Region: Javali (satara) - Koyna backwaters
Height: 3842 ft (above MSL)
On the weekend of 15-16 December 2007 we had been to Vasota-Nageshwar for trek. I had gone with the group called as trek-di. Vasota was my dream come true and i had longed to go there from a long time but the forest permission and other stuff were a deterrent for my plans to go there but I took this opportunity with trek-di.
We started from Swargate at 7.10am in the morning total 49 people in a privately hired ST bus. Before that I and my friend had come on bike from home. I had a large group this time around with my BCS friends and ours was a large group there.
We reached Shirval at around 8.15 or so and had vada-paav and tea there and again started towards Satara enroute Bamnoli the place where we have to get the boat for vasota base camp (Met Indawli). After Satara the road is via ghats and truly scenic.
We reached Bamnoli at 10.30am and Pinakin and Chaitanya were already there and had booked the launches and had got permission for the forest camp.
We climbed into our boats (20-22) people in 1 boat and started towards Vasota base camp Metindawli. The boat ride was superb with amazing views all around of the koyna backwaters and the islands. Finally we reached Met Indawli at 12.30pm and kept our bags there and rested for sometime and had our lunch there which we had brought.
After lunch we assembled and had a short round of introductions and finally started for the vasota fort. The forest was dense and cool - even though it was afternoon we did not feel the heat at all. We reached the first point a stream where we filled our bottles and continued ahead towards the fort.
The route is simple but in the end there is a lot of scree which one has to negotiate. Finally we reached the fort in the afternoon at 3.30pm after 1.5 hours of trek. We could see amazing views from the top of the nature all around.
We went to the Babu kada side and had a view. The Babu kada is a U shaped cut in the mountain of Old Vasota - Old Vasota is a hill fort in front of New Vasota (where we were) but permission is not given to go to old vasota fort and the routes also are in dilapidated condition there.
The views from here are too good and scenic. We spent some time resting and came back to a spot where there are 2 water tanks. One is potable and the other is not. We had snacks here and had a look around the fort. There are 2 temples on the fort 1 of Hanuman and the other of Mahadev.
We had a look at the other side of the fort too. There we could see Mhatari cha angtha (old woman's thumb) a structure shaped like a thumb and Nageshwar Pinnacle at a distance. The view was awesome here too.
Finally it was time for us to start down from the fort and we started climbing down. Again due to scree our progress was somewhat slow but we came down quickly and in some time it started getting dark as we were nearing our camp. Once again at the stream we filled our water bottles and came to the camp around 6.45pm , it was pitch dark now. We had got a tent so we put our bags outside and rested for a while in the tent. We drank some tea which was refreshing and waited for dinner to be served.
Dinner was simple with usal and chapatis which we relished and then settled down in our tent. All the people in the tent did some timepass upto 10.30pm and then we slept.
Early morning it started getting cold and we woke up at 5.30am and refreshed ourselves and prepared ourselves for Nageshwar trek. We had a breakfast of upma and started towards Nageshwar. The route was via the stream path and we had to walk over stones of the stream. It was a slow trod over the stones and I went far ahead. In about 1.5 hours I could see the peak of Nageshwar at the end of the stream route.
There is a slight climb ahead and we reach the place in 15 minutes. There are a series of caves at the base of the peak where there is a Shiv Mandir - the view of Konkan from this point is awesome. The way to top of peak is a little risky one as we can go up easily but while coming down the route is full of scree and mud - hence while coming down we have to sit , look and come.
After visiting Nageshwar we returned back , this time taking a different route back to the camp via the jungle , this route meets the route to the fort vasota and then climbs down. We reached the camp at 12.45pm and had a great lunch of pulav , papad and achar and then one by one others too came in. After a hearty lunch we waited for the launches and they arrived at 2.30pm. Once more after a journey of 1.25 hours we were back to Bamnoli and in the ST bus - we reached Pune at 8.30pm.