Lost & found at Harishchandra gad

After the jungle trek to vasota and trek through dense of Junglee Jaigad, we were thinking about to plan on ourselves going without any trekking club.  And there was the time for our most awaited trek, The Harishchandra gad. One of the ancient forts in Maharashtra.The trek route is quite difficult for newbie, but we were having enough experience of   Vasota and junglee Jaigad. So we could dare to take on this.

Accordingly I asked Rhishi and Ramesh about this. They both agreed along with my cousin Aditya and his friends.So we started planning and arranging the things. It was winter of 2011, might be Oct-Nov, I don’t remember exactly,but there was enough cool atmosphere and ultimately the best season for hiking.

There are lot of places at Harishchandra gad to explore. So we should have to plan for 2 days. Because of the stay, we needed to have cooking and sleeping stuff. We packed all the things.I would like to thank my bro and sister-in-law , who helped me out  for the packing. And We decided to leave on Saturday morning.

Our journey started form home at 8 AM in the saturday morning. Meeting point was Shivajinagar, from where Ramesh was about to join us ,also we were about to catch the bus for Alephata. Getting stomuch packed with heavy breakfast,we headed towards Alephata.

Around 11:00 AM we reached Alephata. Alephata, one of the most hot spot in terms of road connectivity. From here Kalyan, Nashik, and Pune are just at around 100 km. So the bus stand is always crowded. Next destiny, we needed to reach at Khubi phata.

Unfortunatrely we didnt get bus for Khubi phata,so asked Zeep driver who were wating for passenger at corner. After lot of bargaining with one Zeep driver, he agreed to ride us upto base village Khireshwar in 800 bucks. we headed towards Khireshwar. The Zeep was fantastic, complete safari material .Fully air conditioned(Natural) and double decker. Therefore we could sit on top of zeep, aditya and his friends were enjoying sitting on the top.

Meanwhile we got the lunch parcel at Khubi phata.Passing khubi phata, we were feeling cool air while riding on dam side road. We started our cameras for clicking beautiful images of Pimpalgaon Jog dam.

Around 12:20 PM,we reached the Khireshwar.Little beautiful village.After getting promise to pick ourselves on the next day from Zeep driver,we started walking towards the harishchandreshwar temple. 

Wow ,what an eye sight we were experiencing after hiking little bit.Fantastic! The dam was getting smaller as we were climbing. Everywhere lush green trees as winter season.After walking for half an hour,we decided to take a lunch as everyone's face was looking like a sign of hunger.we finished lunch and started hiking towards Tolar Khind,The first challange,100 Ft Rock patch. 

After walking for 15-20 mins we reached Tolar Khind .There is small temple of Lion and big Upper Arrow sign  on the big rock,showing the way towards rock patch.

Here only our group was divided. Aditya and his friends were walking ahead of us.Finally we came across the little dangerous and risky rock patch.The famous one!!! . however using the fixed railing,we could easily climbed up the patch.

And here after crossing the hill,thrilling challenge was about to start. There are around 6-7 hills we need to ascend and descend,examining the real stamina at every point.Before starting walk, we can see less dense forest plateau.

There are two routes to reach temple from the plateau, one is going through very dense forest,crossing only one hill and other one is through hiking 6-7 hills up and down. We took rest for a while,being only three there , Rishi,Ramesh and me and thinking about which route to take.Rest of our group was ahead. Pushing some buttermilk in tank,we started walking towards temple and decided to go through straight path hiking 7 hills.

We were only walking, walking and walking ,clicking some awesome images.Also we were searching for Aditya and his friends,but no luck.

And at last we could see the Harishchandreshwar temple.uhhh......! Ramesh pull out some eatables from his bag.we started eating,still no sign of three monkeys.we finished eating and drinking.Feeling was like drinking nectar.....We thought of waiting for them,but the sun was about to set in hour,so decided to go straight to catch the sunset at Konkan Kada.

Ramesh was about to stop there.So I and Rhishi were just running to catch sunset,forgetting all the pain.and yes we got there. wowww.... awesome!!!! This is the nature.The small yellowish red sphere was just about to set.We were standing at the very middle of spot.on both the side,being the highest peaks.what a breathtaking view of surrounding! One can see the Kalbhairav pinnacle from here.

At this point one famous Mumbai based Trekker committed suicide in the love of Konkan Kada.One cant see over hang by standing there,one has to be laid on the ground to experience depth.

After clicking beautiful images we started searching for Aditya and his friends.Now the big problem was,the group was then scattered in three.Ramesh,me and Rhishi,Aditya and his friends and enough darkness in which one could lost himself in the jungle.oh my god!

And sigh of relief was the enough crowd,but leading to challenge as all the shelters for night stay was PACKED....

At last ,at around 8:30 PM,we got together after searching each other a lot here and there.And then the problem was where to stay in the night??,but here Monkeys already comes with the solution......"To spend night in the Open space,sleeping on the ground and the vast dark sky to the open eyes" and they already started the cooking for dinner.

So we stayed at open home where three little children used to live with there parents.Unfortunately their parents went to Alandi.House of no walls and no roof on the head.Seems like the whole dense forest and ultimately whole world belongs to them.they also belonged one cow.
I remembered one proverb in the Marathi there
"हे विश्वची माझे घर ".

we did the dinner and thinking about where to sleep. It was risky to sleep in the open space in the jungle at night,but there was no option,so went to sleep thinking about any calamities.After sometime Aditya shouted and we all woke up,trying to figure out what happened. The cow came running directly towards the place where we slept in the night.It was just about to step on one of our head,screwing the sleep.But fortunately we all saved.

We woke up early in the next morning. . It was too much cold in the morning. Everyone looking for warmth and trying to grab seat near traditional chulha .Body was not responding properly, feeling crams in legs. We finished morning activities and headed towards Konkan Kada again.
On the way ,this is the temple, I was talking about. The Harishchandreshwar temple.It is a marvelous example ancient fine art of all the time.There are lot of places to exlore on the Hirishchandra gad.Taramati Peak,Kedareshwar temple,ShivLinga,SaptaTirtha Pushkarni,Ganesh Guha,etc. We visited place one by one and back to our Jungle temporary home.

We made Maggie for breakfast.Packed with breakfast,we decided to commence our return journey.And this time we were going another route which goes dense forest skipping up and down hike of 7 hills.We gave money to children who help us in the night and clicking the images with them,started walking towards Khireshwar.

And as promised the Zeep driver was ready to pick us at right time...........Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trek Details

History: The fort is quite ancient. Remnants of Microlithic man have been discovered here. The various Puranas (ancient scriptures) like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana include many references about Harishchandragad. Its origin is said to have been in 6th century, during the rule of Kalchuri 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 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 Shaiva, Shakta or Naath. Later the fort was under the control of Moguls. The Marathas captured it in 1747. 
[Courtesy: Wikipedia]

Click here for Detail Info

Height: 4671 ft above sea level


Distance from Pune: There are many routes by which one can reach Harishchandra gad.we did it by khireshwar way.The very popular one from Khireshwar.There are daily buses from Swargate to Khireshwar.Total 9 km distance foothills of the village,takes around 3-4 hr to reach temple. otherwise one has to alight at Alephata.from Alephata Reaching Khubi phata and start walking towards Khireshwar on Pimpalgaon dam side road.

Sightseeing:Saptatirtha Pushkarni,Konkan Kada, Harishchandreshwar temple,Kedareshwar temple,Ganesh Guha,Balekilla,Taramati peak,etc.

Accommodation:One can stay at Khireshawar village otherwise on the top in Ganesh Guhas which can accomodate around 130 people at a time.


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  2. खूप सुंदर आहे मित्रानो ........फोटोग्राफ खूप सुंदर घेतलेत .......हे बघताना मन समाधानी होत नाही सतत बघत राहावे असे वाटते .......अस वाटते तितेच जाऊन राहावे सह्याद्रीच्या खुशीत................

  3. Excellent photos! Thank you. Very important temple, was origin really 6th cent? what's there now is later.


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