The western Ghats in Maharashtra has always amazed us with its amazing hill fortresses from the past and breathtaking panoramas of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The state of Maharashtra is rich in rough terrains and stunning the western ghats’ landscapes that are awash with exotic waterfalls and rivers, lakes, streams, and dense forests. Harishchandragad in Maharashtra provides all of the above mentioned things with an added touch of culture and history.
Harishchandragad is situated in Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary close to Igatpuri. The fortress on the hill can be accessible via roads and railways between Mumbai or Pune. There are two ways to climb the hill of Harishchandragad, i.e; from Ghoti or Pachnai and the other coming from Khireshwar. The first route is the simplest and will get you there in 1 1/2 hours. The second is a little more strenuous and difficult. It can take around 4 hours to trek from Khireshwar up to Harishchandragad.
There are many historical places along the way that you’ll be able to visit during this hike. The terrain for the trek can be difficult in some areas because the monsoons can make the ground slippery. There are however beautiful forests, breathtaking views of Sahyadris’s evergreen flora, the clouds that cover the trek route and lakes. The top places to see on this trek are Kokankada, Taramati Peak, Shiv Temple, an ancient Shivling, Pushkarni lake.
Start your trek in the morning. After an 8-km hike and you’ll be able to see the old Shivling site where you will find a Ganesh temple. Take in the sunrise as stroll closer to the clouds. Famous Kokankada is only a mile away from this point. The Kokankada is known for its height and the stunning views to enjoy from this breathtaking location. The cameras are all out when you get to this the perfect location. Moving further, Taramati peak is known as the highest point in Harishchandragad. The peak is another 45 minutes from Kokankada. Feel the sensation of walking over the clouds when you get to Taramati peak.
The two main attraction that are Kokankada along with Taramati peak is the reason that many photographers and trekkers trek to Harishchandragad nearly every chance they have. In the monsoons, the sight of endless green valleys and beautiful clouds over the hills are an absolute delight for the eyes. Sometimes the Kokankada is the ideal place to sit and watch the breathtaking sunsets and ponder the meaning of life. If you want to stay at this stunning location, which is located at 4000 feet above sea level, there are many options to set up camp within the fort. The kokankada is an ideal place to set up camp. It is perfect to set up camp and hosting bonfire nights under clear skies. It is important to carry dry snacks and ready-to-eat food items for your camping trip.
Another option to camp is in the vicinity of the base communities of Harishchandragad. There are numerous campgrounds close to those villages around the stunning hill fortress. Most of them serve delicious meals cooked by the home cook for visitors. There are tea stalls, food stalls and snack shops at the base village.
The ideal time to trek to Harishchandragad is in winter and during monsoons. As with the other hill fortress treks across Maharashtra, Harishchandragad stands in its splendor during the cool monsoons. The large green fields, waterfalls, and the stunning temple transform the entire ambience. Even in winter, it is cool and refreshing close to Harishchandragad. The temperature is cool and trekking to the top of the mountain doesn’t feel like exhaustion even a bit. In winter the camping experience can be much more thrilling and the morning tea at the end of camp-out night is different.
The hike is relatively simple, with only a few areas of terrain that are difficult. A stroll through the woods is an enjoyable experience you are on this hike. Take a blessing at the old Shiv temple and marvel at its amazing carved pillars and walls. There are many routes to hike to Harishchandragad there are many motives to visit again and discover a different path each time. On weekends, Harishchandragad are very crowded, therefore it is advised to go on a weekday to be able to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the place without noise or disturbances. This could become the most enjoyable trek you have ever made to Maharashtra with your loved ones. If you’re in need of a break and need to collect all the thoughts in your head, Harishchandragad is just the spot to be. Take your camera, bag, and a companion and start exploring the stunning beautiful beauty that is Maharashtra.