Harishcahandragard fort is a splendid architectural monument and tourist attraction located in the Ahmedanagar district in the Maharashtra state. It stands majestically on the Malshej region of the Western Ghats and among the most challenging treks of the Ghats. It is situated 90km. from the Kalyan. This fort can be reached from various routes. One of the routes is the Nalichi Vaat, which is a channel that is located to extreme right of mountain. The Nalichi Vaat includes steep climb and involves rocky patches. The journey begins from the rock-filled stream bed to the gorge foot. During trekking, the trekkers can halt all the way to the fort the climb uphill is quite tiring. The trekkers can halt in pitched-tents or grassy plains or in any of the ancient caves in the fort.
Taramati, Harischndra and Rohidas are the 3 peaks in this area and peak Taramati is the highest among the three. Marvellous places, fort and peaks such as the Jivdhan, Malshej Ghat, Ratangad, Nane Ghat, Kalsubai etc. contribute to Maharashtra tourism.
History of the Attraction
The Harishchandragad Fort is quite old and dates back to 6th century. The caves located all over the fort are carved in eleventh century. The carvings and the various temples in the caves show that the fort is of the medieval period, as the fort is associated to Nath, Shaiva or Shakta. In the latter period came under Mogul control and was captured by the Marathas in the year 1747.
The fort is located 201 km. from Mumbai and it takes only 4 hrs 30 minutes to reach here by road. It is one of the most sought after attraction of Maharashtra tour. The tourist should follow the NH3 route to Ghoti-Shukl Tirth Road or the Nagpur-Aurnagabad-Mumbai Highway in Khambale or continue on the Ghoti-Shukl Tirth Rd or the Nagpur-Aurnagabad-Mumbai Highway to the destination. A traveller can hire the ST bus from the Kalyan to the Alephata via the Malshej Ghat. Chhatrpati Shivaji international airport is the nearest airport. From the airport a bus, taxi or car can be hired to reach the caves. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is a historic railway station in Mumbai, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well connected to the major cities. From the railway station, travelers can hire bus or taxi to reach the caves.
Things to do in and around
There are many places for sightseeing of this awesome fort and the main one being the Konkan Kada, which is a cliff about 1423m vertical overhang like that of a cobra’s hood that offers an awe-inspiring view of beautiful sunset and surrounding hills. The area even houses the Taramati peak, which is the third highest peak in the state of Maharashtra that offers panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges. The other places to visit in this area are the Harishchandreshwar Temple and the Kedareshwar cave that houses the big Shivlingam that is encompassed by four pillars that represent for yugas.
Best time to Visit
The best time to trek is in the winter months from September-March. Tourists can enjoy winter holidays trekking in this region.