Fort Height: 4000 Ft
Base Village: Khireshwar
Time to reach from base village: 4 to 4.5 hours
Grade: Medium to tough
This fort is very to very very ancient fort. Microlitic man's remnants have beed found on this fort. Various Puranas like Agnipuran and Skandpuran include many references of this fort. The origin of this fort is said to be in the Kalchuri dynasty during 6th century. Sage Changdev who had written the "TATWASAR" used to meditate here during 14th century. The constructions on the fort suggests that diverse culture existed here. The carvings on the temples and in the caves indicate that the fort belongs to medieval period as it is related to Shaiva, Shakta and Naath pantha.
There is no significant evidence of any battle/war that might have taken place on this fort, but Marathas captured this fort from Mughals in 1747. As Maratha kingdom went down in 1818 this fort also captured by Mughals.
One can take his own vehicle to reach the fort. The buses from State Transport (ST) are also available to reach to Khireshwar.Please enquire at Shivajinagar/Swargate/Pune Station bus stands for timings.
If you are coming from Mumbai, after Malshej ghat look for the Khubi-phata and then follow the same route described above.
The route from Khireshwar is common approach towards the fort. There are many arrows marked by various trekkers to guide us in our way to top. The route takes us in the famous PASS called as TOLAR KHIND. This pass connects Ahmednagar to Nashik. You reach in Tolar Khind in 1.5 hours from Khireshwar. Here you can find a carving of TIGER. This is called WAGHOBA. From this place you take a left turn towards up side. Within few minutes you will come across to the famous and fascinating ROCK-PATCH. Railing are fixed on this rock-patch to enable a safe trek to the fort. Once you cross this rock patch, you come to a plateau region. You have to cross 7 hills (follow the markings) to get to the Harishchandreshwar temple. This walk is about 2 to 3 hours depending upon the speed and stamina! (Me and my friend have completed this trek within 3 hours 15 minutes. This is our time from Khireshwar base village to the Harishchandreshwar temple). Usually after starting from the base village i.e. Khireshwar, it takes 4 to 4.5 hours to reach to the Harischandreshwar temple.
Food arrangements are available on the fort. But its a great experience to cook food for yourself!! Drinking water is also available on the fort.But you should take good care during mansoon season.
AccommodationIts always a good idea to reach at the base village one day earlier to the actual trek. Trekkers need to stay in the base village for one night. Below are some options that are available:
1. In the base village i.e. Khireshwar, local school is the best option to stay for the night.
2.Villagers also make arrangements to stay. They sometime even serve the breakfast and tea.
Many people can be accomodated in Ganesh caves & caves near the temple of Harishchandreshwar.