Routes to Harishchandragad
Harishchandragad is accessible from Thane, Pune and Ahmednagar. Harishchandragad Fort can be reached via various routes from different places. Below are the travel routes from different cities.
Harishchandragad from Mumbai
Mumbai - Kalyan - Khubi phata- Khireshwar
1. Catch a local going towards Kalyan (on Central Line). Get down at Kalyan Station.
2. The ST depot is just besides the station on the west side. Catch any ST going towards Alephata (strictly going via Malshej Ghat)
3. Ask the ST conductor for a ticket of Khubi Phata. Khubi Phata is just 5 mins after the Malshej Ghat ends.
4. Get down at Khubi Phata and start walking on the 6 km long dam that just starts besides the road.
5. Lucky you, if you get a jeep or something, or just keep walking (a good warmup :p ) Once you reach the base village Khireshwar, the actual trek for Harishchandragad starts !!!
2) Belpada (Nalichi vaat, Rajmarga, Sadhleghat)
Mumbai - Kalyan - Savarne- Belpada
Mind it, this is a very tough route and not at all recommended for freshers !
1. Follow the previous (via Khireshwar) instructions till point number 2.
2. Ask the ST conductor for a ticket of Savarne. Savarne comes just before the start of Malshej Ghat.
3. The straight 1 hour walk from Savarne takes you to the base village Belpada (now Walivare)
4. From Belpada, the trek to Harishchandragad via Nalichi vaat or Rajmarga or Sadhleghat begins !!
Harishchandragad from Pune1) Catch an ST from Pune towards Alephata.
2) Get down at Alephata & catch another ST moving for Kalyan (strictly going via Malshej Ghat).
3) To trek Harishchandragad via Tolar Khind (Khireshwar), get down at Khubi Phata. Khubi Phata comes just before the Malshej Ghat.
4) To thek Harishchandragad via Nalchi Vaat, Rajmarga or Sadhleghat, get down at Savarne. Savarne arrives just after the end of Malshej Ghat
Below is the brief description, easy to understand
Pune - Ale phata - Khubi phata - Khireshwar
Pune - Ale phata - Savarne - Belpada
Harishchandragad from Pachnai
1) From Rajur, one has to board the bus or a private vehicle to the village of Pachanai. From here, the way is straight to the topmost point.
2) Recently, the way from Rajur to Tolar Khind has been made available. From Tolar Khind (Tolar valley), the temple is about 2-3 hours by walking.
Reaching Pachnai from Mumbai is fairly difficult as one has to change several buses and loses a lot of time in transit. If one is approaching from Pune/ Nashik, one can reach Pachnai from either Rajur, Kotul, Akole or Sangamner.
Following are the five trek routes to Harishchandragad
Route 1: Tolar Khind
After getting down at Khubi phata, one has to take a 4-5 km walk on the wall of the dam called Khireshwar dam. The dam ends at Khireshwar village, and from here onwards a straight route trail goes towards Tolar khind.Around 2-2.5 hours are required to reach till Tolar khind from Khireshwar village. The end of the khind has a stone carving of a lion, symbolising that it is protecting the pass. After the khind, is a 100 feet rock patch, which had iron railings once upon a time for the safety of trekkers. Still, there is no need for any kind of special trekking gear like ropes, etc to climb it. The climb on the rock patch then leads a straight way to Harishchandreshwar temple, with small hills & streams in between.
Route 2: Nalichi Vaat
Nalichi vaat is the most difficult route to Harishchandragad. One has to start from the Belpada village and begin the climb parallel to the huge Konkan Kada. To the left of Konkan Kada are 3-4 channels that come down from the top. The channel to the extreme right is the Nalichi vaat.
Nalichi vaat is a tricky route having a 80 degree ascents at some points and the toughest rock patches. Here, trekking gear is required to ascend the rock patches as sometimes there is no slit available for having a grip. Hence, route is recommended strictly for the experienced trekkers.
Route 3 : Rajmarga
Rajmarga, which is currently in bad condition, was the main route to ascend Harishchandragad a long back. This route follows the same path till Khireshwar village. From here, instead of following the way to Tolar Khind,one must go along the straight path and start ascending on the slopes of Kalshya dongar (ask any villager for the route to Kalshya dongar). The cliff that comes after the Kalshya dongar has to be ascended. The climb has rock crumbling and lot of scree with dangerous patches in between. After this tricky ascent, one joins the Tolar khind route after the rock patch.
Route 4: Sadle Ghat
Sadhle ghat is a steep descent from the fort down to the base. To approach Harishchandragad via this route, one has to walk straight to Kelewadi from Belpada instead of going towards Konkan Kada. From Kelewadi village onwards, an ascend via the steep slope of Sadhle Ghat brings you on the top. It is best to descend from Harishchandragad via Sadhle Ghat instead of ascending it.
Route 5: Pachnai
Pachnai is the simplest route to Harishchandragad and absolutely recommended for anyone of any age. From the Pachnai village, it takes around 2.5-3 hours to reach Harishchandragad. A guide is available at the Pachnai village if required.
Posted By Abhijeet Gadekar