Harihar Fort, located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India, is a popular destination for trekkers and hikers. The fort, also known as Harshagad, was built during the 6th century and is 3,676 feet above sea level. The fort was strategically built at the border of the Baglan region, which was ruled by the Mughals, and the rest of Maharashtra, which the Marathas ruled. This made the fort an important location for the Marathas during the 17th century.
The Harihar Fort is located in the Igatpuri taluka of the Nashik district. It is situated on a plateau on the Western Ghats. The fort is about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) above sea level and is one of the highest forts in the Sahyadri range. The fort was built during the Yadava dynasty in the 13th century. It was later conquered by the Marathas. The fort is currently in ruins.
The Harihar Fort was built for the purpose of defense. The fort has three entrances, the main entrance being the Maha Darwaza. The fort has many bastions and watch towers. The fort has a temple of Lord Harihareshwar, the deity of the fort. There is also a sacred pond called the Harihareshwar Talav. The fort was conquered by the Marathas in 1670. The Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj renamed the fort as Harshagad. The fort was later captured by the British. The British used the fort as a prison. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and other freedom fighters were imprisoned here.
The fort is currently in ruins. The main entrance and the Maha Darwaza are in a state of disrepair. The temple of Lord Harihareshwar is in a dilapidated state. The sacred pond, the Harihareshwar Talav, has dried up. Today, the fort is a popular trekking destination, attracting adventure seekers from all over the world.
The trek to Harihar Fort is considered one of the region’s most challenging treks. The trek is approximately 13 kilometers long and takes about 6-7 hours. The trail is steep and rocky and requires specific fitness and stamina. However, the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys make the trek worthwhile.
The trek begins at the base village of Nirgudpada, about 140 kilometers from Mumbai. The village is accessible by road and is well-connected to major cities in Maharashtra. The trail starts with a gradual climb through dense forests and meadows. The trail then becomes steeper and more challenging as it approaches the fort.
As trekkers climb higher, they are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trek also takes trekkers through a series of rock-cut steps and narrow passages, adding to the adventure and excitement of the trek.
The fort is magnificent, with its massive walls and fortifications. The fort has two main entrances, one facing the east and the other facing the west. The eastern entrance is guarded by a large gate, which leads to a series of rock-cut steps that take trekkers to the top of the fort. The western entrance is less guarded and is often used by trekkers to exit the fort.
Once trekkers reach the top of the fort, they are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The fort offers panoramic views of the Sahyadri mountain range; on clear days, one can even see the Arabian Sea in the distance.
The fort has a number of temples and mosques. The most notable temple is the temple of Hanuman. The temple is located on the southern side of the fort. The mosque is located on the eastern side of the fort. The fort also has several structures and ruins, including a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, a mosque, and several water cisterns. The fort was once a thriving city, and the ruins offer a glimpse into the life of the people who once lived there.
The trek down from the fort is equally challenging, and trekkers are advised to be cautious while descending. The trek ends at the base village of Nirgudpada, where trekkers can rest and relax before heading back home.
The best time to trek to Harihar Fort is during the winter months, between November and February when the weather is cool and pleasant. During the monsoon months, the trek can be dangerous between June and September due to slippery trails and flash floods.
Trekking to Harihar Fort is an adventure of a lifetime, offering trekkers the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Western Ghats and the thrill of conquering a challenging trek. The trek requires a certain fitness level and stamina, but the stunning views and sense of accomplishment make it worthwhile. So if you’re looking for an adventure, pack your bags and head to Harihar Fort!
To reach Harihar Fort in Maharashtra, follow these general directions:
By Air: The nearest airport to Harihar Fort is Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. You can hire a taxi from the airport or use public transportation to reach the fort. The distance between Mumbai and Harihar Fort is approximately 220 kilometers.
By Train: The closest railway station to Harihar Fort is Igatpuri Railway Station. Igatpuri is well connected to major cities in Maharashtra and other parts of India. From Igatpuri, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the fort. The distance between Igatpuri and Harihar Fort is around 45 kilometers.
By Road: Harihar Fort is located near Harshewadi village, approximately 40 kilometers from Igatpuri. You can reach Igatpuri by road from major cities in Maharashtra, like Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik. From Igatpuri, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the village of Harshewadi, the base village for the fort.
Once you reach the village of Harshewadi, you can start the trek to Harihar Fort. The trek is moderately challenging, involving steep rock patches and narrow staircases. It is advisable to wear appropriate trekking shoes and carry sufficient water and snacks. It’s also a good idea to hire a local guide who is familiar with the route and can assist you during the trek.
Please note that these directions are approximate, and it’s always a good idea to check for the latest information and local guidance before planning your trip.