As the refreshing breath of the monsoon air slowly begins to fill our chests, the call to nature becomes even louder. And on a lush and green trail up a mountain, imagine finding yourself lost in the many hallways of an enchanting fort at the hilltop, with small sparkling water bodies and caves punctuating the insides. That is exactly what the Visapur Fort offers. Within the fort, there are multiple small caves and cisterns which are filled to the brim during the monsoons. The fort is also surrounded by several Hanuman temples scattered across the vicinity. Towering at a height of 3,556 feet, the Visapur fort trek is truly the ideal monsoon trek, as its terrain is suitable and easy for first-time trekkers as well.
Know More About
- A Quick Guide to the Visapur Fort Trek
- The Visapur Fort Trek: The Perfect Monsoon Getaway
- The Visapur Fort Chronicles
- The Perfect Season to Visit Visapur Fort
- The Best Routes To The Visapur Fort
- An Elaborate Itinerary to the Visapur Fort Trek
- Major Highlights Of The Visapur Fort
- Trekking Essentials
- Useful Tips For The Trek
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Summing Up
Apart from the mesmerising and spellbinding aura of the fort, the Visapur Fort Trek is best known for the breathtaking views of the nearby waterfalls and the lush expanse of plateaus.
A Quick Guide to the Visapur Fort Trek
- Where it is Located: Maharashtra
- Number of Trekking Days: 1 day (4 to 6 hours)
- Max Altitude: 3,556 feet
- Total Trekking Distance: 8 - 12 km (approx.)
- Basecamp: Patan village/Bhaje village
- Distance from Pune to Visapur Village: Around 65 kilometres
- Distance from Mumbai to Visapur Village: Around 105 kilometres
- Trekking Grade: Easy to Moderate
- Best Time To Visit: End of July - September
- Livingit Rank: Beginner - Enthusiast
The Visapur Fort Trek: The Perfect Monsoon Getaway
The Visapur fort peak is a part of the twin-peaked structure called the Lohagad-Visapur fortification. Located within the Pune district, Maharashtra, the Visapur fort trek is larger and taller than its twin fort, Lohagad. The now roofless building was once said to have been a Government Office and the ruins of the adjacent stone-built house were once believed to be the Peshwa’s palace. Every visitor is welcomed by the monumental carving of the Hindu God, Lord Hanuman, at the entrance and one can find numerous small shrines and temples dedicated to the deity in and around the area. This led many people to believe that Lord Hanuman was very likely to have been the patron deity of the Visapur Fort.
The Visapur Fort Chronicles
The Visapur Fort was built between 1713 to 1720 CE by the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, Balaji Vishwanath. The Visapur and the Lohagad forts were closely linked together and offered advantageous defence positions for the kingdom. However, in 1818, the forts were attacked and occupied by British colonial invaders. Both the north (Konkan) and the south (Deccan) gateways were demolished, bringing the Visapur fort to ruins. The Marathas were forced to flee and in that same year, the twin forts were occupied by the British and immediately placed under the command of Colonel Prother. By the end of the invasion, except for a few huts in the proximity, nothing was left standing. In contrast, a majority of the Lohagad fort remains intact to this day.
The Perfect Season to Visit Visapur Fort
While the gradient is rocky and is prone to being slippery during the rains, the monsoons are without a doubt the best time to attempt this trek; one can witness the dense and rich greenery canopying the trails, the ravishing sights of the surrounding waterfalls and the enigmatic blankets of mist that line the hilltop.
- Monsoon: 27 ° C to 32 ° C (day); 20 ° C to 23 ° C (night)
- Winter: 25 ° C to 30 ° C (day); 10 ° C to 15 ° C (night)
- Summer: 35 ° C to 40 ° C (day); 23 ° C to 28 ° C (night)
The Best Routes to the Visapur Fort
The Visapur fort trek is situated near the Visapur village in Maharashtra, India. This village is easily accessible from both Mumbai and Pune and is located in close proximity to the Mumbai-Pune express highway.
From the old Pune-Mumbai Highway (NH 4), you can turn to Kamshet from the highway and onto the road to Pavanagar village, the Lohagad fort base. You can also take the route from Tar road, a newly constructed roadway from the Bhaje caves to the Lohagad village base.
You can take a bus directly from the Swargate, Pune to Kamshet, from where you should be able to avail a cab service to the Visapur village.
The Visapur Fort is situated at a short distance of 9 kilometres away from the Malavi station.
An Elaborate Itinerary to the Visapur Fort Trek
There are 2 routes you can take that will lead you to the top of Visapur, namely the Patan village trail and the Bhaje village route.
Bhaje Village to Visapur Fort
The trek usually begins from the Bhaje village and journeys into a mud trail, leading out of the settlement. This section of the trek is predominantly a flat walk and hikers can easily see the fort walls from the pathway. After an approximate distance of 4 kilometres, the trail bifurcates between the twin fortifications - one leading to Visapur and one leading to Lohagad. The trail to Visapur lies on the left and the gradient begins to gradually incline after this turn.
The paths are well marked and trekkers can always find directional signs to help find their way. In the monsoons, the trek is a true sight for sore eyes, as the trail passes through magnificent towers of waterfalls and thick greenery canopying the path. The path continues for about 30 to 40 minutes until it opens at the plateau on top. The vast expanse is usually covered with the soft and lush moss and greenery, as far as the eye can see, in the monsoon months.
However, most of the trail and the open lands remain barren in the other months. The fort at the top is filled with surprises waiting to be discovered and explored by trekkers, with its large water tanks, enigmatic caves, ancient tanks and bastions and other various buildings or wadas scattered all over the encompassing land. One can also catch an extraordinary view of the Lohagad fort, Tikona and Tung forts and even the expressway!
The descent back to the village is relatively easier and faster, and trekkers generally take the same route backwards.
Visapur Fort Via The Patan Village Trail
The Patan village trail is closer to Lonavla than it is to the Pune district. However, this route to Visapur is a little trickier than the previous one. But for those seeking that little extra adventure, this is the trek perfect.
Remember to keep certain landmarks in mind when passing through this trail tends to become confusing. Locals are also helpful and approachable
The trail initially passes through a small forest and then arrives at a waterfall – it would be dried up if you end up trekking post monsoon. Stick to this waterfall for the rest of the route and you will find a bifurcation on the trail after 15 to 20 minutes. The trail heading to the right is the one that leads straight into the Visapur fort. After about 40 minutes of an upward hike, trekkers are very likely to come across a broken staircase that would eventually lead you to one of the entrances of the Visapur fort.
Major Highlights Of The Visapur Fort
- Within the Visapur Fort, there is a colossal well which is believed by many locals to have been constructed by the Pandavas.
- Closer to the disarmed artillery remains ruins of an old Mahadev shrine
- Although the rest of it is in ruins, most of the Visapur Fort’s wall is intact
- There are two massive bastions still flank the ruined central gate.
This is a short and easy trek so you don’t have to fill your backpack with too many things, but do make sure to carry these essential trekking items with you:
- A backpack or a rucksack that has a capacity around 40-60 litres and broad and sturdy shoulder straps, for better support
- Trekking shoes that are sturdy and have a good grip to help you traverse through the slippery inclines
- A trekking pole for the rough or slippery patches in the trek
- Headlamp and LED flashlights with extra batteries (in the case of camping)
- Sleeping bags and dome tents (in the case of camping)
- Compass and map of the area
- Trekking Medical Kit
- A raincoat in the case of rains or a waterproof jacket
- Thermals or an extra layer for higher altitudes
- An extra pair of trekking pants, socks and clothes, in case the other gets wet or torn
- Sun caps and sunscreen to protect your skin from the harsh rays at higher altitudes
- Waterproof gloves
- A waterproof cover for your rucksacks
- Plastic covers to compartmentalise all your equipment, waste and wet clothes
- Nutrition bars or packs of dry fruits
- Sunscreen to keep your skin protected from the harsh
- Toilet paper and a few light towels
- Two 1 litre bottles
- Combiflam as a general painkiller
- Crocin for colds
- Crepe bandage and ointment in the case of any injuries
- A small roll of cotton and gauze
- Moov or Relispray for muscular pulls, aches and sprains
- Antiseptic screams and bug spray (Odomos)
- Dettol antiseptic
Useful Tips for Trekkers
- Due to the lack of clean water source along the trail, always remember to carry plenty of water with you
- Avoid weekend if you hope to avoid the crowds
- Even though this is a day trek, it is possible to camp on the plateau at the top if you carry sufficient water and supplies
- During the monsoon seasons, it’s better for first-time trekkers to be accompanied by experienced hikers or a guide
- There’s no food available beyond the Bhaje village. It’s best advised to bring along packed food either from home or from the village itself
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we set up camp at the Visapur Fort?
You can camp at the plateau on the hilltop near the Visapur Fort. However, it is always best to confirm with a guide or the locals regarding an overnight camping trip.
Would camping equipment be provided at the base camp?
No, you would be required to bring your own equipment. Remember to bring dome-shaped tents (that can accommodate up to three people), mats, sleeping bags LED lamps/headlamps and ample amount of water and food.
Are there any water sources along the way?
While there are plenty of waterfalls and streams accentuating the path, none of these can be used to replenishing your water resources. It is essential that your carry 2-4 litres of water for the day trek.
Is there connectivity at the Visapur Fort?
Network and connectivity are extremely weak as the trail begins to ascend and it’s best advised that you inform your family and friends of your whereabouts.
Can I attempt the trek at night?
An overnight trek to the Visapur Fort is generally advised against as the location is geographically isolated, with no accommodations and mobile connectivity. It is best to finish the trek during the day and complete the descent before the last transport bus back to Pune or Mumbai.
The Visapur Fort is one of the most well-renowned monsoon treks in Maharashtra and is situated in close proximity to the Pune-Mumbai expressway. And while the trek is often attempted as a day trek, the camping experience at the open plateau at the Visapur fort will offer every single trekker with a plethora of opportunities to reconnect with nature and the area’s history. And the mysterious air of the Visapur fort is also a sensation that every camper carries with them long after the trek is done.
The Visapur fort trek and camping experience is definitely one that many hikers and nature enthusiasts reminisce days after returning back to the cacophony of the metropolitan life. Needless to say, this hike is one of the most quintessential trekking experiences as it’s relatively easy and accessible to first-time trekkers. And even though they might find it a bit slippery during the monsoons, it nonetheless is the best time to attempt the trudge. Trekkers will be promised with the spectacular view of the brimming waterfalls, foggy atmosphere and the luxuriant spread of greenery. It doesn’t demand much time or effort, hence making the best trek to start off one’s first ever trekking experience.