Camping in the Cave at the top
Water available at the top
Cost: 220 Rs (From Dadar to Dadar, including healthy food and breakfast)
There are plenty of trails going to the top of Harishchandragad. A difficult beeline route, known as Nali chi vaat (नळी ची वाट) exists, which joins the Kokan Kada (कोकण कडा) a massive parabolic overhang cliff. There are multiple Nali chya waata and they all need fit people. Climbers have climbed the parabolic overhang (कोकण कडा) too. The trail of 'Junnar Darwaza' starts from Khireshwar. The most preferred route via Tolar Khind also starts from Khireshvar village, and later meets the route from Junnar Darwaza. Khubi phata (खुबी फाटा) is well connected by Public transport. Harishchandragad can also be accessed from opposite side- Pachnai (राजूर, अकोले) and also from लव्हाळे village.
We boarded a Pune bound ST bus from Kalyan, at 6:35 AM, going via Manchar - Junnar, and got down at Khubi phata (खुबी फाटा). Khubi phata to Khireshwar village is a ~3 KM walk (also a good warm-up exercise). We climbed Harishchandragad via Tolar khind route, which is a traverse through the mountain.
We visited the Taramati peak, Kokan kada but had to skip the citadel (बाले किल्ला) due to time constraints. On the next day, we had a swim in the Pimplagaon dam. Roughly around 4:30 PM we caught the ST bus to Kalyan, and reached Dadar station at 9.30 PM.
Visiting kokan kada was top on our priority list. After having a light lunch we took the road to the cliff. The sky was partly-cloudy which means not suitable for experiencing the sunset. Whats so special about this kokan kada ? Well, there's a parabolic overhang beneath the cliff and when the wind blows inwards (towards the cliff), it gets an upward momentum. Throw a small tree branch- it falls few feet below and then rises with the wind to atleast 200 ft in the air above the cliff. Do experience this once in the lifetime. Try throwing water, the water droplets fly upwards!!
Note: Please do not throw plastic bottles or any plastic waste. It becomes difficult to clean those. Its a bad scenario if the bizarre place like Kokan-kada is infested by plastic.
It started getting darker by 6.30 PM and we headed to our caves (pretty nomadic eh!!!) With Maggi Noodles and Bhakri for dinner, we went to sleep in our cozy sleeping bags and mattresses.
It was 3.45 AM in the morning. We (Ninad, Sumit, Aditya and me) stepped out of the cave. The sight was quite spooky. It was dark, the fog had engulfed the whole top and we couldn't even see beyond the the 3rd feet. Not to mention the bone-chilling cold !! By 5.30 AM everyone woke up and we started our trek to Taramati peak, the highest point of Harishchandragad. It was even more spookier at the top than we expected. the valley was covered in the clouds on both the sides, and we were walking on the ridge, not having a single clue about the depth of the valley. We encountered a few steep rock-climbs at some places which were exposed to the valley. But we couldn't see the valley in the first place and so no fear while climbing !! It wasn't raining, but the strong winds and the clouds felt as if it was. The experience was nostalgic. Only sad luck was that we were not going to experience the heavenly sunrise.
|A long way to go....|
|Some reptiles- dead ones|
|Some reptiles- live ones|
|At Tolar Khind|
The famous carving of a tiger
|On the way. Almost half-way.|
|On the way|
|Temple of lord Ganesh- at the top|
|Temple of Harishchandreshwar|
|The square lake - Saptatirtha Pushkarni Lake|
|Mountains surrounding Harishchandragad|
|Experiencing the divine "Kokan kada"|
|A really big group|
|Shivling inside the cave (Kedareshwar)|
The world ends when the fourth pillar falls
|A hole inside the mountain|
It called a Nedha (नेढ)
At the base of the Mountain
A swim is a must here