Harishchandragad trek is the best trek in Sahyadris. It has 3 main routes from which one can reach the fort, they are Nalichi vat, Khireshwar and Pachnai. Harishchandragad has a lot to offer to the trekkers. You can visit the temple, caves and man made lakes and not forgetting the spectacular view that Konkan Kada has to offer.
Altitude: 1422m / 4665ft
Difficulty level: Easy via Pachnai, Moderate via Khireshwar, Difficult via Nalichi Vat
Best time to visit: Undoubtedly monsoon is the best time to visit Ratangad fort but the trek can be done throughout the year.
Highlights of the trek:
Check the next section for itinerary and detailed information about the trek.
Departure by Ajantha express from Hyderabad
06:10 PM Secunderabad Jn | 06:18 PM Malkajgiri | 06:30 PM Bolarum | 06:44 Pm Medchal
It will be around 6am by the time we reach Manmad station. We will have to freshen up in the train itself. We will get into our hired vehicles and start to the base village. We will have breakfast on the way. There are three different routes to reach Harishchandragad, namely Pachnai, Nalichi Vat and Khireshwar.
We will ascend from Pachnai side which is the easiest of the three and descend from Khireshwar. The base village from which we are going to start our trek is called Pachnai village. The route from Pachnai is well marked. At all the places of tough climbs we have railings and iron ladders built by the officials to make the climb easier. Almost after an hour trek from the starting point we will see a massive vertical rock on one side and valley on the other. We will be walking along side this rock. 20 minutes from here we will reach to a flatland or a plateau where we can take a small break and hydrate ourselves. From this point Harishchandragad temple will take another 30 minutes. This is where we will be camping for the night. We will pitch our tents at the camping site and leave our luggage here and go on to explore the fort and surrounding places.
We will be visiting Harishchandragad temple first. There is a cave called Kedareshwar cave adjacent to Harischandragad temple. In Kedareshwar cave there is a Shiva linga surrounded by water. Next we'll be visiting Saptatheertha Pushkarini which is a man-made lake. There are many caves nearby too. Incase if it rains heavily near the temple, we will be camping inside any of these caves. We will be heading to Konkan Kada for sunset. It is around a 15 minutes trek from the temple. You can witness Sahyadri's best sunset from Konkan Kada if the weather isn't cloudy. After sunset we will come back to our camping site, have dinner and retire for the night.
Our trek leader will wake us up early in the morning. We will have breakfast near the temple, pack our tents and start towards Khireshwar.
We will be taking a different route from the previous day, this route is not as easy as Pachnai route but since we are only descending from that route, it is not so tiring. After a gradual trek of few minutes we will encounter a rocky patch of an declination of around 40 degrees, one has to be careful here in monsoon since there are chances of the rocks being very slippery. There are railings for our grip at that point.
The next part of the trail follows to a dense forest. There will be loose rocks and following streams of water here, so we will have to cautiously head our footsteps. It will take more than an hour to cross this jungle. After crossing the forest area we have plain trail for around 5km with paddy fields alongside. After walking these 5 kms we will reach Khireshwar village and you can see Pimpalgaon Dam from here. We can spend sometime here at the dam and give some rest to our bodies.
We will then get into our hired vehicle and start towards Manmad junction to board our train to Hyderabad. We will either have or dinner at Manmad or pack the food and have it in the train.
We will reach Hyderabad by morning.
07:30 PM Medchal | | 07:53 PM Bolarum | 08:30 PM Malkajgiri | 08:50 PM Secunderabad Jn
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