Harishchandragad – हरिश्चंद्रगड
Date of Trek: 10-Dec-2011 & 11-Dec-2011
We had been planning to visit Harishchandragad for a long time. Harishchandragad is a “must visit” place for every trekker in Maharashtra.
Harishchandragad is a fort located on the borders of Pune, Thane & Ahmednagar districts. This fort is 1424 meter high from sea level. Fort has multiple ways to climb up. Most popular three ways are
- Via Khireshwar – Moderate difficulty level & requires high endurance
- Via Pachnai – Relatively Simple
- Nalichi Wat – Most difficult & need professional mountaineering experience. You can choose to go with professional companies.
We selected a road Via Khireshwar.
We were four members of this group. We started from Pune early in the morning from 3:30 AM in my car.
Nashik Phata –> Rajgurunagar –> From Aale Phata take left towards Kalyan. Most of the websites & Google map tells a route which is to take right from Khubi Phata & reach to Khireshwar from the wall of Dam. We took this road but it road is really bad. But still, I dared to take the car on that road. This is not even tar road. There is another road to Khireshwar Via Pinpalgaon. This is a good road.
We reached on Dam wall from Khubi Phata at about 6:30 AM. Now Khireshwar was just 2 KM away & we are able to see the view of the fort. We had quick breakfast of Sandwiches & fruits there.
Click on images to view larger image.
Here is a beautiful view of Sunrise near dam.
Google Map shows —
View Harishchandragad in a larger map
We reached Khireshwar village. Parked our car near a small cafe named “Hotel Aishwarya”.
We had quick tea at hotel Aishwarya & asked information about fort & way to fort to local villagers.
Me & Subhash in below photo with a grand view of Harishchandragad.
While planning this trip we were not sure if we can get food on the fort or not. We had a good amount of food with us for two days along with sleeping bag & three liters of water with each one of us. With heavy bags, we started walking towards the fort. We got bamboo sticks in had while walking to reduce pressure on knees when you carry heavy bags.
The road is not very stiff slope but you have to pass through from dry water canals & a lot of big stones.
Since we were going through the jungle it was cool so we were not getting tired due to sun heat.
This is the view of rock patch.
After one and half hour of climbing from the jungle, we saw this view of cliff. There is a small pass (Tolar Khind ) and there another road comes from Pachnai village. There is a rock patch. We carefully climbed rock patch with help of poles. Steps are carved out on a rock at some hard places which help.
I can not imagine climbing this fort in rains but local villagers say there is a lot of crowd in rainy season too.
There is sculpture of tiger near tolar khind. Some people say this is indicative of leopards in this area.
Local people say there are only wild boars in this jungle.
After this Tolar Khind, there is stiff rock patch. We climbed multiple small rough rocks. We also came across a trekkers group from Mumbai.
Had quick break after & before rock patch. At about 11:00 AM we reached the top of the fort. Now there is no hard climbing, just long walk on the plateau.
Views of valley
There are two ways to reach Kedareshwar temple on top. One is very simple but long . You have to go up and down seven hills ( elevations of land ).
Another way is to go towards balekilla & from there go to the temple. On this way, you have to go through dense jungle & some water streams. This way is okay in winter.
After 1.0 hr of a walk, we reached to Kedareshwar temple