Harish Fort Harshgad (Harishgad) FORT History

Harish Fort, four miles west of Trimbak and 3676 feet above the sea, has been described by Captain Briggs who visited it in 1818. It was tolerably easy of access till half way up, where several paths from the foot of the hill united and where were a reservoir, some wells, and some houses for the garrison. Then began the ascent of the scarp, [There were one or two houses at the foot of the scarp where one or two men always paraded as sentries.] which Captain Briggs describes as truly wonderful. Words could give no idea of its dreadful steepness. It was perfectly straight for about 200 feet and could only be compared to a ladder up a wall 200 feet high. The steps were bad and broken and holes were cut in the rock to support the hands. At the fop of the steps was a strong door, then a walk under a rock-cut gallery with no wall along the outer edge. After the gallery came a second flight of steps worse than the first, and, at the top of the steps, a trap-door with only room to crawl through. Then came two good gates. So difficult was the hill to climb that Captain Briggs was satisfied that five men could hold it against any odds. There was plenty of water in the fort and a well-built bombproof for powder. The grain and provisions were kept in a thatched house. [Captain Briggs’ Report, 26th June 1818. Captain Briggs left a body of men here, not so much for the defence of the fort as to be on the look-out for and attack marauding parties with which this part of the country was infested.] In 1636 Harish, with Trimbak, Tringalvadi and other Poona forts, was given by Shahaji to the Moghal general Khan Zaman. [Elliot and Dowson’s History, VII. 60.] Harish was one of the seventeen strong places that surrendered to the British after the fall of Trimbak in 1818. [ Blacker’s Maratha War, 322 note 2.]

Harshgad (Harishgad)

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