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Old 13th April 2011, 13:58   #1
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Default Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.

I hate potholes.
And I know you hate potholes.
Which makes it that we hate potholes.

But like any rule, there are exceptions to this too.
Road contractors love potholes. The faster they are formed and the bigger they are, the happier the contractors are. Everyone knows why.
Our 4x4 enthusiasts love potholes, large and deep ones, but mostly on weekends. On other days they too hate them. For these folks, simple potholes, potholes filled with mud etc. are like poetic verses that take them and their vehicles through a gamut of emotions and discussions on articulation. Most of us steer clear of them. I mean, the discussions on articulation.

In short, potholes always leave a deep impression on each of us and sometimes on our vehicles and our pockets too.

And here I was egging on my friends to go on a 100 km drive, on a hot summer day, to see what. Yes, you may not believe it, but potholes! Not too bad to start a summer weekend getaway. And not too bad that I got the friends to agree.

And thus began a small journey on 10-Apr-2011, the day the breakfast meet of Team-Bhp was underway at Pune.

From the look of it, not a very crowded place.
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj38.jpg

Even with a beautiful temple around
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj16.jpg
Biju

Last edited by mobike008 : 13th April 2011 at 18:01.
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Old 13th April 2011, 15:51   #2
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

You bet we hate potholes. Especially after owning a civic. Any undulations and i am not too happy.
I like the photograph with the temple.
Btw i too was on the ahmadnagar highway on the 10th. We left kalyani nagar around 12:45 pm.
And had a lovely drive on the smooth roads. Surprisingly when reaching the toll booth. The man lifted the barrier and just let us drive through without charging us. And even more surprising was the weather. It started with lots of wind, then it started getting darker, followed by dust storms and then rained cats and dogs. Did you experience the same on your drive?

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Old 13th April 2011, 16:26   #3
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

Spending most part of a hot summer day under the blazing sun may not be a fun idea to the city dwellers. Our bodies are not accustomed to such a weather since we spent most of our time indoors. So we decided to start early from Pune and return by noon. As usual we carried some fruits, sandwiches, water, umbrellas and sunglasses.

We were soon cruising down the 4-laned Ahmadnagar highway (SH27) towards Shirur. Soon after we left the superb highway and joined the road to Nighoj. The less said about the road, the better. As soon as we entered the road, there was a MSRTC bus going towards the village and we promptly overtook the bus. We did not want to be crawling behind the bus for the next many kilometers. But the state PWD had other plans. Soon we were crawling and the bus was stalking us. We meekly moved out and the bus zoomed past us covering us in a cloud of dust.

The first few kilometers gave a thorough massage to the suspension system of our cars. And then started the potholes that we hated. However the views of farms along the road more than made up for the bad roads. The bad roads made us drive slow, helping us to enjoy the farmlands.

The road
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj05.jpg

Wheat farms (I never knew wheat is cultivated in Maharashtra)
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj01.jpg

Tomato
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj10.jpg

Drumsticks
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj09.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
You bet we hate potholes. Especially after owning a civic. Any undulations and i am not too happy.
I like the photograph with the temple.
Btw i too was on the ahmadnagar highway on the 10th. We left kalyani nagar around 12:45 pm.
And had a lovely drive on the smooth roads. Surprisingly when reaching the toll booth. The man lifted the barrier and just let us drive through without charging us. And even more surprising was the weather. It started with lots of wind, then it started getting darker, followed by dust storms and then rained cats and dogs. Did you experience the same on your drive?
We left Pune early. The idea was that we should be back in Pune by noon to beat the Sun and the heat. The sky was quite overcast while we were approaching Pune. But it did not rain. Also we were not so lucky at the toll booth. Paid Rs. 56 (return toll) at the first toll.

Last edited by pjbiju : 13th April 2011 at 16:46.
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Old 14th April 2011, 15:14   #4
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

A lot of farms were packing and storing the onions harvested. It was a great sight and we felt like buying a few sacks of onions. There were also pomegranate (Maharashtra is the largest producer of this fruit in India) and custard apple (sugar apple) farms along the way.

It is quite sad that the villages are still connected by roads that are poorly maintained.

Some more wild flowers along the road

Yellows...
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj11.jpg

White and pink (what are these called? The white sap of this plant is supposed to be poisonous)
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj13.jpg

Wild flowers that has made its way to the modern gardens. The berries of this shrub can be eaten. They are slightly sweet once they turn black.
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj15.jpg

-to be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 14th April 2011 at 15:38.
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Old 14th April 2011, 15:20   #5
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

Some beautiful pics of the flowers there. Showed my wife this thread. And now she tells me she has been there. Keep em coming, enjoying your thread. And now with wife too.
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Old 14th April 2011, 16:05   #6
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
...
Wild flowers that has made its way to the modern gardens. The berries of this shrub can be eaten. They are slightly sweet once they turn black.
...
I have had a strong association with these in my childhood. There were plenty of these (mostly along the fences of properties) along our trail to the school. We would eat the berries and play with the flowers. On many an occasion I would be sent from the classroom to fetch a stick to discipline the students. Not me, the teachers would cane the students. My task was limited to being an arms supplier. So I would rush to these plants (half way home) and scout for a not-too-thin, not-too-stout long stem and then take it back to the teacher, properly cut and polished. These were "use and throw" away types - good for a day's worth of caning. The favourite caning sticks of the teachers then were of the tamarind tree (strong and flexible) and of the coffee plant (strong and not so flexible). These would last for a long time. (Shudder... thinking about those days)

We stopped at Nighoj village to have our breakfast that we had taken along - sandwiches, omlettes and juice. We then drove towards the temple and "kund". The road turned out to be a mini off-road trail. Although my car did not bottom out at any point, my friend's car bottomed out thrice. But an enjoyable drive nevertheless.

We then spotted the temple and the rocks. Parked the cars, took out the umbrellas and started walking around the place.

The bridge and the almost dry river
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj56.jpg

First sight of the potholes. The are technically called hydrogeomorphological formations
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj23.jpg

Close-up
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj24.jpg

Close-up
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj25.jpg

Close-up
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj26.jpg

Close-up
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj27.jpg

It might have taken thousands of years for the formation of these potholes. I read somewhere that these are the largest such formations in Asia.

to be contd...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
Some beautiful pics of the flowers there. Showed my wife this thread. And now she tells me she has been there. Keep em coming, enjoying your thread. And now with wife too.
Thank you. So it is time that you visited this place too. I think one should visit this place once in the summer and once during Sep (after the monsoons). I plan to go there then. The rains would clean-up the rock faces and wash away all the dirt.

Last edited by pjbiju : 14th April 2011 at 16:11.
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Old 15th April 2011, 11:04   #7
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

More photos of the potholes and the gorge through which the river flows. At this time of the year, the water was almost stagnant and had turned greenish. There is a dam behind the bridge seen in one of the pictures.

The gorge
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj20.jpg

The suspension bridge under construction
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj18.jpg

Alex, under the shade of the umbrella
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj32.jpg

Close-up of some of the potholes.
One with dried moss
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj46.jpg

One with a stone trapped inside
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj47.jpg

One small one and the bigger one was more than 4 ft deep
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj48.jpg

One showing different rock layers
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj49.jpg

Kids discussing (God knows what)!
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj22.jpg

to be contd..
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Old 15th April 2011, 12:04   #8
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

Biju, brilliant. Simply brilliant! Have been staying in Pune for more than 3 decades now, and never even knew such wonderful sights existed around Pune.
Thanks for bringing it to our notice.

For me and the others like me, could you give a rough route you took to the place? Whats there to see etc.
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Old 15th April 2011, 17:11   #9
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
For me and the others like me, could you give a rough route you took to the place? Whats there to see etc.
I guess its in Nighoj Potholes (you can search for this place in google maps), about 75 Kms from Pune. Need to take a diveation from Shirur which is on the way to Ahmednagar.

pjbiju correct me if I am wrong.

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Old 16th April 2011, 15:00   #10
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

We spent a lot of time walking around the rocks. It would be a great place to photograph jeeps.

Water flowing through the narrow gorge
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj33.jpg

Baked earth in one of the potholes
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj37.jpg

Porous and solid rocks
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj36.jpg

The gorge widens and becomes shallower
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj39.jpg

The green river
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj45.jpg

You have heard of "a frog in the well". Here are the frogs in a pothole
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj43.jpg

Getting a tan
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj44.jpg

The white lines - white rock sandwiched between black rock slabs
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj55.jpg

The river broadens out
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj52.jpg

The temple and its reflection
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj54.jpg

The river
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj50.jpg

to be contd..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Biju, brilliant. Simply brilliant! Have been staying in Pune for more than 3 decades now, and never even knew such wonderful sights existed around Pune.
Thanks for bringing it to our notice.

For me and the others like me, could you give a rough route you took to the place? Whats there to see etc.
Thank you Swanand. Yes, there are a lot of places to be discovered around Pune.

There are two straightforward ways of getting there. We tried both.

The first is Pune->Shirur->Nighoj - this route is approximately 102 km upto the potholes. Follow Nagar road and take the bypass for Shirur. After the bypass, you will pass a river (bridge) and then take the road going sharply to the left. Follow that road till Nighoj Village and take left through the first Arch that you see. The arch is roughly after 19 km after you turn off from the Nagar highway.

Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-pune_nighoj.png

The second route is to take left turn in front of the Ranjangaon Ashtavinayak temple, cross Amdabad phata and reach the Nighoj potholes (kund) - This route is approximately 82 km
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj_pune.png

Places one can visit during this trip
  • Ganpati temple at Ranjangaon (One of the Ashtavinayak temples)
  • Nighoj potholes, Malganga temple
  • Wadgaon Daryabai temple (you have to travel further from this place - I do not know the exact distance. Someone told me that it is 35~40 km away from Nighoj)
  • Takali Dhokeshwar (again you have to travel further)
  • Ralegaon Siddhi (model village of Anna Hazare)
We visited only the first two places in the list during this trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
I guess its in Nighoj Potholes (you can search for this place in google maps), about 75 Kms from Pune. Need to take a diveation from Shirur which is on the way to Ahmednagar.

pjbiju correct me if I am wrong.
I believe the roads are not that great if you turn off from Shikrapur. But I am not sure.

Last edited by pjbiju : 16th April 2011 at 15:10.
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Old 18th April 2011, 10:37   #11
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

After spending a considerable amount of time exploring the river and the potholes, it was time to go back.

There is a small restaurant run by a family just before the potholes on the Nighoj->Potholes road. They prepare food (veg and non-veg). It would be a good idea to order food there, visit the river and potholes and then be back for the meals. They also have restrooms that one can use.

While going back we stopped again at some of the farms along the way. We stopped at this farm and the farmer was more than happy to talk to us. He brought his horse for the kids to play with. He also gave the kids carrots from his farm.

The farm - what are these plants with the white flowers? We actually forgot to ask the farmer. I think these are coriander plants. Can someone confirm?
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj62.jpg

The wild wild west. A Cowboy in the making?
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj64.jpg

Trying to feed carrots to the horse
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj63.jpg

Wild flowers
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj60.jpg

The same wild yellow flower
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj61.jpg

The flower of the plants in the farm
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj59.jpg

The pink & white flowers
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj14.jpg

Summer Landscape on the way back
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj65.jpg

Shepherd and sheep
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj66.jpg

Honeybees
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj67.jpg

to be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 18th April 2011 at 10:47.
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Old 18th April 2011, 13:08   #12
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

First of all lovely pics.
I definately want to take a trip here and check out the place.
Thanks for the tip on the food joint. One can pre order there take a look at the place and return for a well cooked meal.
My wife and I are no experts on plants, though my wife is pretty good.
The purple flowered one is suppose to be offered to Lord Shiva during prayers, still can't get the name though.
and the white one which you feel is coriander, looks like the filler flowers used in bouquets.
Like i said we aren't experts, but worth a shot anyway
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Old 18th April 2011, 13:19   #13
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

Nice pictures Biju. Nice place too.
Would like to visit this place when I plan a trip to the great MH.
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Old 18th April 2011, 13:32   #14
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

@pjbiju - While we were enjoying the bun maska and cheese omelette at Vohumans Cafe you were having a wonderful time negotiating the potholes. . Interesting place.

I echo swanand's words. I have never explored these places and your TLs are adding new items on the places to visit list.

By the way out of the two routes that you have mentioned which has the least number of potholes?
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:35   #15
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Default Re: Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar

We visited the Ashtavinayak Temple at Ranjangaon. We had a quick darshan. But boy, the tiles in the waiting area were hot. We could not stand on them for more than a few seconds without getting our sole cooked. After the Darshan we purchased some veggies, had sugarcane juice and also had the free meal at the temple consisting of Rice, Dal and Sheera. You can give a donation towards the meal if you want to. Our original plan was to go to Hotel Kaveri at Wagholi for some Kolhapuri speciality items. But it was too late for that.

We then started back and reached home by 3:15 p.m.

One last look at a pothole
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj29.jpg

And the temple
Potholes that I love. A summer trip to Kukdi River Potholes at Nighoj, Ahmadnagar.-nighoj17.jpg

Total distance covered ~187 km. All in all, a day spent well.

================================================== =

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
First of all lovely pics.
I definately want to take a trip here and check out the place.
Thanks for the tip on the food joint. One can pre order there take a look at the place and return for a well cooked meal.
My wife and I are no experts on plants, though my wife is pretty good.
The purple flowered one is suppose to be offered to Lord Shiva during prayers, still can't get the name though.
and the white one which you feel is coriander, looks like the filler flowers used in bouquets.
Like i said we aren't experts, but worth a shot anyway
You should be able to get home cooked food at that place. Do check out the place during the winter. I anyway plan to visit this place again during the monsoon and also during the winter. Once I find what those are, I will post them here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Nice pictures Biju. Nice place too.
Would like to visit this place when I plan a trip to the great MH.
Thanks Lalu. When are you planning the great MH trip? We have to get the best out of whatever is available in and around MH. So trying to see as many places as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
...
I echo swanand's words. I have never explored these places and your TLs are adding new items on the places to visit list.

By the way out of the two routes that you have mentioned which has the least number of potholes?
Yes. There are many unexplored areas around us. This forum gives us a platform to visit such places and also help others to explore such places.

The road from Ranjangaon was the better of the two. Not sure how they will hold up after the monsoons.
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