Have you ever heard about natural potholes in Maharashtra? We also did not know about it but the moment we heard about it our extinct brought us here. Nighoj, is a village in Ahmednagar District, and is about 180 kilometres away from Panvel (Navi Mumbai). It is famous for the naturally created potholes (locally known as kund) on the riverbed of the Kukadi River. Geologists from across the globe come here every year to study the phenomenon of their formation.
With a drive of around 3.5 hours we reached our destination. We must say a very remotely located place connected through narrow but decent roads. On the way we saw sparsely populated villages across the terrain. On our way we saw a huge cattle shed and herds of sheep as well. Our route navigator helped us for the direction and almost at the end we took guidance from the locals.
For Nighoj potholes we do not have to enter the village as it is situated 3 Km before the village on the riverbed of Kukadi river. By seeing the first look of the place we felt disappointed. It looked like a plain rocky terrain with river flowing through it and temples on both side of the bed. A thought process ran through our mind that lets first explore the place and then come to a conclusion. On this note we started exploring the place.
Once we reached near the canyon a hanging bridge connecting both sides of the ridge as well as the temples greeted us. When we saw the natural potholes from the bridge then we realised the magnanimity of the place. On the bridge we met a local who gave us information about the place.
We learnt that tourists are not interested in the village but are interested in natural potholes only. Also, during Janmashtami this place becomes very crowded with lots of devotees coming in from different regions. The Malganga temple is very old and the goddess is sister of lord Ganesha. The canyon is on a stretch of half kilometre only with river on both sides.
Geologists indicate that the river once flowed peacefully along these plains. And due to sudden geological changes a huge canyon was formed into which the river flowed with a great force resulting in the formation of these potholes and the gorge. We also gauged the enormity of the nature and its force through these potholes. Potholes is formed when small hard pebbles are trapped in the rocks and, over many thousands of years, drill circular holes into the riverbed by the current of flowing water. They were available in all shapes and sizes. Also, they are believed to be the largest natural potholes in Asia.
The first glimpse of the place does not appear that impressive but there is lot to see…the black stones are the most prominent, then the marble stones in between, and the natural potholes. This place is ideal for geologists.
We need to be very clear in our mind while going to this place. We took only half day to explore this place and later on visited one more attraction just 20 Kms away from Nighoj i.e. Chincholi Morachi (house of around 2500 peacocks). We will soon share our wonderful experience with the peacocks and agri tourism at Chincholi Morachi.
While returning back we saw lot of old structures reminding us of our hold heritage and civilisations….