Harihar fort is popular for its 80° steep staircase that leads to its entrance. Owing to its beauty and architecture, the Britishers did not destroy this fort. Thankful to them, it is now an adventurous trekking and photography destination.
Distance: 47 km from Kasara
Best time to visit:
Monsoon and Winter: July – Feb. Summer will be extremely hot to trek.
Easy-Medium. This is not a picnic zone or leisure tour.
View from Harihar
What to see:
The magnificent staircase built at an angle of 80°.
The ascent on these stairs is scary but not at all difficult (as shown in videos as marketing gimmick). There are hand holds (noches) on the steps for grip.
If you have climbed the iron ladder at Ratangad or Kalsubai, consider this as its natural substitute.
One may get the feeling that these stairs are scary, but wait. Once these stairs are dealt with, there is another set of stairs that lead to the top. Those are the actual scary ones as seen in the image below. There is a vertical drop on the right. Be very careful here.
Traverse path of Harihar after first set of steps
There are 2 small temples at the top. Shiva and Hanuman.
There are 2 base villages to start the Harihar trek. Nirgudpada and Harshalwadi. The trek from Harshalwadi is an extremely easier trek upto the area of the steps. The trek from Nirgudpada is fun and is actually a true trek.
The views from the top at Harihar fort are outstanding. On the left you can see Upper Vaitarna reservoir and the Nirgudpada village.
In front you can see Bhaskargad(Basgad), Fani and to the right you can see Harshalwadi village and Brahmagiri mountain.
Highest point on Harihar
A night stay trek to Harihar is NOT recommended.
– The monkeys at the top can be a big nuisance.
– For some emergency, it might not be a great idea to descend those stairs at night.
If you still want to go at night, there is a small cave at the top. Around 10 people might fit in there.
Rain showers towards Khodala
Go here on your own:
Reaching here is very easy. Start your bike/car early in the morning, take the Nashik highway (if you come from Thane) and reach Nirgudpada village via an exit on the Kasara ghat. Either start the trek from Nirgudpada (moderate trek) or from further 6km away to Harshewadi (extremely easy trek).
It should not take you more than 3 hours to reach here. You can park your vehicle at any of the above mentioned villages. Don’t worry about it. Its safe.
Hire a cab right from your home – affordable for a group of more than 10 people.
If you don’t have a vehicle
Travel by train to Kasara / Igatpuri
You will need to take the share taxi (jeep) or any tempo.
ST Bus to Nirgudpada may not be frequent.
If you dont get a direct jeep to Nirgudpada, you can break the journey to Vihigaon then Khodala and then Nirgudpada
While returning, follow the similar procedure.
Khodala is a larger village (town). You will surely find ST or jeeps to everywhere from here.
The famous temple of Trimbakeshwar is located at Trimbak just 22km from Nirgudpada.
There are a few resorts near Upper Vaitarna reservoir. This is a beautiful place.
There are many more treks nearby including Basgad, Tringalwadi, Bhandardurg, Fani.
The route from Kasara to Nirgudpada is extremely scenic.
Carry water and some light snacks.
At Nirgudpada, villagers can arrange for your lunch / dinner. Ask for Gangaram’s home if you need food or medical help. You can also park you bikes here and not worry about it.
This is a very easy trek and from June – Feb you will surely find many other trekkers here. You can do it easily on your own.
If you plan to go here in monsoon, be prepared for harsh rains and strong winds. Wear proper footwear for those stairs.
You probably wont get a chance to use a camera in monsoon (July – Aug).