Visapur is one of twin forts near Lonavala,
Height : 1084 meters
Malavli, Maharashtra 410406
The forts of Lohgad and Visapur have played an important role in guarding the ancient trade routes and being the savior of Bhaje and Bedse caves. Among them, Lohgad is related to many significant historical events. Much of it is known. Unlike that, much less is known about Visapur. In spite of being a very big fort, protected by a highly impregnable fortification and presence of a large plateau, less is written about it, or much less records could have added to information about it.
Visapur is located in Nane Maval. This region came under Nizamshahi after dissolution of Bahmani rule. It went into the hands of Mughals in the treaty of Mahuli, between Shahajiraje and Mughals. Seeing that the Mughals were not able to keep a control over the region, Shivaji Maharaj captured almost all the forts here till 1660. However, he lost the fort again to Mughals in the treaty of Purandar in 1665. However Aurangzeb broke the treaty. In 1682, Shahbuddin, a Mughal Sardar invaded the region, and killed 60 Marathas in an anguish. However Marathas escaped to Visapur. They were chased, but moved in time to the village of Kusapur.
On 4th march 1818 Colonel Prother captured Visapur, and the next day Lohgad fell into his hands.
The mountain of Visapur is significant, as Bhaje caves have been carved out in the same mountain. The destruction caused by Mughals and English is clearly evident from the injuries on the Bhaje caves. These beautiful caves could have been bombarded by cannon balls, because much of their part has been broke
Visapur is one the trekking destination near Pune, however Visapur is less popular that many other forts including Lohgad.
There are three to four known ways to reach the fort of Visapur. We have to reach at Malavali station. From there we can reach top by following ways
From village Malavali :
First route is quite confusing and we may need guide to reach the fort from the village itself. When the Bhaje caves come to our sight we leave stairways & go towards right. For walking upto15 to 20 min we come across small huts. From here the way through jungle takes us to the broken stairs. When we start climbing these stairs there is a small temple & two big caves which can accommodate about 40 people. These stairs straightway take us to the fort of Visapur.
From Lohgaon :
The second route is from just before Lohgaon. From here after reaching Gaimukh Khind we go towards left, which takes us to Visapur fort. This way also takes us through jungle and is much better. This must have been the main entrance, as it is in front of the main door to Lohgad. Moreover well-cut steps are seen here.
From Base Village Paatangaon :
The third route is from the base village named Paatangaon on the western side. Here the way is less confusing, and this joins the way on the first route. This was the way towards the trade route, and some cisterns are on this way. Also two caves and carved idol of Lord Hanuman is seen here. This way is very pleasant.
Bhaje Caves :
The fort is not so big as the main forts, but it acquired significance due to its geographical location and the dominance of Buddhists and later the Satvaahans here
The caves of Ajantha and Verul are the best works, so are the caves of Karla and Bhaje. Karla caves are little farther from here, but Bhaje caves are near Malavali. The ancient Viharas and Stupas of Buddhists indicate that they were Heenyana Buddhists, who do not believe in idol worship. Mahayana Buddhists carved idols of Buddha. Here we can find 8 more Stupas. There is a temple, which is Surya-Mandir or Temple of Sun. the chariot of Sun God is carved here. The constructions here are highly astonishing, and remained intact even after more than 2000 years. The wooden planks used here have not degraded yet. The place is now under the care of ASI.