Harishchandra fort: In the Indian state of Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district is the hill fort known as Harishchandragad. At a height of roughly 1,424 meters above sea level, it is located in the Western Ghats’ Malshej Ghat region.
The fort has a lengthy and fascinating history that dates back to the Kalachuri dynasty’s dominance in the sixth century. Later, it was taken over by a number of kings, including the Mughals, Marathas, and the British.
Due to its stunning natural landscape and difficult climbing trails, the fort is now a well-liked hiking and trekking destination.
The Kedareshwar Cave, home to a lovely Shiva lingam and renowned for its natural cooling system, and the Taramati Peak, which gives spectacular panoramic views of the nearby mountains and valleys, are just a couple of the well-known attractions on Harishchandragad.
The numerous temples, lakes, and other buildings that dot the fort’s terrain can also be explored by visitors.
History of harishchandra fort
The Kalachuri dynasty ruled India in the sixth century, which is when the Harishchandragad fort was constructed. The fort was placed in a strategic location to protect the historic trade route that connected Maharashtra’s interior to the Konkan coast.
The fort was captured and ruled over by numerous kings and dynasties over the years, changing hands countless times. In the 13th century, it was governed by the Yadavas of Devagiri, and afterwards by the Bahamani Sultanate. The Maratha warrior Shivaji took it in the sixteenth century, altered the fort’s design, and used it as a base for his operations.
The British East India Company took control of the fort in the 18th century, and they held it there until 1947 when India gained its freedom.
The fort was built during the British era to serve as a strategic military stronghold and had a number of buildings, such as barracks and storage spaces. The fort, however, was mostly forgotten until the emergence of hiking and adventure tourism when India attained freedom.
Today, trekkers and hikers flock to Harishchandragad to discover its natural beauty and extensive history.
The fort’s architecture, including its temples and water tanks, provides a window into its turbulent past and the various kings who fought to dominate it.
How to reach Harishchandra fort
There are several ways to go to the Harishchandragad Fort, which is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India. Here are a few methods for getting to Harishchandragad:
By air: Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, located around 163 kilometers from Harishchandragad, is the closest airport. To get to the fort from there, take a bus or order a taxi.
Igatpuri Railway Station, which is located about 70 miles from Harishchandragad, is the closest train station. From there, you can take a bus or a cab to get to the fort.
By Road: Harishchandragad is well-connected by road, and to get to the base village of Khireshwar, you can take a bus or a taxi from Mumbai or Pune. You can start your journey to the fort from there. Eight kilometers separate Khireshwar from the fort, and it takes 3 to 4 hours to get there.
Trekking: From a number of base villages, such as Khireshwar, Pachnai, and Belpada, you can hike to Harishchandragad. The trek to the fort is strenuous and demands a moderate to high degree of fitness. The most well-known path takes three to four hours to get to the fort from Khireshwar.
Best time to visit Harishchandra fort
Harishchandragad Fort is best visited in the winter and early summer, from October to March. This time of year is great for trekking and fort exploration because of the mild, pleasant weather, clear skies, and low humidity.
It is not advised to visit the fort during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. Heavy rain and slick terrain can make trekking extremely difficult.
For those who prefer to avoid crowds, the summer months of April to June can also be a good time to visit Harishchandragad. However, it can get warm and muggy at this time, so it’s crucial to pack plenty of water and wear loose-fitting clothing.
In general, the winter and early summer seasons are the best times to visit Harishchandragad because the weather is comfortable and the fort’s and its environs’ natural beauty are at their peak during these seasons.
Nearest places to harishchandra fort
Several neighboring locations are accessible at Harishchandragad, which is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India. Here are some of the well-known locales in the area:
Malshej Ghat: About 30 kilometers from Harishchandragad, there is a stunning mountain pass called Malshej Ghat. It is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, waterfalls, and diverse types of birds.
Shivneri Fort: About 80 kilometers from Harishchandragad, there is a medieval hill fort called Shivneri Fort. As the home of the fabled Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, it is a well-liked vacation spot for trekkers and history buffs.
Bhandardara: About 65 kilometers from Harishchandragad is the lovely hill town of Bhandardara. It’s renowned for its breathtaking scenery, tranquil lakes, and waterfalls.
The Junnar caverns are a collection of old Buddhist rock-cut caverns that are situated about 70 kilometers from Harishchandragad. The caves, which date to the second century BCE, are renowned for their stunning sculptures and complex carvings.
Harishchandragad is roughly 90 kilometers away from the well-known Hindu temple of Lenyadri Ganpati. It honors Lord Ganesha and is one of the eight Ashtavinayak temples.
Stay option at harishchandra fort
For those who want to spend the night before or after the hike, there are many places to stay close to Harishchandragad. Here are some of the preferred lodging choices:
Camping: Those who want to stay close to Harishchandragad frequently choose to camp. Along with meals and other amenities, a number of camping operators rent out tents and other camping gear.
Guesthouses: In the surrounding villages of Khireshwar and Pachnai, there are a number of guesthouses and homestays that provide simple lodging and meals. Hotel Harishchandragad, Manashanty Niwas, and Omkar Farms are a few of the well-known inns.
Trekking clubs: A number of trekking clubs and organizations provide Harishchandragad package tours that include travel, lodging, and food. These packages can be altered to fit your needs and price range.
Harishchandragad includes a number of caverns that are suitable for overnight stays. It is advised to bring your own camping gear and food because these caverns are simple and lack facilities.
FAQ about harishchandra fort
What is the best time to visit Harishchandragad Fort?
The best time to visit Harishchandragad Fort is during the winter and early summer months, from October to March when the weather is cool and pleasant.
Is it safe to trek to Harishchandragad Fort?
Yes, it is safe to trek to Harishchandragad Fort, provided you follow the necessary precautions and trekking guidelines. It is recommended to hire a local guide and carry essential trekking gear, such as sturdy shoes, sufficient water, and a first-aid kit.
How long does it take to trek to Harishchandragad Fort?
It takes around 4-5 hours to trek to Harishchandragad Fort, depending on the starting point and the trekking route chosen.
What are the nearby places to visit from Harishchandragad Fort?
The nearby places to visit from Harishchandragad Fort include Malshej Ghat, Shivneri Fort, Bhandardara, Junnar Caves, and Lenyadri Ganpati Temple.
What are the stay options available near Harishchandragad Fort?
The stay options available near Harishchandragad Fort include camping, guesthouses, trekking clubs, and fort caves.
What are the main attractions of Harishchandragad Fort?
The main attractions of Harishchandragad Fort include the Konkan Kada, Taramati Peak, Kedareshwar Cave, and Harishchandreshwar Temple.
Is there any entry fee for Harishchandragad Fort?
No, there is no entry fee for Harishchandragad Fort. However, some trekking clubs and guides may charge a nominal fee for their services.