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My Experience Trekking to Harishchandragad

I still remember the exhilaration I felt when I first set eyes on the majestic Harishchandragad fort. Nestled amidst the lush green Western Ghats, this ancient fort has an aura of mystery and adventure about it.

As someone who loves trekking and exploring lesser-known destinations, I knew I had to experience the famous Harishchandragad trek.

Harishchandragad trek

Planning the Trek

Harishchandragad is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The easiest and most popular route starts from the Khireshwar village. This moderate-difficult trek takes about 3-4 hours one way. I would recommend keeping at least 2 days in hand to fully enjoy the trek and take in the breathtaking views from the top.

Things to remember when planning the trek:

  • Carry enough food and water since there are no shops after Khireshwar village

  • Wear comfortable trekking shoes and clothes. It can get very windy and cold at the top

  • Start early to avoid the afternoon heat. The morning mountain views are magical

  • Check the weather forecast. Avoid monsoons as the route becomes slippery

The Trek to the Top

We started our trek at dawn from Khireshwar village. The well-defined trail begins easily enough, passing through thick forests and green plateaus. Within an hour, we reached the famous Kokan Kada, a steep cliff with an overhanging rocky projection. The jagged edges of this cliff face offer stunning views of the surrounding valleys.

After crossing Kokan Kada, the incline increased rapidly. The next stretch was the most challenging part of the trek, requiring steep rock climbing on carved steps. I was huffing and taking short breaks often. However, the fresh and chilled mountain air kept me motivated.

In 2.5 hours, we finally reached the top! The first glimpse of the expansive Harishchandragad fort took my breath away. The ancient Kedareshwar temple and huge cave chambers are archaeological wonders that provide a glimpse into medieval times.

We explored the caves and took plenty of pictures before finding a nice flat rock to rest our tired limbs and eat breakfast.

The View from the Top

The panoramic view from Harishchandragad Peak is simply spellbinding! On one side lie the lush green forests and villages, while the other side opens up to the vast basin of the Naneghat valley. From Taramati Peak located on one edge of the fort, one can even see the dim outlines of forts like Rajmachi on a clear day.

As I lay on the sides of Taramati cliff, watching colorful paragliders sail and eagles glide, I was mesmerized. The cool breeze, bright blue skies, and deep valley views...this is a sight I will never forget.

Apart from the views, I also love how this trek gives a glimpse into history. The ancient temples and caves made me wonder about the dynasties that once ruled over this impregnable fort. It also made me appreciate how humans carved these massive architectures on the sides of steep mountains centuries ago without modern technology.

Descending with Happy Feet

We ended up spending a few hours just relaxing and soaking in the views from the peak. Descending was easier as we used the same path down. The feeling of accomplishment and joy after completing this moderately difficult trek is hard to describe!

My legs felt wobbly and tired by the time we reached Khireshwar village but my mind felt rejuvenated. The cold water bath under a natural stream revived me!

On the way back, I kept thinking about coming back here again during other seasons to experience the blooming wildflowers and gushing waterfalls.

Tips for First-Time Trekkers

If you are planning your first trekking adventure, I highly recommend Harishchandragad! Here are some tips:

Fitness Level - Harishchandragad is a moderately difficult trek doable by most beginners and moderately fit people. Take your time and trek slowly if needed. Solo trekkers should assess their own capability.

Company - Having a group of friends makes it more enjoyable. But it’s okay to trek solo too if you inform locals. Don’t forget to make new friends along the way!

 Gear - Carry comfortable shoes or slippers, extra socks, flashlight, light jacket or sweater, hats, sunglasses, etc. in your backpack

 Safety - Research about emergency contacts of the region you are trekking beforehand. Follow instructions put up by local guides on the route.

 Appreciate Nature - Do not litter, pluck flowers, or disturb wildlife. This keeps the environment clean for everyone.

Have Patience - The best things come to those who wait. So wait patiently for perfect moments to get the stunning photos you desire.

Why Harishchandragad Has My Heart

The Harishchandragad trek will always have a special place in my memories and heart. After all, this is where I conquered my fear of heights and fell madly in love with trekking as a hobby.

On top of everything, I made new friends, saw incredible landscapes, appreciated history, and got a full-body workout too! It ended up being a trek for my body, mind, and soul...quite literally! - What’s not to love?

So if you love adventure like me, stop thinking and start planning your Harishchandragad trek today.

Have happy feet, take amazing photos for Instagram, eat mouthwatering Maggi noodles, and let your inner wanderlust spirit roam freely in the magical Western Ghats.


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