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Visuals of Visapur Fortress..

Filled my tummy with 1 Kurmura bhel and 2 wada pav’s as breakfast and off I was, for my trek to the Visapur fort, a very last minute plan created to, as my fellow trekker Zeeshan would like to say “Detox our Lungs!!..” We are not morning trekkers as ideally one must be, but also one reason for all our treks starting when the Sun is challenging us to a Sweaty fight is because we have to travel a good couple of hours to reach to the starting points of any of these treks.. and today’s trek to VISAPUR fort was no different!

Loaded our bags with 2 liters water each as our Rickshaw driver warned us that we would not get any water on the trek route, and off we were!! I have another bad habit of not reading about a place if it’s a last minute plan, and visapur was no different.. the only thing I knew was from the Instagram reels which showed water gushing over the steps to the fort.. a luring site indeed! BUT a sight caught best off course when the Rain Gods are being generous, and unfortunately today was not one such day!! Personally although I like trekking when the Land is not mushy with rains, as slipping on slippery surfaces very easily is an in-built feature I have!

We saw on our way a lot of people returning from half way claiming that it was too taxing on them, it did shatter a bit of our confidence at first but somehow the 2 wada pav’s I ate in the morning had given me enough fuel for the trek to not complete it anyway!..

An honorable mention to Zeeshan’s mammoth umbrella though! Which saved us for the sunlight just like a hero saves his heroine from the villians in any Bollywood movie worth its salt.. as the day grew by we had to start taking brief breaks in between to cool & hydrate ourselves..

But like they say in any self motivational book.. ‘After a hard climb upwards, you get the sweet prize in the form of the sight from that place!..’ we could see with our 434 mega-pixel camera (read: our eyes :P ) the beauty called the great Sahyadri ranges, and amidst them the small villages of Patan and Malavli.. I mean if this is not the sight that rejuvenates you then what is???.. It was mesmerizing even on this hot sunny day!!

After about completing 2/3rd of the Trek trail Zeeshan decided that he needed a break.. post which I continued for the remaining 1/3rd of the trail, I touchwood while saying this but somehow today my body was reverse engineering itself I guess! The more I trekked the more energetic I kept feeling .. although the sole of my shoes was not on the same page as me.. and it had started warning me that it would stop hugging the rest of my shoe and come off (which it did eventually just as I reached the entrance of the fort!)

The entrance had a wall carved Lord Hanuman welcoming and showering his blessings upon us, it was common tradition amongst the Maratha and Peshwa rulers to build a small temple right at the entrance of any of their forts and Visapur built in the year 1713 CE continued this tradition.

Browsing through the Wikipedia page of the fort on one of my breaks along the trail I had discovered two important things, first that my mobile network was going strong to fetch me 4G internet in the Jungle trail and second that the Visapur fort was built by Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj’s first Peshwa Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath as a watch fort to protect the main fort of Lohagad which is adjacent to the Visapur fort as the Lohagad fort used to harbour all the treasury of the Maratha empire and hence was an important asset to them!!

Shattered to ruins as it lies today I am sure that during its prime this fort would have been quiet a visual treat to watch! As I went exploring the ruins of the fort I came across a couple of house(also called ‘Wada’ in Marathi language) like structures.. and I soon

realized that probably I was the only one at that moment in time exploring the fortress.. a weird goosebumpish feeling as it was.. due to which my brain had started throwing many questions to me, of how the Maratha army would be living in this fort, how would they commute from the base village and what would their rituals here be like!!??.. To many questions which in that moment I had no answers to convey back to my Brain.. but both me and my Brain were on the same page when absorbing the aura of the Visapur fortress was concerned.. to be honest being the only one on top of a mountain for a good half an hour gave be the jitters a couple of times.. not because it was scary of any sorts.. but the fort just felt so calm and at peace with itself, That I almost started feeling a bit meditative myself..

Thankfully a group of Cows out on their Lunch soon gave me company and made me feel like a part of their grass chewing and tail wagging clan.. but soon it was time to bit them Adieu and start my descend, but not before reaching the Lord Hanuman temple, internalizing the feeling of having trekked for 3 hours to summit this small fort and sitting by the Lord’s feet and meditating there for a couple of minutes..

It was a beautiful trek which strangely took me through a gamut of emotions which none of the earlier Treks has taken me through..

-Aditya Kittur Dated: 14-06-2023

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