Vasota Fort Trek

Vasota Fort ( Vyaghragad) 
          Vasota trek is one of the dream trek. The fort trek is closed in rainy season by forest department. It generally opens after Diwali. Confirm about dates by calling.
Indavali is base village of Vasota fort trek. You need at least 60/70 minutes boating from Bamnoli forest check post to Indavali check post. Boating is the only way to reach the base village.  
Vasota fort is also called 'Vyaghragad' means 'fort of tiger'.
          The fort is mighty. It is divided in two sections i.e. Old Vasota & New Vasota. Old Vasota is not reachable and not allowed for visitors. Trekking is allowed only to New Vasota which is beside to old one. Old Vasota can be seen from Babu kada point of New Vasota.

My Trekking Paltan Group

How to Reach : 
Bamnoli is the base village for the Vasota trek. Bamnoli is situated on the backwater of Koyana dam. It is well connected with Satara and Mahabaleshwar.
It  Bamnoli is about 150 km from Pune and 3 hrs journey. Bamnoli shown as Kasbe Bamnoli on google map. 
Pune-Shirwal-Satara-Pawai naka-Kaas plateau-Bamnoli.

There two processes required to reach trekking point :
1.Taking Permission from Forest Dept.
2.Hiring a boat
     To reach the starting of trek point, you need to hire boat from Bamnoli. To hire a boat the permission of forest dept. is essential. There is a check post at Bamnoli where take permission and pay charges. Generally only cash is accepted. Need to submit photo copy of identity proof like PAN card, Adhar card, Driving license etc. of each member.  
     Boat is allotted to minimum 8 persons. Need to pay full amount including guide fee though members are less in number. The charges boards are displayed.
     Booking of Boating opens at 8:00am. You cant go before that. So be on the booking counter 7:30am and be in queue to get ticket early. There is always rush on the counter. About 100 boats are there, but all boats are booked. 

Parking :
The parking is free in the open space in the village. Sufficient place for parking is available.

Food and Stay :
No stay allowed on Vasota fort. No food available on the fort. Carry own food and water. You can get food from Bamnoli to be carried.
Lots of hotels available in Bamnoli. Tents and homestay are available which reasonable charges.
The village is also popular camping site. You can put your own tent or can hire from local people. Safe for families too. Sanitation facility is not good. Public toilets are full of rush and waiting.
We, in 2018, stayed in tent with veg and non veg dinner of hotel Bhairvnath and breakfast in next morning. Mr. Dhanaji, the owner of the hotel helped us for boat booking, forest permission, giving guide etc. We took food parcel from the hotel on trekking day. They gave in lunch in good package.  
We had total package of Rs. 1400/- per head which included Day 1 - night stay in tent, dinner, Day2- breakfast and tea, Lunch parcel with 4 chapaties and a veg subji, evening tea and Boating with forest dept. permission charges and guide.
Overall it was excellent service by Mr. Dhanaji and his team.
Hotel Jai Bhairavnath, Kasbe Bamnoli, Mr. Dhanji Sapkal - Mob 94212 16232

Stay in Tent
Rush at camping-Bamnoli

Booking counter

About Trek:
The boating takes 60/70 minutes to cross Koyna dam backwater i.e. Shivaji Sagar from Bamnoli to Indavali checkpost. Boatman is also a guide for the trek. When you reach there, he will inform you comeback time, generally latest is before 4:00pm.
Important : Follow the return timing given by boatman, or he may leave without you. No other mean to return.
No trekker is allowed to stay after prescribed time. 
Indavali village check-post which is trek starting point, is under governance of forest dept. When you reach Indavali check-post, again show your permission. So stand again  the queue of forest permission. Officers count plastic bottles you carry to the fort, which will be checked when you return. Some amount is kept as deposit which will return after showing all bottles back. 

Trek starting point

Once formality completed the trek starts. The trek is of about 2 hours. Its not so difficult. There is generally rush on the trek, so risk to get lost. Guide will be with you always. follow his instructions and directions. Initially, trek is through dense forest. There is one more route which goes to Negeshwar Temple, which takes away you from Vasota fort. So take Left hand side route from Maruti Temple for Vasota & right side route for Nageshwar temple.
Caution : When you passing through jungle be aware of Leech, blood sucking insect. There are many leeches in some spots. Leech enters in shoes/clothes and sucks blood without our notice. Once its done, Leech leaves but bleeding starts. Very difficult to stop bleeding. Read more medical resource to know about Leech and Bleeding. Its very important because nearest help is far away at Bamnoli.
The trek route had some clear water streams. You can drink it with guide's advice. Its hot n humid route in the dark and dense jungle. Less winds in there. After jungle one and half hour there will be an open space from where you can see fortification.
What to See :
The fort is not so big. Two hours are sufficient to explore  and to eat food. Once you reach on the top, go to left side to watch Babu-kada and right side Chhota Nageshwar point.
1.Babu-Kadaa - It is a deep cliff like very famous konkan-kada of Harishchandra fort.
From this point you also can see old Vasota, which is cut-off by route. Babu kada is edge of Old Vasota fort.
Then again come back to the entrance, and go to the right side of route.
Babu Kada

2.Chhota Nageshwar Point- Chhota Nageshwar point is called so because Nageshwar caves are visible from this point. There is Mahadev temple on the way. It is very scenic view but little risky to walk on. You can see panoramic view of vast area of jungle, Koyana dam backwater, Mahabaleshwar and Nagheshwar caves.

Nagheshwar Caves
Chhota Nageshwar 
Mahadev Temple
There is a place called Sadar, where trees are there to rest. It is exactly in front of main 
entrance of the fort.

More Photographs