Monday, August 10, 2009

Vairatgad

Vairatgad is majestic fort and I would put it as mini Torna. King Bhoj of the Shilahar dynasty built Vairatgad in the 11th century. During Shivaji's period the fort was used only as a military station. Shivaji Maharaj conquered the Wai region and included Vairatgad and Pandavgad in his kingdom. The British captured it in 1818.

Way to reach from Pune -
1] Travel by NH-4 towards Satara, take a right turn towards Wai-Mahabaleshwar on NH-4. Just before Wai, take the left turn to Satara. The regular way is through place Wyajwadi/Vyajwadi which is 4Kms from the turn. But as per local the route is difficult.
2] 10 minutes away from Vyajwadi is Shankarwadi on the same road to Satara. 2-3 Kms muddy road leads to the base of the fort. This route is easy and takes around 1.5 hours to reach the top.



We started at 6.30 PM and had a heart breakfast at Ramprasad @ shirval. I just luv their vadapav. The beauty of Kolhapur Highway is mostly seen in Rains. Lush green fileds on both sides, Greay-white clouds blanketing the Mountain tops and you can zoom on the highway. Its a lovely and scenic drive. The locals a Vyajwadi guided us to Shanakarwadi and we took the turn.

From base you have to climb a steep adjoining mountain and reach the khind between the range connecting Vairatgad and the small hilltop. The climb is pretty steep and slippery. You can easily avoid the last climb as there is travesre to reach the khind. A road from Mhasve village joins here from other side.
You have to keep climbing and will come across 3 plateus. The view is awesome from here. The second Plateau has teak jungle and you have follow the trail to the third where small bushes start.






Once you reach the top you have to follow the right side trail. There are couple of water cisterns on the way. The trail ends at the flight of steps. A road from Vyajwadi joins here. You directly reach the top of the fort. Top of the fort is actually very small and there are remnants of old buildings. A hanuman temple welcome you and right across it is a huge pond.

At far end on the left is temple of Shiva from where you a get beauriful view of the road that you climbed. There are few more ponds in between both the temples.

A easy walk along the fortifications will take you the eastern cliff. From the top one can get a view of square'ish shaped Pandavgad across the plains, Dhom Dam, Wai town and Pachgani tableland. It takes approximately one hour to see the fort. We visited Mhasve Vadache and clicked the famous Banyan Tree pictures and turned back to NH4. Few minutes away we stopped at Virungala to have Thalpit. We returned back by 4PM.








Excursion- Mhasve Vadache
If you continue on Wai-Satara road you will reach Pachvad village which is around 4 Kms from Shankarnagar. The Road again meets NH4. From this turning point, follow the side lane road on right and take a right turn. 2-3 kms there’s again a right turn to Mhasve village. Before the village you will notice a rusty fenced compound with overgrown grass and huge Banyan trees spread across a large area. It is said that they cover an area of almost an acre. The main Banyan tree had decayed and fallen down but over year the offshoots have grown into new trees.







 



They say there’s another after the village ends but it is smaller. If only the local authority take care and promotes this it could be nice offbeat location to enjoy. A nice cozy park around this natural wonder with small dhaba or tea/coffee Vadpav stall will do wonders for this dotted village.





-August 8, 2009

1 comment:

  1. Just visited this fort yesterday.

    The shiva temple has got a shade now and one can have a night halt.

    There are a few ponds atop as in the picture. But all have dried up. There is no water on the fort. You have to carry your own.

    There is now a light connection atop the fort. For more info, please contact me - Siddharth - 8551087843. Call , text or drop a message on Whats app

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