July always has been very drizzly and exciting month for trekkers who likes to spend time with mountains, trees, and nature.I along with “Amhi Giryarohak “Group decided to trek Harihar fort and it was one of the memorable and adventurous treks for me till now.
Harihar fort is also known as Harshgad and it is one of the oldest forts in Maharashtra which was built during Yadava’s Period. The fort has been lately with Shahaji Bhosale, but he also has to surrender this fort to Khan Zamam along with Mahuli, Trymbak and few other forts in 1636. This fort was also under the rule of British for some time.
One of the vertical drops of the fort facing the Nirgudpada village is called ‘Scottish Kada’, perhaps because it was climbed for the first time in November 1986 by Doug Scott, the legendary Himalayan mountaineer & took him two days to do the climb. This cliff is about 170 meters in height.
Harihar fort is hill fort and falls under Upper Vaitarana range.Base village to this fort is Nirgudpada which is approx. 60 km from Kasara railway station. The Fort is rectangular in shape. And it lies at the height of 3676 ft from sea level.
We took a 10:30 train from CST and reached Kasara around 1:30 AM. We Boarded Jeeps for Nirgudpada base village and reached Nirgudpada at around 3:30 AM. It was too dark and very early to start a trek so we took a rest at one room which was arranged by villagers for us.Till 6 we had breakfast and small introduction and briefing session.
It was 7:00 AM. in the clock. It was raining and we started walking towards Harihar fort.
First few kilometers are very easy to walk you’ll see beautiful rice farms around and after walking for around 40 mins we started getting a beautiful view of the surrounding.
After around 1 hour of walking, we took some rest at the entrance of the fort where it was a breathtaking view of the surrounding. After that, we were ready for the most awaited and adventurous part of the trek and that’s been climbing the rock.
The rock as 117 steps total. You have to be very careful while climbing as its very sloppy (80 degrees) and one needs to balance well using the rock cuts
Then we entered the fort by following steps through the tunnel and there was a plateau, which was covered with beautiful shrubs.
There were few water tanks as well. Couples of them are sources of potable water.
There is a small temple of the Lord Hanuman.
We walked till the end of the plateau and had some dry food and moved towards the top point of Harihar fort.
To reach the top point you will have to climb through the rock again, which was a bit difficult but more than worth. We reached the top of the fort and then what we saw was almost like a heaven! Clouds everywhere!!! Everything was covered with fogs and we were above the clouds.
After having looked at all those mesmerizing views we forgot all out journey, hunger, all my stress melts away. Then we clicked few photographs there and then started getting down again to the plateau.
Then we started descending. You’ll have to be very careful while descending as rock may be slippery dung rainy days.
It took around 2 hours for us to reach Nirgudpada. We had some food there and after small discussion and rest, we left towards Kasara by jeep. And then by Local train towards home with awesome experience and beautiful memories.