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“Vairatgad Fort Trek & One of the Biggest Banyan Tree trip”


 On 11th July 2015 Saturday as per the plan of APEX Adventures we started the trek to Vairatgad which is situated in the province of Wai, and 8 km away from Wai. We started our journey from Pune at around 7:00 AM from Balgandharva. As usual we had introduction & antakshri rounds during this journey. After reaching base village of fort we parked our bus in front of village temple, there we saw old water well in very good condition and villagers use its water for drinking.


History of Vairatgad Fort
The fort is one of those said to have been built by Bhoj Raja, the Kolhapur Silahara chief Bhoja II. (1178-1193) of Panhala, and its name is locally derived from the Vairats, a wild tribe supposed to have dwelt in this neighborhood, who were subdued by the Pandavas. King Bhoj of the Shilahar dynasty built Vairatgad in the 11th century. The fort is partly commanded by the heights of Bavdhan three miles to the west. The view on all sides is very fine and extends on the west to Malcolm Peth. 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.
History of Banyan Tree

This village has old history. In 1982 British Governor Li Warner saw big tree of Banyan

which is having area about 2.5 hector. It was recorded in Genius Book. Therefore this village is called Wadache or Mhasave.

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Even though it was spring days that day was little bit sunny, so after distributing every ones lunch & taking sufficient amount of water we started our actual trek at around 9:30 AM. First from the village we took left turn heading towards fort through farms & in farms we found sculpture shown below. After few minutes we reached a banyan tree, there we played & had some snaps.
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Then started the mountainous route to access the fort, be care full while walking on this rocky sand it is too much slippery. We reached the first plateau (pathar) after half hour & took rest there for few minutes & started again from there we headed in upwards right direction.
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We almost took half round to fort & reached the stairway of fort. We saw 5-6 cisterns to the left on that way, on the lower side of the cliff. We also saw bee house there so be care full during the walk you can see arrows are created for direction help.

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Climbing up 20-25 steps further, we reach the top of the fort which is actually very small. There are remnants of old buildings. The bastion at the entrance is dilapidated. At the entrance there is Hanuman temple. Even outside the temple there is an idol of Hanuman.
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On the left side there was one biggest water cistern not drinkable & little ahead to it there is SHIVA TEMPLE well maintained, we all gathered there & had our lunch at around 1:00 PM, then took rest for 15 min & started exploring fort. Plinths can be seen in surrounding area. The rampart is still in a good condition. Almost 5 people can walk simultaneously through this fort walls. We had some site seen of fort surrounding. There we saw some flowers as well.
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One can climb down to the village Mhasava from a gap in the cliff opposite to the main entrance. This is known as CHOR DARWAJA to fort. There is a hillock near it & on a stone there are some indecipherable writings. Further search might reveal some more interesting discoveries. It takes approximately one & half hour to see the fort. Finally at 3:00 PM we started descending the fort with caution & reached base village at around 4:30 PM.
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As per the plan from there we headed to Mhasave (wadache) village for exploring one the biggest Banyan tree in India. We went there and saw the massive Banyan Tree spread across acres. We were not able to find the main tree route, then one old villager told us that it is vanished now & other routes created this immense structure of Banyan tree. There is one temple of goddess. We had some clicks there as well & started our back journey to Pune at 6:30 PM. We had mad dance as usual & had tea on the high way. In this way ended the whole day excitement at 9:00 PM in Pune. 
  
Note:
  1. Photo Credit goes to Rahul Chandure, Aniket Bidkar & Amol Kotkar.
  2. Such an amazing fort everyone should visit at least once in life.
  3. Before going on trek do some research what to explore there.  
Please leave comments below for others if you have been to Vairatgad & Wadache village or you have any questions related to trek.

Enjoy!!!!
Thanks & Regards
Rahul Chandure
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