Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Heaven Ride : Vasota fort

Hi guys .. I ,Shridhar Purandare, am back with new trek menu . After AMK and due to summer season we decided to find a place to chill. Finally we got it : The great Vasota.

I received mail from Shrikant(a.k.a seedless) about plan to visit tapola. I googled and got few links where ppl just did not like it.I also found Vasota in that information. Then next was googling Vasota. Again bad news. One trekker died at Vasota while swimming in the backwaters.But the photos I found were amazing.

So we all decided to give it a try. 5 members were fixed Shrikant (seedless), Chetan (cd,ramat gamat) Sheyas and Digvijay (digicam) and Shridhar(lambada thats me).Things you will need to know about.

1. Route to Bamnoli: Pune -Satara - Bamnoli (170kms)
    Route to Vasota: Bamnoli --- Boat Ride --- Met Indavali --- 6 km trek --- Separation point for Vasota and Nageshwar root ---- one way go to vasota(1km) other goes to Nageshwar(4-5kms).
2. Get permission in Bamnoli to go to Vasota costs around 20-30 rs per person.
3. Boat hiring charges Rs 1600 (return journey) Rs 200 as late charge
4. Car parking Rs 25.
5. You can not stay on Vasota fort or Nageshwar cave.Stay only possible at Bamnoli village.
6. Forest officers are strict about it.
7. Reach Bamnoli by 8am then only you can do all trek in one day.

We left Pune by 7am as pickup was arranged by CD. CD's Wagon R made our journey very pleasent and comfortable. After tea and snacks at Satara we reached Bamnoli by 10.30pm. We hurried for launch booking and forest department's permissions. It took us exact 45 minutes to complete all formalities.We told boat owner to come at 4pm to take us back on day two.

This fort is very unaccesible in Mansoon. Whole way to Vasota fort and Nageshwar is through dense forest of Javali khore so sunlight does not reach to ground on most of way. Vasota is surrounded by Koyana backwater and deep valleys so it has remained very clean and peaceful.
As it is reserve most of the jungle has presence of different animals like bear and tigers. Thats why night stay is not permissible anywhere but tents of forest department.

We left Bamnoli by 11.20 am. 1 and half hours boat ride through Koyana backwater took us to base of Vasota fort. The boat ride reminded me Dal lake shikara ride. As water is very close heat does not affect till base. Whole ride is just pleasure. Water is so clean that you can almost drink it directly without any worry.
You can perform some stunts like sitting on edge of boat or try to stand on water. Just chill pill in the boat.

At 1 pm we reached base. We gave our permission receipt to in charge at base camp. He alloted us one tent. We kept our luggage in tents and in no time we were off to Vasota. We just took 12-15 lits of water and plenty of eatables.

Whole road is like cave made of forest. You will sweat a lot on this way so do take plenty of water. Do not take any shortcuts as if you get lost there will be hard time to locate you. Until you can reach Nageshwar there is no range for any network. You can only see through for 15-20 feet in this jungle. The jungle feel can be truly enjoyed here. Try not to make noise and you may spot some animal.

There were two ways to reach Vasota. But now path through Chorvane is closed. You can only go through Bamnoli. Temple of god Hanuman is 10 minutes away from base. After praying for safe journey we went ahead.
To reach the junction of Vasota and Nageshwar it took us 1 and half hour. From here there are two ways
1. To Vasota (need 30 minutes to reach top)
2. To Nageshwar ( need 2hours to reach cave)
After 10 minutes fierce debate we decided to do Vasota first. So we climbed up to top in next half an hour. All of were so hungry that first we completed our lunch as soon as we reached top.

There are two places to see :

1. Chota Nageshwar point : You can see Nageshwar cave and surroundings view. Whole path to Nageshwar which is not covered by forest and which is most thrilling can be observed.
We spend some time to chill in cool breeze and sneaking Sahyadri.
You can also see the point where boats drop trekkers. We got to know that from end of backwater it takes 8-10 hours to reach Koyana dam.
2. Babu kada : This is very similar to konkan kada. Very steep fall of 1000 and more feet. Very beautiful. Behind that there is Old Vasota. Which is now unreachable and closed for trekkers.
As we started sightseeing clouds were gathering over Vasota. We never thought it will never rain in April's first week. But as clouds started roaring at us we tried to finish sightseeing.

On the way to babu kada there were two tanks full of drinking water. Few fellows coming from Nageshwar were so frustrated that they were not able to find water on Nageshwar and Vasota.
We covered valuables in plastics as weather started getting worse. As it was already 4.40pm and jungle gets darker very fast we decide to climb down fast. We reached junction within 15 minutes and base camp within 30 minutes.
We were so happy and cooled down. Rain came and removed heat. Jungle was totally transformed from dull to lush green in few minutes. The rain started pouring hails too. We climbed up in summer and now we were climbing down in rain.

The atmosphere was electric. We all forgot our stress and fatigue. CD took camera out even if it was drizzling.Now it was time for price: the food. We ate bread - jam, tea -jam ( tea courtesy to CD). We were so ready to sleep that nobody even bothered to make Maggy. Sleep was endless for us.

We woke up at 6 only due to alarm. At some unknown time guys in other part of tent were horrified to see Rats in tents. One sack was destroyed by the rats. They did not dare to enter our tent as Seedless was snoring like 500cc bullet.

By seeing Sun we were delighted. Because of heavy rain everybody except me were confused about trek to Nageshwar. As few kilometers path was risky if rain has affected it. I was firm to do Nageshwar in any case. Finally we were off to junction again.

We passed the junction within no time.Breakfast cum Lunch was over and we were recharged.
The way to Nageshwar from the junction is like see saw. But best of slot. Very dense and charismatic.
When we reached plateau next to chota Nageshwar we could see whole thrilling path to Nageshwar which is exposed to deep valley on one side and jungle on other.

We even found marks of bull (Rangava) on the way. We covered this distance within 90 minutes.

The cave is very clean and big. It can hold 20-30 people easily. Shivling is placed here. In last few years the cave and path which leads to cave is built and protected well.

We were praying for rain. But weather was not at all overcast. We took some rest in the cave. Cd ,I and Digi went to top of Nageshwar. Its just 50 feet steep climb. There is way to Nageshwar kund (well) from base of Nageshwar. Water there is pretty bad. But still for emergency we took 4lits of water. CD filtered it and added chlorine to make it much more drinkable.

We covered our way back to junction within an hour . Everybody was keen to get back to base camp. We were expecting to spend at least 30 minutes swimming so we hurried back to base camp. We reached base camp at 2.30 pm. We ate as much as we can to allow some time for swimming. We changed to our swimming costumes and packed bags.

We took our bags close to place from where out boat was going to pick us. I was first to enter the water. Water was very cool and clean. But after sometime the mud started coating our bodies. So we cam out of water. We decide to stop our boat somewhere near clean water for good bath.

Boat did came at right time. Now it was return journey.We ate thalipithe and kairichi chatani in the evening breakfast. It was amazing to eat on the boat ride. We used to drink directly from backwater just by extending hand. The owner stopped the boat where there was not any mud in the water. I and CD took clean bath on the banks of iland.

After two days sweet and cool trek we returned to Bamnoli. Misal and coffee were ordered and consumed in no time.

As CD was very frustrated with Seedless's jokes we all decide to treat him as he treats us. We returned back to Pune by 11pm. We stopped for vada pav at Shrival though. :)

I would like to thank CD,Seedless,Shrya and Digi for this wonderful journey.

Some New information:

1. Night Stay,Permissions to visit fort and food can easily be arranged at Bamnoli. Tents available at Bamnoli. No stay allowed at Met-Indavali or fort.
2. Ample boats are available to Vasota from Bamnoli. Costs around Rs.1600 /- for 12 people.
3. 91-231-2542766 is Western Maharashtra forest office number where you can inquire about accessibility to fort.

Now I sing off. Thank you for your patience. Do write suggestions and comments. :)
Satha uttarachi kahani pacha uttari suphal sampurna!!!

Do call or mail me for any queries.

Shridhar Purandare


  1. Ek number mitra...me Kaas aani Bamnoli la gelo hoto...pan Vasota aani Nageshwar evdhe mast aahe te mahitach navhte...
    Very well described...Keep trekking and keep blogging..

  2. Is there tent available? How can i get permition for tent? is it at bamnoli?

    Is there any arrangement for food in this trek?

    We want to go for two days trek, we want to stay there. Where to stay?

    Sunil Pophale
    MB : 9822751883
    emil : exidepoint@yahoo.co.in

  3. Hey,

    You need to get permission to travel to Vasota and live in tent from Bamnoli.

    You have to pay for it.

    Food can only be arranged from Bamnoli. You have to carry it with you to Vasota base.

    Stay only available at the base in tents. Stay not available or allowed on fort.


  4. hi shridhar
    khoop chann lihile ahe
    me pan vasota baryach vela jauun alo ahe
    vasota mazha saglyat aavadata trek ahe

    abhay dighe

  5. Nowadays, forest dept has stopped allowing people for stay even at Met Indvali. I am planning to go there this weekend (31Oct -1 Nov).

  6. hi do we get range in our cellphone at the base as well throughout pls let me no thanks

  7. khup chan lihila mitra...reading this my interest in going for the trek has really increased

  8. Dosta 1 number, amhi pan planning kartoya.
    Janyacha adhi tula phone karu, kahi mahiti havi asalyas

    Thank You

  9. Hi,

    Found your blog to be excellent, very informative, and extremely handy. A friend of mine from Pune University also called you up, and we found your advise very helpful. Thanks so much for all the help. We plan to go to Vasota tomorrow (17.1.10), a one day trip.

    Its a great blog you've got here, keep up the good work.


  10. Hi Shridhar,
    Kharach far chhan describe kel ahe.

    Just tell me, May is the correct month for this trek?

    and I heard nowadays forest dept has stopped allowing people for stay even at Met Indvali,
    Do u have any idea about this?

    Please reply.
    Thanks for ur guidance in advance.


  11. Hi shri,

    You have a great blog in there. read yor adventures and was motivated for the same. I would like to know, if we have to take some prior permission from the forest officials? Also what should be or budget if we are planning to stay there for a couple of days.


  12. majhi khup ichha ahe vasota baghayachi
    pudhachya veli tumhi jenva jatal tar pls mala kalava ganesh


  13. Hi,i am sunil Found your blog to be excellent from ISLAMPUR I also go vasota i want to make blog but i don't no how make biog ple help me 9975353524.sunl@1407.com

  14. Dear Sridhar,

    We are Planning to go to Vasota in Oct. Need info regarding Permissions to stay on Fort or in Nageshwar Caves?

    Is it really dificult to get the Permission???
    Can we stay on Fort??
    Boat Transfers are Scheduled or as per our timings, How do you Co ordinate with Boatmans??

    Please Reply

    Shailesh Sawant

  15. amizing fhotografee i like it

  16. Hi,
    Can we get permission to stay at vasota for 3 nights. If u have any contact then please forwad me on manish.kagalkar@rediffmail.com.

  17. Dear Shridhar, it's fantastic & amazing trek and you explained it very nice.
    I would like to go there definitely.
    As there is no permission to stay then
    where did you stayed (slept).
    Pls. Tell me where can we stay.
    Awaiting for your reply.

  18. Hi Shridhar,
    Me baryach varshnpasun plan kartoy vasotyla jayche pun kahi karnastav rahun gele. mala sang ki 2 te 3 family ghevun vasotala javu shakato ka? kiti safe ahe ani tapolyahun jayache jhalyas bamnolilach jayala lagate ka? backwater madhun jatana barech pakshi distat ka? tumhala vatemadhye kahi pakshi, prani disale ka? asatil tar photo kadhale ka? mala baghayala avadtil.
    Anand 9920070105

  19. What are the boat charges per person, and how much this trek costs 4 a single person, only including journey from Bamnoli........??

  20. Hi Sridhar, Reading your blog bought back memories. We did the same trek in 1998 while doing engineering in Warana. At that time there were no restriction and we camped in the fort once and 2nd night it was near the backwaters. This was the Best ever trek we did. At that time other trek groups had sighted leopards but unfortunately we could see a single animal in a 3day stay. But the trip was truly amazing

  21. Shridhar,

    You have described it very thoroughly. Keep up the good work.


  22. Hi I am planning to go to Vasota.... This weekend .. can we stay in the forest?

  23. We are planing to go there in Jan 11 this is relay helpful to us.

  24. Hi Shridhar

    Mast lihilayas sagal..

    Amhi lavkarach janar ahot Vasota trek sathi.

    Tuza Mob.No. milel ka,,kah mahiti havi asel tar.


  25. Hi Shridhar,

    We are planning for VASOTA TREK on 2nd June 2012.

    Would like to know more about forest dept. permission and boat booking, tent booking..

    Could you please advise us, can drop me a mail on rpshantanu@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance..


  26. Well Described Shridhar. :) Thank You! Looking forward to trek Vasota.

    Thank You,
    Mallikarjun Bhingare
    Pune Trekkers

  27. Nicely written ..we are going. To vasota on 5 & 6 th of June ..we have asked many people they are saying that stay is possible at nageshwar cave & temple is that true? Please. Reply. Jayeshzore@gmail.com

  28. Excellently written to the core. I had trekked vasota 3 times in in 95-96. I waa part of the Western Railway team from mumbai. The scenario was completely different. There were no accommodation available of any sort, except for one village after u finish the boat rides. The people (about 5 huts) were kind to accommodate in their huts. We stayed on top of the fort with rats in abundance.I was told that the area is ain abundance of wild animals specially bears (asval)and porcupine. The locals have complained then about picknikers and revellers. Good, they have stopped night stay at Vasota. Many years later, when i went to mahableshwar, when i saw vasota from a distance, it brought back old memories.

    Congrats once again for many young inspirers, should trek again to this place with my children.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Sridhar,

      Great experience is yours in Vasota. I have planning on Vasota in next month.

      We have visited Rajgad fort and Vairadgad last month, I am sharing my experience to you.


      Kiran Shinde

  30. bro,
    any latest updates to ths post?

    Yahya Virani
    For Treks and Trails, India

  31. superb description.... really informative... thanks guys...

  32. very beautiful place, really heaven, photos are best.

  33. Nice. Greats pics as well.
    - Mahesh

  34. आपण दिलेली माहिती खूप उपयोगी आहे.. धधन्यवाद सर..!

  35. Thanks Shridhar, for such kind of information

  36. hey dude thanks u r this trekking exp is nice & this most useful for me, b'coz today my friend Umesh massage me to arrange Vasota trek next week & i.so I am searching info about vasota & finally I got u r blog , I read u r blog n I decied its really best for mi .... again thanks dear

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Hi Shridhar, it was really helpfull information...
    We are planning for the vasota trek long time and decided to go this year end...and now i can say that we are ready to go by reading the details you have given about the trek..

    Thank you very much...Bhujang Bhagas

  39. Nice travelogue! well written about your trip. Hope you enjoyed the trip a lot. Thanks for sharing this post. Loved to read this blog. Visit this place by booking your bus tickets in Online Bus Ticket Booking portal.



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