There are many forts in India and all these forts are the contributions of various rules and rulers here. However the hill forts are something that definitely attracts a lot more attention, what say? A fort, on top of the hill, with verdant beauty around, sounds really exciting. The Visapur Fort is one such hill fort located in Maharashtra. The height, the location as well as the tranquil ambience of this fort makes it a frequented spot for tourists. However there is a catch too. A proper full fledged trek is necessary to reach this beautiful hill fort though. The journey to this fort is even more alluring than reaching the destination itself.
So keep on reading as I will mention everything about the Visapur Fort and Visapur Fort Trek in this article. You will get all necessary information that you might need to plan a successful trip to this location.
Overview of Visapur Fort
Located at an altitude of 4000 feet above sea level in Lonavala, the Visapur Fort is one of the popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra. Moreover the Visapur Fort trek is also one of the most popular treks in the Pune Mumbai area. This is like a real trekking expedition where you need to put in real effort to actually reach the top of the fort. The level of this trek is easy to medium though but it would require quite a bit of effort too. Visapur Fort trek time is approximately 2 hours from the base however it depends on the route that you are taking too.
This is a fort that is a few centuries old and according to people Chatrapati Shivaji was the creator of this fort. Visapur Fort height is approximately 3556 feet. It was one of his ways to keep a check of all the movements downhill and in the plains. This place almost served like his watch tower. Moreover the construction of this fort goes back to the period from 1713-1720 CE. According to some historians Balaji Vishwanath the first Peshwa of the Maratha empire was the creator of this fort. Because of the strategic location of this fort it was very difficult to attack this first. Furthermore even after some attempts it was tough to fire cannons here.
At present there is not much to see here as most of the Visapur fort Lonavala is in ruins. But what makes it exceptional is the all encompassing view that this location offers. Along with that on the western side of the fort there is a bastion. Unlike many other forts the bastion here is quite unique in its structure and construction. On the northwestern side there is a fountain present too.
Best time to visit Visapur Fort
This is one of the most popular intermediate level treks in the Pune- Mumbai Express highway. It is a popular trek too because of the waterfalls. And mostly the waterfalls are in their best form during or after monsoon. During summers these waterfalls looks nothing but dried rocky beds. You can easily opt for this waterfall trek during the monsoon to enjoy the lush greenery along with the gushing waterfall. It is undoubtedly going to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Also remember that this is a day trek. However it is possible to overnight camp on the top of the plateau as well. So if you are opting for that, plan your visit accordingly.
Visapur Fort Trek
There are some ways by which you can reach the top of the fort.
Malavali to Visapur Fort
To reach Visapur fort via this route at first you will have to reach the Malavali station. It is however a confusing route to reach the fort. From Bhaje caves walk 15 to 20 minutes leaving the stairway. There will be some small huts and broken stairs on the way. And then there are some more stairs that you need to climb until you reach a temple. Also there are two big caves here as well that can accommodate up to about 40 people. Further from there you will have to climb a few more stairs that will take you to the Visapur Fort.
Visapur Fort from Pune
This route to reach the Visapur Fort is one of the most convenient options to reach here. If you have your own vehicle then you can drive from Pune towards Lonavala on NH 48. Then exit the highway at Karla to reach Malavali Station and from there you need to reach the Bhaje village. Moreover there is a pay and park service where you can keep your vehicle. Another route is to drive through the Pune Mumbai Expressway and then turn towards Lonavala. Then the route is similar to the previous route.
You can opt for buses as well from Seagate at Pune and get down at Malavali station. From there you will find shared auto rides for Rs. 40 per person or you can also walk down for 2.5 km.
Another option is to take a local train to Lonavala that runs on an hourly basis. Tickets cost about Rs. 10 to reach the Malavali station. Basically in all the above mentioned routes from Pune you will have to reach Malavali first which is the base to the Visapur Fort. Visapur Fort distance from Pune is about 65 km and the driving time is near about 90 minutes.
Bhaje Village Trail
This is another way to reach the Visapur Fort. For this route first you will have to drive via Mumbai Pune expressway to reach Lonavala and then Malavali. From there you will have to reach Bhaje village. There are pay and park services available as well. You can also take a bus to reach the base location as well. Also if you are travelling from Lonavala you can even hire a rickshaw to reach the Malavali station from there. The distance from there is only 12 km till Malavali and another 4 km till Bhaje. Local trains are also available from Pune to Lonavala. From there you will have to reach the Malavali station and then take a shared ride or walk till Bhaje village.
Bhaje village trek to Visapur Fort
Visapur Fort trek distance from Bhaje village is for 2.5 hours to 3 hours and the difficulty level is moderate. This is mostly a flat walk and you can even spot the walls of the fort from the trail. After the first 4 km of the trek you will have to take the left trail that goes towards Visapur Fort. For convenience there are some arrows marked here through the forest. This trail is also famous for Visapur Fort waterfall, and if you wish to enjoy that view, try this journey during the monsoon. It is that time when the waterfalls are at their fullest and you will be able to enjoy the waterfall here. In summer however you will find only dry rocks here. But the way is not uncomfortable as there are enough shedded trees here too.
Then you will have to continue for another 30 to 40 minutes to reach the top of the plateau. It can be one of the most mesmerizing views that you can enjoy here. You will have ample options to explore at this spot like small and large water tanks. There is a flag, Hanuman temple and grinders which were earlier in use for various constructions here.
Patan Village Trail
This is another village that is close to Lonavala. However this is one of the trickiest routes to reach the fort. From Patan village initially you will have to go through the forest. Then you will find a dried waterfall in Visapur Fort. In monsoon however this waterfall gushes water in its full glory. You will have to stick by this waterfall for the rest of the journey. Furthermore you will find a bifurcation after about 15 to 20 minutes. From that take the right trail that goes to the Visapur Fort. It is another 40 minutes walk on this trail before you can reach the entrance of the fort. In this route the Visapur Fort distance can be covered in about 2 hours.
Lohegaon to Visapur Fort
After crossing Bhaje village there are two bifurcations. While one goes towards Visapur the right one is towards Lohegaon. There are well cut steps on this route that will take you along this route.
The Visapur Fort is one of the most picturesque forts in India. And the location of the fort makes it even more special. And if there can be something else that can cross over these it is the journey to reach the fort. It can be ideally a breathtaking journey for you through the forest trail. With all forest trails with tall trees, temples, caves, and stairways the trek is ever exciting and entertaining. Moreover it is one of the trekking trails that even beginners can opt for. The level is not so tough but you will have to keep in mind the time duration too.
If you are anywhere near Pune or Mumbai or in Maharashtra then surely think of visiting this fort. It can be a lifetime experience for you. Especially if you are opting to visit this location during monsoon it is like an added bonus. The breathtaking view will leave you speechless in all possible ways. So are you excited to visit this majestic location? Do let me know if this article is helpful for you in planning a visit to this amazing spot.