Friday, April 13, 2012

Jungle trek to Vasota fort

I have done trekking to places like Karnala fort, Tungareshwar and of course Kanheri caves and each time I think about new trek, it gives me a adrenaline rush. So here I was, enrolled with a group of trek enthusiast for jungle trek to fort Vasota in middle of Koyna wild life sanctuary.

The meeting place was decided at Dadar east around 9.30pm from where we hired a mini bus to Satara. It was amazing to see group of 14 enthusiast of different age joining together for the thrill called TREKKING. The road to our base village Bamnoli is about 35kms from Satara passing through the "KAAS PLATEAU" which is also called valley of flowers during July to October.

Our adventure was destined to start not from base village but 4kms ahead so middle of night en route to Bamnoli our mini bus gave away with some mechanical problem !!!! It was 4am and with full moon to guide us we decided to walk down to our base village where another half of our group from Pune had already reached and were waiting for us. It was fun walking down the serpentine road with every one clicking pictures and enjoying the walk and first look of Koyna backwaters from top of hill in moonlight was sight unforgettable !!!!!

After early morning walk, the lite poha breakfast and tea was welcome one at small village restaurant. Our group leaders got the necessary permission for the jungle trek which is necessary & easily available from forest office in Bamnoli village.

So we were now on the banks of lake Koyna on first leg of the journey which is boat ride for almost 90minutes to base of jungle trek,a village called MET INDAVALI which is now a unhabitat village with only a forest campsite and security post before entering the Koyna wild life sanctuary.

The Boat ride through Koyna river is heaven for someone interested in photography as it gives some picture perfect landscapes, surrounding hills and river in background. The natural islands which springs up in the middle of lake gave a prefect wallpaper pictures. The entire area is sparsely populated and only mode of transport in these backwaters is through boat.

Man waiting for the boat

First rays of Sun on the hills
Koyna wild life sanctuary as we came to know from forest dept officials is home to around 4 tigers, 25 leopards and some hundreds of wild boars and bears and other wild animals. With strict instructions from forest authority to be in groups and no permission to swim in the lake Koyna at any point of time we marched ahead to conquer VASOTA FORT.

Marching ahead
At around 2kms from entrance, we came across natural spring of water, which was colder than water we have in our refrigerator at home. There is also a small temple close by which serves as resting point and place of worship for safe and sound journey back.

This is last source of potable water for 4-5 hours journey to the top of fort and back. The trek passes through some dense forest so one does not feel the sun heat even in summers. In the entire trek only the last leg of the journey is where one needs to walk in the sun but for the rest of the journey one passes through jungle undergrowth with occasional sounds by some birdie or some wild animals.

We now a group of 30 people walked our way to our destination occasionally stopping to click pictures or just to give our legs a little rest. One group leader leading us and another following us to make sure we were all together at all point of time. As we moved further, road become more & more steeper winding its way up to the fort. Our occasional stops in between became more frequent as we inched nearer to our destination.

Last few steps 
After a climb of almost 3hours we could see Vasota fort which is now in dilapidated state. I was gasping for breath with my heart pumping billion gallons of blood every minute during last leg of the journey. Mayur - one of group leader motivating me all the time that its almost captured now !!! 
Finally I managed to climb the summit, I was one among the last people who finally managed to reach at the top. But the panoramic view of surrounding hills, dense jungle below and Koyna lake at farther distance was mesmerising. My fatigue from 3hours of climb disappeared instantly with breath of fresh air. It was a WOW experience as if I had captured Mt Everest !!! But for me it actually was as Vasota fort is located at 3842 feet above sea level.!!!!

Sitting under a tree shade with the group on old newspapers and eating a simple lunch of roti & sabji which was packed and carried to the top by our group leaders was one delicious lunch on a dead hungry stomach. Post lunch it was time for some fort exploring ... on eastern side was babu kada ( 2nd deepest valley and just opposite was old Vasota which is now inaccessible for public. We could also see Nageshwar cave at a distance which looked like hop-skip-jump but ideally was 3hour walk from Vasota fort. On other side was a Shiva temple and post to overlook the surrounding areas. The view was just breathtaking ........


Also there was one stone oil ghani (traditional machine to extract oil) I am still at lose as to why someone had to built this one here and that too at height of 3842 feet above sea level !!!!!! Crazy fuc.... LOL

Oil Ghani
Our descend to the base was not difficult but it certainly took around 1hr 30min to reach the base back. But one needs to make sure that they are back at the base by 5 - 6 pm as there is fear of wild animal attack and also the boats to Bamnoli village stop by ferrying by evening. One our way back to village Bamnoli via boat ride I could capture sunset over Koyna river.

It was hell of a experience I never had before. I plan to continue with this type of treks as much as possible.

See you in next trek..........................



  1. Apreciate your effort for this detailed review and pics.

  2. Ferry Boat che kiti paise lagle?? 5 lok astil tar kiti kharcha hoil boat cha?

  3. Hi,
    I need details about this trek. as in the financial and other details like forest permission etc. Please get in touch with me at
    If you are ok with it then please leave ur contact number so that I can call you directly.

    Thanks a lot.

  4. Vasota trek feature in Loksatta "Trek It"