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Nighoj potholes or how violent can a river get!
The river Kukdi carves its way through a rock bed of black and reddish basalt rocks. During the course of its flow, over the years, it has made some bizarre cuts and holes through the rocks. These are popularly known as the ‘Potholes of Nighoj'[ निघोज कुंड ].
Just a few metres away, a rock bed was all we saw. There is absolutely no indication of what lies ahead. One might even wonder if they are at the right place!
As we moved closer, an alien-ish landscape unfolded. It was a visualisation of Kukdi’s wrath!!
Some of the potholes were big enough for an adult to fit in. We saw the whirlpool-like motion of the river water trapped in some of these potholes. Jumping from one rock to the other, going deeper down this rock bed, it was a fun-filled adventure, full of discovery.
A temple of the local deity Malganga is next to these potholes. The locals believe these potholes to be a blessing of Malganga.
Just 90 km from Pune, the Nighoj potholes can easily be visited as a day trip from Pune. For the more adventurous types, ST (State Transport) buses are available from Shirur, the biggest town close to Nighoj. They are infrequent at best, so it’s better to start early if taking the bus.
From the bus stop at Nighoj (indicated only by the road turning at the end of the village), the potholes are a 3 km walk through the farms. Ask anyone for directions to the kund. That’s what the locals of Nighoj – a friendly, simple farming community – call these potholes. They will be happy to guide you to the Nighoj potholes. Of course, only after giving you incredulous looks for having come all the way just to see the potholes.
We visited these potholes from Morachi Chincholi, where we stayed overnight.
While planning a trip to Nighoj, one has to bear in mind the lack of any tourist facilities like food, stay or toilets. But the place makes a lovely spot for a picnic. Especially in the winters.
After exploring the potholes, we devoured some freshly squeezed (and hygienic) sugarcane juice before heading back to Morachi Chincholi.