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Your Ultimate Guide to the Harihar Fort Trek – Maharashtra

By Devesh on May 29, 2024
Themes:  Adventure  Solo Travelers  Weekend Getaways  | Category: Places To Visit | Country:  India

Harihar Fort, also called Harshagad, is a famous fort in Maharashtra, India. The massive popularity of this fort is all thanks to social media. You would have definitely seen the viral videos of a fort with vertical stairs. That is just the one I am going to share about. When I first saw the trekking video of Harihar Fort, I was in awe of the stairs and the surrounding natural beauty. I was also impressed by the sheer skills and expertise of our ancestors to carve this architectural wonder. Whether you are just starting or an experienced trekker, the Harihar Fort Trek offers an exciting challenge and unforgettable sights.

Harihar Fort Trek Information

  • Height: The fort stands at an elevation of 3,676 feet above sea level.
  • Location: Harihar Fort is situated in the Trymbakeshwar region.
  • Difficulty Level: The trek is considered tough.
  • Endurance Required: High endurance is needed for this trek.
  • Base Village: The base village for Harihar Fort is Nirgudpada.
  • Trek Distance: The trek to Harihar Fort from Nashik covers a distance of 3.5 km one way.
  • Weekend Crowds: Expect the fort to be overcrowded on weekends.

We will cover all you need to know in this guide to plan your hike and make the most of it.

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The Past of the Harihar Fort

Harihar Fort is in the Trimbakeshwar Mountain Range in Maharashtra, India. It is at a height of approximately 3676 feet above sea level. The Yadava Dynasty built it between the 9th and the 14th centuries. The fort holds great significance in safeguarding the trade routes that passed through the Gonda Ghat. Harihar Fort has a long history of battles and takeovers. Before the British, it changed hands many times. It used to belong to the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. In 1636, Marathas handed it over to the Mughals, along with other forts like Trimbak, Tringalvadi, and some in Poona.

The impressive design of the fort, featuring big walls, towers, and entrances, reflects the skill and creativity of its builders. Around the fort, there are villages where indigenous people live. They have unique customs and are known for being welcoming to visitors. You can meet them during the hike and learn more about their lifestyle, making the trek more interesting and meaningful.

Planning Your Trek

Now, comes the crux of this blog – planning your trek to the Harihar Fort.
Well, it is a small fort, and the trek to it is simple. What is difficult are the steep stairs. The fort is built on a 90-degree vertical hill. You have to climb a rocky staircase with 117 steps. If you are not scared of heights, then it should be easy for you in terms of fitness levels. If you have good stamina, then you may reach the top from the base village in around 90 minutes. The stairs of the fort have niches to hold onto for a better grip. However, this may become risky in monsoon due to slippery stairs.

The Best time to Trek the Harihar Fort

Now, the best time to trek the fort is from July to February. However, allow me to explain to you as per the seasons.

Harihar Trek in Monsoon

Well, the most preferred time to trek the Harihar fort is during the monsoon season. For adventure lovers, this season offers that extra thrill. Also, the stairs seem to disappear in the clouds, creating a magical experience. However, due to its popularity during the monsoon season, it is very crowded on weekends. The narrow stairs + 100 people waiting in queue to climb, make it more risky during the monsoon season. Yet, if you still wish to visit during the monsoon season, then, opt for weekdays.

Harihar Trek in Winter

After the monsoon, the best time to trek the Harihar Fort is the winter season, when the weather is pleasant. It features clear weather, making it easy to spot nearby forts often hidden in monsoon season.

Harihar fort maharashtra

How to reach the Harihar Fort

Now that you have made up your mind to trek the Harihar Fort, let us find out how to reach there. 

The fort is about 40 km from Nashik and 60 km from Igatpuri and Kasara. There are two routes to trek the fort depending on the base village you start from. The most preferred one is Nirgunpada village, close to Igatpuri and Kasara. Another one is Harshewadi village, close to Nashik. Trek from Harshewadi is an easier route compared to Nirgunpada village.

The two main train stations closest to Harihar Fort are Igatpuri and Nashik. Though it’s a little further away than Igatpuri, Kasara railway station has better train connections.

For the Nirgunpada base village – there is no direct public transport option from Kasara station. You can opt for a sharing jeep from Kasara to Khodala and then change the vehicle to reach Nirgunpada. Alternatively, you can book a private taxi from Kasara to Nirgunpada. From Igatpuri station, you can avail of the local bus for Trimbakeshwar and get down at Nirgunpada. From Nashik station, take a private cab or a public bus for Trimbakeshwar and then take a taxi or an auto for Harshewadi.

The Harihar Fort Trek Overview

The Harihar Fort Trek is an exciting adventure through beautiful nature and challenging paths. It starts from the village of Nirgudpada, where you can enjoy the local culture and meet friendly villagers. At first, the trail is easy, but it gets trickier as you go. The most difficult part is climbing the staircase to heaven – a very steep and narrow stone steps. This climb is tough, and you may need to use your hands.

After the staircase, you will walk on a narrow path with a massive drop on one side. Be very careful here. Then, you will reach a small area to rest and enjoy the spectacular views. The last part is a steep rock section leading to the fort entrance. It is challenging, especially for beginners. But reaching the fort feels great! When you get to the top of Harihar Fort, you will feel amazed. The vast view of the Trimbakeshwar Range, the peaceful landscapes, and the fresh mountain air create a magical feeling. Take some time to enjoy the beauty, architectural wonders, and historical relics of the fort. The fort has impressive architecture with well-preserved walls and towers. The rock-cut steps, detailed carvings, and old stone buildings show a glimpse of the past. It’s incredible to see the workmanship that built this place.

Overall, this trek is moderately difficult because of the steep steps, narrow paths, and rocky parts. You should be fit enough and have some trekking experience.

Whether you are an expert trekker or trying it for the first time, the Harihar Fort Trek is an experience you will never forget. You challenged yourself, saw incredible sights, and made special memories.

What to Pack

  • Carry a valid Identity proof.
  • Wear sturdy trekking shoes for better comfort and grip.
  • Wear the right trekking gear and clothing to protect yourself from injuries and bad weather.
  • Carry at least two litres of water, a first-aid kit, glucose, sunscreen, and any personal care medicines. 
  • Carry plenty of high-calorie ready-to-eat dry foods. After leaving the base village, there is only a tiny shop for water and snacks on the plateau. 
  • During a monsoon trek, it is best to wear quick-dry t-shirts instead of cotton shirts. 
  • Pack valuables and phones in plastic bags.
  • Bring rainwear, a poncho, or a waterproof jacket to stay dry.
  • Bring a whistle with you—it can be helpful in emergencies. 
  • Bring a camera to capture the stunning views along the way.

Tips and Advice

  • Go on the trek with a certified guide who knows the way and the area well.
  • The cost of it is around INR 1200 to 1800 per person.
  • The trek is not suitable for people who are afraid of heights. However, it is a terrific option for those who love hiking.
  • A beginner can try the Harihar Fort Trek, but it is tough. There are steep climbs, narrow paths, and a steep ladder. It might be terrifying if you are not used to trekking. It is a good idea for beginners to go with someone who knows the trek well, like a guide or a group, for safety and help.
  • The best time to start the Harihar Fort trek is early morning, before sunrise.
  • Go at your pace and take breaks when needed to avoid getting too tired.
  • There are limited public transportation options back to Nashik and Trimbak after 3:00 p.m.
  • Places to visit after you finish the trek are River Vaitarna Falls, Trimbakeshwar Shiva Jyotirlinga Temple, Brahmagiri Hill, etc.
  • Please do not leave your trash behind; take it with you when you leave to keep the surroundings clean.


Standing on top of the old Harihar Fort, you can see amazing views of the Western Ghats all around you. After completing this tough trek, you feel very proud and happy. While trekking, you get to experience the rich history of this fort. But the best part was the beautiful nature surrounding you – the green forests, rocky paths, and fresh mountain air. It felt like a wonderful adventure in nature. On top of it all – imagine the sense of achievement you will feel. As you head back down, your body may be tired, but your heart is full of joy. You have a new respect for nature’s beauty and your strength to finish this difficult trek.

So get ready to take on this amazing adventure in the great outdoors. Pack your bags, lace up your shoes, and prepare to create lasting memories of conquering the Harihar Fort Trek!

About Author


Hello, I’m Devesh Kumar. I was born in Uttar Pradesh and received my early education there. I completed my 10th and 12th grades in Gujarat, and then graduated in Madhya Pradesh. In 2014, I earned a degree in Computer Science from Rajiv Gandhi Technical University. Currently, I am working in Ahmedabad.

When I’m not immersed in my IT profession, you’ll find me indulging in my hobbies. I love traveling, playing volleyball, and swimming. I have a deep affection for religious sites, spirituality, beaches, adventure, forests, and mountains. Additionally, I enjoy contributing to Wikipedia , wikitravel and Tripoto.

Over the years, I have explored various states and Union Territories across India. The diversity of our magnificent country never ceases to amaze me, from the serene landscapes of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh to the vibrant cultures of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and from the coastal beauty of Goa to the stunning hills of Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.

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