Vasota Fort 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 and beauty. As situated amidst the evergreen forest of Koyna Wild Life 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. The canopy offers the best site for spotting various species of butterflies and birds.
The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animals Leopard, Sambar, Barking deer, Porcupines, Grey Jungle fowls, Wild Pigs, Hanuman langur, Rhesus Macaque, Flying Squirrel etc.
Vasota FortAka Vyaghragad
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.
Vasota fort is attributed to the Kolhapur Shilahara Chief Bhoja II (1178–1193) of Panhala. Vasota always remained with Marathas, Shirkes & Mores in the 16th century. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj incorporated the fort into Swarajya in 1655 during the conquest of Jaoli. Shivaji Maharaj renamed the fort “Vyaghragad” (Vyaghra – means tiger), owing to its difficult natural defence.
The fort was held in 1806 by a woman called 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, a Peshwa commander, drove her out after many fights in 1810.
Later, around the year 1815, it was used as a prison and amongst other prisoners were two British officers, Hunter and Morrison. To liberate them, Brig. Gen. Fitzgerald led the British forces in May 1818. They used elephants to make a route through the thick jungles and climbed the nearby old Vasota fort. From its better heights, they fired artillery destroying many buildings in Vasota (Chandika Mandir, Daru-Kothar, etc.) and looted property worth 5 lakhs and captured the fort and liberated all the prisoners.
Day 0Night Travelling
23:30 Please reach your pickup point and meet with SG-Trekkers representatives to mark your attendance.
23:59 We will travel by private bus to the base village or the starting point of the trek.
Day 1Vasota Fort Trek, Boating, Camping
We arrive at the base of the Vasota Fort.
Have a rest for 1 hour. (Please carry your bedding.)
05:30 – 06:30
Refresh yourself. (Public toilets are available there.)
Have breakfast & tea. (Packed your lunch in your empty tiffin.)
Our field experts will provide pre-trek information and instructions to all participants.
07:30 – 09:00
We will travel by ferry boat to reach Vasota fort base; after boating about 12-13 km, we reach Met Indavali.
We will start our trek by completing all the formalities required to enter the forest at the Forest Department check post.
09:30 – 11:30
Enjoy the vast & dense forest of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary while moving towards Vasota fort.
On the way, we stop to visit some of the historic war monuments in the nearby forest.
11:30 – 12:00
Reach the top of Vasota fort. Rest for a while. Lunch break.
12:00 – 14:00 Explore Vasota fort.
To the south, you can visit one of the majestic cliffs of the Sahyadri, the “Babu Kada”. To the north, there are remnants of an old structured Shiva temple as well as an old prison structure. In the centre of Vasota Fort, you will find the foundation of the building structure, large water ponds as well as small and joint water tanks, limestone mix grinders, etc.
14:00 – 18:30
Now we begin to descend; It takes 2 hours to reach the base. Returning by boat, we reach the base village.
Have some snacks and tea.
18:30 – 20:30
Spend some free time with your friends at the campsite.
After the meal, everyone should go to sleep in the tent assigned to them.
Day 1: Highlights
• Altitude Gain / Loss (ft.): ⇑ 1,480 ft.; ⇓ 1,480 ft. • Walk (approx.): 6 hrs., 8 km. • Accommodation: Stay in tent on sharing basis • Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
Day 2Return Journey to Pune
06:30 Wake-up call. Refresh yourself.
07:30 – 10:00 Have breakfast and tea. Spend some fun time with your friends at the campsite.
10:00 Clean the campsite before leaving. Start the journey back to Pune.
10:00 – 13:30 Visit a few historical places near Satara.
13:30 – 16:00 Stop for lunch on our way back to Pune. (Please understand that each guest will be paying for a meal and/or beverages of his or her choice.)
16:00 – 19:00 Start the journey back to Pune with very pleasant memories and non-biodegradable garbage.
19:00 Reach Pune and now it’s time to say goodbye to your travel companion. Let’s keep in touch via phone / social media and meet again on another memorable trip.
SEE YOU SOON! 😀
Day 2: Highlights
• Altitude Gain / Loss (ft.): N/A • Walk (approx.): N/A • Accommodation: N/A • Meals: Breakfast