Igatpuri is a small town and a beautiful hill station in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. It is known for its picturesque beauty, lush greenery, pleasant climate, many waterfalls, forts and dams which make it a perfect getaway from Mumbai and Nasik. During monsoon the place becomes a heaven for nature lovers with increased greenery and reviewed waterfalls making it the most popular tourist destination in Maharashtra. Igatpuri houses many forts which attracts trekkers and hikers. Over past few years Igatpuri has become famous due to the Vipassana International Academy which attracts people who wish to seek peace and spiritual rejuvenations. So if you are planning to visit Igatpuri then here is a list of things do in Igatpuri.
Things to do in Igatpuri:
1. Meditate at the Dhamma Vipassana International Academy.
Vipassana means meditation involving concentration on the body or its sensations. This ancient meditation technique was taught by Buddha over 2500 years ago to treat illness. The Vipassana international Academy was founded by Shri. S. N. Goenka in 1976 with the goal to teach the ancient techniques of meditation i.e. Vipassana. This academy offers a 10 days free Vipassana course which has benefited many people from across the world. The Vipassana International Academy Is the main center of the global Vipassana Academy and largest meditation center in the world. This area of Vipassana International Academy is also known as Dhamagiri.
The place is green and beautiful to roam around. The place has an exhibition consisting of a portrait showing Buddha’s work and life journey. Also, a video lecture of 10 mins mentioning the life and Vipassana course at the academy is also shown to the tourist. The place is also known for its pagoda i.e. large Myanmar gate.
2. Indulge in the beauty of Camel Valley
Camel Valley is just next to Bhatsa River Valley and has a waterfall cascading from a height of about 1,000 feet. Here you get to watch five waterfalls from five different water sources fall one below the other. This makes it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographer, especially during monsoon. During monsoon, you also get to see a blanket of fog in this area. During monsoon, fog with the cool breeze, greenery and waterfall make this place a treat for eyes.
When you look at the valley you feel you are looking at an oversize green camel’s back hence the name Camel Valley. One get to witness all shades of green here. This place can be seen even from the Railway and it lies on the Mumbai-Nasik highway.
3. Visit the Ghantadevi temple.
The Ghantadevi temple is dedicated to the goddess of Ghat or protector of the Ghat is situated in a scenic place just ahead of ghat. It is surrounded by three beautiful and majestic peaks of Harihar, Durvar Utvad and Trimak. The scenic vicinity of the temple attracts many people. Behind the temple lies the famous Tringalwadi fort.
4. Enjoy at the magical and Refreshing Bhavli Dam and Bhavli Waterfall.
Bhavli Dam is a
must visit destination especially during rainy season. The dam is located just
a few kilometers away from the Mumbai-Agra Highway. It is an earthfill
dam on Bham River near Igatpuri, Nashik district. The height of the
dam above lowest foundation is 33.97m while the length is 1550m. The volume
content is 329km3 and gross storage capacity is 75050.00km3.
The dam is surrounded by hills from 3 sides and the dam can be easily viewed from a very good road going to kalasubai trek, samdhan valley lies on one side. This place is so peaceful that you can literally hear the silence. Indeed, the place is a hidden gem. It’s heaven in monsoon but other times also it’s a serene location and attracts a lot of tourist making Bhavli Dam a weekend gateway near Mumbai and Nashik. Besides the dam is a mesmerizing waterfall situated on the opposite side of the road near the dam.
5. Go trekking
Igatpuri has ample locations for trekking. In fact, Igatpuri is trekker’s paradise. Come monsoon and you find many people heading to Igatpuri for trekking. The most common trek among all is kalsubai trek. Kalsubai is the highest peak of Maharashtra at 5400ft and is among the most popular treks of Igatpuri. One gets to view an amazing and breathtaking view from Kalsubai peak which is worth all the climbing especially in monsoon. Another interesting trek is the trek to Ratangad Fort. Ratangad fort is located in the jungles of Western Ghat which make it one of the most interesting treks since you have to trail through the jungle. Ratangad is located about 4255 feet above the sea level and it lies in the ajoba mountain range surrounded by great mountains of Kulang, Alang, kalsubai, katrabai, Ajoba and Ghanchakkar.
Another beautiful but easy trek is a trek to Tringalwadi Fort. If you are new to trekking then this trek is for you. Other treks with the scenic trail in Igatpuri are Bitangad Trek, Camel Valley and Kulanggad trek.
6. Enjoy the weather
The best time to visit the fog city of Igatpuri is in monsoon i.e. from June to September. The nature is at its best during this season. Simply driving in rain during this season is fun since you get to witness different shades of green which relaxes you. Monsoon here is very different as compared to the city. If you don’t wish to go for sightseeing then just take a walk in the rain and enjoy the fog with some hot pakoda or tea or you can just enjoy the rainy view from your hotel with a hot cup of tea/coffee and some music.
Visiting Igatpuri during winter is also a good options. During this time one can indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities at Igatpuri like trekking, camping, sightseeing etc. Vipassana International academy, Ghantadevi temple, Dhavli dam, Bhatsa valley, Tringalwadi fort are a good options to visit during this time.
Visiting Igatpuri during summer is not good options.
- How to reach: Igatpuri is easily accessible by rail, road and air. However railway and roadway are the most convenient options.
- By Rail: If you are planning to reach Igatpuri by railways then, Iagapturi is the major railways station and there are regular trains to Igatpuri from major cities. Tapovan express is a good option to reach Igatpuri from Mumbai. Though Igatpuri has its own station many trains don’t halt here. In this case Kasara is another major station where many trains halt. From kasara you can take bus for igatpuri.
- By Road: Igatpuri is well connected to major cities via road. It lies on Mumbai Agra national highway i.e. NH-3. There are many state transportation buses running from Mumbai to Igatpuri on daily basis. You can also take a private bus from Mumbai to igatpuri. The distance from Mumbai to Igatpuri is around 126 km.
- By Air: To reach Igatpuri by air the nearest Airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is around 140 km from Igatpuri. From here you can take the rail or road rout to reach Igatpuri.
- Who can visit?: Anyone who love nature, rain, camping, taking or meditation. In short Igatpuri is a place for everyone.
- Beast season to visit: The best time to visit the fog city of Igatpuri is in monsoon i.e. from June to September. The nature is at its best during this season. However, one can also visit during winter since this is the period when Igatpuri is one for activities like camping, trekking, meditations etc.
- Ideal duration: One to three days.
Igatpuri also known as Maharashtra’s Cherrapunji is an ideal weekend getaway near Mumbai and Nashik. The beauty of Igatpuri is at its peak in monsoon as you get to witness all shades of green which not only calms your mind but also relaxes you. Igatpuri offers a variety of activities like trekking, camping, sightseeing, meditation, waterfalls and dams. In short Igatpuri famous as fog city is full of fun, adventure and beauty.