Harishchandragad – Nalichi Vaat, Camping, Rajmarg

(1 Review)
Price
From₹ 2,350₹ 2,100
December 1, 2020
Available: 25 seats
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2 Days 2 Nights
Availability : N/A
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 25

Highlights

Features about the activity
  • Ascend via Nalichi Vaat
  • Rock Climbing Experience
  • Descend via Rajmarg / Junnar Darwaja
  • Camping – Stay in Tent
  • Sunset from Kokankada
  • Mesmerising Sunrise from Taramati Peak
  • Taramati Peak SummitOne of the Highest Peak of Maharashtra
  • Visit Harishchandreshwar Temple, Kedareshwar & Ganesh Caves, Saptatirtha PushkarniAnd Other Ancient Ramparts
Location

Malshej Ghat

Base Villages

Walhivare & Khireshwar

Max. Height (ft.)

4,695

Walking

09 Hrs Daily

GradeDifficult

Information

About Place

Harishchandragad, a hill fort situated on the boundaries of 3 districts of Maharashtra i.e. Pune, Ahmednagar & Thane. The fort comes under Harishchandragad-Kalsubai Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the most challenging treks in the Western Ghats. Harishchandragad fort can be visited all year long & known for its size and spectacular ‘Kokankada’- the cliff overlooking the Konkan belt has been a hot pick amongst adventure enthusiasts and trekkers for several years.

Harishchandragad fort is quite ancient, with its origin dating back to the sixth century. There are caves situated all over the fort, believed to be carved out in the eleventh century. The various temples and carvings in the caves 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 the Moguls. And by 1747, the Marathas captured it.

This hill fort can be approached from multiple routes. Khireshwar Tolar Khind route & Pachnai route is the two normally used routes. While Junnar Darwaja & Nalichi Vaat route is the route rarely used. Among these, all route Nalichi Vaat route is the toughest one.

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 for Harishchandragad. Its origin is said to have been in the 6th century, during the rule of the Kalchuri dynasty. The citadel was built during this era. The various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century. In these caves, idols of Lord Vishnu carved. 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 Shaiva, Shakta or Naath. Later the fort was under the control of Moguls. The Marathas captured it in 1747.

Ascend via
Nalichi Vaat

Most local treks are not adventurous enough for experienced trekkers. But this route to Harishchandragad is physically daunting and visually rewarding!

This translates to ‘passage through a gorge’ also water curved valley between two mountains is a channel that lies to the extreme right of the Kokankada. It is one of the most difficult paths to the top. Popular among climbers and experienced trekkers, Nalichi Vaat involves a near 80 degrees, involving steep rock patches. The trail begins on a stream bed filled with large man-sized rocks and eventually leads to the foot of the gorge. We will ascend this route while enjoying natural beauty and beast.

What makes "Nalichi Vaat" A must conquer?

Considered as one of the most difficult climbs, Nalichi Vaat will test your morale, stamina and endurance to the core. With rocky patches and technical climbing, you’ll reach the top. Our team of trek buddies and technically sound experts will make your climb a memorable and safe one.
Needs precise management of time and water.

View of Harishchandragad Kokankada from base village Walhivare is one of the best views in Sahyadri. From here one can easily spot Naphtha, Ghodishep, Rohidas peak, Naneghat Panorama.

Descend via
Rajmarg aka Junnar Darwaja

The oldest route to reach Harishchandragad is the ‘Rajmarg’. It is also known as ‘Junnar Darwaja’ as it connects to Khireshwar village in Junnar Taluka.

The path of Rajmarg, through the bushes at the beginning, was difficult to climb due to the narrow route in the middle and last stage. Right now, there are huge boulders; we have to climb out of it.

The ascent and descent of the ‘Rajmarg’ are challenging and adventurous. Experienced trekkers should try at least once.

What to See

on Harishchandragad

Konkankada

The major attraction of Harishchandragad is Konkan Kada, an almost 1,423 m concave fall. It is a vertical overhang, like a cobra’s hood, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and an enchanting sunset. It’s beyond description, one should actually see it to experience nature’s architecture. The view from here is awesome and unimaginable.

Also, there are colonies of vultures in the huge crevices. You need a pair of binoculars to watch them a little closer.

Harishchandreshwar Temple

This temple is a marvellous 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. The river Mangal Ganga is said to originate from one of the tanks located close to the temple. The top of the temple resembles construction with the North-Indian temples.

A similar temple is situated in Buddha-Gaya. Here we can see many tombs, in which a typical construction is seen. These are built by well-finished arranging stones one on top of the other. There are three main caves near the temple. The cisterns near the temple provide drinking water.

Kedareshwar Caves

Going rightwards of Harishchandreshwar temple, we come across a huge cave. This is the cave of Kedareshwar, in which there is a big Shivling, which is totally surrounded by water. The total height from its base is five feet, and the water is waist-deep. It is quite difficult to reach the Shivling because the water is ice-cold. There are sculptures carved out here. In monsoon, it is not possible to reach this cave, as a huge stream flows across the way.

The Shivling is surrounded by four pillars that essentially represent the four yugas of life on earth. The general belief is that the current phase is Kaliyuga. The day the fourth pillar breaks down will be considered the end of this era.

Saptatirtha Pushkarni

To the east of the temple is a well-built lake called “Saptatirtha”. On its bank are temple-like constructions in which there are idols of Lord Vishnu. Recently these idols have been shifted in the caves near the temple of Harishchandreshwar.

Taramati Peak

A little further away on the mountain is the Taramati peak, one of the highest peak in Maharashtra, providing a breath-taking view of the surrounding mountain ranges and an ideal setting to bask in the golden canopy of the rising sun. From here we can have a glimpse of the whole range of Naneghat and the forts near Murbad.

Itinerary

Trip Schedule

Day 0Night Travelling

22:00 – Reporting to the SG team.
22:59 – Travel to the base village from Pune.

Day 1Nalichi Vaat - Kokankada

05:00 – Reach base village. (Walhivare village)
06:00 – Freshen-up. Have breakfast + tea.
06:45 – Group introduction & briefing about the trek.
07:00 – Commence trek via “Nalichi Vaat”.
11:00 – Climb 20 ft. rock patch.
12:30 – Lunch break. (Packed lunch provided.)

17:30 – Reach Kokankada.
Enjoy the evening with “sunset” at Kokankada.

20:00 – Have dinner & stay in tents.
———————————————————————
Accommodation
Stay in tents.

Meals
Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner

Day 2Taramati Peak, Temples-Caves, Rajmarg

04:00 – A wakeup call. Get freshen up.

05:00 – Breakfast & visit “Taramati peak”.
Witness a mesmerizing sunrise.

08:30 – Descend & explore Harishchandragad.
10:00 – Explore temples, caves & other places.
11:30 – Have a warm lunch.
13:00 – Descend at Khireshwar via “Rajmarg aka Junnar Darwaja”.
18:00 – Travel to Pune.
22:00 – Reach Pune with happy memories & non-biodegradable waste.
———————————————————————
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Travel

Ex- Pune to Pune

Departure

Fri, 22 Jan 2020 - 22:00
Bus Route
Pick-up Points

Shivajinagar > Aundh > Nashik Phata > Ale Phata > Walhivare (Base)

22:00 – Shivajinagar
22:30 – Aundh
22:59 – Nashik Phata

  • Please come 15 minutes before at your pickup point to avoid getting late.

Arrival

Fri, 22 Jan 2020 - 22:00
  • Shivajinagar, Pune - 05
  • We may come before/after 1 hr. due to traffic situations.

Inclusions

What's included
  • Private Transport – From/To PuneNon AC Bus - Toll, Parking, Transport Permit
  • 2 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 1 DinnerVeg. Only
  • Safety Gears & Technical Supportwith UIAA Certified Equipment
  • Tent Stay2 / 4 Person Sharing
  • First Aid KitWell-Stocked Medicines
  • An Experienced Trek LeadsCertified Mountaineers

Exclusions

What's not included
  • Personal expenses & Anything specifically not mentioned in the 'inclusions' list.

Trip Essentials

Things to carry list
  • Backpack30-40 L
  • Trekking Shoes & Extra Socks PairShoes with good grip
  • Full Sleeves: T-Shirt & PantProtection from Sunburn, Pests, Reptiles, etc.
  • Cap/Hat, Rain Jacket, ThermalsSeasonal
  • Extra Cloths, SlipperTo Use After the Trek
  • Water 3 LWater Bottles/Hydration Pack
  • Dry Food ItemsNuts, Fresh Fruits, Energy Bars, Chocolates, etc.
  • Personal MedicinesIf Any
  • TorchWith Extra Batteries
  • Empty Tiffin BoxDay 1 Packed Lunch
  • Sleeping Bag/Carry Mat/Shawl

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Harishchandragad – Nalichi Vaat, Camping, Rajmarg

(1 Review)
1 Review
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Sameer Chari

Group Traveller

Came to know about Harishchandragad trek being beautiful and challenging over social media, was very excited since then, Well SG trekkers organised it very professionally with guide Vishal and Amol and local guide Ramdas making tough trek very safe. Local food we had was very tasty. All trek members were also very supportive, special thanks to Mr Sandeep who assisted me in getting transport back to Goa. Thanks SG trekkers.

October 14, 2018
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