TR#32 (Jan 30/31, 2021)
The trek to Harishchandragad was one of the most memorable treks of Sanhyadris! It was long, difficult, and involved a significant climb! There are multiple routes to go to Harishchandragad in various levels of difficulties. One from Panchani is moderate and preferred by most beginners. The second route from Khireshwar is difficult and one from Nalichi Wat ( from Konkan side) is the most difficult. We trekked via Khireshwar.
Vidya was not sure whether she will join but decided to join after talking to the trek organizer. All 8 of us ( Sharad, Ratna, Dhiren, Geeta, Atharva, Tamnmay, Vidya, and I ), started for Khireshwar at 6 AM from Pune. It is about 100 km from Pune but takes about 4 hours. On the way, we stopped at Akash to have breakfast. We reached slightly early so went slightly further to see Malshej Ghat.
After having a light lunch which we carried from Pune, we started from Khireshwar at around 1:30 PM. We were part of the trek organized by Shekroo. The first 2 hours trek is through dense forest and it was quite steep. It was quite humid as the forest was dense. The organizers were constantly reminding us to keep hydrated. On the way, there were some people selling lemon water, buttermilk, etc. On the way, we saw several typical trees from the Western Ghats like Anjani, ixora, etc. After 2 hours, we reached a place called “Tolar Khind”.
From “Tolar Khind, another stage of the trek starts. This stage is in open-air but on the edge of the tall rocks with a steep climb. It is preferred to have a rope to take some support if required. This is a challenging stage. With the help of the organizer, we successfully climbed all the rocks and came to a plateau.
Now the third phase, which is reaching the destination from the plateau. To reach our destination, we needed to trek for more than 2-3 km through all the hills. I have never imagined the plateau can be so huge. We reached our destination around 6 PM. We saw Harshichandreshwar temple and Pushkarni lake. The temple is 1300 years old but still intact to a certain extend. We had tea and Maggi before occupying our tents which were put up on a plain land near Harshichandreshwar temple.
There were some shacks put up by local tribes. Our food arrangements were made by one of the shacks. For dinner, we had Bajra Roti, Rice, Dal, and potato veg curry. After food, we had a nice campfire. In order to limit the weight to be carried, we carried only minimum clothes but they were not enough for the cold on top of the fort. It was so cold that we could hardly sleep.
In the morning, after tea and breakfast, we went to “Taramati peak” which is supposed to be the second-highest in Maharashtra ( Height : 4695 ft). Here again, the climb was tough. After photos at the peak, we descended down to “Kokan Kada”. The descend was very steep and it was a trailer of what is on the way of going down to our base. The view from Kokan Kada is just fantastic. You can see the steep vertical valley down to the Kokan area. After Kokan Kada, we headed back to have lunch.
After lunch, we started our descend around 2 PM. The descend was very challenging for the part of the trek as we had to descend rock edges on the second stage of descending. With the help of our Organizers, the whole group descended successfully and reached the base around 6 PM.
We drove back to Pune and reached our home at around 10:30 PM. On the way back, we had dinner at Akash.
I must say that The organizers, Shekroo Outdoors, were very skilled, very helpful, and taking care of everyone. Hoping to do more treks with them.