Ascending To New Heights - Harishchandra Gad

27th Jun 2017

Konkankada in clouds

Photo of Ascending To New Heights - Harishchandra Gad by Offbeat Voyagers
Day 1

Harishchandra Gad is the second highest peak in the state of Maharashtra and a must do in the Sahyadris for the adventurous kind.

Ever seen a waterfall defying gravity? If not this is the place to visit to see a reverse waterfall(only in monsoons).

The lush green forest floor shining in the moonlight beneath you and a million stars creating a canopy above you, makes the peak an amazing spot for star gazing.

Waterfalls visible from the Pachnai valley

Photo of Harishchandragad, Maharashtra by Offbeat Voyagers

Getting to the base village - using public transport:

1. Take a train to Kasara early in the morning. Not a compulsion to catch a particular train as it is going to be an overnight trek so you can reach a little late.(Kasara train timings: 5:55, 7:34, 9:15)

2. Take a cab or a ST bus to Rajur. Cabs cost around Rs. 100-120 per person on a sharing basis.

3. You can have lunch at Rajur before heading for the trek as it would be noon by the time you get there. Further take a ST bus or a private vehicle to the base village Pachnai.

A walk to remember

Photo of Ascending To New Heights - Harishchandra Gad by Offbeat Voyagers

Getting to the top:

The route is pretty well defined but if you are going for the first time, especially in the monsoons, do hire a guide, like we did for Rs. 600.

CAUTION: The waterfall on the route has a really heavy flow, beware while crossing the river.

As soon as you get to the top, secure a cave or a shelter(paid huts) for the night or you will be left shivering in the open while it rains heavily. In our case, two guys stayed behind in the cave.

From the caves, Konkankada is around 30-45 minutes away. Ask people for directions as the route is a little confusing for first timers. Get there before sunset to bear witness to a beautiful sunset(if it isn't cloudy) and reverse waterfalls in monsoons.

The Gravity defying Waterfall

Come back to the caves before it gets dark as the route is a little confusing.

The stay at the cave might be quite chilly depending on the weather, do carry extra clothes and firewood for the night.

On the second day get up early, have a nice hot tea at one of the huts(mostly available on weekends) and head to the highest point on the mountain TARAMATI peak. The climb to Taramati could be a little daunting for few people as it is mostly rock faces at the end.

An endless stare into infinity

Photo of Ascending To New Heights - Harishchandra Gad by Offbeat Voyagers

While descending you can explore the temple near the caves and the cave that houses the Shiva Lingam. The Shiva Lingam is surrounded by four pillars depicting different 'Yugas of Life' and the current Yuga - Kali Yuga would come to an end when the last standing pillar falls.

Harishchandra Gad Temple

Photo of Ascending To New Heights - Harishchandra Gad by Offbeat Voyagers

Return Journey:

Follow the same route taken to get there. Cabs will be available at the base village(if traveling on odd days ask for the contact number of the cab driver who dropped you to the base village on the previous day).

A view of the famous Bhandardara lake

Photo of Ascending To New Heights - Harishchandra Gad by Offbeat Voyagers

Things to carry:

1. A lot of water is not required during monsoons as you won't feel very thirsty, just to be on the safer side carry at least 2 litres of water. Water bottles are also available at the top on the weekends.

2. Carry a polythene bag to collect garbage and bring it back.

3. A dry change of clothes is absolutely essential for the night stay and firewood to burn at night(finding dry firewood during monsoons is next to impossible).