Harihar fort – India’s Maharashtra state is home to the medieval fort known as Harihar. 3,676 feet above sea level, in the Nashik district, is where it is located. The Bahmani Sultanate, the Mughals, and the Marathas all conquered the fort after it was constructed during the Yadava dynasty in the 11th century.
The fort is renowned for its distinctive architecture, which features difficult ascents to the peak and steps carved out of rock. The fort also features a Hanuman shrine and a little body of water named “Saptatirtha Pushkarni.”
The fort is well-known for its expansive views of the surrounding hills and valleys and is a favorite trekking location. The winter months of October to February are the finest for visiting Harihar Fort because the temperature is cool and ideal for hiking.
History of harihar fort
The Kalachuri dynasty ruled over Harihar Fort, also called Harshgad, in the sixth century, when it first appeared. The Bahmani Sultanate, the Mughals, and the Marathas all conquered the fort after it was constructed during the Yadava dynasty in the 11th century.
The fort served as a watchtower under the Bahmani Sultanate’s authority to keep an eye out for potential enemy incursions. During Shah Jahan’s rule in 1636, the Mughals took control of the fort and made use of it as a military staging area.
The Marathas overran the fort and made it their bastion in the 18th century. They utilized the fort as a base for their guerrilla operations against the British and erected a number of buildings, including a palace, a temple, and a water tank.
The fort lost its strategic importance under British authority, and it was finally abandoned. The fort’s buildings began to fall apart, and the jungle engulfed it, making it impossible to approach.
The fort has grown in popularity as a hiking location recently, and restoration attempts are being conducted to preserve its historical relevance. In order to investigate the fort’s distinctive architecture and take in the mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills and valleys, a number of trekking clubs and adventure seekers frequent the site.
Getting to Harihar Fort
It is possible to travel by road and rail to the Harihar Fort in Maharashtra, India’s Nashik region.
By Road: Roadways connect to the fort. From Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik, regular buses and private taxis may take you to the base village of Nirgudpada, where the journey begins. To get to the fort from there, one must hike for roughly an hour.
Via Rail: Igatpuri railway station, which is located about 45 kilometers from Harihar Fort, is the closest train hub. From the train station, one can take a taxi or a bus to the base hamlet of Nirgudpada, from where they can hike to the fort.
Via Air: The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, which is a little over 170 kilometers distant, is the closest airport to Harihar Fort. One can then travel further to reach the base village and hike to the fort by taking a cab or bus from there to Nashik.
It is wise to prepare for the journey in advance and pack enough food, water, and other necessities for the hike. The trek to Harihar Fort is difficult, so it is advised that you go with a group or an experienced guide for safety.
When should you visit Harihar Fort?
The winter season, which lasts from October to February, is the ideal time to explore Harihar Fort. Trekking is perfect at this time of year due to the cool, pleasant weather. The rainy season, which lasts from June to September, ought to be avoided because the trekking paths can become treacherous and slick.
The summer months of March through May can be extremely hot, which makes trekking challenging and uncomfortable. It is advised to start the trek early in the morning to escape the heat and bring enough of water and other necessities if you are an experienced trekker and prefer to visit during this period.
Before setting off on a journey, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast because torrential downpours or other severe weather can make hiking trails hazardous or impassable.
Harihar Fort route
The base hamlet of Nirgudpada, which is situated in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, India, is where the walk to Harihar Fort begins. The trek is difficult and demands a certain amount of stamina and physical fitness. Depending on the person’s pace and degree of fitness, the journey to the fort can be finished in 2 to 3 hours.
The fort’s hiking trail is defined by steep, slick steps cut into the rock, especially during the rainy season. The trail travels via a small pond known as “Saptatirtha Pushkarni,” as well as through areas of dense foliage and rocky terrain.
Once at the top, visitors can examine the fort’s distinctive architecture, which includes a water tank, a palace, and a number of temples. The hike is an amazing experience because to the fort’s spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
It is suggested to take an experienced guide or trekking group along for safety and to bring sufficient water, food, and other necessary for the journey. It’s also imperative to have a first aid kit and wear supportive, comfortable trekking shoes in case of problems.
How much should you budget for a hike to Harihar Fort?
The price of the walk to Harihar Fort might change depending on a number of variables, including the form of transportation, lodging, food, and equipment. The approximate cost of a journey to Harihar Fort is broken down as follows:
500–800 rupees by bus or taxi from Mumbai to Nirgudpada (base village) (one way)
1,500–2,000 for a local taxi from Igatpuri railway station to Nirgudpada (one way)
Simple guesthouses or homestays in Nirgudpada cost between 500 and 1,000 rupees per night.
Camping tents go from Rs. 500 to 1,000 each night.
200–300 rupees per lunch at neighborhood restaurants in Nirgudpada
Rs. 300–500 for food and snacks to be brought on the hike.
Rs. 1,500–2,500 for hiking boots
Backpack: 1,000–2,000 rupees
Rs. 500–1,000 will get you a first aid pack, water bottles, and other necessities.
Overall, depending on the means of transportation, the lodging, and the equipment, the cost per person for a two-day hike to Harihar Fort might range from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 6,000. To minimize any last-minute headaches, it is preferable to organize the trip in advance and reserve lodging and transportation.
places to see closest to Harihar Fort
The Harihar Fort is bordered by a number of other well-known tourist attractions and is situated in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, India. The following are some of the nearby attractions to Harihar Fort:
Trimbakeshwar Temple: One of India’s 12 Jyotirlingas and a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site, Trimbakeshwar Temple is located around 45 kilometers from Harihar Fort.
Igatpuri: A charming hill town with flowing waterfalls and hiking paths, Igatpuri is located around 45 kilometers from Harihar Fort.
Bhandardara: Around 65 kilometers from Harihar Fort, Bhandardara is a well-liked vacation spot renowned for its natural splendor, lakes, and waterfalls.
Shirdi: Shirdi, which is around 120 kilometers from Harihar Fort, is a well-known Sai Baba pilgrimage destination that receives countless numbers of visitors each year.
Nashik: Nashik, an ancient city well-known for its temples, vineyards, and attractive environs, is around 70 miles from Harihar Fort.
From Harihar Fort, these locations are easily accessible by car and are great for day outings or weekend breaks.
Finally, Harihar Fort is a well-known hiking location in Maharashtra, India, situated in the Nashik district. It has a lengthy history, having been constructed during the Yadava dynasty and thereafter inhabited by a number of kings.
Its distinctive architecture, which includes temples, a palace, and a water tank, makes the fort a well-liked destination for tourists and hikers. The best time to visit Harihar Fort is from October to February during the winter, and it is suggested to bring a knowledgeable guide or trekking group along for safety.
Trimbakeshwar Temple, Igatpuri, Bhandardara, Shirdi, and Nashik are other neighboring tourist attractions that are simple to reach by road. For those who enjoy walking and visiting historical monuments, a visit to Harihar Fort may be a wonderful adventure.
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