History of Visapur FortVisapur fort is a hill fort built by Balaji Vishwanath during 1713-1720 CE. Balaji Vishwanath was first Peshwa of Maratha empire. Though Visapur fort is built much later than Lohagad fort, the two forts are closely linked as Visapur fort is fortified for protecting Lohagad fort. Both these forts are of Satwahan Era. Too keep watch on Konkan and Bor Ghat, these both forts were of great importance during Shivaji's period.
The British invaded India in the early 1800's and Peshwa's fort came under attack, also known as the Maratha kingdom's treasury and occupying the trategic strength of Lohagad fort was the best move British took. It was occupied on 4 March, 1818 by a detachment of 800 native and 380 European soldiers along with artillery from Chakan and two other British battalions. With Visapur having the advantage of higher elevation, the British troops installed their canons there and bombarded Lohagad to make the Marathas flee.
British Rule at Visapur FortFrom 1818, Lohagad - Visapur forts were put under the command of Colonel Prother, the British representative. As both the fortifications are of strategic importance, they blew up both the north (Konkan) and the south (Deccan) gateways. So, today Visapur fort is in ruins except some few huts. Though Lohagad fort is still intact.
There was an iron gun ten feet long and of four-inch bore near the north wall. As it was marked with the Tudor Rose and Crown, carved with the letters E. R., it is probably a gun of Queen Elizabeth's reign. It is believed that probably it was taken as bounty from an English ship and presented to the Peshwa by Kanhoji Angre.
Reaching Visapur FortLocated at an elevation of about 4000 ft above sea level, it needs some good trekking to reach Visapur fort. Standing tall for more than ten centuries, it is located at just 15 km from Lonavala, at Malavli, near Mumbai - Pune Highway. Surrounded by a huge tableland, it is situated at the east of the Lohagad Fort and Bhaja Caves. As it is just a 3 hour drive from Mumbai, many trek-lovers and history loving people frequently visits this fort.
Caves, cisterns of water, a decorated arc and old houses are major attractions within the fort. The two open buildings were said to be the Government offices. Close to the one of the two open buildings, are the remains of an old Mahadev shrine. Majority of its wall is still intact, unlike the inner wall structure.
There are many temples and the majestic Hanuman carving suggesting that Hanuman was the patron deity of Visapur fort.
Giving an impression of royal crown, a huge cannon is also a major attraction here.
The panoramic views of Purandar in the south-east, Sinhagad, Tung and the Tikona Fort are giving a breath-taking view from here. Also, the scenic beauty and the way to trek also encourages more and more tourists to Visapur fort.
Also, unlike the Lohagad fort, it does not have any stairs for reaching to the top. So, the trek is comparatively easy and gives beautiful views of waterfall along the way to the top.
At a moderate pace, it takes two hours to walk along the meandering Visapur walls. It is high and strengthened by towers along the west face. The wall varies from 3 to a mere parapet of dry stone.
This site is most visited during the monsoon months.
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