Easy - Paachnai
Moderate - Khireshwar/Junnar Darwaja/Sadhle Ghat
Difficult - Nalichi Vaat/Taramati/Makad Naal
Region : Ahmednagar
Base village :
Paachnai/ Khireshwar/ Belpada (Walhivale)
Landmark : Pimpalgaonjoga Dam
Number of Routes : 6-7
Highest Altitude : 4665 Feet (1422m)
Trek Duration :
Paachnai - 1.5-2 Hours
Junnar Darwaja/ Khireshwar - 4-5 Hours
Sadhle Ghat/Nalichi Vaat/Taramati/Makad Naal - 8-12 hours
Surrounding Peaks : Sindola, Kunjargad
Ideal Season :
December to February (For Indravajra View and Clouds one can also visit this fort in Pre-Monsoon period i.e May end or June start from Paachnai Route)
Major Attarction :
Saptatirtha Pushkarni - To the east of the temple is a well-built lake called “Saptatirtha”.
Kedareshwar Cave - Towards the right of Harishchandreshwar temple, there is the huge cave of Kedareshwar (see picture), in which there is a big Shiva Linga, which is completely surrounded by water. Its height from the base is five feet, and the water is waist-deep. It is quite difficult to reach the Shiva Linga because the water is ice-cold.
Kokan Kada (कोकण कडा) - This cliff faces west and looks down upon the Konkan. It provides views of the surrounding region. The cliff has an overhang, but has been climbed many times. Sometimes a circular rainbow (the Brocken spectre phenomenon) can be seen from this point.
Taramati peak - Also known as Taramanchi. This is the top most point on the fort (1429 meters).
Caves on Harishchandragad - These caves are spread out all over the fort. Many of these are situated at the foot of Taramati peak and are the place of accommodation.
Nageshwar temple near Khireshwar - This is a great antique construction, and diverse artistic works are seen on this. On the ceiling of the temple are carvings. The main attraction of the carvings here is the 1.5 m long sculpture of Lord Vishnu in the sleeping posture, popularly known as "Sheshshayi Vishnu" in Marathi. It is rare and hence holds a lot of importance.
Ganapati, Harishchandreshwar Temple - This temple is marvelous example of the fine art of carving sculptures out of stones that prevailed in ancient India. It is about 16 m high from its base. Around this temple there a few caves & ancient water tanks
Peaks within the Mountain :
Taramati (1424 metre), Rohidas (1412 metre) and Balekilla (1390 metre) are the three peaks in Harishchandragad. Taramati peak is, in fact, the fourth highest peak in Maharashtra state after Kalsubai peak (1646 metre), Salher (1567 metre) and Dhopad (1472 metre).
Water Sources :
There are multiple water sources near caves however prefer the one near Kedareshwar Temple. It is available almost throughout the year and potable too.
Special thing about structure/route :
Konkada is one of the most famous structre in the fort especially due to it's curve. Rapelling acticities are conducted by various trekking groups from this cliff.
History Info :
Its origin is said to have been in the 6th century, during the rule of Kalachuri dynasty. The citadel was built during this era. The various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century. In these caves are idols of Lord Vishnu. Though the cliffs are named Taramati and Rohidas, they are not related to Ayodhya. Great sage Changdev (one who created the epic Tatvasaar), used to meditate here in the 14th century. The caves are from the same period. The various constructions on the fort and those existing the surrounding region point to the existence of diverse cultures here. The carvings on the temples of Nageshwar (in Khireshwar village), in the Harishchandreshwar temple and in the cave of Kedareshwar indicate that the fort belongs to the medieval period, since it is related to mahadeva as a totem of tribes Mahadev Koli. They were controlling the fort before Moguls. Later the fort was under the control of Moguls. The Marathas captured it in 1747.
Brief War History :
16th Century – Harishchandragad Fort was under the control of Mughals. 18th Century – Marathas captured the Harishchandragad Fort in 1747 from the Mughals