Only three hours from Mumbai, lies the town of Harihareshwar, in the southern Raigad district of Konkan (South Kashi). It is a coastal town. Harihareshwar is home to a 16th century Shiva temple in which the presiding deities are the Trimuti: Brahma, Visnu and Mahesh, with Devi Parvati. The Trimurti are represented here in linga form, or “triple linga”. According to the popular legend once Devi Savitri requested Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva to create a piece of land, without the help of Lord Brahma. The two Lords then stood themselves on a spot thus creating two mountains. This is how the place of Harihareshwar came into existence. Harihareshwar, located 175 kms. from Pune, was a prominent site during the reign of the Peshwas, and Hari Hareshwar was the family deity of the Peshwas, thus giving it a place of importance in Maratha history. The place has recently regained popularity as a destination for tourists and pilgrims, who come to see this ocean-side temple, which sits on a hill known as Harihar, or Pushpadri.
Places to see at Harihareshwar: The sight seeing destinations includes:
The main attraction in Harihareshwar is the Harihareshwar beach. The beach is extremely good for an elegant stay enjoying the natural beauty in a happy vacation holidays. Soft clean sands and soothe breeze make this beach in the lap of Arabian Sea a much sought place in Harihareshwar. The beach is unpolluted and mostly unspoiled.
Ganesh gully as the name suggest is a culvert which is very narrow of about 3 feet wide in between two hard Rocky Mountains. It is believed that at the end of the culvert, there is a holy place, a place where Lord Ganesh Idol is sitting. This niche is about 30 feet under water and it is assumed that during the tidal periods one can observe the Ganesh idol placed perfectly at the niche.
Kalbhairav Temple (ShivaTemple)
Kalbhairav Temple in Harihareshwar is one of the ancient renowned temples in Maharashtra. The main deity enshrines the temple is Lord Shiva. Kalabhairava, a lord of all manthrasastras, is also placed as one of the idols. Legends associated with the temple say that Lord Shiva created Kalabhairava and blessed him with all manthras. The architectural style of the temple is attractive. Temple Yogeshwari known as Dakshin Kashi is located in the premises. In most of the special occasions like Mahashivarathri, one can view long queues for Darshan. Cool breeze from the Harihareshwar beach makes the temple premises a nice place to relax as well.
Parikrama around the Harihareshwar temple is considered a sacred duty by devotees visiting the holy site. The walk encircles around the temple and traverses alongside its four attendant hills. The temple is located at the top of a hill, and the parikrama path descends right down to the Arabian Sea, traversing the rocky shore at places. As you enter the pradakshina area, there is a Gayatri Tirth on the right side. Some 70 steps cut into the laterite rock lead down to the shore, below. Walking down the section of the hill known as Vishnugiri, one comes to the Shuklateertha, which is nearby a number of other teerthas (ponds) that are named in the Puranas. These include Gayatri, Shool, Chakra, Naag, Gautam, Kamandalu, Kaamdhenu, Gauri and Pandavteertha. Pandav Teertha is where the Pandavas performed the Pind Daan rite in honour of their father. Thousands of devotees come to this place each year to offer Pind Daan to their departed family members. The parikrama path first goes around the temple, then climbs the hill directly behind it, proceeding down to the sea, along the shoreline, then back up to the temple. The pathway winds up and down some 200 feet. The waves have cut small caves and niches into the rocks here. At one such cove, sweet water flows back out of one of the crevices each night. Just above this spot, there is a natural ‘Aum’ formed in the rock. There are many beautifully carved sculptures carved into the rock along the route, and in one of the ancient caves resides a Shivaling.
Nearby attractions from Harihareshwara: There are number of locations around Harihareshwara. These include:
Bagmandala is a lovely small village a few miles away from the holy city of Harihareshwar. This is the place where the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the MarathaKingdom lived for many years. Bagmandala carries the legacy of Peshawa in a Peshwa Smarak as well as in an ancient fort named as Bankot fort. The prime attraction of the Bagmandala is the jungle jetty (sea harbor in the forest). This small port ferries the local people across the Bagmandala creek. Those who like for a ferry travel can cross over Bankot fort and enter the nearby Ratnagiri fort.
Ever wondered how it would be to watch turtles hatch on a beach and make their way into a sea. Nature enthusiasts can actually experience a ‘National-Geographic moment’ on the Velas beach at Mandangad taluk in Ratnagiri district, where the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, an NGO engaged in conservation of marine turtles, have counted 21 nests. It takes 30 min to reach Velas beach from Harihareshwara.
Further ahead, a short walk and one reaches the Bankot fort. Bankot fort now doesn’t have any source of potable water and it is best to carry your stock of water on visit. There is a well trodden cart track leading to the Bankot fort from the village within 30 minutes. Near the entrance there is a GajananTemple and a dry well. Bankot is a square shaped fort. On the sides of Bankot fort, there is a dry moat (Revni) dug out in the Jambha stone. Jambha stone is peculiar type of stone adorning a purple shade and peculiarly it is incapable of storing water as the water invariable percolates through it owing to its much porous nature. The main entrance (Mahadarwaja) of the fort is north-facing with a well sculpted arch and carvings. Watch guards dug out (Devdya) align on both sides of the Mahadarwaja with some pits being dug out in the right Devdi. On the left, there are steps leading towards Nagarkhana while there is an underground storey and a tunnel on the right. A Maruti idol in the centre stands deserted now. On the west, there is a small entrance (Darwaja) leading to a Bastion on the exterior of the fortifications. A deep well (now dry and filled) occupied the centre of this bastion earlier and the adjacent water tanks too are dry and obsolete now. One can leave the Buruj via a small exit that leads to the surrounding moat and a beautiful “Revni” lying nearby.
Located at a distance of 35km this nearby town shot to fame when an ancient half statue of Ganpati made of gold and some ornaments were found in a farm. The Shekhadi Road leading to Diveagar is a very pleasant drive as the road is parallel to the coastline and you can see many breathtaking views along the entire stretch of the road.
Things to do in Harihareshwar: Take a stroll along the mesmerizing beach. Make a visit to Velas beach to catch a live look of the turtle hatching egg. This place is ideal for the shutterbugs. Here the unperturbed beaches and the serene sound of the waves will greet to warmly. The picturesque location is ideal for taking snaps. The revered Kalbhairava Temple is also a must visit to pay homage to the “Trimuti”(Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).
Best time to visit Harihareshwar: Best season to visit Harihareshwar is October to March.
How to go ?
The nearest airport to Harihareshwar is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is located at a distance of 220 km from Harihareshwar. This airport in Mumbai is well connected to all the major cities in India and abroad. You can hire a cab or private cars from here to reach Harihareshwar.
Nearest railhead is Mangaon, which is 57 km away from Harihareshwar and this railway station in Konkan rail is well connected to Pune and Mumbai, which is connected with all major cities in India by railways.
Harihareshwar is well connected to all the major cities and towns from State and local bus services. Tourists from can get taxis and cabs to reach the place comfortably. Mahabaleshwar (130km), Mumbai (188km) and Pune (208km) can be reached from Harihareshwar comfortably.
Where to stay ?
This pristine location has a number of accommodation facilities. Some options are:
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.