Saturday, August 10, 2013

Harischandragad

Type: Trek
Base Village:
Where: 160 KMs (200kms via Sagmner-Akole) from Pune 
Route Taken: Pune-Sagmner-Akole-Harishchandragad
Time visited: July 2013
Time to climb: 3 hrs.
Difficulty Grade: 2  Endurance: 2
How to reach: Travel to Akole Via Sagmner. Its an 1.5 hrs drive/30 kms from there.
Food/Water:  Lunch, dinner and snacks are also available at the top.



Trek routes
1. Tolar Khind Route:  From Pune go to Alephata (100 kms) kms from Pune. From Alephata take road to Otur and then Khireshwar, which is base village. This will probably take 4-5 hours.
2. Rajur- Pachanai: From pune reach Akole via Sagmner. Then take road to Rajur and drive further down few kms to reach Pachnai. This is easy route with less rocky patches and should be around 3 hrs climb.

History as available on internet: 
The fort is said to have been in 6th century, during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. Remnants of Microlithic man have been discovered here. The various Puranas (ancient scriptures) like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana include many references about Harishchandragad.. 

For Harishchandragad you would need a stay if you are travelling from Pune. What we did was start on Friday evening after office. We reached Akole at around 10.30pm where one of our friends had his house.  In the morning we had pohe at his house and started for the fort at around 7AM. 

Akole is small town and famous for historic Shiv temple and Agastya Ashram. The Ashram has tranquil surroundings and situated just across the river.


The road to fort is midst the green hills on the way to Bhandadara dam.


There as diversion and you have to keep left. A roughly 1.5 drive and you reach at the base of the fort via Rajur to Pacnai village. There a car parking available and guide too with a rate of Rs 300/.


The weather was beautiful and one could see hundreds of waterfalls gushing down. A 10 minute walk led to the base of the fort. An old board declared that this was protected Jungle.


Waterfall on the way. The scene was beautiful, with river-streams flowing merrily and rice farms soaked in heavy rains.

The climb was a pleasant walk through jungles, flowing streams and under waterfalls,




Harishchandreshwar Temple
This temple gives insight of fine carving sculptures that could have prevailed during those times. The river Mangal Ganga is said to originate from one of the tanks located close to the temple. 





Carvings on the temple.


Kedareshwar Cave
This and old rock-cut cave and famous for half pillar standing from ceiling. The Shivlinga is surrounded by waist-deep ice cold water.




Saptatirtha Pushkarni
To the east of the temple is a well-built lake called “Saptatirtha with temple like structure around.


The major attraction of Harishchandragad is Kokan Kada but unfortunately there so much fog we could barely see. We decided not to venture that side. Taramati and Rohidas , the two peaks a top Harishchandragad, are also worth visiting as they offer beautiful views of the sahyadri ranges but again we dropped that idea too due to fog.

Hearty hot meal at the topmof the fort made our day.

We reached safely back by 4PM. And drove back to Pune by 11PM.

5 comments:

  1. Thanx for the Post. Visiting there on 29th Sept . Pls let me know if you have any specific advice , to and not to do list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Nilesh. I myself have been to Harishchandragad by the Khireshwar route. Th route can be a little difficult if the participants are newbies to trekking!
      The route is in 3 stages; Khireshwar-Tolar Khind; Tolar Khind-Top (3 rock patches) and from there to the Ganesh cave.
      The rock patches can be a bit slippery in monsoon, but are quite simple to navigate if one doesn't underestimate them!
      After the rock patches there are 2 routes one of which goes over about 7 hills and the other which bypasses 6 of these. The 7 hills route is completely marked and there is little chance of getting lost on this route.
      I would definitely recommend that you do this route atleast once! Also this route is quite simple in the non-monsoon months.
      Cheers!
      Have a great & safe trek!

      Delete
  2. Nilesh, it depends on the route. If you are going via Akole its an easy hike. The other route is tedious is what I have heard. From Akole side we were able to get a guide who charged us 300 bucks. In not to do list I would suggest not wade in water in the Kedareshwar Cave since there's a lot of water.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This route from the Akole side...at which point do you reach on the fort? That is where on the fort?
    Great info and pics btw!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Pranav- By Akole route, You will first notice the small temple (see the pic posted above Harishchandreshwar temple in the blog) and then you reach right in front of Harishchandreshwar temple itself.

      Delete