Harishchandragad: Story Exploring Destination
Region: Malshej Ghat, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
Height: 4671 ft
Difficulty degree of the trek to Harishchandragad: Moderate-Difficult
Known for: Rappeling, mountaineering, valley crossing
Harishchandragad is a fort placed within the Ahmednagar part of Maharashtra country in India. It held a lion’s proportion in controlling the encompassing regions. This citadel has were given an eye fixed fascinating herbal splendor, alongside a diverse plant life and fauna. Harishchandragad is famous for a Harishchandragad Story Exploring Destination number of specialties consisting of its marvelous herbal beauty, difficult trek & none other than the stunning Konkan Kada.
Harishchandragad is also called trekker’s paradise as rappelling, mountaineering & valley crossing can be completed concurrently in one trek itself. It is also famous because of the first-rate castle in Maharashtra for camping. There are almost 9 caves in overall including 2 large caves on Harishchandragad which could accommodate around a hundred-a hundred and fifty campers.
Harishchandragad is a citadel placed in the Ahmednagar a part of Maharashtra state in India. It holds a lion’s proportion in controlling the encompassing regions. This citadel has were given an eye fixed beautiful natural beauty, along with numerous flora and fauna. Harishchandragad is famous for lots of specialties which include its marvelous herbal beauty, tough trek & none other than the stunning Konkan Kada.
Harishchandragad is likewise known as trekker’s paradise as rappelling, rock climbing & valley crossing can be executed concurrently in one trek itself. It is also famous as the best fort in Maharashtra for tenting. There are nearly 9 caves in total including 2 huge caves on Harishchandragad that may accommodate round hundred-150 campers.
HISTORY OF HARISHCHANDRAGAD
Harishchandragad is one of the oldest leading forts within the Sahyadris. The life of Microlithic guy has been determined right here. The fort is envisioned to be constructed throughout the reign of Kalchuri and references approximately Harishchandragad can be observed in numerous manuscripts like Skandapurana & Matsyapurana. It is said that the remarkable sage Changdev used to meditate inside the caves gift right here in the 14th century.
Idols of Lord Vishnu which are carved in the 11th century are found in the caves beside the temple of Harishchandreshwar. The carvings inside the Harishchandreshwar temple and in Kedareshwar cave denote that the citadel belongs to the medieval period. The fort has played a primary function in guarding the Malshej Ghat location and the encompassing regions. Later, the citadel changed into captured by using Moghuls which turned into then captured by the Marathas in 1747.
A pond named Saptatirtha Pushkarni is a gift on the eastern side of the temple. On its financial institution are 14 temple-like buildings in which there are idols of Lord Vishnu. However, these idols are actually shifted inside the caves except Harishchandreshwar temple. Some silly and irresponsible trekkers are making this pond untidy through throwing plastic waste and other stuff. A few years back the water became potable, and now you can’t even consider swimming in it.
Moving parallel alongside the temple, just a few steps after it lies a large cave referred to as the Kedareshwar cave. Inside the cave is a massive Shivlinga, of approximately 5 toes tall, which is absolutely surrounded with the aid of water. A large flow of water flows out of doors the cave all through monsoons, which rarely makes it feasible to go into the cave. Moreover, the water inside the cave is ice bloodless!
The temple is a brilliant shape created from sculpture carving and depicts the medieval duration temples of historical India. The temple is around 16 meters high from its base. This temple has got some caves and water tanks surrounding it. A river referred to as Mangal Ganga is stated to originate from such water tanks. There are 3 most important caves close to the temple. The cisterns close to the temple provide consuming water. A brief distance away, some other temple known as Kashitirtha is located. The fascinating factor approximately this temple is that it’s been carved out from an unmarried huge rock. There are entrances from all of the 4 aspects. These are faces of guards of the temple. On the left side of the doorway is a Devnagri inscription, which is set saint Changdev.
Well, this is a thrilling spot for which most of the trekkers come here. This cliff faces in the direction of west and looks down on Konkan. The Konkan Kada is about 4000 m in height. It is an overhang, like a cobra’s hood. When there may be little fog inside the valley, and the solar is behind the individual facing the valley, around rainbow can be seen. One phenomenon that may be determined at this location is the vertical cloudburst, in which the clouds nearing the cliff get sucked into the pitfall region underneath are thrown vertically into the sky attaining greater than 50 feet (15 m). It creates a mystical wall that is rising immediately from the brink of the cliff without coming into the landmass region.
Being the second one maximum peak in Maharashtra, This is the most top point at the castle (1429 m) and is likewise known as Taramanchi. From this top, some of the surrounding forts like Naneghat, Siddhagad, Ajoba, Kulang castle may be seen. Many humans have visible leopards inside the jungle past this height.
FOOD AND STAY
A few villagers from Paachnai village make food and tent arrangements at the pinnacle of the citadel. The meal consists of jhunka-bhakri, bhaji, daal, bhaat, and so on. Along with snacks such as kandaa bhaji, pohey, tea, etc. They live in more than one caves near Harishchandreswar temple.
You can spend the night at any of the nine-10 caves present close to and inside the temple. Ganesh Guha is the largest cave and can accommodate around 30-35 human beings.
Experience of Trek
Finally, we all buddies had scheduled a trek to Harishchandragad on this monsoon timetable on 10-15 October 2017. I had heard plenty about Harishchandragad and its pix on the internet increased my excitement to a first-rate degree.
The day earlier than the trek, I packed my bags or even wiped clean my sports footwear.
Next day, I awakened early morning and as we have been speculated to deliver some snacks so we’ve taken packets of chips, biscuits, candies. Everyone was alleged to meet at 7.00 a.M. Near Pheonix mall on the pick out up the point of the cab. I have trekked in many instances with my friends before also. Our Trek chief became Anurag. There have been 8 folks in general in the group! Our Leader then took us to a nearby motel for breakfast and after our tummies were full we then approached closer to our cab and started our journey toward Harishchandragad Trek. Cab going to Alephata changed into a 2-hour adventure. From Alephata we boarded toward thru Malshej Ghat can be boarded to reach Khubi phata. Well, Khubi phata is in which you’re supposed to get down and begin strolling towards base village Khireshwar. As our cab reached the top of Malshej Ghat we noticed the stunning view of Kalu waterfall at the mountain beside ours. Kalu waterfall is the satisfactory waterfall within the Malshej area peak of 1200 toes and drops in 5 patches. We reached Khubi phata which comes just after a few minutes as Malshej Ghat ends. The leader gave a briefing and then there has been a brief round of advent. After that, we started out the 4 km walk over the Pimpalgaon-Joga dam to reach the base village of Khireshwar.
It turned into round 10 am by using now and it became determined to have lunch at the base itself after which begin the long trek. After a scrumptious lunch of misal-pav, masala-dosa, pohey, kandaa-bhaji and so on. We started out the trek. The direction is a truthful one and consists of slender probabilities of one getting lost. After a 2 hour trek from the dense flowers and crossing innumerable small streams, we reached the first checkpoint i.E. Vyaghra Shilpa (Tolar Khind). A five-10 minutes break become taken to get recharged for ascending the rock patch that lied ahead. The patch became about 60 levels tilted and there was no need of ropes to climb. Iron poles were fitted through maybe the archaeology department at a few exposed parts on the patch, however, we got here to recognize that they had been stolen by means of some infamous villagers and sold away. Each one ascended the rock patch effectively. Then there has been just a long path to stroll, crossing small 7 hills, with small ascends and descends, to reach the Harishchandreshwar temple summit. The trail displayed one of the high-quality images scenery I actually have seen until date. All the hills were covered with yellow colored small flora and we got here throughout several streams. It changed into a chunk foggy and the complete aggregate of fog, plants, and streams made that area mystic heaven. We had small stops at a couple of streams for rejuvenation. Fog became so much thick that someone status at a 10m distance becomes difficult to look. Finally, after a 1-1.5 hr stroll, we reached the Harishchandreshwar temple which becomes our summit for the day. No one seemed to be worn-out as the environment was cool and we hardly ever misplaced any water from the body. As soon as we reached, our leader rushed to check out if any of the caves have been empty to accommodate us for the night. It began raining closely. Unfortunately, we reached on time and we got the caves to stay for an evening. The cave turned into having that plenty of area so that everybody eight-member should sleep after space become occupied by all our substantial luggage. After that, we started out the arrangements for dinner. The plan was to make Maggie accompanied by the sauce. It becomes later observed out that Ravindra had introduced all of the elements and bowl and spoon, however, forgot the health field. Later it was determined to provide all the components to the villager own family within the subsequent cave and allow them to cook dinner us the maggie on their chulha. No doubt the maggie become very tasty and absolutely everyone ate to their coronary heart’s content. We then went to sleep within the cave. A small waterfall was falling outside that cave and the sound of it changed into quite pleasuring to the ears. I may want to rarely sleep for hours. Our all organization individuals have carried all the necessities to cowl frame at night to be safe from bloodless and the temperature dropped to 15 tiers at night.
Lalit became the first one to awaken subsequent morning as I had rarely wakened early within the morning. Lalit peeked out of the cave to peer the quality view of the day. Then he woke up everybody to look the pleasant view of the character. Harishchandreshwar temple can be visible at a far distance surrounded by using the yellow sonki plants and green trees and a small movement. We then completed with our morning chores and the plan became to visit Kokankada and the Harishchandreshwar temple. We took our luggage from the cave itself as anybody determined to move toward and prompt for Kokankada. Kokankada is at a distance of two kms which takes around 30 mins to reach there. The route is a bit difficult, but it is well marked with white arrows at the rocks. We reached Kokankada to best find out that the valley full of fog. It became determined to sit there for someday and await the fog to clear despite the fact that there was no assurance that it would. We ought to see human beings status at the cliff prepared with their tripods and cameras and waiting like us for the fog to clean. There were also humans throwing cash and sonki flowers from the cliff down which could then upward push excessive in the sky as the wind changed into blowing upwards because of the semi-circular sample of the kada. Half-hour had surpassed via and nonetheless, there has been no signal of fog to clean. Due to time constraints, it changed into determined that there has been no point ready and our chief Anurag started out to name everyone to re-group collectively for heading returned to the cave. Obviously, everyone became pretty depressed and no one was inclined to move returned without catching the glimpse of the may Kokankada. As we stood to move again to the caves and abruptly wind changed its path and started out blowing from leftwards to rightwards which ideally driven forward the cloud from the valley and in round 1-2 mins the cliff and the valley could be seen truly. Here it turned into the strong Kokankada! There was a panic of photographers and trekkers to observe and capture the beautiful Kokankada. To get the whole and right view of Kokankada one ought to cross the extreme proper wherein there may be a small descend. Without losing any time Lalit instructed us to move to the acute right. We reached a niche where there was vicinity to stand after which I changed into watching one of the maximum beautiful points of interest of my lifestyles the majestic Kokankada and at the acute left cease tip of the kada a small waterfall become falling precisely inside the equal manner as Paradise falls became shown in the lively movie. The view was genuinely thoughts-blowing and I might not be forgotten at some point in my life. The valley became clear just for 30 minutes and once more a massive cloud occupied the open space within the valley and everything became foggy. It becomes goddamn lucky of us to capture the glimpse of this extremely good location and I am very certain hadn’t I visible the Kokankada in the first visit I might have not visited the fort time and again.
We then headed lower back to the caves happily after which had a breakfast of pohey and tea prepared by using the villagers from the neighboring cave. After that, we started our descend thru the same course from where we had ascended. We crossed the hillocks and after mountaineering down rock patch and attaining Tolar khind were passed directly to a couple of villagers in a small hut there. They organized tea for us and we feasted on that along with all of us’s remaining biscuits. It didn’t take us lots time to descend and we finally reached the base village Khireshwar at around four pm Everyone become exhausted and desperately wanted a dip in any source of water and a small built dam came to our want.
The cease a part of the trek. After the tiring trek, we had to stroll all the way to reach Khubi phata for 4 kms on the Pimpalgaon Joga dam, as there was no jeep available to head back to Khubi phata. Then we boarded our cab which we should Pune. We started our lower back to Pune adventure. While returning all and sundry was tired. The driver began the track and those who had been seating window aspect they commenced sound asleep. After a majestic adventure, we reached our drop factor Pheonix mall Viman nagar from there we booked rickshaw and reached home at 8 pm.
ROUTES TO HARISHCHANDRAGAD
Harishchandragad is available from Pune, Mumbai, and Ahmednagar. Harishchandragad Fort may be reached through numerous routes from distinctive locations. Below are the journey routes from exclusive cities.
HOW TO REACH HARISHCHANDRAGAD FROM PUNE
1. Catch an ST from Pune closer to Alephata.
2. Get down at Alephata & seize another ST transferring for Kalyan (via Malshej Ghat).
3. To trek Harishchandragad via Tolar Khind (Khireshwar), get down at Khubi Phata. Khubi Phata comes just before the Malshej Ghat.
4. To trek Harishchandragad thru Nalchi Vaat, Rajmarga or Sadhleghat, get down at Savarne. Savarne arrives just after the cease of Malshej Ghat
Below is the quick description, clean to understand
Pune – Ale phata – Khubi phata – Khireshwar
Pune – Ale phata – Savarne – Belpada
HARISHCHANDRAGAD VIA PACHNAI
One has to board the bus for Nasik or Mumbai & alight at Ghoti village. From Ghoti, we should board another bus to Sangamner thru Malegaon & alight at Rajur village. From here, 2 methods diverge to the fortress.
1. From Rajur, one has to board the bus or a personal car to the village of Pachanai. From right here, the way is direct to the topmost point.
2. Recently, the way from Rajur to Tolar Khind has been made available. From Tolar Khind (Tolar valley), the temple is ready 2-3 hours by way of on foot.
Reaching Pachnai from Mumbai in all fairness tough as one has to trade numerous buses and loses a variety of time in transit. If one is drawing near from Pune/ Nashik, you’ll attain Pachnai from both Rajur, Kotul, Akole or Sangamner.
Following are the 5 trek routes to Harishchandragad
Route 1: Tolar Khind
After getting down at Khubi phata, one has to take a four-five km stroll at the wall of the dam known as Khireshwar dam. The dam ends at Khireshwar village, and from here onwards an instant direction trail goes toward Tolar khind. Around 2-2.5 hours are required to attain till Tolar khind from Khireshwar village. The end of the khind has a stone carving of a lion, symbolizing that it is shielding the skip. After the khind, is a hundred feet rock patch, which has iron railings for the protection of trekkers. There is no want for any type of special trekking gear at all like ropes, and so on to climb it. The climb at the rock patch then leads a straight way to Harishchandreshwar temple, with small hills & streams in between.
Route 2: Nalichi Vaat
Nalichi vaat is the hardest path to Harishchandragad. One has to begin from the Belpada village and start the climb parallel to the large Konkan Kada. To the left of Konkan Kada are 3-4r channels that come down from the pinnacle. The channel to the extreme right is the Nalichi vaat.
Nalichi vaat is an elaborate route having 80-degree ascents at a few factors and the toughest rock patches. Here, hiking gear is needed to ascend the rock patches as occasionally there’s no slot available for having a grip. Hence, a course is recommended strictly for the experienced trekkers.
Route 3: Rajmarga
Rajmarga, that’s presently in an awful situation, became the main path to ascend Harishchandragad a long lower back. This route follows the same path until Khireshwar village. From right here, rather than following the way to Tolar Khind, one must cross along the instant direction and begin ascending at the slopes of Kalshya dongar (ask any villager for the course to Kalshya dongar). The cliff that comes after the Kalshya dongar has to be ascended. The climb has rock crumbling and lot of screen with dangerous patches in among. After this elaborate ascent, one joins the Tolar khind direction after the rock patch.
Route 4: Sadhle Ghat
Sadhle ghat is a steep descent from the fort all the way down to the base. To approach Harishchandragad through this path, one has to stroll directly to Kelewadi from Belpada in place of going toward Konkan Kada. From Kelewadi village onwards, an ascend via the steep slope of Sadhle Ghat brings you at the pinnacle. It is great to descend from Harishchandragad via Sadhle Ghat in preference to ascending it.
Route 5: Pachnai
Pachnai is the handiest course to Harishchandragad and definitely recommended for anyone of any age. From the Pachnai village, it takes round 2.5-3 hours to attain Harishchandragad. A guide is to be had on the Pachnai village if required.
HOW TO REACH HARISHCHANDRAGAD FROM MUMBAI
1) Khireshwar (Tolar Khind, Rajmarga)
1. Mumbai – Kalyan – Khubi phata- Khireshwar
2. Catch a neighborhood going in the direction of Kalyan (on Central Line). Get down at Kalyan Station.
3. The ST depot is just beside the station on the west side. Catch any ST going towards Alephata (strictly going thru Malshej Ghat)
4. Ask the ST conductor for a ticket of Khubi Phata. Khubi Phata is simply five minutes after the Malshej Ghat ends.
5. Get down at Khubi Phata and begin walking at the 6 km long dam that just starts except the street.
6. Lucky you, in case you get a jeep or something, or simply keep walking (an awesome warm up) Once you attain the base village Khireshwar, the real trek for Harishchandragad starts !!!
2) Belpada (Nalichi vaat, Rajmarga, Sadhleghat)
1. Mumbai – Kalyan – Savarne- Belpada
2. Mind it, that is a completely difficult path and not at all recommended for freshers!
3. Follow the previous (via Khireshwar) commands until factor variety 2.
4. Ask the ST conductor for a price ticket of Savarne. Savarne comes just earlier than the begin of Malshej Ghat.
5. The directly 1-hour stroll from Savarne takes you to the bottom village Belpada (now Walivare)
6. From Belpada, the trek to Harishchandragad thru Nalichi vaat or Rajmarga or Sadhleghat starts!
-> Kindly do no longer harm the fort place by using indulging in any act of vandalism, alcoholism or littering.
-> Make it a factor to hold lower back all non-degradable garbage along with you.
-> Do now not disturb the herbal environment with the aid of playing loud song or by using different disruptive activities.
-> Please remember that it is our responsibility to keep this wealthy herbal & historical past for ourselves & the future generations to come.
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