Sunday, 1 June 2014

Day trek to Visapur fort

As monsoon was about to start, we decided to start some trekking activity. We planned Visapur trek on 1st June 2014. We were expecting light rain on that day but it turned out to be bright sunny day. This time we invited our friends and they joined us.

Trekkers for Visapur fort were me, my wife Renuka, our friends Himanshu - Ketaki, Abhijit – Manasi, Aniket – Gayatri and Sangram – Priyanka.


Visapur Fort
Visapur Fort (Taken during last monsoon from Lohagadwadi village)

About Visapur Fort and route:
              Fort is situated 52km from Pune in western India. 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. Trekker usually start there trek from Malavali railway station. It is just 9km away from station.
              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 a control over the region, Shivaji Maharaj captured almost all the forts here till 1660. Historic evidence says that current fortification was built during 1713-1720 CE by Balaji Vishwanath. There are many places to see on fort. You can some Caves, old stone arch, and fort wall, cisterns of water, Old Grinder and lord Hunuman temples.
              There are 2 ways to start trek to Visapur fort, one is from Malavali station. After crossing the Express-Highway & reaching Bhaje village we get straight route to Lohagad - Visapur. Now tar road is newly constructed from Bhaje caves to Lohagad base village. After walking for 1.5 to 2 hours & turning to left from `Goumukh Khind` we will reach to Visapur base. After a 1 km walk from Goumukh Khind, you will find old hut. Take a left route and walk for 10 ft. for another small left turn which goes through dense forest to the top of fort.

Another route is from Patan village. After crossing the Express-Highway, take a left for Patan village. Once you reach at Patan, you can start hike for fort. Make sure that you will remain close to waterfall route. This route is bit confusing so better to hire local person from village. Their chargers are not fixed as such so whatever you will offer they accept it or better to decide amount before trek.

Trek Route to Visapur from Gomukh Khind
Trek Route to Visapur from Gomukh Khind


We decided to climb from Goumukh Khind and come down by second route.

01st June 2014: trek to Visapur (1.25 hr. of local train + 2-2.5 hr. total climb):
               We woke up by 4.30 AM and gather at Shivaji Nagar railway station by 5.40 AM. Everyone was on time and we caught 5.55 AM local train from Shivaji Nagar station for Malavali. We reached on Malavali railway station after around 70 min. Aniket – Gayatri, Sangram – Priyanka were new members in our group and till Malavali we became familiar with each other. Once we reached at Malavali, without wasting any time, we started our first warm up patch. After 1.5-2km walk we reached at Bhaje village. We had poha as breakfast and then our trek began. Few members from group were too new to trekking activity so we decided to take small break as per their stamina.               Weather was perfectly set for trekking conditions. Sun was busy in hide and seek game with clouds. After crossing Bhaje village, there are 2 routes, one leads to Bhaje caves and other is to Visapur fort. There was a route from Bhaje caves to Visapur but we were not aware so we took winding path for our trek. We crossed 2-3 waterfalls in route. As monsoon hadn’t started so there was no water flow in the waterfall. After crossing 2 bridges (small bridge to bypass waterfall), there was small route on left side which was a shortcut with sudden height gain. We took that path. It went through a dense small forest. We had to take stop once to refresh ourselves. After walking for some time we reached at `Goumukh Khind`. Wherever possible, we chose alternate path with height gain. When we reached at Goumukh Khind, weather changed its mood and Sun started dominating all over the sky.

Waterfall during trek route (Pic taken in last monsoon). Please take proper care in fall. Life and nature are beautiful so respect them.

Lohagad Fort (on the way to Goumukh Khind)

               We took left for Visapur fort. After a km walk, we had our second pit stop at hut which is at the base of Visapur fort. It was bright sunny day and only half of the trek route was covered by forest area. First part of trek route goes through dense forest whereas remaining route is from rocky patch. No one gave up and after climbing on last rocky stretch, we reached at top. Everybody did great job even though few of them were not an experience trekker.

Visapur fort view from Goumukh khind


My friend indicating trek route whereas other friend indicating trek route sign on rock. Pic taken from hut


Visapur trek route
Trek Route

               Once we reached at the top, we searched for place where we can settle down for lunch. Being girls in group gives you advantage on food department. Renuka and her friends had bought enough food for lunch. We had some sandwiches and other dry stuff.

Rest after climb

              Before I write further, I would like to share some history about Visapur fort. The forts of Lohgad and Visapur have played an important role in guarding the trade routes and Bhaje and Bedse caves. Lohgad was witness of many significant historical events but unlike that, much less history is known about Visapur fort. As I said earlier, Visapur region was built by Bahmani rules then by Mughals and Shivaji raje. Shivaji Maharaj lost this fort in the treaty of Purandar in 1665. But after few years it is conquered again. On 4th march 1818 Colonel Prother captured Visapur, and the next day Lohgad fell into his hands. 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 a Colonel Prother.

Fort Lohagad and Fort Tung
Fort Lohagad and Fort Tung (R to L)


Fort Tikona and Fort Tung (L to R)


               After so called Lunch, we took some rest then explored fortification on fort. You can see ruined stone-built house known as Peshwa’s palace, old grinder, water tanks (known as Taake in Marathi), fort’s wall which is 3 ft thick and strong, secret entrance and carving of Hunuman (Lord Maruti) idol which consider as deity of Visapur fort. It was sunny day hence unable to cover all places within 1.5 hours but entire fort can be seen in 2 to 2.5 hours time.

Water tanks ( paanya che Taake)
Water tanks ( paanya che Taake)

Small Cannon on fort


Visapur fort wall
Fort Wall

Large Cannon on Fort

Visapur Fort wall


escape route or secret route
escape route or secret route

              For our descend we decided to explore Patan route. Route is little bit difficult as there are many paths which may lead to some other place. It’s better to keep waterfall route parallel to your path. For monsoon season, better to avoid entraining into waterfall as water flow can drag you away. In the beginning of route, we passed by one lord Hanuman’s temple known as Chapetdan Maruti. It named because of Lord Hanuman's pose to slap the devil that is at his feet. There are small caves and drinking water source. You can spot same idol on Tikona fort.

Chapatdan Maruti

              We reached Patan village at 3.45 PM. We got Auto in the village for Malavali station. We missed our 3.50 PM local for Pune. We rested for an hour on station and board local train by 5.30 PM. We reached at Pune station safely ending pleasurable trek.

Things to carry for trek:
  • A water bottle to carry at least 2 liters of water
  • Some dry food, in case you didn’t find any suitable food stall
  • Windcheater / jacket / Barsati during monsoon trek.
  • Do carry instant energizers like Glucon-D or Tang.
  • A towel or napkin and 2-3 old newspapers
  • Small first aid kit
  • Camera to capture best nature movement
  • Better avoid wearing Gold and other ornaments. No need to carry heavy cash.

Our Expenses:
  • Local train ticket: INR 30/- per person (Pune-Malavali return journey)
  • Breakfast at Bhaje village: INR 30/- per person (Poha INR 20, Misal INR 25 and Tea INR 6/-)
  • No Expenses on Lunch as we were caring food from home.
  • Auto from Patan to Malavali station: INR 100/- for 4-5 people.
  • Parking chargers at Shivaji Nagar railway station: INR 20/- per 3 hours.
 
Thanks for reading this Travel Blog. Happy traveling.
Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune

45 comments:

  1. I recalled memories of our Tikona Trek. If you arrange Trek for Tung keep in list. All photos are very nice and I liked idea of indicating important places in it.-G P Ghospurkar

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  2. Great Photography, Pritesh..!!
    Liked very much..!!

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  3. Superb detailing.. Surely on my list in this monsoon..!
    Was there any birding activity, especially in the dense forest??

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  4. I think the village you are referring to is "patan" which is misspelled as "patas". Correct me if I am wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for correction...Updated
      Regards,
      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  5. Hi Pritesh,
    This is Latika from Indiahikes. We are coming up with a book on 100 Best Treks in India. And we would like you to contribute to it. Please email me on latika@indiahikes.in so that we can take this conversation forward. :)

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  6. Will it be safe to go up during rains?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, completely Safe to Visit Visapur and lohagad in monsoon

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  7. Hi I am totally new to this place..We two friends are planning to for visapur fort.. Would it be risky if we are going only two person? and would there be any difficulties to find the way for the fort? as we are new here..

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    1. No kind of risks at all...and the path is established for years....go enjoy...My tip: Take as many people as possible, more the merrier... and in this particular case more is the merriest.

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  8. Hi we are two person planning for this visapur trek.. would it be risky for going only two person? and Would it be difficult to find the way to fort as we are new to the place as well?

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    1. Its totally safe fort and way to climb. Not at all risky...

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  9. Replies
    1. you can post your contact details on comment. I will contact you on that number and will not publish the comment which content your Number.
      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  10. I want to know the number of a person who can provide us the food. #BulkQuery

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    1. You can have meal at the base village of Lohagad fort or take parcel meal.

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  11. The content was clean and clear, so much apt to the point. Amazingly Written! 👌🏻👌🏻

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  12. Hey. I was planning to go here with my group but had a few questions? 1. Is the route easy (not in terms of strength but actual route of the fort till the top as we are only a group of 3 4 who are worried about losing the way
    2) is there a place to park cars at base incase we plan to go by car?
    3. How much time did it take for ascending?

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    1. Visapur Trek is consider as Medium level trek
      1. Route is quite easy expect starting point of climb. I have marked that point in blog. We climbed from Gomukh-Khinda which is relatively easy way rather than climbing from other side
      2. yes, you can park your car but there is proper parking place/slot available. Road side parking (w/o blocking traffic/route) can be possible.
      3. 1 Hr to 1.30 hour is enough considering moderate level stamina from fort base and you can add 45 min to 1 hr walk from Malavali Station to khinda.

      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  13. Hi Can we take kids for this trek with age 6 and 4 years ? Thanks in advance

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    1. Yes, no problem at all. you can take Kids for trek.

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    2. Is there any small canteen/ hotel of local ppl at base of visapur. So if any 1 from group not able climb then they can rest there. Can just share ur number to me on sud1bk@gmail.com

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    3. Not at the base of Visapur fort but there is small village at the base of Lohagad fort (Considering climb from Gomukh khind).distance between Lohagad fort base village and Gomukh khind is around 1KM.
      If you are planning to climb from other side (Patas village) then trek starts from Village itself.

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  14. Hi

    Is it safe to with family kids of 5/6 years

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  15. Hi

    Is it safe to with family kids of 5/6 years

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    Replies
    1. Yes, fort and Hike are safe to take childrens. I have seen my friend's childrens climbing Visapur w/o any problem. Do take care of them on rocky patches.
      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  16. Nicely written bro....After reading it i and my friends have planned a trip to lonavala...how can we reach this fort from lonavala? Can u tell us the modes of transportation..

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    1. You can take Auto/ST bus/Shared Jeep from Lonavala. Best way is too take Local Train from Lonavala to Malavali and then walk + Hike to Fort

      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  17. Are thr any steep patches... planning to take my 5 year old. How long will it take wid my kid? Getting down from the fort wid the kid ?

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    1. Manageable steep rock patches for 5 years kid. It takes around 1.5 HR to climb from base of the fort. It may change as per kid's stamina. No issues for getting down.
      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  18. Hi... trek to visapur fort is it steep or flat types? Stairs or more of rock climbing? Asking u since planning with my 5 year old kid. Hoe long it wld take with d kid to climb up? N wld it b managable with d kid to get down?

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    1. Visapur is not Flat type of trek. Not too steep but yes there are rocky patches.
      5 years old kid can manage the trek... Just don't let him climb alone and without your help.
      It will take around 1.5 hours to climb up.

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  19. Nicely written blog. I am planning to go in coming weekend. How can we reach Visapur fort from Malavali station? Is there any transportation available so we can reach fort easily from Malavli station? Awaiting for your response.

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    1. Autos and shared keeps are available at Malavali station which can take you to Visapur fort base or to Lohagad fort base village. You can start trek from station as well. Few km flat walk followed by hike.
      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  20. Hi Priya

    Your blog on the visapur fort trek is highly informative and full of guidance .Thanks for writing till the minutes details. We are heading to visapur fort on July 15 ...want to know more details for climbing from Patan area...could you help ......would like to talk to you...can you help with your number....mine is 996757130.....thanks vivek

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    1. Hi Vivek,
      MY name is Pritesh and not Priya.
      Your mobile number is 9 Dogit number so cannot contact on that.
      Anyways, Startbwalk from Malavali station to Patan village and start hike from there. Plenty of signs available and villages help to guide the path. Path is pretty clear so less chances to miss the route
      Happy traveling

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  21. Hey pritesh,
    Great job on this blog very well written. Just one thing I was curious of , is it tedious for the first timers to trek to visapur fort?
    Thanks
    Riddhi

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  22. Hi pritesh,
    Nicely blogged,
    Would like to ask you if it was tedious trekking for the first timers?
    Thanks
    Happy blogging

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    Replies
    1. Yes, First time may face bit difficulty but still trek can be manageable and good to visit in monsoon to enjoy the nature beauty

      Pritesh Kulkarni

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  23. You said you had breakfast at the village but carried lunch yourself. Are there any options for lunch at the fort itself? Any eateries or locals serving food once you climb the fort (something like food available on Sinhagad) ?

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    1. No hotel or food stall on the top of the fort. You can food at Malavali or at the base village of Lohagad fort.

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  24. Hi Pritesh,

    This is Jaydeep here.

    Excellent information. Thanks a lot for the minute details.
    I also saw questions about taking kids. I have a 2 year old boy, is it safe/manageable to take 2 year old kid to Visapur keeping in mind I will have to lift him at times while climbing?

    Looking forward to hear from you..

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    Replies
    1. 2 year kid on Visapur trek might be tough on last rocky patch... It is manageable if you can carry him safely...

      Pritesh Kulkarni

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