VASOTA FORT, VASOTA TREK
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: HARD
An amazing fort near Satara. -Info Added ByAnup Mali
Height: 3842 ft
Basic Info: Vasota is a fort located near Bamnoli in Satara. The height from sea level is 3,842 feet. Vasota trek offers a thrilling experience as you would be walking through a dense jungle and you would get some amazing views of the surroundings.
As its a jungle trek, ensure that you remain in your group all the time. The jungle is filled with wild animals like wild dogs, sloth bears, leopards and even tigers.
This is every trekkers dream trek as the beauty of the fort and the surroundings will take your breath away.
Routes: Vasota is to the south of Pune near Satara. Head on NH 4 from Pune to reach Satara which is at a distance of 110 kms from Pune Station. The State Bus Transport has many buses plying on this route, so the bus frequency to Satara from Pune is high. Once you reach Satara bus station, you need to reach the village Bamnoli which is the base village and at a distance of approx 40 kms from Satara.
From Bamnoli there are boats which will take you to the base of the fort. 1 to 1.5 hrs boat ride from Bamnoli, in the SHIVSAGAR LAKE water will take you the fort base to start your trek. The boat ride will cost you Rs. 2000 [1-12 persons]. Get a larger group for trekking as Rs.2000 is the default rate for 1 to 12 persons. So if you are a group of 4 it would cost you Rs.500 per person which is too much. Along the way you would get some breath taking views of the mountains surrounding the lake.
Difficulty Level and Other useful tips:
Difficulty level is Hard. It will take approximately 3 hours to reach to the top of the fort and requires a lot of walking. Ensure that you stay in your group all the time as the jungle is filled with wild animals. Take proper care in rainy season as the area gets filled with leeches.
Carry plently of water with you as the trek is very tiring.
Try to reach Bamnoli by 8am. Then you would get enough time for the trek. Also ensure that you leave early from the fort [say by 3:30pm or 4:00pm] as its not safe to get down when it gets dark.
What to see on the fort:
- NAGESHWAR TEMPLE
- BABU KADA
The forest department wont give you permission for camping as animals are very active during the night and it is a Wild Life Reserve.
Vasota ( also called Vyaghragad) is located in Satara district of Maharashtra. Vasota always remained under the rule of Marathas, Shirkes and Mores during the 16th century and then later was included in Swarajya by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1665.
This fort was named as Vyaghragad [ Vyaghra means tiger] by Shivaji Maharaj considering the defensive capability that this fort offered. After Shivaji Maharaj this was under the rule of the Peshwas [Bajirao Peshwe] and then later in 1818 the british bombared the fort with heavy artillery and destroyed many structures on the fort.
The fort today offers spectacular views of Koyna Backwaters, forests of the Wildlife sanctuary and a superb trek for avid trekkers.
It is now a protected natural reserve and camping is banned on the fort.
Our Experience at Vasota
OUR EXPERIENCE AT VASOTA:
Vasota trekked 26.05.2012 (Saturday)
Trekkers: Anup Mali, Shriyash Patil, Mallikarjun Bhingare, Abhijeet Rajebhosale
Vehicle Used: Maruti 800
We left our homes at 4.oo am (we needed to reach Bamnoli at 8 am as stay was not allowed and we had to return the same day). The first light rays of the day got us as we were still travelling on NH 4. We reached Satara by 6.45 am, had a light breakfast at the bus station and headed for Bamnoli ASAP.
Satara to Bamnoli route was interesting, ghat road with cool morning breeze making us shiver! At the same time we realized that the forest/ vegetation enroute and in the region around was evergreen as this region receives heavy rainfall and there are many dams and reservoirs here.
We reached Bamnoli at 8.15 am. We parked our vehicle (maruti 800 :P) and booked the boat for our further journey. They charged us Rs 2000 for a boat and we being 4 people it was Rs 500 per person L ! We did some paper work and obtained permission to visit Vasota. This is necessary as the place we were visiting is a wild life forest reserve. You need to carry your identification documents.
The boat ride was a bit boring as it moved very slowly but the amazing view around kept our excitement and spirits up! To reach the extraction point from Bamnoli it took 1.5 hrs. Now we could see Vasota, as mighty as it is! We started our trek……after some time we entered the forest, looked like it was a tough route ahead, the trees had banners of the animals to which the region was a habitat to! The forest was dense, it kept the sun away from our heads but still this trek was tiring as compared to others….Shriyesh can explain it better!!
There were directions marks on the trees and some boards to make sure that we were on the correct route. It took us almost 3 hrs to reach the top. After a period of rest under shade we moved around to explore. There is nothing much left of the remains of the past. A Mahadev Temple, Hanuman Carvings, A Water Tank and breathtaking view of the valleys and cliffs, one of them is BABU KADA….really spectacular. After all the photography sessions, amazing pics by Anup Mali and my ‘for loop’…we were ready to descend. Due to lack of time we did not visit the Nageshwar Temple which was 3 kms from here.
We reached the point from where we started by 4.30 pm…..the boats were already waiting for us. We were dead tired….wanted to get to our vehicle asap. Unfortunately the boat moved at a very slow speed and again spent about 90 mins to get to our vehicle. During our return journey, had dinner at Satara and reached home at 12 am.
This one trek was amazing…..one really needs to visit it and experience the thrill! Check the Vasota Album ;)
Mallikarjun Bhingare (Pune Trekkers)
Check Vasota Photos here
Last Reviewed by Anup Mali Rating:
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