Living in the hustling vicinity of Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, the constant traffic jams and the monotonous college life I often found myself daydreaming about valleys and beautiful landscapes, hills and treks every day.
Travelling all the way to North, to the majestic Himalayas seemed almost impossible for a broke college student with no time. Living in Mumbai for almost two years now, I had been to endless beaches in the vicinity but the heart wants what it wants. And mine wanted the hills. Lucky for me, a friend suggested a place called Harishchandragarh.
A hill fort in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Harishchandragarh is a heritage place with origins from the 6th Century. It is known to be one of the most challenging treks in the Western Ghats.
As opposed to whatever the existing travel blogs say about the best time for the trek, I think it would be heavenly if you go for it in the monsoons . It sure can be a little tricky and you'll have to be extra cautious as the rocks become slippery due to the rain. But it's all about the experience, right?
The picture of Harishchandragarh in my head was entirely different from what it really turned out to be. Honestly, I didn't expect to find such scenic brilliance in a small town of Maharashtra.
Harishchandragad lies where the boundaries of Thane, Pune and Ahmednagar districts converge. It is approximately 200 kms (4 hour drive) from Mumbai, 150 kms from Pune. The trek can also be approached through multiple routes. One such route is via Nalichi Vaat (which translates to 'passage through a gorge') which is a channel that lies to the extreme right of the mountain. It is said to be one of the difficult climbs. Nalichi Vaat involves a near 80 degree climb.
I started the trek from Khireshwar village. It was drizzling throughout the journey to the village and the moment I saw the backwater around the dam, I knew what love at first sight meant.