Harihar Fort is a hill fort in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, India. Fort Harihar is one of the most popular hikes in the Western Ghats (Sahyadri) due to its 80-degree rock steps. Fort Harihar is full of adventure, thrills and beauty, a must-see for all travellers and hikers. The base village is Nirgudpada or Harshewadi. The elevation height of the fort is 3676 feet or 1120 metres. The three nearest railway stations to reach the Harihar fort are 43km from Igatpuri, 51km from Kasara, 40 Km from Nashik. The difficulty of this hike ranges from easy to moderate. The time required to reach the top of the mountain is one and half hours from Harshewadi village and 2 hours from Nirgudpada. The best season for the Halihal Fort Trek is from June to February. During this time, you can enjoy a spectacular view from the Harihar Fort.
Monsoon is the best season to see lush Sahyadri. All fields in villages and paths will be filled with green grass.
In the post-monsoon season, the famous forts and peaks are clearly visible from above. During this period, you can expect pleasant weather. Summer can get very hot. Therefore, trekking to Halihal Fort is not recommended.
Harihar Fort was built to guard the Gonda Ghat trade route. During the Yadav era, the Harihar Fort was constructed. In 1636, the great Shahaji Raje, along with his Brahmagiri, captured Harihar fortress. The Mughals then conquered this fort from Maratha. In 1670, Moropan Pingle conquered the fort. The fort was eventually conquered by the British in 1818. The fort was occupied by the captain. He and Briggs had planned to demolish the fort’s main entrance, but changed their minds after seeing the beauty of the 80-degree steps. Fort Harihar is one of the few forts not destroyed by the British. The Harihar Fort looks rectangular when viewed from Nirgudapada, but when viewed from the highest point, the fort has a triangular shape. A steep 80-degree rock staircase is the only way to enter the fortress. Makes it difficult for enemies to capture this fort. There are about 117 steps in all. After passing the outer staircase, you will pass through an inner staircase similar to that of Kothaligad Fort. Halihal Fort offers stunning views of Bhaskargad Fort, Brahmaparvat, Brahmagiri-Durgu Bandar, Fani Hill, Navra Navri, Utwad and Vaitarna Dam.
Harihar Fort Trek Route
First is the Nirgudpada Village then the paddy fields followed by jungle route then the open plateau and small ridge then marked by 80-degree rock cut stairs and then the main entrance gate at last. The route offers an exciting and mesmerising view during the trek.The hike to the top of the fort is not difficult. Good shoes and sturdy boots are required. The route is rather difficult as the fort is surrounded by dense forest. Climbing the famous stairs requires physical strength. The hike is not suitable for people with fear of heights. It takes about two and a half hours to walk from the village of Nirgpada to the top of the fort. You can spend the night in a local dhaba and rest at the summit the next morning. He has two ways to reach the fortress: reach it in the afternoon and come back. The trail starts from Nirgpada and ends at Harihar Fort. The distance from the fort to Nirgpada is about 3 km and is divided into two sections. The first starts at the base of the fort, the second starts near the temple and extends to the top of the fort. The most difficult section of the hike and the most scenic. At the top he has two huts, accessible from the nearby towns of Trangbak and Nirgdapada.
THINGS TO SEE ON HARIHAR FORT TREK
There are many other forts and peaks near Harihar Fort.
Anjaneri Fort: It is the only fort where you can see the temple dedicated to Maata Anjaneri, the mother of Lord Hanuman. It is a moderate hike starting from Anjanelli village.
Bhaskargad/Basgad: One of his fortresses in the Trimbak Hills region. It is visible from the top of Harihar Fort.
Harihar Fort is very close and easy to hike. Both forts he can complete in one day.
Brahmagiri Hill: Very close to Shiva Temple Trimbakeshwar. It is the source of the river Godavari.
Easy to medium difficulty. If you have a few days, you can do this hike.
Ashoka Waterfall or Vihi Waterfall: Right near Kasala. You can visit this waterfall on your way to Nirgudapada if you rent a private car. The drive from
Kasala to Ashoka Falls is so beautiful. Along the way, you can see many small waterfalls. Vaitarna Dam: Gravity dam built on the Vaitarna River. Near Kasala. You can visit the dam before going to Halihal Fort or after completing your trek.
Food and Water Supply:
There are several hotels in the base village. On the way to Halihal there are many small stalls offering food and water.
Challenging section of Halihal Fort Trek
A challenging section of Harihar Fort is the iconic staircase. During monsoon season, the steps in front of and behind Mahadharvaja can be slippery.
Moss growing on stairs makes climbing difficult. Great care must be taken while holding legs. Some traverses are narrow and difficult to negotiate. Be careful when crossing this section.
Who can participate in the Harihar Fort Trek?
Halihal Fort Trek is not recommended for beginners. Any fit trekker with experience on trek can try the Harihar Fort Trek.