In love with Harihar Fort Since 2016
In Love with Harihar Fort Since March 2016
After the Great, Joyful and Fun-filled event of Sandhan Valley, SSA team had organized Trek to Harihar Fort in the upcoming week. Without wasting time, I confirmed my and my wife's availability for this event hoping that this would be as good as Sandhan Valley. And I was right.
It was a One-day Trek where we would reach the base village of Harihar Fort in the early hours of Sunday and by Sunday evening we would be back. This was a perfect getaway for a weekend for us. We started from Thane boarding the Last Kasara Local and reached Kasara by 1:30 am.
We traveled to the base village of Harihar Fort known as Nirgudpada in Taxi from Kasara Station. The 2 hours journey was very funny as we were chatting continuously cracking jokes and playing occasional Govinda Songs.
We reached Nirgudpada around 4 am. We were to rest for a while and in the light of early sunrise, we would start the trek.
Around 5:30 am after freshening up, we started the trek through numerous farm fields and reached a Jungle Trail. The Jungle trail was steep raising my heartbeats due to continuous climb and burning my calories like no other exercise. Around 6:30 am, we took drinks break, caught our breaths and started moving forward again. By then we were able to see the steps and the orange colored door, which was a very beautiful sight.
The Unnerving Climb
When we reach the base of the steps, we were scared to climb these steps as it was almost a perpendicular climb. Although the steps were stone carved creating proper spots to hold yourself and pull up, it took us a while to convince ourselves of the safe climb. We started this activity cautiously and looked sideways to see deep valleys on both sides. As I am not scared of heights, till the time my feet are grounded, I was enjoying the view and depths of the valley ensuring my safety first.
When we reach the Saffron Colour Door, a cave-like structure appeared in front of us. Entrance to the fort in such a way was unbelievable. We bend ourselves and walked ahead to counter another set of stone carved stair.
We reached the fort safely and headed towards the top of the fort which was a bit tricky but easy climb. It was around 8:30 am when we reached the top. We hailed the Mighty Shivaji Maharaj and sat for a while enjoying the view the top offered. The 360-degree view it offered was of Vaitarna Reservoir, Mountains of the Trimbakeshwar region and the countryside view of patchy farm fields. The road seemed like a River or a Giant Snake passing through villages and trees.
Buttery Breakfast and the Descend
After enjoying ourselves at the top, we explored the fort and looked for a spot to enjoy the breakfast of Bread Butter and Bread Jam. There is a small temple near a pond at Harihar Fort where we enjoyed the Breakfast thoroughly.
We started the descent with heavy stomach around 10 am. For the last time, we had to counter the steps again. It is so true when I read a statement from some famous mountaineer that "Climbing is optional but getting down is compulsory." I and few of my friends opted the same technique of getting down. We stepped down facing the steps just the same way we climbed it. It was easy and comfortable.
We countered the steps comfortably and headed for the base village to enjoy the packed lunch. After that, we headed for Trimbakeshwar Temple but as it was Sunday the crowd was huge at the main gates of the Temple. We decided to take Darshan from outside and head to Kasara. The SSA team later changed the itinerary to head back to Kasara Railway Station directly after finishing Lunch and the Breakfast and Lunch arrangements were made in the base village itself.
Start of Lifelong Connection with the Fort
The best thing about this fort for me was undoubtedly the steps. The thrill, the excitement the perpendicular climb offers is very unnerving but satisfying. I trekked Harihar more than 5 times since then and every time the experience was equally refreshing as the first one. I also took various groups of varied ages as a Trek Leader for SSA trying my best to provide them a joyful experience, ensuring and encouraging them to climb the steps and reach the top.