Maharashtra can boast stunning hilltops that can be found in nearly every area. Each fortress has an interesting history and over time have been transformed into famous for their hiking trails and mountains. Harihar Fort or Harshagad is one of the fortresses located in the lush natural green hills that make up Sahyadri and which is also known by The Western Ghats. It is situated 40km far from Ghoti in the city of Ghoti and Nashik City, 48 km from Igatpuri in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. The fort was constructed to guard the trade route via Gonda Ghat that connects Maharashtra to Gujarat. It is now a magnet for brave riders who climb steep, steep, 80-degree steps.
Harihar Fort: History
Harihar Fort lies on the Trimbakeshwar Mountain Range of the Western Ghats. The construction of the fort was delayed until Seuna or Yadava Dynasty (between the 9th and 14th centuries). The fort was crucial to safeguard the trade route which ran through Gonda Ghat.
Since its first days, Harihar Fort was attacked and taken over by invaders up to the time that British Army took control. It was one of the fortresses occupied under the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. In 1636, Harihar Fort, Trimbak, Tringalvadi as well as a few other castles from Poona (now Pune) were given to Shahaji Bhosale to Mughal General Khan Zaman. Harihar Fort was one of 17 forts that were dedicated to the British at the time of the aftermath of Trimbak in 1818, at the time all of these forts were taken in the hands of Captain Briggs.
Harihar Fort: Building
Captain Briggs has provided a comprehensive explanation on Harihar Fort. While the castle is built to withstand the test of time, it is an impressive construction. The climb to the mid-point is simple. Some lanes at the bottom of the hill connect there , as do the dam and a few springs. There were barracks, but they’re no longer there.
The actual ascent of the scarp begins here and truly takes off with its incredible ascent. The slope is nearly 60.96 metres (200 feet) which is like a 200-meter high ladder, which is set against the wall. The steps aren’t great and cracked in several places. Holes are cut into the rock to support hands, creating an unusual design of steps.
Harihar Fort: Walking
The most amazing aspect of Harihar Fort Trek is that Harihar Fort Trek is that it appears like a rectangle from the bottom. However, the fort is built upon the triangular shape of a rock. Straight edges define the rocks and distinctive aspect of this impressive antiquated fortress. These steps that are vertical make up the primary attraction of the journey, which makes it the center of the Sahyadri Range.
Harihar Fort Trek is a short hike. Harihar Fort Trek is short but extremely demanding. The final 200 feet on the hike trail is a difficult ascent, with the steep staircases. Stairs have about 200 steps total and the majority of them are at an angle of 80 degrees. The descent can be very thrilling because you must climb and at times, take a 500-meter plunge. The structure of the stairs is diverse and noticeable. It provides stunning and at times frightening glimpses of valley below.
An arrival at Base Village
The major villages along the Harihar Fort Trek Route are Harshewadi, Nirgudpada or Kotamvadi. The trek route that starts from Harshewadi is less crowded and more efficient than Nirgudpada.
Harshewadi is located 13 kilometers away from Trimbakeshwar. To get to Harshewadi you need to travel to Kasurli via buses to Igatpuri ST which is located between Trimbakeshwar and Khodala. If you’re coming from Mumbai then you will take the train that runs from Mumbai CST through Nashik road. From there, you can take a taxi which will transport the passengers to Harshewadi. Another alternative is to catch an express shuttle bus that goes that runs from Nashik to Trimbak followed by taxi to Harshewadi.
The whole Harihar Fort Trek Route could be split into two parts–
Plain to base village
Pteau to the top by simple steps
The main route that runs that runs from Kotamwadi Village towards the Trimbak region is amidst through paddy fields. The trail starts slow as it climbs, and then gradually increases after passing through the fields. It passes through forested forest before reaching open areas. This hill is connected with the castle. In the time of rain there are a few small streams that are found on the way. Following the same path for a while before arriving at your final destination. The way to Harshewadi village is also a route to this destination.
The plains are which is the most challenging section of the trek with easy steps, is evident. There is a tiny sales space at the top of the plateau that allows you to fill up for the thrilling and difficult journey to come. The castle is located on the slope of a mountain. The climb up 60-foot [60.96 meters] set of rock-cut steps is quite a task. The steps are often worn out in many locations.
There are approximately 90 steps before getting to the main entrance, or Mahadarvaja. Once you have entered, the path follows the left lane.