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 pig, Hanuman langur, Rhesus macaque and Flying Squirrel etc.
Vasota Fort straddles the Ghat line, protected by a bear-infested jungle. It is inaccessible except by 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 breath-taking 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 in 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.
Shivaji Maharaj incorporated the fort into Swarajya in 1655 during the conquest of Jaoli. Shivaji 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 on Vasota (Chandika Mandir, Daru-Kothar, etc.) and looted property worth 5 lakhs and captured the fort and liberated all the prisoners.
23:30 – Reporting to the SG team.
23:59 – Travel to the base village from Pune.
04:00 – Reach Bamnoli village. Rest for 1 hr.
06:00 – Have A freshen up; have breakfast & tea.
07:30 – Group Instruction & briefing about the trek.
08:00 – 1.30 Hrs boat ride to the trek start point.
09:45 – Reach Met Indavli & Commence trek to Vasota Fort through dense forest.
12:30 – Reach top. Explore the surroundings.
13:00 – Lunch break. Visit “Babu Kada”.
14:30 – Start descend & return boat journey till base village.
18:30 – Travel to Pune.
22:00 – Reach Pune with happy memories & non-biodegradable waste.
Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Hi-Tea
Shivajinagar > Swargate > Katraj > Satara > Bamnoli (Base)
23:30 – Shivajinagar
23:45 – Swargate
23:59 – Katraj
Please come 15 minutes before at your pickup point to avoid getting late.