Harishchandragad Trek via Khireshwar- Height, Route, Difficulty, Images

Trek to Harishchandragad via Khireshwar (Tolar Khind)

Harishchandragad konkankada sunset
Google Rating
4.7

Harishchandragad trek via Khireshwar is a medium difficulty grade trek in the Sahyadri – Igatpuri/Malshej region of Maharashtra, India. The highest point of the trek at 2625 ft (1422 m).

Visit this trek for its beautiful sunset, peaceful campsite, historical significance, and the possibility to bond deeply with the locals.

Region

Sahyadris

Elevation

4665 feet

Distance

12 km

Duration

2 Days

Difficulty

Moderate

Exposure

Moderate

Base

Khireshwar

Season

Oct-Feb

You Should Visit Harishchandragad if You..

Love Sunsets - The sunset that you will get to witness from Konkankada will be one of the more beautiful sunset you will ever see in your life. Konkankada is huge cliff that expanses over a few kilometres. There are no other tall mountains in front of this cliff for hundreds of kilometres to obstruct the view.

Love camping under the stars or in caves - Harishchandragad is a really popular hiking destinations for people from Mumbai and Pune and is always bustling with people. When you camp here, you get to meet and interact (efforts needed - tougher than climbing the mountain if you’re an introvert like me) with people from a huge variety of backgrounds.

Love to experience local culture: The family of Bhaskar and Nathuba, who serves and helps us with the accomodations is one of the sweetest locals that you will ever come across. “Aai” and “Nathuba”, the parents of Bhaskar, are a lovely bunch of people giving hugs and showering love to all the visitors. A lot of trekkers revisit this place just so they can meet the lovely locals again.

Love History - The Harishchandreshwar temple, the Kedareshwar cave, the Pushkarni, and the Ganesh caves are all some of the ancient structures dating back to the 1st century AD.

Harishchandragad Trek Navigation Route Map via Khireshwar (Igatpuri/Malshej)

 

Contact us at contact@thrillbear.com to download the KML file of Harishchandragad Trek Route Map.

Harishchandragad Trek Route (Via Khireshwar)

This route has got a great thrill element and is diverse in terms of the terrain. If you are a fit person traveling with a bunch of people who hike regularly, we highly recommend this route.

Harishchandragad hiking through forests from Khireshwar

It begins with a 6 km long walk alongside a massive water body on a dirt road if you’re traveling by ST bus and get down at Khubi Phata. You can skip this walk by hopping onto a shared Jeep that runs between Khubi Phata and Khireshwar village. If not, the walk is really beautiful and you’ll enjoy it anyway.

Harishchandragad Khireshwar 6km road

The trail begins from Khireshwar village where you pass through a plain patch of land. Once in, the ascend begins and it’s steep for most part until you reach the Tolar Khind. Crossing Tolar Khind is one of the trickiest parts of the route because you climb on a highly exposed rock patch that faces right into the valley.

Once you have crossed the Tolar Khind, you’ll be ascending for another 20 minutes and reach a sunrise point.

Harishchandragad view from sunrise point after tolar khind (2)

Harishchandragad view from sunrise point after tolar khind

Beyond this, the “7 Hills” part will begin. Here, you’ll be crossing 7 tiny hills (climbing up and down these hills) which should take approximately 90 minutes to reach your destination. There are 2 options to cover this patch. One path is longer and exposed to sunlight but demands lesser ascending. Another path involves more climbing but is through a dense forest and comparatively shorter. Most people prefer the first path but if you are looking for a challenging (and faster) climb, you can choose the second path. Use our route to navigate through this path because there are high chances of getting lost on this path.

Harishchandragad local selling lemonade before the fork on khireshwar route

This trek ends when you reach the Harishchandreshwar Temple on Harishchandragad. You can get your food and liquid, visit the Ganesh caves, get some rest, and later head over to Harishchandragad Balekilla, Taramati Peak, Harishchandreshwar temple, Kedareshwar Caves, and then Konkankada (Psst: Do not miss the sunset at Konkankada at any cost).

How to Reach Harishchandragad Trek Base Village - Khireshwar

The base village, Khireswar, is a quiet village village amidst Malshej Ghat and is about 6 kms away from the highway.

How to Reach Khireshwar with Local/Public Transport:

If you’re travelling from Mumbai, you can take a local train till Kalyan railway station which is on the central line. From Kalyan, head over to the ST bus stand and hop on a bus going to “Nagar”. These buses are available every 30 minutes but make sure you ask the conductor if it stops at Khubi Phata (Sometimes, you might need to use your puppy face to convince them for agreeing to stop at Khubi Phata).

From Khireshwar, you can either walk for 6 kms or catch a shared Jeep if you’re lucky enough.

There are buses available for Khubi Phata from Pune as well but aren’t as frequent.

How to Reach Khireshwar with Private Transport:

Khireshwar is accessible by road. The last leg (Khubi Phata to Khireshwar) is a dirt road and is really bumpy. You can find a parking place with the help of a local.

Availability of Resources on the Top of Harishchandragad

Drinking Water:

Drinking water is available in the temple almost throughout the year.

Food:

Maggi, snacks, packed food and traditional Maharashtrian style home-cooked food available near the temple as well as at Konkankada.

Accommodation:

You can stay in the caves near the temple during monsoons. Camping facility available throughout the year. (Villagers provide tents on rent) near the temple as well as on Konkankada.

Local Contacts for Harishchandragad Trek

Guide from Khireshwar:

+91 8554963441 (Janardhan Nemane)

Food and tents near the temple:

+91 7057979437 (Amol)

Food near the temple:

+91 7709826088 (Vikas Bharmal)

Food and tents at Konkankada:

+91 8308081939 (Bhaskar Badad)

Transport from Kasara to Pachnai:

+91 9823761312 (Ananda)

Best Time to Visit Harishchandragad and Why

October to February:

The best season to visit Harishchandragad is winters when you can comfortably camp at Konkankada and the route becomes much safer as compared to monsoons. The nights at the top will be really chilly which will call for a comfortable bonfire.

October is not as pleasant in terms of the weather but the entire fort is blooming in hue to golden colors with Sonki flowers and it is one beautiful sight to witness.

Monsoons aren’t the best time to visit Harishchandragad because

a) you can camp at Konkankada, and

b) all the routes become risky since they have a lot of exposure.

There’s no cover for at least 2 Kms. around Konkankada to hide if it rains heavily. Although camping is possible near the temple, the weather gets really bad sometimes and the route is prone to landslides.

In spite of all these challenges, if there is one reason to visit Harishchandragad during monsoons then it is “Indravajra”. Also known as Broken Spectre, Indravajra is a phenomenon when the Valley beneath Konkankada is filled with clouds (mist) and the sun is right behind you (likely to happen before 11 AM). At that point of time, if you are lucky enough, you can see your shadow falling on the mist and the top of your head has a circular Rainbow. This is a rare sight and trekkers spend days on the fort just so they can witness this once.

Attractions at Harishchandragad

Harishchandreshwar Temple:

This is an ancient temple carved out of monolithic rock. Walking inside this temple will transfer you hundreds of years back into the past with its quiet, weathered, and ancient vibe.

Harishchandragad Harishchandreshwar Temple

Kedareshwar Cave:

This caves has a 5 feet tall Shivling surrounded by icy-cold water and 4 pillars (only one of them remains now). The folks from the villages believe that the 4 pillars represent the 4 Yugas of the world, viz.,

Satya Yuga

Dwapara Yuga

Treta Yuga

Kalyuga

They believe that the end of Kalyuga will be marked by the disintegration of the 4th and last pillar.

The earlier the water used to be clear and people would take a dip in it. Nowadays it has become polluted, but you can visit this cave and check if it has been cleaned. The dip into the cold water will take away all the fatigue from your trek.

Harishchandragad Kedareshwar cave

Konkankada:

This is the highlight of Harishchandragad trek and a must-visit place for everyone. The sunset at Konkankada is really beautiful and if you get a chance to camp at the meadow near Konkankada, the experience will be awe-inspiring.

This place is also popular for the sighting of brocken spectre (a circular rainbow).

Harishchandragad Konkankada sunset

Taramati Peak:

This is the highest point on the Harishchandragad fort and offers views of a lot of surrounding mountains as well as the temple and Konkankada.

Saptatirtha Pushkarni:

This is a small temple-like structure on the east side of the temple. The water in the pond beside this structure is icy-cold, despite being out in the open.

Saptatirtha literally translates to "Seven Waters" in sanskrit. Pushkarni is any deep masonry well with steps going down to the water level. Such wells are especially found near temples of high civilized settlements. It is called a "vav" in Western India and a "baoli" in Northern India. Some were built by kings and were richly ornamented. They often were built by nobility, some being for secular use from which anyone could obtain water.

This Pushkarni is used for ritual cleansing and during rites of consecration (The act of having been made or declared sacred - consecrating water from seven rivers in this case). The water in the tank is deemed to be sacred and capable of healing many maladies.

Harishchandragad pushkarni

Ganesh Caves:

These caves seem to have been carved in the 11th century. These caves are an abode to trekkers and have idols of Ganesha.

Harishchandragad Harishchandreshwar Temple view from ganesh caves

Harishchandragad Ganesha idol

Night Trek:

You can also embark upon a night trek (which will be a great option if you want to hike during the summers. Although the hike will be pleasant and cool, ensure that you have someone in your group who is comfortable around the dogs in the village who might start barking.

Harishchandragad rest at khireshwar with mountain dogs

Harishchandragad hiking from khireshwar during night

Itinerary

The schedule for the trek can be as follows:

Day 1:

06:00 AM - Leave from Kalyan by ST
09:00 AM - Reach Khubi Phata
10:00 AM - Reach Khireshwar and relax for a while
10:30 AM - Start trek to Harishchandragad
02:00 PM - Reach Harishcandragad (Temple) and have lunch
03:00 PM - Explore Kedareshwar cave and Ganesh caves
04:00 PM - Leave for Taramati Peak (keep your bags near the temple)
05:30 PM - Back to Harishchandragad temple and move to camping location at Konkankada
06:15 PM - Reach Konkankada and witness the sunset
09:00 PM - Get dinner and break for the day

Day 2:

07:00 AM - Wake up called followed by breakfast
08:00 AM - Leave for Khireshwar
11:00 AM - Reach Khireshwar and have lunch
12:00 PM - Leave for Khubi Phata
01:00 PM - Reach Khubi Phata and catch a bus for Kalyan (check the schedule of the buses arriving at Khubi Phata)

Things to Pack for Harishchandragad Trek

- 3 Liters of water (compulsory)

- Torch with extra batteries (Do not rely on your phone’s torch) - preferably buy a headlamp

- Sun hat or cap

- Blankets and sheets (if you plan to camp or if it’s a night trek)

- Warm clothes during winters (Temperature could drop below 10° Celsius)

- Sports shoes or trekking shoes (strictly no sandals or chappals)

- Comfortable t-shirt (preferably dry-fit and full sleeves)

- Comfortable trousers (no jeans or shorts)

- Extra pair of clothes and a hoodie (weather gets chilly before sunrise)

- Electrolyte powder (such as Electral, Enerzal, etc.)

- Light snacks to munch on during breaks

- Fresh fruits / Dried fruits such as dates, figs / Nuts mix, etc for eating along on the trail

- A small day pack to carry all the above (Kindly avoid handbag/sling bag)

- Personal medications, if any

- Optional items: sun goggles, wet tissues, hand sanitizer, cameras, etc.

Harishchandragad - Ratings and Reviews

sunita kumari
sunita kumari
14:59 19 Mar 20
Nature at it's best👍💯
Sanket Patel
Sanket Patel
18:52 08 Feb 20
Must Go Place for Night Camping
Narendra Deshpande
Narendra Deshpande
10:39 06 Feb 20
Very beautiful place for holidays you can see the natural things
krishna jadhav
krishna jadhav
13:17 17 Jan 20
Best ever fort place , great to climb or trekking
Sowmiya J
Sowmiya J
02:11 15 Jan 20
A very Good place for Nature lovers and best place for Trekking.
Saurabh F Jagdale
Saurabh F Jagdale
05:24 14 Jan 20
The best trek point in Maharashtra....Must visit place in monsoon
Naved Ansari
Naved Ansari
12:50 12 Jan 20
One of the most difficult trek in Maharashtra!Must visit in rainy season, should carry whistle,candle,blankets and food items etc.Lots of waterfalls and amazing view from the top.
Rushikesh Muley
Rushikesh Muley
14:56 06 Jan 20
Hard to trekking but awesome feeling 😍
Pratik Kadam
Pratik Kadam
16:26 05 Jan 20
Superb Trekking Location ❤️
DrBhavana Diyora
DrBhavana Diyora
12:22 04 Jan 20
Adventurous place
Prasad Bhosale
Prasad Bhosale
16:14 02 Jan 20
Very nice
ashish patankar
ashish patankar
17:12 29 Dec 19
Historical, bio - diversity , eco- sensitive, fort , trek, geological feature, religious
VishAl Vaman
VishAl Vaman
10:50 29 Dec 19
Happy
shubham Karegaonkar
shubham Karegaonkar
13:36 28 Dec 19
One of my favourite place
Shridhar Tiwatane
Shridhar Tiwatane
05:46 27 Dec 19
One of the most thrilling experience i ever have. If you are hardcore trekker and love to visit new place by sweating ur body then must visit Harishchandragad.
vaibhav chaudhari
vaibhav chaudhari
16:45 26 Dec 19
Best place for visit in rainy seasonTent camp,bone fire
Dhananjay Vikhe Patil
Dhananjay Vikhe Patil
10:20 23 Dec 19
Nice place
Sunny Hiwarale
Sunny Hiwarale
03:30 23 Dec 19
Adventure
Ritesh Jadhav
Ritesh Jadhav
16:17 21 Dec 19
Awesome 💙
swapnils jadhav
swapnils jadhav
15:53 15 Dec 19
Best experience of trek and kokankada views is best
Pravin Sawant
Pravin Sawant
04:40 11 Dec 19
Historical and nature lover must go
Rahul Jain
Rahul Jain
15:22 10 Dec 19
Paradise, heaven. Climb from pachnai easy and scenic
Gurudatta Borhade
Gurudatta Borhade
08:08 04 Dec 19
Nice experience
kalpesh valani
kalpesh valani
07:59 01 Dec 19
A true wilderness....... One should go for trekking atleast once.
asha suthar
asha suthar
04:52 01 Dec 19
Amazing views but try to in rain. You will get great views and waterfalls also. And from second base village you can get problem to find way to top. Get help from villagers the will help you for find way
sudeep deshpande
sudeep deshpande
16:44 26 Nov 19
One of the most challenging treks in Maharashtra. I would recommend you to do this trek if you have enough experience in trekking. But the view from the top is as always breathtaking
N Vivek Kumar
N Vivek Kumar
09:46 21 Nov 19
Amazing trek. Friendly people. In monsoons this place becomes heaven
Vatsal Joshi
Vatsal Joshi
18:45 09 Nov 19
This place is the BEST among the others I have climbedThe view is extremely too BeautifulIt's not that difficult nor dangerousBest time is in Monsoon and Winter.
Mangesh Padamwar
Mangesh Padamwar
13:19 22 Oct 19
Heaven, I can say for sure. This place is truly heaven for trekkers. And for non-trekkers also. This is one of the longest and a little bit hard trek. You just have to start the trek as early as possible to complete the trek in one day. There is a Lord Shiva Temple on the top. The beautiful views will keep you enjoying this long trek !
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About Author
Jeet Bhanushali
Jeet Bhanushali has been hiking in the Sahyadris for over 5 years and aims to explore all the off-beat range-treks of Maharashtra. He is on a mission to share this information with the world and help them go to the places that are not yet touched by mass-tourism.
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