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10 Reasons to Visit Nighoj Potholes: A Fascinating Exploration of India’s Geological Wonder!

Nighoj Potholes – A Geological Wonder

Geotourism around the geological wonder, Nighoj Potholes, Located around 20 kms from Chincholi is a village called Nighoj.
No, we are not talking about this sleepy village in rural Maharashtra which comes alive only during Janamashtami festival when lakhs of devotees throng to witness a miracle. A miracle of an earthen pot of water coming out of a well in the village. There is also an interesting story attached to it. 🙂

Instead, we are here to see another wonder of nature and best kept geological secret of Maharashtra …. the potholes of Nighoj !

This article was last updated on August 29th, 2021.

What is Nighoj Potholes?

Nighoj potholes or Nighoj kund ( निघोज कुंड ) or Takali Haji potholes is a geological wonder of nature. This place needs to be seen to believe; a must see place to visit near Pune for a day trip. The beautifully shaped natural potholes in the riverbed of black and reddish basalt rock in Kukadi river are some of the largest in Asia according to geologists from all over the world who come here to study them.

These are not just potholes, I call them naturally formed rock sculptures. But very few of us have even heard of them.

The river Kukadi flows near the village. It is said that at one point, sudden geological disturbances occurred and a huge canyon was formed. The river flowed through this canyon with a great force forming huge holes in the rocks. These potholes are spread over three kilometres with an average depth of over 100 feet.

Also Read : A village of thousand peacocks Morachi Chincholi.

You can see the dam at a distance
Have you seen such river banks?

Popularly known as the ‘Potholes of Nighoj’, this is a geographical phenomenon where the pebbles that are carried by the river get locked in the cracks developed in the basalt rock riverbed. These pebbles swirl around due to the water current & form pot shaped cavities in the basalt rock. The process has taken over thousands of years.

Most of the rocks are black or dark gray in color but if you see closely there are layers with a tinge of red too. The thin layers of green & white marble look like markings and are very prominent.

A fair number of geologists and scientists have visited the potholes to evaluate them.

Do you see smooth round shapes? Rocks resemble some kind of sculptures.

On the contrast to the scientific theory, the villagers have a different story to tell for these peculiar rock formations. According to them, the Goddess Malaganga, a local deity had a strong influence over the village and the river. It is her influence and anger that river Kukadi had to take the brunt. 😀 The temple of this local deity Malganga is next to these potholes. The locals believe these potholes to be a blessing of Malganga.

A suspension bridge on the river and the temple

Nighoj potholes or Nighoj kund or Takali Haji potholes is Maharashtra’s best kept secret in a sleepy village named Nighoj in Ahmednagar district. This is a must visit offbeat place in rural Maharashtra.

10 Reasons to Visit Nighoj Potholes: A Fascinating Exploration of India's Geological Wonder! 19

At places it resembles naturally formed rock sculptures. We spent around two hours admiring in awe & taking photographs.

Also Read : A village of thousand peacocks Morachi Chincholi.

Useful Information about Nighoj Potholes

Where is Nighoj potholes or Nighoj kund located?

Nighoj kund is located around 20 kms from Chincholi in a village called Nighoj in Maharashtra. Nighoj is 90 kms from Pune and 245 kms from Mumbai. The closest town is Shirur, 25 KMs away from it. Nighoj can easily be visited as a day trip from Mumbai.

How to reach Nighoj Potholes

Nighoj potholes is 90 kms from Pune and 245 kms from Mumbai. A day trip from Pune perfectly suits this. The nearest airport and railway station is Pune. You can take a cab or bus from Pune up to Nighoj.

However, the best way to visit Nighoj is by car.

Directions to reach Nighoj from Mumbai

• Get onto Mumbai Pune expressway
• Travel about 85km on the on the expressway, cross both tolls and take somathane exit which goes to the Talawade IT Park.
• Get on to NH4
• Take left after railway bridge of Dehu road station. You will see the station on the left. This is Talawade road.
• Travel for 5 km then turn right for IT park.
• Go straight 10 km after turning right. You will reach a T junction. This is Pune Nashik road. Turn Left here
• Travel till Khed ( 20km), just before Khed Bus Stand turn right it is a bit sharp, more like inverted ‘V’
• after 1km you will reach Y junction, take left. pass by retavadi, Gosasi, Pabal .. total 20 Km
• After coming out of Pabal take left turn.
• Go another 10 KM, you will see boards for Morachi Chincholi Village on the right.
• There are places to stay inside the village and also outside if you bypass the village.
• Continuing on this road for 20 km after passing Malthan, Takli Haji take a right. Small road sign direct you to “Nighoj Kund

Directions to reach Nighoj from Pune

• Go to Nagar road, travel towards Ahmednagar.
• Cross Shikrapur.
• After that, you would see an exit for Shirur. Do NOT take that road towards Shirur.
• Take the road towards Malthan, which is around 20 KMs from Shikrapur.
• After Malthan, Keep going on this road for around 13 KMs to reach Nighoj.
• As you enter the village, you will see an arch on the left. Take the road under the arch and keep going for another 3 kms. After that you’ll hit the Kukadi river with a temple.
• This is the place you are looking for. 🙂
• Small road sign direct you to “Nighoj Kund

Best Time to visit Nighoj Potholes

The best time to visit Nighoj Potholes is September to March. The potholes are visible all thru the year and some of them may contain water. Winter is a good time to go. Summer is very hot and you can’t really step barefoot on the rocks as they also become very hot. We suggest, avoid rainy season as it’d become very slippery to walk on the rocks. Rest of the time is okay to visit.

Where to stay in Nighoj

Nighoj has very basic stay facilities such as lodges and homestays. But you may want to stay at Supa village or Shirur. The distance between Shirur and Nighoj Potholes is 25 Km by road. Click below to book your accommodation.

Hotels and accommodations

Tips and Tidbits about Nighoj Potholes

  • While planning a day trip to Nighoj from Mumbai or Pune, one has to bear in mind the lack of any tourist facilities like stay or toilets.
  • Delicious Maharashtrian food, Vada pavs, fritters may be available on road side kiosks or dhabas. Plan accordingly. Carry plenty of drinking water with you.
  • Once you reach Nighoj, you’ll have to park your vehicle at a distance and make your way on foot to the potholes.
  • Do not enter the water body, as the rocks maybe quite slippery and may lead to mishaps.
  • The word ‘nighoj’ means ‘a place where water disappears’ in the local language, referring to the underground flow of the river.
  • The Kukadi River is a tributary of the Bhima River, which is one of the major rivers of the Deccan Plateau.
  • The basalt rock that forms the riverbed of the Kukadi River is a type of volcanic rock that is rich in iron and magnesium.
  • The nighoj potholes are also known as ‘Nighoj Kund’ or ‘Takali Haji’, and are sometimes compared to the ‘Giant’s Causeway’ in Northern Ireland.
  • The nighoj potholes are home to various species of fish, crabs, snails, and algae, some of which are endemic and rare.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Nighoj Potholes

Why are the Nighoj potholes unique?

The Nighoj potholes are unique due to their distinctive shapes that resemble a Martian landscape. They were carved by the relentless force of swirling waters over thousands of years. These natural wonders showcase the fascinating geological processes that have shaped the landscape.

How deep are the Nighoj potholes?

The Nighoj potholes can reach impressive depths of up to 20 feet, creating a mesmerizing network of cylindrical formations. This depth adds to the allure and mystique of these natural formations.

What geological factors contribute to the formation of Nighoj potholes?

The Nighoj potholes are primarily formed by the erosive action of river currents and swirling pebbles rubbing against rocks, gradually carving out cylindrical depressions in the basalt rock bed. This unique geological phenomenon is a result of a delicate dance between water and stone.

Are Nighoj potholes a rare occurrence globally?

While potholes are common, the shape and scale of the Nighoj potholes make them a relatively rare and remarkable geological feature. Their unique formation sets them apart from traditional potholes found in roadways.

Can visitors explore the Nighoj potholes up close?

Yes, visitors can explore the Nighoj potholes up close during the dry season. The accessible location allows for a fascinating journey through the intricate network of cylindrical formations, providing a one-of-a-kind natural adventure. However it is advised not to enter the water body as the rocks maybe slippery.

Are there any local myths or legends associated with Nighoj potholes?

Local folklore suggests that the Nighoj potholes were created by Lord Khandoba’s trident (trishul), adding a touch of mythology to their origin. These stories contribute to the cultural significance of the site. According to another legends and myths of the local villagers, nighoj potholes are a manifestation of the blessings of Goddess Malganga, who is the presiding deity of the village and the river. They believe that the river Kukadi experienced sudden geological disturbances due to the influence and displeasure of Malganga. There is a temple dedicated to Malganga next to the potholes, where devotees offer prayers and seek her protection.

How has human activity impacted the Nighoj potholes?

While the natural formation of the Nighoj potholes is a result of geological processes, increased human activity and environmental changes may influence their preservation. Conservation efforts are essential to maintain the integrity of this unique natural wonder. Especially building of dams and barrages on the river, altering the characteristics of the river Kukadi.

Can visitors contribute to the conservation of Nighoj potholes?

Absolutely! Visitors can contribute to the conservation of Nighoj potholes by following responsible tourism practices, respecting designated routes, and participating in local initiatives. By raising awareness and practicing environmental stewardship, visitors can play a vital role in preserving this natural treasure for future generations.

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P.S.- This article,10 Reasons to Visit Nighoj Potholes, belongs to Le Monde, the Poetic Travels, one of the top Indian Travel Blogs, published by the traveling couple bloggers, Nisha & Vasudevan. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on another website other than the RSS feed reader or itself, then that website is guilty of stealing our content. Kindly do us a favour by letting us know via Contact Us. Thank you.

45 thoughts on “10 Reasons to Visit Nighoj Potholes: A Fascinating Exploration of India’s Geological Wonder!”

  1. What awesome pictures– I could imagine spending many hours looking at everything! I look forward to hearing the interesting story which you said you will tell in the future!!

  2. @Anjuli,
    The place is interesting. Will share some private photos with you. 🙂

    Oh the story ! It’ll come.

    Now you gave me one more reason to visit Karnataka!

  3. Great Photos. Worth a visit.

    On a lighter side though… 🙂

    Why would one go all the way to this place when we can enjoy all the potholes in Mumbai roads itself 🙂

    Keep it up!

  4. Very nice photographs of great work done by river…& a good discription too…by the way- thin layers of green & white markings visible are not of ‘marble’.these are the joints filled with zeolites &/or greenish coloured secondary infilling minerals. a must place to visit by a student of geology.

  5. Ganesh,
    Thanks for your visit here but do not EVER think that my blog is a place where you can advertize for free. I’ve removed the link posted by you.

    If you want people to visit your blog, please write good & informative content. People will follow automatically.

    Else pay me to advertize for you. 🙂

  6. Yes Nisha, These rock formations look just like the bank of Dainthlen falls. Thanks for suggesting to read this. Somehow i had not seen this one though I have been your regular reader from last few years 🙂

  7. Girija,
    And I thought these rocks are unique! 🙂

    Is it? Oh I haven’t seen you on my blog all these years. 🙂

    Anyway, better late than never. 😛

  8. Hi,

    So Nighoj potholes are visible any time of the year, right? I was told Apr – May is the best season since you have least of water in Kukadi river. So was wondering all the way travel from Mumbai, will it be disappointment in Jan – Feb. My understanding was – if there is decent water in the river, potholes may not be visible. Kindly advise. Thanks.

    1. Hi Sachin,

      Thanks for writing here. 🙂
      As you can see in the pictures, the riverbed is quite deep and the potholes are on the sides of the river. You can’t go to the riverbed which is narrow and deep.

      The potholes are visible all thru the year and some of them may contain water. Winter is a good time to go. Summer is very hot and you can’t really step barefoot on the rocks as they also become very hot. 🙂

      I would suggest to avoid rainy season as it’d become very slippery to walk on the rocks. Rest of the time is okay to visit.
      I have added a few more photos to help you decide.

      Hope this helps you. Feel free to ask if you have any further query.

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