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Must visit these places on the Harishchandragad

Harishchandragad is a hill fort situated on the border of three districts of Pune, Ahmednagar and Thane in Maharashtra, India. It is a popular trekking destination and a historic site known for its natural beauty and ancient temples.

Harishchandragad is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, approximately 90 kilometres from the city of Pune and 170 kilometres from Mumbai. The fort stands at an elevation of about 4,671 feet (1,423 meters) above sea level, making it one of the highest forts in the Western Ghats.

The best time to visit Harishchandragad is during the monsoon (June to September) and post-monsoon (October to November) seasons when the landscape is at its most beautiful. However, trekking during the winter months (December to March) is also possible, but it can be quite cold.


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 were 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 in 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.

Explore the
"Paradise of Trekkers"

Harishchandragad is a beautiful hill fort in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India. It is a famous trekking and camping destination for its stunning natural beauty and historical significance. Here are some notable places and features you can explore in Harishchandragad:

Saptatirtha Pushkarni

Sacred Water Tanks

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 to the caves near the temple of Harishchandreshwar.

Harishchandreshwar Temple

Holy Place from 12th Century

Harishchandreshwar Temple is a famous and ancient Hindu temple located on the Harishchandragad hill fort in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered a significant pilgrimage site for devotees.

This temple is a marvellous example of the fine art of carving sculptures out of stones that prevailed in ancient India. It is about 16m high from its base. Around this temple, there are a few caves and ancient water tanks. The river Mangal Ganga is said to originate from one of the tanks located close to the temple.

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The top of the temple resembles the construction of 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.

A short distance away, another temple called Kashitirtha is located. The fascinating thing about this temple is that it has been carved out from a single huge rock. There are entrances from all four sides. On the main entrance, there are sculptures of faces. These are the faces of the guards of the temple. On the left side of the entrance is a Devanagari inscription, which is about Saint Changdev.

Kedareshwar Caves

Caves that tell you the story of 04 eras

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.


Watchtower of the Harishchandragad

Balekilla is the highest peak on Harishchandragad after the Taramati peak. Many trekkers come from different directions and go directly to the Harishchandragad temple or cave. Very few people know where Harishchandragad Fort is and they return without going to Balekilla.

The Balekilla is elevated at the southern end of ‘Ganesh Sond’, which extends to Pachnai village in the north. The top of the fort is not very high so you can reach the top in half an hour. The top of Balekilla holds long walls all around the top and a ruined gate, the palace of Fort Chief, and water tanks also damaged to keep water till summer.

The fortification is believed to have been built under the Shilahara dynasty of Maharashtra to build a watchtower and to guard the Shiva temple.

Taramati Peak

One of the Highest Peak of the Harishchandragad: 4,695 ft.

A little further away on the mountain is Taramati Peak, one of the highest peaks in Maharashtra, providing a breathtaking 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.


Major attraction of the Harishchandragad

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.

Trekking Routes of The Harishchandragad

Trekking to Harishchandragad is a popular adventure activity, and it offers a unique and beautiful experience for adventure enthusiasts. The trek to Harishchandragad can be moderately challenging, it’s essential to be physically fit and prepared for steep ascents and descents. The difficulty level may vary depending on the specific route you choose.
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Team SG-Trekkers

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sudheer Barve
Thank you for writing this article. I must however add that Shivaji Maharaj established...
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