai-Nashik Highway opposite Mahindra & Mahindra – for vegetarian food
  • Sweet Poison, Manas Lifestyle Resort, Mumbai Agra Highway – a multi-cuisine restaurant
  • Madhushala, Shagun Resort, Ghoti Toll Plaza – a multi-cuisine restaurant

Places to Visit Near Igatpuri

Here are some places near Igatpuri that are worth a visit:

trimbakeshwar
Trimbakeshwar
  • Trimbakeshwar – Home to one of the most unique jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, Trimbakeshwar is located at a distance of around 55-60 km from Igatpuri. The jyotirlinga has three faces on it, each representing Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma. It is a perfect place for a spiritual getaway.
  • Bhandardara – A beautiful hill station around 45 km to the south of Igatpuri, Bhandardara is highly popular among trekkers and those seeking to unwind in the lap of nature too.
  • Lonavala – A popular hill station in Maharashtra at a distance of around 160 km from Igatpuri, Lonavala is known for its captivating landscape with numerous waterfalls and crystal clear lakes. Standing tall at an altitude of around 2050 feet, it has a range of options to enthrall all types of travelers.
  • Shirdi – Famous for the shrine of Sri Sai Baba, Shirdi is a popular religious destination in India. It is frequented by people from all faiths and has a buzz around the year. Shirdi is at a distance of around 120 km from Igatpuri. You can also visit Shani Shingnapur at a distance of around 80 km from Shirdi to visit the unbelievable village where there are no doors!
bhandardara
Bhandardara

Places to Stay in Igatpuri

  • Bodh Valley Resort, Gut No. 95, Igatpuri
  • The Herb Farm, Mundhegaon
  • Mystic Valley Spa Resort, Mumbai Agra Road
  • Rainforest Resort, 500 Mts. Before Ghoti Toll Naka, Igatpuri
  • Manas Lifestyle Resort, 286-A, Talegaon

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Igatpuri - The Western Ghat Mountains of Maharashtra
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Igatpuri - The Western Ghat Mountains of Maharashtra
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Igatpuri is one of the most popular getaway destinations for people living in cities like Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.
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Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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