Harishchandragad is situated on Mumbai - Ahmednagar road near Malshej Ghat. We left Pune from Shivajinagar and reached Otur at about 12:00 in night, the nearby town. On the next dawn we got lift in a truck and reached Khubi Phata at about 6:30 AM. The Pimpalgaon - Joga dam welcomed us. We had to walk about 5 Km along the dam wall to Khireshwar, one of the base camps of Harishchandragad.
While walking to Khireshwar I could see the fort, its height and the cliffs. I understood that the trek is going to test my patience. We reached to Khireshwar and had some breakfast.and started the trek to Harishandragad. We were traversing the path to Tolar Khind (Tolar Pass). The route takes you through jungle and has some hard patches for novice trekkers. I would not recommend this route during rainy season, as there are some patches where you have to go upwards from water streams, and during rain this becomes very difficult. Also make sure that you have enough drinking water with you, as there is no or very little water available in the route. Once you are on the top, there is much potable water available. Pleas keep a medichlor bottle with you, which will help to sterilize the water available there. This is to avoid any health problems due to water.
When you reach to Tolar Khind, you have completed about 60% of the trek.After this some vertical part begins. There are couple of caves in thee route. You can have some rest there, and start again. Once you reach the top, you will see the Balekilla of the fort( See below pic).
|Balekilla of Harishchandragad|
The temple has very beautiful with design inscribed on its walls. It has a Shivling in it. It has a Ganesh idol in left side. There are many caves around the temple. You can see some of these in below pics.
|Design inscribed on the temple walls|
|Vitthal - Rukmini idols|
|Ganesh idol near Harishchandreshwar temple|
Konkankada is the other attraction of the fort. This is a huge concave cliff. One can observer the gorge right under his foot. A very exciting and beautiful look of the valley can be observed from here. Below are some of the pics of Kokankada.
The ST bus is available from Pachnai at 11 AM, the only bus from here. If you are planning to bepart to your home from here, make sure that you are down the fort in Pachnai before 11 AM. The bus takes you to Rajur, from where you can get bus to Pune.