Last week I had been on a monsoon trek with my friends to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful locations in Maharashtra- the Visapur fort, built by the first Peshwa King of the Maratha Empire during 1713-1720 CE. While many are well aware about Visapur’s twin-fort Lohagad, this particular lesser known spot stands with all glory at an elevation of 3,556 ft above sea level, much higher than the famous Lohagad.
A dangerous climb worth every bit:
The trek to the Visapur fort is one of the toughest ones as there is no specific path to reach up there. We had to carve our ways through thorny bushes, rocky paths, gushing waterfalls and also rain and fog. The hill is quite steep, so we had to be really careful. At a point we had lost our way completely, but luckily we got help from some little guides who showed us the way. *so thankful*
We had our own share of falls, bruises and cuts while climbing the hill, but what we achieved in the end was worth every step. I vividly remember climbing the final waterfall from where I could see the outer walls of the fort. It was heavenly. Nestled in fog, there were the open skies on one end and the massive mountains, on which we were all clutching, at another. (I wish someone would have clicked a nice bird’s eye shot of us).
The view from the hill top is beauty at another level altogether. We came across some caves and ruined temple spots where there were carvings of Lord Hanuman. He is the local deity of the villages there. The outer wall of the fort, made of stone, was made to protect the fort area and extends across a large distance. We could see the fort only from a distance; we couldn’t really go in since it was getting late.
The fort is mostly in ruins, since it was destroyed by the Britishers while attacking the fort. The fluttering saffron flag however, reminded us of the strength of the Peshwas and their beautiful creation in spite of its destructed state.
Up there it was completely calm, serene and peaceful. Standing there, I could feel the rich history and the long battle tales it held within its walls. Alone, when you stand motionless, feeling the mighty wind and glancing through the dense forests that lay down, I realized that nature’s best gifts are indeed kept hidden, tucked away somewhere far for us to find.
How to reach:
Since we were a group of 30 people, we had booked a bus which took us to the foothills from where we started our trek. You can also come by local, Visapur village lies at a distance of 9 to 10 kms from Malavali station.
As we came to know, there are two most taken routes to the fort. One through the rocks and thorny bushes (we went up this way) and the other that leads through the waterfalls, a muddy road (we came down this way). So you see we explored both the ways, which is why it took us quite a lot of time. It was pitch dark on our way down so its highly recommended that you manage time well and reach down before it gets dark.
What to carry:
There is no food available up there. So carry ample water and you own food packet. It will rain often so get a windcheater along.
This trek was indeed a wonderful experience. I am not someone who often climbs up mountains or even walks or runs a lot for that matter, so this was a personal record breaker for me. Above all, the feeling of achievement once you reach the top is extremely satisfying. Visapur is highly recommended for nature lovers. A perfect trip to get all adventurous during the monsoons. So go ahead, plan a date and get set CLIMB!