Visapur Fort

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Visapur fort
Visapur, Maharashtra
Fortification wall at visapur.jpg
Visapur fort walls
Visapur fort is located in Maharashtra
Visapur fort
Visapur fort
Coordinates 18°43′21″N 73°29′24″E / 18.72250°N 73.49000°E / 18.72250; 73.49000
Type Hill fort
Site information
Owner Government of India
Controlled by  Maratha Empire (c. 1720-1818)
 United Kingdom

 India (1947-)

Open to
the public
Yes
Condition Ruins
Site history
Built 1713-1720 CE
In use 1713-1818
Built by Balaji Vishwanath
Materials Stone
Height 1,084 m (3,556 ft) ASL
Garrison information
Past
commanders
Balaji Vishwanath

Visapur fort (also called Visapoor fort) is a hill fort near Visapur village in Maharashtra, India. It is a part of the Lohagad-Visapur fortification.

Location[edit]

It is located in Pune district, 2.5 km from Malavli Railway station. It has an elevation of 1084 meters above sea level.[1] It is built on the same plateau as Lohagad.

History[edit]

It was built during 1713-1720 CE by Balaji Vishwanath, the first Peshwa of Maratha Empire.[1][2] Visapur fort was built much later than Lohagad but the histories of the two forts are closely linked.

In 1818, when reducing the Peshwa's forts, the strength of Lohagad and its fame as the treasury of the Maratha kingdom, caused the English to make special preparations for its attack. A detachment of 380 European and 800 native soldiers, with a battering train, summoned from Konkan, were joined by artillery from Chakan, and two other British battalions. On 4 March 1818, Visapur was attacked and occupied.[2][3]

Making use of its higher elevation and proximity to Lohagad, the British troops set up their cannons on Visapur and bombarded Lohagad, forcing the Marathas to flee. Thus, in 1818, Lohagad-Visapur was taken over by the British in 1818 AD and placed under the command of a Colonel Prother.[4] Considering, the strategic importance of Visapur, both the north (Konkan) and the south (Deccan) gateways were blown up, and except a few huts, nothing was left standing.[3] In contrast, most of Lohagad fort is still intact.

Major Features[edit]

Visapur Fort is larger and at a higher elevation than its twin fort- Lohagad.[2] Within the fort are caves, cisterns of water, a decorated arch and old houses. These two roofless buildings surrounded by outer or veranda walls said to have once been Government offices. The ruins of a large stone-built house are known as the Peshwa's palace. In addition to a huge carving of Hanuman, there are also several temple dedicated to him scattered all over the place.[5] Hanuman (or Maruti) was likely the patron deity of Visapur fort.

There is a well which local legend says was built by the Pandavas.[3] In 1885, near the north wall there was an iron gun ten feet long and of four-inch bore, marked with the Tudor Rose and Crown, flanked by the letters E. R. This is probably a gun of Queen Elizabeth's reign probably taken as bounty from an English ship and presented to the Peshwa by Kanhoji Angre or some other commander of the Maratha navy. Like other guns on the fort it has been disabled by breaking off its trunnions. Close to it are the remains of an old Mahadev shrine.[3]

Unlike the inner structure, majority of its wall is still intact. At a moderate pace, it takes two hours to walk along the winding Visapoor walls.[5] It is high and strengthened by towers along the west face. In other parts, the wall varies from 3 feet thick fortification, backed by masonry platforms where the slope of the hill is easy, to a mere parapet of dry stone where the plateau ends in a precipice. Two massive bastions still flank the ruined central gate.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Friends of forts website
  2. ^ a b c Maharashtra Government Tourism Site
  3. ^ a b c d e Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Government Central Press, 1885, retrieved 2009-01-20 
  4. ^ "Visapur Fort". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  5. ^ a b Nirvana adventures website

Images[edit]

See also[edit]