Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure

Tripoto
3rd Sep 2019

Harishchandragad is the hill fort situated in Sahyadri Mountain Range in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The fort is quite ancient and it has very long history .

The total height of the fort is 1422 m above the second level.  The fort is very scenic in all season but specially monsoon , and winter.  In the monsoon , lots of fog , Beautiful waterfalls , and greenery mesmerised  our eyes.

We can see here scientific but Beautiful phenomenon like 90 degree cloud burst & Brocken spectra aka Indrawajra ( a circular rainbow) in the month of may or June.

Places to see:
There are beautiful places to see on the fort like
Harishchandreshwar temple , Saptatirtha Pushkarni , Kedareshwar Cave,  Taramati Peak and Kokankada.

How to reach there:

Harishchandragad is lies where the boundaries of Thane , Pune and Ahmednagar District .

1) From Thane District: One has to board the bus for Nagar from Kalyan & alight at ‘Khubi Phata’. From there we reach the village of Khireshwar by bus or private vehicle. This village is 7 km from the foothills of the fort.

2) From Pune District: There is a daily bus from Shivajinagar ST stand (Pune) to Khireswar village.

3) From Ahmednagar District: One has to board the bus for Nasik or Mumbai & alight at Ghoti village. From Ghoti, we have to board another bus to Sangamner via Malegaon & alight at Rajur village. From here, 2 ways diverge to the fort. 1) From Rajur, one has to board the bus or a private vehicle to the village of Pachanai. From here, the way is straight to the topmost point. 2) Recently, the way from Rajur to kothale (Tolar Khind) has been made available. From Tolar Khind (Tolar valley), the temple is about 2–3 hours by walking. 3) from kotul to kothale bus facilities available way to tolar khind every hour bus going towards kothale, private vehicles also available on this route.

We can do a beautiful adventure trip here by hiking the fort. There are three different routes from different places. 1) way from Khireshwar 2) way from Belpada &
3) way from Paachnai.

1)Way from Khireshwar:

The way beside the caves, where water tanks are seen, proceeds further to Junnar Darwaaja (entrance From Junnar). From here, the route goes straight to Tolar Khind. Walking a few minutes from Tolar Khind, we come across a rock-patch on which railings are fixed. After ascending the railings, we come to the plateau region on which less dense forests are seen. From here, we have to cross 7 hills and after a walk of 2–3 hours, we reach the temple of Harishchandreshwar, the temple of Lord Shiva.

2) Way from Belpada:

The third way is specially meant for hikers, which is via Sadhleghat. One should board the bus for Malshej Ghat and go to the village of Belpada via Savarne village on the Malshej-Kalyan road. From here, the route goes through Sadhleghat. Here one has to climb a straight rock patch on which grips are provided. The temple is situated at a height of about 1 km from Belpada. The total distance is about 19 km. This route is not very popular and less used. Trekkers are advised to take guide and very slippery in rainy season.

3) Way from Paachnai:

There is another way to reach Harischandragad is from Pachnai village, a village you can reach by buses or private vehicles. Buses coming from Rajur, Akole or from Kotul. From Kotul the distance is 25 km with buses going every hour towards Pachnai & Kothale. From kothale pachnai is 5 km away, you can reach there by local transport. Harischandragad is 3 km away from Pachnai. To reach Harischandragad you need to go by foot. On this way there is a small pond of pure natural water available at that pond. The history of that pond is that some years ago this pond provided water for all cowboys who came from the nearest villages. Pachnai is surrounded by mountain and in monsoon you can get visual of five falls from base.

Note:
In monsoon, proper care should be taken while trekking in the rockface after Tolar khind. It is advisable not to walk on the rock face in monsoon particularly during night where one can experience heavy rainfall with thunder strikes.

Transport :
There are local transport are also available to go there. From Pune there is daily bus from Pune. 

From Pune:
ST bus timings from Pune for trekkers

Take a 4:30 am ST bus from Shivajinagar to Kalwan via Nasik
Get down at Ale-Phata around 6:30 am
Take another bus going to Kalyan from Ale-Phata. You will have 2 to 3 buses around 7:00 am
Reach Khubi-Phata village around 7:45 am and start walking towards Khireshwar along Pimpalgaon Joge dam. You will reach Khireshwar, the base village in 1 hour
While coming to Pune, around evening, there are many buses available around 5:30 pm from the Khubi Phata village on Malshej road.

From Ahmednagar:
From Ahmednagar there are daily buses available for Sangamner , from there u can take local transport to reach Akole or Rajur. From Rajur there is daily 2 buses available to reach Paachani one is in the morning 10 am  and 2nd is in the evening 6 Pm .

If you have a good bike then you can also reach there by bike from all three ways. and it's been very adventurous journey if you are going through your bike.

Stay & Food:
There are many canteens are available on the fort where you can do a homestay or you can take a tent on a rent & you  get good food also like Pithla - Bhakri , Bhaji Bhakri.

Basic iternery:
1)Trekking Shoes or sport shoes cumpolsry and  please avoid casual shoes , chappals and Sandles.
2) tent if available
3) food for 2days or Maggi, or you can Cooke there rice also by arranging all the items required.
4) water bottle . (Avoid Plastic bottals , bislaries )
5) windcheater , raincoat if you are going in Monsoon. Caps , hats if you are going summer and sweater and mufflers if you are going in winter.

Special & Imp note:
Please do not carry plastics like bislaries , carry bags , or food packets like lays or anything if you carries then please do not throw it anywhere on the fort. While returning please take back along with you. 

Harishchandreshwar temple

Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine

Monsoon view

Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine

90° cloud burst

Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine

Homestay / Canteen

Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine

Brocken Spectra Aka Indrawajra

Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine

Balekilla

Photo of Harishchandragad : A perfect outdoor adventure by Nikhil Mahamine
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