Harishchandragad Beautiful Trek – 5 things you need to know

Harishchandragad
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Harishchandragad is definitely the most sought-after trek in Maharashtra. A place that makes you feel you’re in the clouds. It is one of the few treks that are perfect throughout the year and meant for everyone, be it a first-timer or an experienced trekker.

It is famous for the majestic Kokankada views, unique pre-monsoon clouds, and an extraordinary phenomenon called the Indravarjan (a circular rainbow).

Located in the Ahmednagar district, the height of the fort is 4650 feet above sea level.

The fort was built in the 6th century during the rule of Kalachuri dynasty & the caves at the fort were carved during the 11th century.

Best Season: Monsoons & Winters

Difficulty: Easy – Hard (Depending on the route)

Altitude: 4650 feet.

Ideal for: All types of trekkers

Region: Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra

How to reach?

Harishchandragad
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There are seven different known routes to the fort. However, the three most famous routes are via Pachnai, Khireshwar & Belpada.

Via Public transport:

To reach Khireshwar & Belpada from Mumbai, you can take a train to Kalyan and then take either a bus or a shared jeep to Khubi phata and move towards Khireshwar or Belpada via Malshej Ghat. 

To reach Pachnai, you must board a train to Kasara from CST/Dadar. Then take a local jeep to Rajur and take another local jeep to Pachnai. (This takes a lot of time to reach via public transport, preferable if you have your vehicle or if you are coming with a trekking group.)

Via Private vehicle: 

  • Distance from Mumbai
    • to Pachnai: 200 kms (5-6 hours) 
    • to Khireshwar: 140 kms (3-3.5 hours)
    • to Belpada: 120 kms (3-3.5 hours)

The car park charges at Pachnai village are INR 100 & bike park charges are INR 25.

Trek Route & Difficulty

Harishchandragad

There are seven different ways of reaching the top; however, the most famous routes are:

  1. Via Pachnai Village: (Easy | 2 hours – one way)
    1. This route is the easiest and most preferred route, as it takes the least time to reach the top.
    2. Ideal for beginners.
    3. Ramblr Route link.
  2. Via Khireshwar Village (via Tolar Khind): (Moderate | 3-4 hours – one way)
    1. This route can also be considered accessible; however, there are some patches where you need to be careful.
    2. The trail is more prolonged and requires a lot of stamina. Ideal for someone who is physically fit & in good condition.
    3. Ramblr Route link.
  3. Via Naali chi vaat: (Very Difficult | 5-6 hours – one way)
    1. This route is the most challenging and is a dream for almost every experienced trekker of Maharashtra. The difficult section climbing through a rock patch filled with boulders.
    2. The trail is meant only for experienced trekkers in excellent physical condition.
    3. Ideal only from Nov to Feb (during Winter).
    4. Ramblr Route Link.

Important Information

Harishchandragad
  1. You have to pay an entry fee of INR 30 from Pachnai village to the forest department.
  2. You can camp at the Kokankada overnight during the winters, known for its majestic sunset views & natural beauty.
  3. Things to do & see at the top:
    1. Kedareshwar Cave
    2. Kokan kada Camping
    3. Taramati peak
    4. Harishchandreshwar temple
    5. Saptateertha Pushkarni lake
  4. There are arrangements for camping and food at the top, especially during weekends.
  5. You can hire local guides from the base village who can help you with all the arrangements.

Video of the trek via Pachnai

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