Thursday, 8 November 2012

Harishchandragad via Nalichi vat

Harishchandragad is one of the most sought-after fort among the trekkers, due to its challenging routes and mostly for the mighty Konkankada. We had studied various routes (4-5 routes) which can be trekked to reach the Harishchandragad and in unison we opt for Nalichi vat..Truely endurance testing trek!!!

As usual, most of the friends refrained from such tiring trek and Mahadeo and Pashya decided to take up this challenge with me to climb Harishchandragad via Nalichi vat.

History of Harishchandragad can be traced back to ancient times. Many dynasties ruled over this vast fort. In the mid 1700's , Maratha's captured this fort from Mogal warriors.

We had to reach Belpada( or Walivare) to start our trek. We gathered at Shivajinagar Bus stand @ 7.00 am and grabbed the RED AIRWAYS flying towards Nasik. We alighted at Alephata. From Alephata,  we boarded another bus plying towards Kalyan (via Malshej Ghat). Our next destination was Savarne. Luckily ,bus conductor was aware about the Savarne phata; which is situated at the end of the Malshej ghat.

We reached Savarne at 11.30 am. We planned to climb the Harishchandragad by 6.00pm but destiny had planned different scenario for us :).

From Savarne, you can see terrific view of Sahyadri range!!!

Savarne gaon

Edgy silhouette!!!!! 

If you plan to stay in the night, there is a school in Savrne where you can spend  a night and starts early for the trek. Confirming direction with the villagers, we headed towards Belpada.Scorching heat hinted us the excruciating journey ahead.

We walked on flat terrian for a while a; soon after 15 minutes walk, we realized that we lost our way :)!!!! We were not able to locate the correct path. We spent almost 30 minutes to return to proper route.Simple hint for it is follow the MSEB overhead cable route coming from Savarne village and ascending on hill. This route goes towards Belpada. We need to cross small hill to reach to Belpada.
trying to search right path towards Belpada

missed the route

Got the way!!!!
Reaching the Belpada, we got first glimpse of mighty Konkankada!!! Awesome view!!

first glimpse of konkankada
As we had no idea about the route, we knocked the door of a villager. 3-4 women and 2 young kids came out of hut. We request them if someone from them would help us to reach Harishchandragad. They asked one kid to accompany us till the base of konkankada.  We started following the boy. He was climbing the route very easily. We had difficult time to match his speed.

On the way, we had interacted with some people ; preparing  mohachi daru with very basic equipment. Interesting stuff to see.
local beverage.....mohachi daru @ belpada

After crossing some distance, we realized that there was no need to take guide. Wejust need to follow the river route.
Not necessary to take guide...just follow river route

worst route with large stones everywhere...difficult to walk.

After walking for an hour, we decided to have lunch before climbing Nalichi vat.

Deadly pinnacles

Young boy left us at the start of nalichi vaat.

welcome to hell.....Nalichi vaaaaaaaat!!!!!
Due to heavy lunch, we started feeling dizzy. Cursing ourselves for eating too much and taking breaks after every 5 minutes :). From the start, it was climbing and climbing, in addition to that;  stones made the condition worst.

extremely exhausted

After 25% of climb, you will be in different zone of rocks. It is slate rocks which is extremely fragile. You cannot believe on its grip, need to be careful for every step. You need to climb small small rock patches in-between; easy ones.
Slate rock... Fragile to walk upon

As we couldn't walk faster , we realized that we cannot cross the whole nali route in daylight........
2-3 rock patches are need to tackle with care because of no grip and slate rocks. It is good to have rope for support. Though these patches can easily be surpassed; in case of emergency it would be better to have rope.

Carry a strong rope with you. Always helpful in difficult times

We stuck in the khind due to low light( @ 7 PM) and not able to identify the correct route to fort. After spending 15-20 minutes and wandering in no man's land. Luckily we got arrow markings showing route to fort. It was small Rock patch which diverts from the main Nali towards right side. It was already dark in the Nali.Climbed that patch but again the route showed dead end. We were deliberately tried to locate the route but low light made the situation even more challenging. We had only one torch among us. Suddenly an arrow mark grabbed our attention. It was placed after a rock patch, made up of slate rocks. Though it was not too high but exposed to valley. With some efforts, we managed the rock patch successfully. We relieved to see that we crossed it without any harm. After climbing some distance, you need to take right turn going towards jungle patch. We reached at small plateau. We were unsure whether we reached to fort or not......also we were unaware about the route going towards the konkankada. So we decided to stay on the plateau. We collected the woods from jungle and enjoyed campfire whole night!!!!!Awesome experience.....

Goood morning!!!

@ 5.30am We realized the route towards the fort. It took hardly 20 minutes to reach the Konkankada from that plateau.

We spent some time to see the Konkankada. Monstrous beauty in every sense!!!
on the fort......Kokankada

Konkankada from TOP........fiery!!!

We finished our morning rituals and walked towards Harishchandreshwar temple.

Harishchandreshwar temple



Kedareshwar temple

We had our heavy breakfast near temple. Later we decided to descend down the fort and reach Khireswar.I was keen to see Taramati peak,but all of us tired so much that we skipped it. It took us 2.5 hrs to descend down.

From khireshwar, we walked down around 3 KM distance to reach Khubi phata where the buses ply regularly towards Alephata/Kalyan...

@ 7.30 PM we reached to Shivajinagar..and our might trek ends with great satisfaction.


  1. Super Location Buddy.. And deadly too.. :)

  2. dis is hell of an experience.. monstrous beauty at its best..

  3. boss is it possible to complete this trek without ropes?

    1. It is possible to trek without rope but with great risk. I suggest you to keep 60ft rope with you. In case of emergency, you may need it.
      Be safe in such treks!!

  4. Superb experience of Harishchadragad....