History of Visapur Fort
Visapur Fort was built by the first Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath in 1713 CE. The fortress was attacked by the troops of the British East India Company in 1818. A detachment of 380 European soldiers and 800 native soldiers along with 2 battalions of the British Indian Army and an artillery unit from Chakan invaded and captured the fortress on 4 March 1818.
As the structure was located at high altitude and close to Lohagad, the army of the British East India Company installed several cannons in Visapur Fort. These cannons were later used to attack Lohagad which compelled the forces of the Maratha Empire to retreat. Hence the regions of Lohagad Visapur were occupied by the British forces in the year 1818. It was then administered and managed by Colonel Prother of the Presidency Armies in British India. As the fort of Visapur had immense strategic significance, the British forces destroyed both the north gateway (Konkan) and the south gateway (Deccan) in 1818.
Architecture of Visapur Fort
Visapur Fort is located at a higher altitude and covers more area than Lohagad fort. There are several structures inside the fortress, such as, a decorated arch, water tanks and reservoirs, caves and various other buildings. There are 2 buildings in the fort premises that are bounded by exterior walls. These were used as administrative offices. There is also the palace of the Peshwa inside the fort. It was a large structure constructed with stone. But presently lies in ruins. There are many temples and shrines devoted to Lord Hanuman in the vicinity. A huge sculpture of Maruti or Hanuman is also present inside Visapur fortress. An ancient well inside the premise of the fort is believed to have been built by the Pandavas from the Mahabharata.
A 10 feet long iron gun with a four inch bore is located near the north wall. It consisted of markings of the Tudor Rose and Crown and the letters E. R. However, like the various cannons and other guns in Visapur fort, this gun was also dismantled. There is also an ancient temple of Lord Shiva located close to the gun.
The exterior walls and ramparts of the structure are intact even at the present age. There are many towers along the west face of the walls. The exterior wall varies from a low fortified wall of dry stone to 3 feet thick fortification including masonry platforms. There are 2 vast bastions located at the sides of the central gate.
Present Condition of Visapur Fort
At present Visapur Fort lies in a ruined and dilapidated condition. The ancient structure is preserved and maintained by the Government of India. The site is open to all tourists and visitors from across the country.