- Ajaz Shaikh
Visapur Fort: Monsoon Treks Around Mumbai
Visapur Fort is situated in the western ghat approx. 52km from Pune. It is at an elevation of 3,556 feet (1,084 m). It is built on the same plateau as Lohagad. Visapur Fort is larger and at a higher elevation than its twin fort-Lohagad.
How to reach Visapur Fort Base Village
Railway: The cheapest and convenient way to reach the fort is via railways. The nearest railway station to Visapur Fort is Malavli Station which is well connected to Mumbai, Lonavala and Pune via mainline train. From Malavali station auto and taxi are available for the base village of Visapur Fort
Private Car: If comfort is your priority and travelling in a group go by car. Patan village is well-connected to Mumbai by roadways (Mumbai - Lonavala Route) it will take around 4 hours. Several ATMs, petrol pumps, hotels, restaurants and banks are located on the route.
History of Visapur Fort
Visapur region was built by Bahmani rules. It went into the hands of Mughals in the treaty of Mahuli, between Shahajiraje and Mughals. Seeing that the Mughals were not able to keep control over the region, Shivaji Maharaj captured almost all the forts here till 1660. Historic evidence says that the current fortification was built during 1713-1720 CE by Balaji Vishwanath, the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. There are many places to see in the fort. You can see Caves, an old stone arch, and fort wall, cisterns of water, an Old Grinder and lord Hanuman temples.
Making use of its higher elevation and proximity to Lohagad, the British troops set up their cannons on Visapur and bombarded Lohagad, forcing the Marathas to flee. Thus, in 1818, Lohagad-Visapur was taken over by the British in 1818 AD and placed under the command of Colonel Prother. Considering, the strategic importance of Visapur, both the north (Konkan) and the south (Deccan) gateways were blown up, and except a few huts, nothing was left standing. In contrast, most of Lohagad fort is still intact.
One Day Visapur Trek From Mumbai
Visapur Fort Trek is also known for its mixed trekking trail. Just for your excitement to reach the top of the Visapur Fort, you would be trekking through a forest trail, a boulders trail, a staircase trail and most amazing taking a waterfall trail and yes all this in just one day trek to Visapur.
There is three to four route to reach Visapur fort. The first goes from Bhaje Caves, the second goes from Gaimukh Khind and the third goes from the base village Patan Village.
The first route starts from the right of the ticket counter. You need to climb a hill to reach a flat terrain from where you need to traverse the hill to reach the east side of the fort. If you are doing this in the monsoon it will be lush green everywhere from the start of the trek. After a while, the path will lead to thick bushes. You need to go to the eastern face of the fort by traversing the hill and this route goes through dense forest. This path later joins to a stream with large boulders. You need to climb through this stream to reach the top of the fort. This route is most exciting as you walk on different terrains on the same trek.
Once you complete your climb through the stream, you come across a beautiful Hanuman Carving along the sides of caves. Once you climb these steps, you can see the top of Visapur. Once on the fort, you can spot many water cisterns, a big grinding wheel, Hanuman carving, ruins of food granary and Peshawa palace on the fort. The fortification of this fort is still intact. Also, there is a large plateau which you will observe rarely on any other forts. You can get stunning views from the top. You can get spectacular views of Pavna Dam with Tung fort on right and Tikona on left on the Southside, to get a clear photo in the monsoon you need to be the lucky one. As it is usually cloudy on the top.
Capture as many as the amazing picture as you want to capture before starting to descend. You need to take each step carefully while descending. In monsoon, stones may get really slippery.
Overall, this trek was one of the most memorable treks. An unusual route to reach on top of the fort, strong fortification of the fort, beautiful Hanuman carvings on the fort, stunning views of Tung, Tikona and Lohagad forts from the top and beautiful weather throughout the trek made it a pleasant affair.
Best time to visit Visapur Fort
Undoubtedly, the monsoon months of July to September is the best time to trek to the Visapur Fort as the surroundings are lush green and there are many waterfalls all along the way. Though one needs to be a little extra cautious as trails become a little slippery during monsoon. If you want to explore the top of the fort and the surrounding regions, October to February would be ideal for visiting the fort.
Listen To Me:
Carry some ready to eat food, atleast 3-4 litres of water and extra cloth to change. There aren't any food options available during the trek.
Talk to the native villagers gently and give respect to them, because you are their guests.
Wear full sleeves T-shirt and Pant, which will protect you from the wild insect. It's a jungle, we are bound to bump into these wild insects like leeches. If possible carry a walking stick also.
Hire a local guide there are high chances of getting lost because of misleading paths.
There is absolutely no shelter on the fort. Both the structures on the fort are in ruins.
Not recommended for an overnight stay on the top of the fort because of the absence of any shelter and strong winds.
Carry an Id proof.