Harishchandragad by Sanket Sangwikar

Difficulty Level
(very easy, easy, medium, slightly tough, tough)
Slightly tough
Duration of the trek2 day
When to visitAnytime except Summer
Nearest City / LocationKalyan ,
Murbad ,
Malshej Ghat ( )
Base VillageKheereshwar

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– Harishchandragad is king of fort treks. It is called pilgrimage of trekkers. Trekking@sahyadri reaches its milestone when you reach Konkan kadaa ( ) of Harishchandragad. Harishchandragad hosts many attractions that really astonish us. This trek offers you everything – forest trekking, rock patches, long walks, second highest peak of Maharashtra, amazing natural variations, huge creations of volcano, ancient glory of Hindu carvings and the peak of all – Konkan kadaa.

The trek is in 4 steps.

  1. Reach Kheereshwar from Bus stop– 1 hour walk on the wall of Dam
  2. Climb up to Tolar Khind ( ) – 1 and ½ hour climb through Harishchandragad Kalsubai forest sanctuary.
  3. Climb the 600 feet rock patch to reach the top of the fort Harishchandragad – 45 minutes climb on the rock patch.
  4. Walk on the fort to find the Harishchandreshwar temple – 1 and ½ hour

There are other routes to the fort –

  1. Way by Tolar Khind which is most common path from Kheereshwar. The description as mentioned above.
  2. Way from Zunzar Darwaja or Rajdarwaja ( / ) takes you to the base of Balekilla. This way is frequently used by local people and you can take a guide from Kheereshwar. this route takes less time as compared to way by Tolar khind.
  3. Nalichi vaat ( ) via Konkan kadaa is tough and takes about 1.5 days
  4. Way from Sadhale Ghat – There is also a way from Sadhale Ghat ( ) that takes you near Konkan kadaa.
  1. Get down at Khubi-Phata ( ) (next stop to Malshej Ghat). You will see a grand dam at the left side.
  2. Walk over the dam wall for an hour to reach Kheereshwar. . You can also visit the Kheereshwar temple which 1200 years old.
  3. Start climbing for Tolar khind ( ). The way passes through streams of water, some waterfalls and Harishchandragad-Kalsubai Forest sanctuary.
  4. Climb the 600 ft rock patch. Railings are provided at some places. Be quite careful while climbing. Do not wear slippery shoes.
  5. The top of the fort is very vast with large hills and hundreds of streams. Search for the Harishchandreshwar temple (about 1 and ½ hours walk on the top of the fort.)
  6. You have to cross seven hills on the fort to reach this temple. Way on the sixth hill passes through dense forest. Seventh hill has a small ghumti (small temple) and a water tank. You can see Harishchandreshwar temple from here in the valley of seventh hill. The arrow marks are present.
  1. This is 3000 years old fort – one of the oldest forts of Maharashtra. It has history of Puraanas and Pandavas. The fort is really vast and you really get astonished to see the huge plateau on the top having several hills.
  2. (600 feet rock patch) – This is also one of the attraction for trekkers. The rock patch has railings at some places and some of them are broken. You can see deep valley of dense forest below.
  3. (Harishchandreshwar Mandir)– This is 2000 years old Harishchandreshwar temple of Lord Shiva which is 16 meter in height. The carvings on the temple are really breathtaking inside. External carvings have been little bit faded due to wind and rain, both of which are horribly strong on the fort throughout the year. Stay at night is possible in the caves behind the temples. One of the cave bears a huge vessel which is used to create prasad on Mahashivratri. this is the time when celebrations are made at Harishchandreshwar temple every year. Some of te caves have other Hindu idols and some have drinking water.
  4. (Pushkarani) – In front of the Harishchandreshwar Mandir, there is a sqaure lake with steps at all sides and series of small temples at one side. This is called Pushkarni. This was used for water sports, swimming and religious rituals. Pushkarani was considered sign of glory.
  5. (Ganesh Guhaa) – Just near the Harishchandreshwar temple are Ganesh caves. Events in the life of King Harishchandra (1000BC) are carved here. One of the caves has 8 feet tall Ganesh idol. Ganesh caves is the place where Tapashwi Changdev had stayed for more than thousand years in hibernate state. From here only he went to visit Saint Dnyaneshwar in 1200AD. Ganesh cave is better place for night stay.
  6. (Bale killa) or citadel is another highest point on Harishchandragad. Balekilla has fortification made up of stone and Zunzar Darwaja or Rajdarwaja ( / )
  7. (Kedareshwar Guhaa) – Kedareshwar cave contains 4 feet long Lord Kedareshwar idol surrounded by ice cold water. This cave was originally balanced on four pillars out of which three are now in broken state. Carvings of events in Shivpuran are really beautiful. If you want to do pradakshina to Lord Kedareshwar, you need to walk in 2 feet deep chilling cold water.
  8. (Konkan Kadaa) The wonder of Nature – Dream of trekkers. This is 2000 feet deep, straight, concave, semicircular, vessel shaped edge of Harishchandragad. ( ) The wind is really mighty here. Coins thrown down come back due to wind force. The semicircular vaati ( or vessel) of Kokan kadaa can be seen from Malshej Ghat for a while. but after some time Rohidas shikhar covers its view. Sunset from Konkan kadaa is famous since nothing is much taller around than the place you are.
  9. (Rohidas Mountains) – This pyramidal shaped mountain can be seen from Konkan kadaa and throughout the Malshej Ghat. The mountain is not actually part of Harishchandragad.
  10. (Taramati mountain) – Taramati issecond highest peak in Maharashtra. Kalsubai – the highest peak – can be seen from here. This whole range of Sahyadri is exceptionally high. the igneous rock generated in thousands of years old volcano were suddenly cooled by rains to form really steep rock patches everywhere. Taramai mountain gives clear view of Malshej Ghat, Kheereshwar, Hadsar fort, Naneghat, Kalsubai mountain, etc. Taramati Shikhar has many Shiv-ling and go-mukh on its way.
  11. There are many other remnants of the old rishi ashram that was flourishing here. Hundreds of Shivling and water tanks are present here and there.
From Kalyan to Khubi PhataEvery half an hour bus to Ale Phata / Nagar ( / ).
Get down at Khubi Phata stop.
First bus5.30am from Kalyan
Last bus12.15am from Kalyan

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ime to climb 1 hour from Khubi Phata to Kheereshwar2 and ½ hours to the fort entry from Kheereshwar

1 and ½ hours to the temple on the fort form entry

FoodAvailable at Kheereshwar and Khubi-Phata.
Drinkable WaterAvailable on the fort and Khireshwar
ShelterHarishchandreshwar temple and Ganesh caves

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