Vasota Fort is a hill fort situated near Bamnoli in Satara which is located at a distance of 110 km from Pune Station. The fort is at an altitude of 1171 meters. Surrounded by water, it’s a good place to escape daily hectic life and connect to nature. As it is situated on the banks of Shivsagar Lake, one can enjoy walking through trails and boating as well. The height of Vasota Fort is 3614 ft. above sea level and provides a majestic view at the top. Met Indavali acts as the base village for this trek.
Vasota trek is a forest trek making it more adventurous and fun. However no one is allowed after sunset and to visit through the forest, one must take permission from officials.
You have to ride in a boat to reach the base of the fort.
The Vasota fort has been a reason of tourism boost in Maharashtra. It was built by Raja Nangopala. It remained with the Marathas and later British attacked this fort and destroyed some parts. It’s name was changed to Vyaghragad by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj because of it’s difficult nature defence.
Flora and Fauna
The rich vegetation is very visible here. The lush green forests and flowers make the visit memorable and worthwhile. The Konya Wildlife sanctuary is home to a wide range of Fauna like Sambar, Barking deer, Porcupines, Leopard, Wild pig, Flying Squirrel, Hanuman Langur, Grey Jungle Fowls and Rhesus Macaque. The heavy canopies surrounded by birds and butterflies are beautiful to witness and remember.
The fort is very clean and tidy as visitors aren’t allowed to throw litter ( especially plastic) in the fort. The maintenance of the fort is quite good and so is the atmosphere as its free of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The water bodies are well maintained as well.
The difficulty level is medium as the trail might be a little steep and mushy for some people. Also as it is a forest trek, it’s best to stick to a group as animals might be around.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Vasota fort is in winters and summers as during monsoon, the dense forests make it impossible to walk through the trails. Officials might not permit to venture during monsoon.
The trek time is nearly 3 hours long and it takes 2 hours to reach the top of Vasota Fort.
The trail is surrounded by thick forests and rivers. Trekking is not that hard as there are not many steep patches and the climb is comfortable. In summers there’s nothing to worry about as the trail is covered by dense forests. Boating in the Koyna backwaters is a relaxing and mesmerizing experience in the lap of nature.
- boating in the Koyna backwaters
- you can see the Nageshwar Cave from the north of the fort and can even visit
- Kas Mahabaleshwar, Babu Kada, Nageshwar Temple are some other places you can visit.
- You cannot camp in the fort but there’s a camping ground in Bamnoli Village where you can set your campsite and enjoy.
- You can visit the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary which is in the western ghats and is an important bird area.
Precautions and Essentials
- Identity proof is very important as officials are required to permit the trek.
- Good trekking shoes are a must to ensure a comfortable trekking experience.
- Night stay isn’t allowed in the fort as wild animals are more active during the nighttime.
- You should stay in a group as there are wild animals in the forests.
- Carry water and some food with yourself.
- Carry a double strap backpack ( no sling bag).
- Carry mosquito repellent and torches/headlamps with you.
- Carry raincoats, jackets, and some extra clothes for emergencies.
Overall, this experience is beautiful and adventurous as it is a forest trek. A perfect forest trek is a dream for people and Vasota trek breathes life to that dream. Boating is an added perk. This place is the perfect escapism realm if you want a break from the monotonous city life. You can also treat it as a summer getaway to cleanse and connect to nature.