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Harihar Fort in Nasik- travellers should bother about the place before visit there

Maharashtra is blessed with beautiful hill forts in almost each and every district. All these forts have a rich history, and have become popular trekking and hiking destinations over a period of time. Harihar Fort or Harshagad is one such fort, nestled atop lush green hills of Sahyadri, also known as the Western Ghats. It is located 40 km from both Ghoti and Nashik City, 48 km from Igatpuri in Nashik district of Maharashtra. This important fort was constructed to look upon the trade route through Gonda Ghat, connecting Maharashtra to Gujarat. Today it attracts daring trekkers with its 80 degrees steep slope of intrinsic, peculiar-shaped rock-cut steps.

Harihar Fort: History
Harihar Fort lies in the Trimbakeshwar Mountain Range of Western Ghats. The establishment of the fort is dated back to the Seuna or Yadava Dynasty (between the 9th and 14th century). The fort was substantially important to safeguard the trade route passed through the Gonda Ghat.

Since its establishment, Harihar Fort was attacked and captured by various invaders until the British Army took over. This was one of the forts in the possession of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. In 1636, along with Harihar Fort, the Trimbak, Tringalvadi and a few other Poona (now Pune) Forts were surrendered by Shahaji Bhosale to the Mughal General Khan Zaman. Harihar Fort was one of the 17 strong forts that were surrendered to the British on the fall of Trimbak in 1818, when all these forts were captured by Captain

Briggs.Harihar Fort: Structure
Captain Briggs has left a fairly detailed description of the Harihar Fort. Though most part of the fort could not stand the test of time, it still has an impressive structure. The access till halfway up is tolerably easy. Several paths from the foot of the hill unite there along with a reservoir and some wells. Some houses for the garrison were also there, which are no longer in existence.

The real ascent to the scarp begins here and is truly breath-taking with its dreadful steepness. The slope is perfectly straight for about 60.96 meters (200 feet), just like a 200 feet high ladder, set straight against a wall. But the steps are bad and broken at places. Holes are cut in the rock to support the hands, creating the peculiar shape of the steps.
At the top of the steps is a door, now partially dilapidated. Through the door, there is a walk under a rock-cut traverse, with no wall along the outer edge. After the gallery, there is the second flight of stairs. This flight is worse than the first, ending at a trap-door at the top, with only enough room to crawl through. This leads to a cave-like structure, finally opening to the vast field at the top with wonderful surrounding vistas.

From there, the highest peak is another 10-15 minutes ahead. Back in the day, the fort was well supplied with water and other facilities. Grains and other provisions were kept in a thatched house within the compound. The storage house is still there with a small entrance. There is a series of rock-cut water cisterns in the centre of the fort. Unfortunately, these do not hold portable water anymore.

A deep-down secret place is recently found by some trekkers, which was probably a jail or storage. This part of the fort can be reached through an old, broken and more risky trekking route

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