Weather :

Timings : Daytime

Entry Fee : Free

Trek Time : 2.5-3 Hours (one side)

Visapur Fort, Khandala Overview

Perched upon a lush green plateau, the Visapur Fort is a popular weekend getaway for people living in Pune and Mumbai. The fort stands at the height of 1084 meters above sea level offering panoramic view hills covered in a thick blanket of green. The majestic fort is a very popular destination for the trek. The trek is not very difficult, but beginners might find it a bit too slippery during the monsoon. However, despite the slippery slope, monsoons are definitely the best time to visit Visapur Fort - the greenery, brimming waterfalls, and the beautiful fog.

Built between 1713 CE and 1720 CE by the very first Peshwa of Maratha Empire, Balaji Vishwanath, the Visapur Fort stands as a testimony to the power and prowess of the Maratha rulers and their celebrated kingship. This massive fort was built as a twin of the famous Lohagad fort, but at a higher elevation and covering a larger surface area.

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Visapur Fort Trek

The climb to the Visapur Fort is a rocky but welcoming. Starting at Bhaje village, it is about 2.5 to 3 hours long each way and ends at the height of 3556 feet.

There are two routes to trek to the top of Visapur fort.

Route 1: The more well-defined and faster route is from the base village of Lohagadwadi, which is also the starting point for Lohagad Fort. The second route is more winding and slower, and at times difficult to find, but more exciting and fun - especially during the monsoons.

Route 2: For the second route, drive your car to the Patan village, and then ask locals for the starting point of the trek. The best part about this course is that you walk through a lot of different kinds of terrain in the same trek - you walk across a grassland for some time, cross multiple waterfalls, walk through a dense forest, and for the final ascent, walk directly up a flowing waterfall. The route is well-defined, except for a few places, so look out for arrows marked in the stone at these locations. Keep in mind that you have to follow the trail which goes up next to the waterfall.

Architecture of Visapur Fort

The Visapur fort is surrounded by tall veranda walls and is dotted on the inside with caves and cisterns of water. There is a well inside the fort too which is said to have been built by the Pandavas!

Sri Hanuman, or popularly known as Maruti, was the patron deity of the Visapur fort. Hence, the walls of the fort have a beautiful huge carving of the great Lord Hanuman made to pay homage to the lord. In addition to the gigantic carving of the lord, the walls are flanked with smaller intricate drawings made in his respect. Also, the premises of the splendid fort have many temples dedicated to the lord. There are a few remains of an old Mahadev shrine which is a shrine built to honor Lord Shiva.

During the year of 1885, by the north wall of the fort rested a ten-foot long iron gun with the initials "E R" inscribed on it. The gun is suspected to be a bounty from one of the English ships during the reign of Queen Elizabeth by Kanoji Angre or another such valiant Maratha commander.

Best Time To Visit Visapur Fort

The ideal time to visit Visapur Fort would be from the beginning of monsoons in mid-June to end of winters, which is around the end of Feb. However, the trek and views of the surroundings are especially beautiful during monsoons, which is when this trek is most popular. Please be advised that the trek becomes very slippery during rains, so please be cautious, and wear shows which have a good grip.

Activities at Visapur Fort

The top of the fort is a large plateau, and you can walk along the walled perimeter of the fort and take a look at the view in all directions. Since the fort is huge, this in itself takes a long time - around 2 hours of walking at a leisurely pace. There are a few temples of Hanuman at different places, and quite a few water storage cisterns. Another fun activity at the top, if you're going during monsoons, is to pick one of the many waterfalls falling from the edge of the fort and try to track the source of water - you're sure to find a huge pond somewhere!

Tips For Visiting Visapur Fort

1. Make sure that you carry water bottles along with you because there are no stalls on the route - or on the top. We recommend taking 2litres of water per person.
2. Since you will be tired by the time you reach the summit, (and you should plan to spend time there), carry some snacks (for, eg dry fruits, masala peanuts, chocolate bars, etc.) to eat the top. This will keep you from feeling hungry and wanting to come down immediately.
3. If going in monsoons, make sure that you are wearing shoes which have a good grip, since the ground gets very slippery. Also, carry waterproof jackets since it will likely be raining most - if not all of the time.
4. Visapur fort is not suitable for camping and night stays, and hence, any trek to Visapur fort will require you to climb down to the base on the same day before it gets too dark.
5. Start the trek early, at about 8:00 AM to find the most complacent weather.
6. Carry a cap and a good sunblock to battle the afternoon sun.
7. Wear light coloured cotton clothes that facilitate sporting activities.
8. During monsoons, watch out for rocks covered in algae or moss. These are very slippery.
9. Carry a backpack with an extra pair of clothes and other essentials such as medicine, first aid kit, etc. but make sure the bag is light enough for you to carry comfortably throughout the trek.
10. Watch out for any unknown insects and insect bites.

How To Reach Visapur Fort

There are two paths to trek to the top of Visapur Fort. The easier and faster route (1hrs of steady climbing) starts from the same village as Lohagad. There is now a motorable road to this point, so if you are coming by car, you can park here and start the trek.

The other route is longer (2hrs of steady climbing) but is more exciting and fun. This course starts from Patan village - to reach the base village take a left turn, immediately after crossing the Mumbai-Pune flyover and keep going straight on this road.

Both of these base villages can also be easily reached from Malavli railway station. You would need to walk around 3-4kms to reach the base, but there are quite a few autos easily available from the station.

History of Visapur Fort

Suspected for housing the considerable wealth of the Maratha kingdom, the British decided to invade the Visapur fort on 4th March 1818. Bearing in mind the strength of this massive fortress and the strategic advantage it presents to its dweller, and the British came prepared with a massive battalion of 380 European and 800 native soldiers.

Soon they realized that this battalion wasn't enough to conquer this titanic fort and they summoned two other British forces from Konkan and Chakan. They blew up the North (Konkan) and South (Deccan) entrances of the fort to ruins and started to bring down the fort in shambles. After a long and tough fight, the Visapur fort finally gave in and was conquered by the British.

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