To commemarate Replublic Day'04, our group "BHRAMANTI" organised the "Republic Day Exploration Trek-2004" comprising of a climbing team who would attempt the Pahine 'Navri' & 'Navra' Pinnacles & the Trekking Team who would trek to Harihar & Anjaneri Forts. Moving away from the regular trekking routes we decided to go for these lesser known forts...
Harihar (3,676 ft) & Anjaneri forts (4,264 ft) form a part of the Trimbak Range in Nasik Region. The forts and hills in this region look very formidable, rocky and are very hot & dry during the summer. One does not find enough info on these forts except for a brief mention in the 'Sahyadri Companion' & 'Trek the Sahyadris'.
Mi Story :
We reached the base village - Nirgudpada (on the Trimbak-Khodala road) by 10.45am and started trekking by 11. Harihar Fort is built on a triangular prism of rock. Its three faces and two edges are absolutely vertical (90 degrees). The third edge towards the west is inclined at an angle of 75 degrees. A one metre wide rocky staircase with niches in it is carved out for ascending & descending the fort. Unique construction, isn't it?
There are 117 steps in all. After you climb the first rocky staircase (main entrance) we walk thru below a overhang with a sheer drop on the other side facing Brahma hill.. Simply superb. Again one has to climb a set of steep stairs (with niches), then pass thru a staircase inside the rock (like Peth-kothligad fort) and then reach the top of the fort. The view from the top is excellent.
There is a temple with Shivling & a large cave with no idol in it. The view from top is very exciting. One can see Vaghera in the north, Tringalwadi, Kavnai and Upper Vaitarna lake in the south, Brahma, Kapda and Brahmagiri in the east, and Fani, Basgad and Utwad in the west. The actual top of the fort can be accessed with a bit of easy rock-climbing without equipment.
Whilst on Harihar, we met a seasoned trekker called Alok who had returned to Harihar after 19 years. He told us that one of the vertical drops of the fort facing the Nirgudpada village is called 'Scottish kada', perhaps because it was climbed for the first time in November 1986 by Doug Scott, the legendary himalayan mountaineer & took him two days to do the climb. This cliff is about 170 meters in height. Looking at the cliff from any angle gives one a gulp down the throat! The trek to Harihar takes about 2.5 hrs one way.