YATRI SAHYADRI – A TREK TO HARISHCHANDRAGAD via NALICHI VAAT.


Yatri Sahyadri has organized a trek to Harishchandra gad Via Nalichi Vaat on 10th – 11th December, 2011 (Starting 9th Evening). Some basic information about the trek is as follows: Some Information about the fort:
Harishchandragad:
Type: Hill Fort
Height: 4500 Feet above MSL (Approx)
Grade: Tough
Region: MalshejBase
Village: Belpada

Harishchandragad:-
Its a hill fort in theAhmednagar region of India. Its history is linked with that of Malshej Ghat, and it has played a major role in guarding the surrounding region.The fort is quite ancient. Remnants of Microlithic man have been discovered here. The various Puranas (ancient scriptures) like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana include many references about Harishchandragad. Its origin is said to have been in 6th century, during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. The citadel was built during this era. The various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century. In these caves are idols of Lord Vishnu. Though the cliffs are named Taramati and Rohidas, they are not related to Ayodhya. Great sage Changdev (one who created the epic “Tatvasaar”), used to meditate here in 14th century. The caves are from the same period. The various constructions on the fort and those existing the surrounding region point to the existence of diverse cultures here. The carvings on the temples of Nageshwar (in Khireshwar village), in the Harishchandreshwar temple and in the cave of Kedareshwar indicate that the fort belongs to the medieval period, since it is related to Shaiva, Shakta or Naath. Later the fort was under the control of Moguls. The Marathas captured it in 1747.

Taramati:
This is the topmost point on the fort. From here we can have a glimpse of the whole range of Naneghat and the forts near Murbad (This will be visited only if time permits.)

Konkan Kada:(Konkan cliff):
The most interesting point on this fort is this cliff, which has always fascinated many people from many years. The cliff faces west and looks down upon the Konkan. From here, one can have a breathtaking view of the surrounding region and the setting sun. This cliff is not just vertical, it is an overhang, almost like a cobra’s hood. It has been climbed many times. Sometimes a circular rainbow (the Brocken spectre phenomenon) can be seen from this point. It can be seen only when there is a bit of mist in the valley, and the sun is right behind the person facing the valley. One amazing phenomenon that can be observed at this place is the vertical cloud burst, in which the clouds nearing the cliff get sucked into the pit fall area below are thrown vertically into the sky reaching more than 50 feet. It creates a magical wall that is rising straight from the edge of the cliff without entering the landmass area. The fog show and hovering clouds below the cliff complement the season if one visits.

Kedareshwar:
Going rightwards of Harishchandreshwar temple, we come across a huge cave. This is the cave of Kedareshwar(see picture), in which there is a big Shivlinga, which is totally surrounded by water. The total height from its base is five feet, and the water is waist-deep. It is quite difficult to reach the Shivlinga because the water is ice-cold. There are sculptures carved out here. In monsoon it is not possible to reach this cave, as a huge stream flows across the way. It is very nice place.

Saptatirtha Pushkarni:
To the east of the temple is a well-built lake called “Saptatirtha”. On its bank are temple-like constructions in which there are idols of Lord Vishnu. Recently these idols have been shifted in the caves near the temple of Harishchandreshwar

Caves on Harishchandragad:
These caves are situated all over the fort. Many of these are situated at the foot of Taramati peak & are the place of accommodation. A few are near the temple, whereas some are near the citadel and some far away in the forests. A 30 feet deep natural cave is on the northwestern side of the fort, to the right of Kokan Kada. Many other caves are still said to remain undiscovered.

Temple of Harishchandreshwar:
This temple is marvelous example of the fine art of carving sculptures out of stones that prevailed in ancient India. It is about 16 m high from its base. Around this temple there a few caves & ancient water tanks. The river Mangal Ganga is said to originate from one of the tanks located close to the temple. The top of the temple resembles construction with the north-Indian temples. A similar temple is situated in Buddha-Gaya. Here we can see many tombs, in which a typical construction is seen. These are built by well-finished arranging stones one on top of the other. There are three main caves near the temple. The cisterns near the temple provide drinking water. A short distance away, another temple called Kashitirtha is located. The fascinating thing about this temple is that it has been carved out from a single huge rock. There are entrances from all four sides. On the main entrance there are sculptures of faces. These are faces of guards of the temple. On the left side of the entrance is a Devnagri inscription, which is about saint Changdev.

Nageshwar temple near Khireshwar:
This is a great antique construction, and diverse artistic works are seen on this. On the ceiling of the temple are beautiful carvings. The main attraction of the carvings here is the 1.5 m long sculpture of Lord Vishnu in the sleeping posture, popularly known as “sheshshayi Vishnu” in Marathi. It is rare and hence holds a lot of importance. There are a lot of legends told about this sculpture. There are caves near the temple.

Program:

Day One – 09/12/2011
8.30 pm: Reporting at Kalyan ST Depot.
9.00 pm: Proceed from Kalyan to Belpada (Vhalivhare) by private vehicle.
Travel time approx 2 hours. (Please carry your dinner)

Day Two – 10/12/2011
05.00 am: Wake up call.
05.30 am: Break fast.
06.00 am to 06.15 am: Introduction and other formalities.
06.30 am: Start trek From Belpada towards Konkankada.
Trek time approx 8hrs. (Lunch en route to be carried and will be arranged by us)
04.00pm: Reach at Konkankada.
4.00pm to 5.30pm: Explore the Kokankada & photography.
05.30 pm to 6.00 pm: Proceed towards Harishchandragad.
08.30pm: Dinner.
9.30pm to 11.00pm: Campfire.

Day Three – 11/12/2011
06.00 am: Wake up call.
06.30 am: Break fast.
07.30 am: Start descending via Tolar Khind. Travel time approx 5 hours.
01.00 pm: Reach Khireshwar.
01.00 pm to 2.00pm:
Lunch at Khireshwar.
02.30pm: Catch st bus to Kalyan.Travel time approx 2 hours.
4.30pm: Reach Kalyan.

Charges: Rs. 850/- per person.
Maximum participants – 30 only.
Includes:
2 Morning breakfast/tea,
2 Lunch,
1 Dinner.
Expert Guidance for the trek. : Belpada – Konkan kada – Harishchandragad – Khubi.

Here is a list of all the things that we need to carry for the trek:
1. Your dinner for Friday night,
2. Waterproof/Water resistant haversack to put in all the things to be carried. So that one has hands free while trekking,
3. Water minimum 3Ltrs,
4. Camera (Optional), Avoid wearing Gold and other jewelry (at own risk)
5. Please carry a set of used newspapers, Maggi, matchbox, torch, batteries and chocolates (No lozenges) for energy, Electoral / Enerzyl powder, 4-5 lemons, some snacks & biscuits, plate, spoon glass. (All reusable & compulsory),
6. Personal medicines & 2 plastic bags for weight distribution, insect repellant cream (Odomos or similar brand),
7. Sunscreen lotion/cream,
8. A Good pair of running/trekking shoes, shawl, bedding and extra clothes (compulsory),
9. Clothing as per your requirements of the stay and season in which trek is going to be done.(Avoid wearing jeans as it will rub against your skin leading to rashes)
10. Sleeping Matt or sleeping bag.

REGISTRATION PROCESS: Please note that “attending” RSVP on Facebook will not be considered as a valid registration. Please visit www.yatrisahyadri.com to registration. Optionally you may leave your email ID and phone numbers so that we can contact you. Call us on following numbers. Please confirm your seat before 02/12/2011.
Registration will be on ‘FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS’ for the first 30 registrations only.

Do feel free to contact us for any queries / clarifications.
For Registration & more details, contact Our “Yatri’s”.
Yatri Sahyadri.
Nityanand Naik: 9819818132.
Suhas Sagvekar: 9820257757

Send mail us on: info@yatrisahyadri.com
Visit us on: www.yatrisahyadri.com

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