After having lunch I decided to visit Konkan Kada, before that I was able to book myself a place in Ganesh gufa with the help of guys whom I had lunch. There are series of caves(8/9) just behind the main temple of Harishchandrashwar of which the Ganesh gufa has a 8 feet tall Ganesh murti carved in the rock. Ganesh gufa can accommodate 30/40 people at once, its possibly the largest of all caves and is reasonably clean. Konkan kada is a couple of km from the caves in westward direction. The path is well-marked there are series of streams in between, trekkers do camp near the kada and its the best place for camping. Camping cost Rs 500 per tent/night which can accommodate 5 people.
Konkan kada is one of the wonders of Sahyadris, it’s a semi-circular
ridge which overhangs like a cobra hood for more than 400m and its one side has a fall of 500m into the valley below. This unique geological pattern generates unique weather phenomenon like Broken specter which is a circular rainbow having your own shadow in-between the rainbow. Also, in rainy season sometimes it rains from the valley below to the land above. I stayed at the fort for 3 days and went to Konkan Kada 4 times during the stay, it was visible completely only once, twice it was hide and seek with fog, and once it was complete fog. The best time to visit the Kada is during early morning from 6:00 am – 7:00 am, when there is no fog, after that till 8:00 am its hide and seek, and later its all fog
during the monsoon retreat months. Any number of photos won’t do the justice to the sight the cliff offers. Also, it’s not possible to photograph the cliff completely by standing on its edge.
My first day ended with sleeping in a cave for first time in my life, next to Ganesha in the Ganesh gufa, it was surreal experience. The next day started early, I went to Konkan Kada in the morning, then had breakfast and went to climb the highest point on the fort, the Taramati peak. The road leading to the peak is a steep one, then there is a bifurcation where one has to take the right steep route, I took the straight one
and landed on the back side of the mountain with a dead-end. I wasted close to 30 mins, then I took the right path and started climbing again, this time I reached till the rock patch and didn’t knew how to proceed ahead, so again took the straight path, this path went below the caves which are there on the peak, I traversed till one end and then due to lack of water and stamina decided to turn back, so I couldn’t scale Taramati peak. This is the only place where there are no markings for direction.
After the disappointment of Taramati peak, I headed to Kedareshwar Cave which has a shivling surrounded by water all year around. The shivling is in the centre of the cave at a certain height and there is knee-deep water in the rest of the cave. Also, there used
to be four pillar inside the cave, now only one is remaining, it’s believed that the world would come to end when this pillar collapses. This cave reminds me of Gharapuri caves near Mumbai. The lingam and the pillars outside the cave have the same style as of those Gharapuri caves. Harishchandragad was built during 6th century AD by Kalachuri dynasty and these people have been said to build the Gharapuri caves too. The temple has been built-in the 11th century AD. The main temple of Harishchandreshwar is built-in the Hemadpanti style of architecture same as the ratanwadi’s Amruteshwar temple style. Sage Changdev used to stay on this fort for a while, also there is inscription regarding this on the outer walls of the main temple. There is a well-built lake besides the temple called as Saptatirtha Pushkarni and there is a temple of Vishnu within the premises, the idols of which have been shifted to main temple.
At Saptatirtha Pushkarni I met the Haryana guy again with whom I
had started the trek, had a nice chat and then had lunch, took some rest and in the evening went to see the Kada again. The next day was the last day on Harischandragad, started with visit to Konkan Kada which was all in its splendor, then came back, while coming back I had sprained my leg badly. In the cave applied some lotion took tablet and started my descent from Paachnai alone. The route through Paachnai is the easiest of all the route, it’s a straight walk along one of the arms of the Harishchandragad and also one has to cross the river Mula once. There are a couple of inclines with railings attached, its the most straight forward route. Reached Paachnai at 10.45 am, had started
at 8.15 am, it’s a 6/7 km route. The bus to Rajur was at 11.00 am. There where lot of trekkers waiting for the same bus. From Rajur went to Kasara by bus standing, from there by train, reached home by 8.30 pm.
Summary of trek
Duration : 3 days (2nd Oct – 4th Oct 2015)
Endurance : High
Difficulty : High from Khireshwar, Low from Pachnai/Paachnai
Cost : Rs 1200 (transport 300 + Food 900)
Simply the best trek I have ever taken in Sahyadris, wow what a rock patch!!! Click here for ascent from Khireshwar.