Harihar Fort, also known as Harshagad, is a popular tourist destination in Maharashtra, India. The fort is 3,676 feet above sea level and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature lovers.
Let me now provide a comprehensive guide for tourists planning to visit Harihar Fort.
History of Harihar Fort
Harihar Fort was built during the Yadava dynasty in the 11th century. The fort was then ruled by the Bahmani Sultanate, who used it as a military base during their reign. Later, it was captured by the Maratha Empire, who strengthened and expanded the fort. Harihar Fort played a significant role during the Battle of Talikota in 1565, where the Vijayanagara Empire used it as a defense.
How to Reach Harihar Fort
Harihar Fort is located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra and is easily accessible from major cities like Mumbai and Pune. The nearest railway station to Harihar Fort is Nashik Road, around 50 km away. Tourists can hire a taxi or bus from the railway station to reach the fort.
The nearest airport to Harihar Fort is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, around 200 km away. Tourists can hire a taxi or bus from the airport to reach the fort.
Best Time to Visit Harihar Fort
The best time to visit Harihar Fort is during the winter season, from November to February. The weather during this time is pleasant, and the temperature ranges between 10°C to 25°C, making it perfect for trekking and other outdoor activities.
During the monsoon season, from June to September, the fort is covered with lush greenery, and the waterfalls in the area are in full flow. However, trekking during this time can be challenging due to the slippery trails.
Things to Do in Harihar Fort
- Trekking: Trekking to the top of Harihar Fort is popular among tourists. The trek is moderate to challenging and takes around 2-3 hours to reach the top. The trail is steep and requires some amount of physical fitness. However, the breathtaking views from the top make it all worth it.
- Rock Climbing: Harihar Fort is also famous among rock climbers. The fort has steep rock faces that offer an exciting challenge for climbers. The rock climbing activity is conducted under the guidance of trained professionals and is safe for beginners and experienced climbers.
- Camping: Camping is another popular activity among tourists visiting Harihar Fort. The fort offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal location for camping. Tourists can set up their tents and spend the night under the stars.
- Photography: The fort offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a paradise for photographers. Tourists can capture fantastic shots of the sunrise and sunset from the top of the fort.
- Bird Watching: The area around Harihar Fort is home to various bird species, making it a paradise for bird watchers. Tourists can spot birds like the Indian grey hornbill, white-throated kingfisher, and black drongo.
Trekking at Harihar Fort
Trekking to Harihar Fort is an exhilarating experience, offering a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty. The trek to the fort is moderate to difficult, and it takes around 2-3 hours to reach the top, depending on your fitness level.
The trek starts from the base of the fort, where you must climb a series of steep stairs and rocky patches. As you ascend, you will come across several vantage points that offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The fort is situated on a hill, and the trek involves climbing steep rock faces and narrow pathways and scrambling over boulders.
One of the trek’s highlights is the ‘saddle,’ a narrow strip of rock that connects the two peaks of the fort. The saddle is around 80 feet long and 10 feet wide, and it offers a thrilling experience as you walk along the narrow strip with a steep drop on either side.
As you near the top of the fort, you will come across the fort’s main entrance, known as the ‘Darwaza’. The entrance is fortified with several bastions and watchtowers, and it offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the fort.
Once you reach the top of the fort, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You can see the Trimbakeshwar range, the Brahma Mountain, and the Ratangad Fort from the top. The fort has several structures, including temples, water tanks, and caves, which offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the fort.
Trekking to Harihar Fort is a challenging yet rewarding experience that offers a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty. The trek requires physical fitness, caution, and proper preparation, but the views from the top are worth the effort. It is advisable to hire a local guide who can provide valuable information about the fort and ensure the safety of the tourists.
Tips for Trekking to Harihar Fort
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are suitable for trekking.
- Carry sufficient water and food supplies as no food or water sources are on the trek.
- Carry a first aid kit in case of any emergency.
- Avoid trekking during the monsoon season, as the trails can be slippery and dangerous.
- Hire a local guide who can provide valuable information about the fort’s history and culture and ensure the tourists’ safety.
- Start the trek early in the morning to avoid the heat and reach the top before sunset.
- Be cautious while climbing the steep stairs and rock faces, and do not attempt to take any unnecessary risks.
- Respect the environment and do not litter the area. Carry all the trash back with you.
- It is advisable to avoid trekking alone and always trek in a group for safety.
- Check the weather forecast before planning the trek, and avoid trekking during extreme weather conditions.
- Accommodation near Harihar Fort
- Several accommodation options are available near Harihar Fort, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts. Some popular options include Hotel Sandeep, Hotel Panchavati, and V Resorts Harihar Fort. It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season, to avoid any last-minute hassles.
How to Reach Harihar Fort
Harihar Fort is located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, India. The fort is well-connected by road, and tourists can reach the fort by hiring a taxi or bus. Here are the different ways to reach Harihar Fort:
- By Road: Harihar Fort is around 45 km from Nashik and 200 km from Mumbai. Tourists can hire a taxi or bus from Nashik or Mumbai to reach the fort. The roads are well-maintained, and the journey is comfortable.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to Harihar Fort is Nashik Road, around 50 km away. Tourists can hire a taxi or bus from the railway station to reach the fort.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Harihar Fort is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, around 200 km away. Tourists can hire a taxi or bus from the airport to reach the fort.
Once you reach the base of the fort, you will have to trek to the top. The trek is moderate to difficult and takes around 2-3 hours to reach the top. Hiring a local guide who can provide valuable information about the fort and ensure the tourists’ safety is advisable.
Harihar Fort is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Maharashtra. The fort perfectly blends history, adventure, and natural beauty. A trek to the top of the fort is an exhilarating experience that should not be missed. With proper planning and preparation, tourists can make the most of their visit to Harihar Fort and create unforgettable memories.