Vasota Fort, also known as Vyaghragad, is a hill fort in the Sahyadri Mountains of Maharashtra, India. It is situated in the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and is one of the famous forts for trekking in the Sahyadri mountains. This trek in Maharashtra is known as one of the best treks of this region because of its wilderness, picturesque surroundings and historical significance.
As situated amidst the evergreen forest of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Vasota Fort offers the best experience of a jungle trek. Route till the fort from Met Indavali is all covered with huge trees and the liana spread over miles. Dense forests surround the fort and offer a spectacular view of the Koyna River and the Sahyadri mountain range.
The Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is home to diverse wildlife, including Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears, Gaurs, Indian Boar (Wild Pig), Porcupines, Sambar or Barking Deers, Hanuman Langur, Grey Jungle fowl and a wide range of bird species.
Vasota Fort straddles the Ghat line, protected by a bear-infested jungle. It is inaccessible except for a long and arduous trek. It has two forts, an old one and a newer one. It is possible to visit the new Vasota Fort through thick jungles.
At Bamnoli (Base Village) regular motor ferry services are available that take us to Met-Indavali from where we can walk on the western shores of the lake. Proceed along an arm of the Koyna Lake to the west. The route is now thickly forested with no human habitation. Climb through the dense forest by a tricky route to reach the top of the fort.
Entrance in the dilapidated state, remnants, Hanuman temple and Mahadev temple are the only monuments still standing on the fort. But the plateau offers a breathtaking view of the thick forest and the Koyna Back Waters. The hill where Nageshwar Cave is situated can be seen from the Kalkai Machi. From here one can observe both sides of the Ghat area as well as long drops in the Konkan.
The most fascinating point is Babu Kada, which offers a spectacular view of the steep cliffs of the mountain range falling straight deep into the Konkan area. The mountain in front is known as Old Vasota Fort.
The Vasota fort is attributed to the Kolhapur Shilahar chief Bhoja II (1178-1193) of Panhala. In the 16th century, Vasota was always held by the Marathas, Shirkes and Mores.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj incorporated the fort in Swarajya while conquering Jaoli in 1655. Due to difficult natural defences, Shivaji Maharaj renamed the fort “Vyaghragarh” (Vyaghra – means tiger).
This fort was occupied in 1806 by a woman named Tai Telin. It was famously defended by Tai Telin a mistress of Pant Pratinidhi a Killedar of the fort when he was captured. Bapu Gokhale, the Peshwa general, ousted her in 1810 after several battles.
Later, around 1815, it was used as a prison and among other prisoners were two British officers, Hunter and Morrison. Gen. Fitzgerald led the British army in May 1818. They used elephants to make their way through the dense forest and stormed the nearby old Vasota fort. From its good height, they fired artillery, destroyed many buildings in Vasota (Chandika Temple, Storage Rooms etc.), looted property worth 5 lakhs, captured the fort and freed all the prisoners.
Always love the journey of Vasota Trek with SG TREKKERS 🥰🚩
Always Memorable Trek with SG TREKKERS.It looks like family members.Overall arrangment and food is very nice.Vasota Trek gives all experience like boating,dense forest and View from top of Fort.🥰
I like it…
Wonderful trip. Good Planning. Informative and cheerful guide.
It was a great trekking experience with S G trekkers for my trek to Vasota…
1) Trek leaders helped immensely during ascend as well as descend especially during difficult sharp descend…this was definitely moral boosting for me
2) Time discipline was perfectly managed…they were always to the schedule and at the same time providing sufficient time for sightseeing etc..
3) History of the Vasota fort its importance was very well explained by trek leads
4) Being 1st batch to reach Vasota after a gap of 20 months, our group was 1st group to reach the top and we could enjoy the same to the fullest extent without worrying about crowd
5) places selected for having Food etc. were excellent
6) Extremely nice weather with all greenery around best views of Sahyadri range with Nageshwar caves in front of us..finally travel by boat was icing on the cake ….
Overall a great experience and full credit goes to team SG trekkers – Vishal, Swapnil and entire team 😊👏👏💐💐