Harishchandragad fort trek is a very popular trek among adventure lovers. Every year huge number of hikers perform trekking here via different Harishchandragad trek routes. Trek in Monsoon gives the memorable experience.
Location: Malshej ghat near Murbad, on the Mumbai-Nagar Road, Maharashtra.
Harishchandragad Fort Information
The Harishchandragad fort is a beautiful hill fort located in Ahmednagar area of Maharashtra. It is a very famous trekking destination among hikers. There are many harishchandragad trek routes for hikers. It is located near Murbad in Thane district. During one period, harishchandragad was the largest fort in the Deccan region of Maharashtra. The view of shear rock wall from Malshej Ghat looks fabulous. Harishchandra, Rohidas & Taramati are the 3 peaks in Harishchandragad. Out of these, Taramati peak is the highest point on the fort.
Harishchandragad fort is located at an elevation of about 4671 feets from mean sea level. Konkan Kada trekking is the main attraction of this fort. Harishchandragad trek in monsoon is simply awesome. One can get breath-taking views of the Konkan region from this point. Once upon a time, the fort had very strong defensive structure & amazing interiors. This fort played a crucial role in order to protect the surrounding region. It was one of the most important forts in Maharashtra which was captured by Maratha army of Shivaji Maharaj. Marathas captured this fort in 1747. Many ancient epics including Skandapurana, Matsyapurana & Agnipurana include things about Harishchandragad.
Harishchandragad Trek Routes
-From Thane Suburbs: The distance between Mumbai & Harishchandragad fort is nearby 201 kms. Khireshwar is the base village to Harishchandragad fort trek. You can take NH-3 to reach this destination. You can catch a bus from Kalyan bus station which goes via Khubi phata to Khireshwar. Trekking from Khireshwar to the starting point of the fort takes about 1.5 hours.
If you take a bus to Alephata via Malshej Ghat then alight at Khubi Phata. The distance between Khubi phata & Khireshwar is 6 kms (So you either take a lift from here or start walking). Bus ply between Kalyan & Ale phata at an interval of 30 minutes. The first bus to Ale phata leaves at 5:30 am.
-Harishchandragad trek route from Ahmednagar Region: Take an ST bus for Nashik or Mumbai & alight at Ghoti. Then catch another bus from Ghoti for Sangamner via Malegaon & alight at Rajur. Now take any hired vehicle from Rajur up to Pachanai. You can easily reach the fort from Panchanai. Another route Rajur to Tolar Khind is also there. It is 3 hours trek from Tolar Khind to the temple at the top.[caption id="attachment_323" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Trekking Routes![/caption]
-From Sadhle Ghat (Belpada Village): This is quite a difficult route through rocky patches. This route is adventurous & specially for experienced trekkers. To reach Sadhleghat, take a bus for Malshej Ghat & alight at Belpada village. This route from Belpada proceeds through Sadhleghat. Trekkers have to come across a straight patch of rocks on this route. The length of this trek route is about 20 kms.
-From Zunjar Darwaja: To proceed via this route, hire a local guide from Khireshwar. This route needs less time to reach the fort. The guide will take to the fort comfortably by this route.
-Harishchandragad trek route from Nalichi Vaat: This route is not at all recommended to amateur & inexperienced people. This route leads through Konkan kada which is difficult to climb & requires a lot of courage. Nalichi Vaat requires nearby one & half days to reach the fort. Konkan kada trekking needs special trekking equipment for a safe climb.
These are the various Harishchandragad trek routes. You can prefer any of these according to your comfort.
Harishchandragad is popular due to its numerous features. A large number of enthusiastic people go for Harishchandragad trek in monsoon. Due to its distinctive shape & height, it is very popular trekking spot. It is among the best forts in Maharashtra for trekking. There are various harishchandragad trek routes. The grade of trek varies according to these routes. Trekking route to this fort passes through thick jungle, water streams, caves, volcano formations, rocky patches & wildlife creatures. This makes the trek to Harishchandragad fort very exciting.
Khireshwar is the base village to reach Harishchandragad fort. Anyone can perform trekking at this fort. The shape of harishchandragad looks like a deep pan. You can see the big range of Sahyadri mountains around Harishchandragad fort. The mountain range includes Ghodishep, Ratnagad, Nakta, Aajoba till Kulagad into the Konkan. The caves serve as a good place to spend the night during camping or trekking.[caption id="attachment_320" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Magnificent Panoramic View![/caption]
Spots to Explore
The places to explore on the fort are Kedareshwar cave, Konkan Kada, Sapt Tirth, Saptatirtha Pushkarni, Harishchandreshwar Temple, Nageshwar temple near Khireshwar, Taramati peak & much more which are worth seeing. There are 9 caves on Taramati hill. A natural cave is on the north-west side of the fort is about 25-30 feet deep. There is also an ancient Shiva Temple on the fort. The idols of Shivlinga & Nandi Bull are astonishing. This temple is constructed in Hemadpanthi Architecture Style. In this style, binding material like gypsum or cement is not used between two layers of stones. Saint Changdev stayed here for some duration in the 14th century.
Sapt Tirth is a unique water tank that you will notice while doing Harishchandragad trek. This tank has 14 compartments & each compartment has an idol of Lord Vishnu. The fort has serene ambiance. While going through various Harishchandragad trek routes, one can see spectacular views of surrounding valleys & mountains. The region looks even more beautiful during monsoon months. You can see panoramic views of Malshej Ghat, Nane Ghat, Kalsubai Peak, Ratangad, Jivdhan Peak & other peaks from here.[caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Shiv Linga in Cave![/caption]
Jungle & Wildlife
The fort lies amidst very dense forest cover. Forest area near Harishchandragad fort offers a perfect natural treat for the nature lovers. The forest is a home to various species of trees and wildlife animals. Hares, Boars, Leopards, Foxes and many other animals are present here in large number. As Harishchandragad trek routes pass through forests, you may spot any animal!
You can also spot varieties of birds like The Skylork, Bulbuls, Koels, The warbler, The crow pheasant, Swallow & many other. Migrating flamingo birds also give a visit in the month of September. A Huge number of Birdwatchers gather near Harishchandragad fort region to see birds.[caption id="attachment_322" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Magnificent! Isn’t it?[/caption]
Best Time to Visit: July to March is the best time to visit this fort. Climate has pleasant atmosphere till January & after it rises bit high. Many hikers perform night trek at this fort after January month.
Time Required: 2 Days are required for Harishchandragad trek & various spots properly. An overnight stay is a must for this amazing trek!
Eating Stuff: You can take food at Khubi Phata or Khireshwar. It is advisable to carry your own food & sufficient water with you. You can take readily to cook food packets along with you. Just please make sure not to throw the litter indiscriminately. (Though the water is available atop the fort for most of the time in year, try to carry your own water)
After tiring Harishchandragad trek, Hikers can stay in the caves at the top of the fort. There are a huge number of caves all across the fort. 9 caves on Taramati hill can accommodate many people at a time. Some caves are near temple & some are present in the deep forest.
Accommodation in Khireshwar village school is also provided on request. You can also see the temple of Nageshwar (1200 years old) & ancient caves of the Yadav era in Khireshwar. Alternately if you do not wish to stay there in the caves, then Guest houses are also available at Malshej.
Harishchandragad Trek Route Map:
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