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.