Solo Trek To Visapur Fort
They say “If you have to wait for someone to travel with you, you may end up waiting for a life time.” If you have read my previous posts (not yet? Go checkout my blogs on Matheran, Darjeeling, Gangtok and more ), I was the planner and organizer of almost all my trips. I used to convince my friends to come with me. But then , after seeing some inspring videos of female solo travellers,I fantasized about solo traveling .It was the month of July; monsoon had already approached and trekking season had started in Pune. While searching for the options and places to visit, I came across a group called Pune Travel Club who had arranged an easy trek to Visapur Fort. It was just a day’s trek ,and was around Pune, hence I decided to give it a try!
Visapur Fort is situated near Visapur village in Maharashtra. Its a part of Lohagad-Visapur fortification. For the first time, I was going to travel with an unknown group alone. When I shared my solo plan with my friends, everyone said in shock “Why are you going alone? What’s the need?”. Actually they were just concerned about me; how will I manage, how can u walk with strangers? u will get bored alone,what if there is no network how will we call you.. bla bla bla… It’s scares me a bit but this time I was firm enough to ignore everything and leave for the trek. It was supposed to begin on 6th July,2019 and they charged Rs.600 per person.Very little part of me was scared, but majorly, I was excited.
The Big Day to Visapur Trek
The big day to Visapur Trek finally arrived! I set out of my home to catch 8.05am Pune-Lonavala local from Pimpri station. As soon as the train arrived, everyone rushed in like hell and in few minutes I was thrown out by the huge crowd. Thankfully, ‘Ladies’ bogie was just behind the General; so I went in. I stood near the gate and told myeslf “your wish has come true baby! Now its just you“. All the way I witnessed greenery that soothed my eyes and made me even more excited. I got down at Malavali station by 9.00am and saw so many groups of travelers, shouting in joy, which just gave me more positive vibes. But then it was a challenge to find someone from my group , I kept asking everyone, “are you from PTC group?” And when you are all by yourself ,hundreds of thoughts flood in like “will my group go ahead without me?What will I do then?“
I almost made a backup plan in my mind, when suddenly, I found a group member of PTC(Pune Travel Club). Gradually we all gathered and met our Trek Leads; guess what? Both the Trek Leads were female! We also had a local guide to make sure we were on the right track to VIsapur Fort. The lead (Florina) briefed us about the do’s and dont’s while trekking and gave each one a badge of PTC. We headed towards the base village by 9.45am to have breakfast. I had brought both umbrella and raincoat (though I hate raincoat because it ruins all the photos!);so I wore it before starting the actual VIsapur trek. While all of us was having vadapav as breakfast , Florina asked us to introduce themselves in a unique way so that everyone could remember their names. I was reluctant to go for a solo trek in Pune ,but Florina had visited Europeon countries solo! I patted my back for going out of my comfort zone and coming with such a motivational and energetic group.
Scenic view all along the way!
Our Visapur trek started; I saw vast lush green land and dark grey clouds (so scenic),Rain was playing hide and seek; at one moment, it rained heavily and the other moment it stopped. As we went up, every step was becoming challenging. I could see heavenly view, but at the same time, kept a watch on my steps as there were big rocks and slippery mud all along the way. We walked for 20 minutes, then took a pause to catch our breath; I ate a chikki so as not to feel low. By then, all of us had started conversation with one another; Florina kept telling us many travelling stories and her experiences which energized me to keep going.
After completing almost half journey to Visapur Fort(which included forest, steep ascend, slippery mud, a very narrow road and a nice waterfall) what I saw was beyond imagination. We came accross a long waterfall trail which had to be crossed ! I paused to catch my breath; white water flowing all over the rocks made it so elegant yet scary to imagine climbing the trail. I started hopping from one rock to another. Strong winds blew ,as if the nature was testing us,plus heavy rains seemed to slap our face. I paused to look down and sat on one of the rocks, with Florina when she quoted “nature doesn’t listen to anyone, it does whatever and whenever it wants to“. I was proud of myself of coming so far (as if I climbed half Everest).
Victory to Visapur Fort
Crossing all the watery part, we were finally among the clouds! It was all foggy,everyone was drenched; strong winds made people feel really cold so they halted for a cup of tea. I ate two bananas (may God bless those who brought it) because I couldn’t afford to have a feeling of nausea at all. I had conversation with almost everyone in the group and all of them were sweet and supportive ,I felt as if I was with my group. We reached the actual Visapur Fort by 2.00pm. The winds were so strong that we could hardly stand stable. There were two guys in the group who wore black ‘Poncho’ , they reminded me of the devil in Shaktiman (andhera kaayam rahe), if you remember him! We clicked group photos, laughed and cheered on our victory till top.
My energy was going down by the time we started descending and I hate that part; climbing up is comparatively easy than coming down. And above all, crossing the waterfall trail again scared me like hell! While descending, things had changed; strong winds were pushing us from behind and we had to be even more careful while taking each step. I kept looking down continuously, when suddenly, in the middle of the waterfall trail, I felt slight dizziness. The local guide and some girls from my group helped me a lot. Bhaiya (local guide) even took my bag and asked me to walk freely (honestly I was much relieved) because my face was all red .Unfortunately, after few steps, both the handle of my bag broke and bhaiya had to carry it in hands(I felt bad for him but I had no gut to handle me and my bag simultaneously).
Somehow we crossed the watery part, but then came the slippery mud where everyone had to take extra care not to slip and fall down. Holding each others’ hands and branches of small bushes, I managed to get down, but we saw many people slipping badly and all their clothes were muddy, still laughing. This is the advantage of going with a traveler’s group, they can handle extreme situation without panicking. The brakes of my legs were fully retarded and by the time we reached back to the base village from Visapur Fort, I started acute headache. At around 5.00pm we had a very tasty lunch after which I felt as if my battery was charged.
We started to walk till the railway station, but the real challenge for me was to carry my bag with one hand and umbrella in other. I kept talking to fellow traveler Jeet and managed to reach Malavali station. Fortunately ,I got a seat in 6.35pm Lonavala Pune local (otherwise it would have gone worse for me.). I reached Pimpri station by 7.30pm and this way, my solo trek to Visapur Fort was completed. I came back home ,fully exhausted, yet with a smile on my face and a sense of immense satisfaction.
The next day after this adventurous trip, I put some photos on social media to share my experience. I got messages from so many of my friends to take them along in my next trip and I smiled. once you have succeeded in doing it, everyone would want to be like you or be with you! So keep cherishing your dream, no matter how small it is.
The Journey Ended with a Great Experience
I am attaching some videos so that you can enjoy the Visapur Trek by sitting at home! Because photos can just capture the still moment, but videos will make you imagine how it really feels at such a beautiful place…