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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 24, p. 301.


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VASTARA 301
court. It is administered as a municipality, with an annual grant from
the State of Rs. 1,8oo.
Vasota.-Hill fort in the Javli td1uka of Satara District, Bombay,
situated in 170 4o' N. and 73 42' E., 5 miles west-north-west of Tambi,
at the head of a small valley which branches west from the Koyna
river. At the mouth of the valley is a village named Vasota. Popula-
tion (igor), 121. The fort itself is within the limits of Met Indoli
village, and on the very edge of the Western Ghats. The defences
consist of a vertical scarp varying in height from 30 to 6o feet, crowned
by a wall and parapet from 6 to 8 feet high and loopholed at inter-
vals. The cliff to the south of the fort has a sheer drop of 1,5oo feet,
if not more. It is known as the Babukhada, and was used as a
place of execution for criminals, who were hurled down the cliff. '1 he
fort of Vasota is the most ancient in the hill districts. It is attributed
to the Kolhapur Silahara chief, Bhoj 11 (1178-93) of Panhala; and,
from the cyclopean blocks of unmortared trap which form the pond
and older portions of the wall, it appears undoubtedly to be of great
antiquity. The gateway looks Muhammadan, but it is doubtful
whether any Musalman ever came so far. The Shirkes and Mores
possessed the fort, till it was taken by Sivaji in 1655 after the murder
and conquest of the Javli chief. Sivaji named the fort Vajragarh,
which name it has not retained. Subsequently it was chiefly used as
a state prison. Soon after the battle of Kirkee (November 5, 1817)
two British officers who had been captured at Uruli about 15 miles
east of Poona after a manful resistance were sent first to Kangori fort
in Kolaba, where they were harshly treated, and thence to Vasota.
The British force, advancing from Medha by Bamnoli and T ambi,
drove in outposts at Vasota, and met the Peshwa's forces at Indoli.
Negotiations were opened with the commandant, one Bhaskar Pant,
but he obstinately refused to surrender. The British forces then
advanced a detachment and dug shelters for themselves in the hill-side.
A battery was set up on the old fort, and the bombardment lasted for
twenty hours. The commandant finally surrendered on April 6, 18 8 ;
and the two British officers were recovered uninjured. Mountstuart
Elphinstone was present at the siege, which he has described. 'The
prize property amounted to about 2 lakhs, in addition to family jewels of
the. Satara Raja worth 3 lakhs.
Vastara.-Village in the Chikmugalur tdluh of Kadur District,
Mysore, situated in 13' 16' N. and 75 43' E., 6 miles from Chik-
mugalur town. Population (rgor), 898. It stands at the entrance to
the Malnad. The name is said to be derived from vasu-dara, land
bestowed as an endowment.' The village was founded by Santarasa,
one of the kings of Humcha. The Pqndya kings of Sisugali and
the Bhairarasa Wodeyars of Karkala subsequently held it, and then
u2
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