Touragrapher’s Top 3 reasons why you should Visit Naneghat!
Naneghat – Its an amalgamation of two terms! ‘Nane; meaning “coin” and ghat meaning”pass”. Considering it served as corridor between Konkan and Deccan plateau and was used to collect toll. According to wikipedia and an archaeologist, Charles Allen, there is a carved stone that from distance looks like a stupa, but is actually a two-piece carved stone container by the roadside to collect tolls.
Now let’s look at the top 3 reasons why one should visit Naneghat!
Reason # 1
Looking for a quick getaway place from Mumbai or Pune? Then this is the place to visit!
Naneghat is Located at 120 kilometres (75 mi) north of Pune and about 165 kilometres (103 mi) east from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India thus making this is a perfect weekend getaway!
Reason # 2
Array of activities: Want to camp under stars? or want an hiking trail ? or want to witness breathtaking scenery? or a picnic spot?
Naneghat is one of your best bets considering the proximity from Mumbai, Thane or Pune!
Reason # 3
This is indeed a place with an historical significance! the Naneghat pass was one of the trade routes across India! It connected the Konkan coast with Deccan high plateau and per locals, this place was famous for cross-community trade. Two long Nanaghat inscriptions are found on the left and right wall, while the back wall has small inscriptions on top above where the eight life-sized missing statues.
Now here a take on how i got Naneghatted!!!
Having just returned post my birthday celebration off a private beach at Gokarna, it was almost time for New Year’s Eve and I had nothing lined up. Considering that I would be flying off to Northern Thailand through some of its spectacular roads for an exhilarating cross-country ride, I knew my plans for New Year would settle at somewhere in or around Mumbai.
My shenanigans for the Thai trip were Trilok & Gururaj and I instinctively thought to make plans with them. Guru was preoccupied with his weekend tutor job while Trilok sparked an idea of camping than the usual partying scene on NYE.
Boy-O-Boy that sounded exciting as it involved camping at one of the most magnificent peaks in Maharashtra, The Mighty Naneghat!
Trilok and I started jotting down our plans and eventually he suggested that we go along with his roomies and other friends to Naneghat. Since this was part of my ‘yet to visit places’, I spontaneously said yes!
Trilok suggested that I reach Mumbai from Bangalore on 30th Decemeber morning and we leave for Naneghat covering Malshej next day by noon. All was well with this plan except for the fact that my Kawasaki Versys a.k.a The Green Lantern had suffered a blow to the rear suspension during my ride to Lonar Lake and the replacement suspension didn’t arrive yet. Kawasaki guys stated that it will take about 2 weeks to replace the part as it was under warranty and they had to follow thorough procedures before they could approve it. This meant that Green Lantern was still at the service center(SVC) on the 30th, the day that I was supposed to be at Mumbai!
On 30th, I received a call from the service center guys stating that the part would be at the SVC and it would be set up in a couple of hours. Knowing this, I loaded the frogman dirtsack saddlebags with all that was required for this and the Thai trip. I thought if I can get the part replaced by noon, I still would be able to ride today and then reach Mumbai late night which would be somewhat perfect! I would beat the city’s traffic too! But on the other hand, this sounded too ambitious and too soon to imagine, as the courier guy who was to deliver the part, hadn’t even reached the SVC at 11 am – Yes, Murphy’s law in action! My plan of riding to Mumbai was almost cancelled, so I decided to wait and get the 4th service completed along with the part replacement and then meet other friends at Bangalore and spend the afternoon with them.
By 3ish, I was told that Green Lantern is now ready and I took off to Bangalore Brew works where I met my friends and spent the afternoon with them. Post that I mounted the saddles and was all set for the ride but Murphy’s law had its second spell!!!
My plans were to sleep by 10 pm and then start as early as 3 or 4 am, but I received a call from a friend around 8 pm, whom I was supposed to meet for an hour but as usual we ended up building on conversations and eventually ignored time. We were done by 2:30 am and this again meant that the ride plan of 4 am had to be dropped as lack of sleep would ruin the whole ride and of course the travel time. I now decided to leave by 8 am and reach Naneghat directly by max 8 pm instead of going to Mumbai and then join Trilok and others.
The Day of The ride
I was about to start as planned but again house chores delayed me by an hour and a half almost! Finally with frustration setting in, I found myself enroute Naneghat. The white topping initiative plagued by traffic meant that I could only manage about 34 kms in first hour and by 11, I managed to cross the outskirts of Bangalore (Nelamangala). Thereon, I could manage an average speed of 100 -110 KMPH and was somewhat able to make up for the lost time. After crunching around 330 kms, it was time for the first fuel stop considering the fuel gauge indicator was on the last level (not into reserve mode yet).
Post the brief fuel stop and a quick snap of Green Lantern, I pushed on and munched another 240 odd kms before I encountered a road block caused by a bad accident between a Maruti Omni driving on the wrong side and a passenger car. Luckily the guy survived but his bread box, Omni wasn’t so lucky! This meant that the road had to be cleared of oil and debris. Crawling at a speed of 10 kmph through road block, I found a series of restaurants and I quickly calculated the distance and time taken and decided to break for lunch which I had initially planned to skip and this turned out to be the perfect ‘Formula 1’ style pit stop as the road block was in its residual stage while I exited the restaurant, thus covering up for the 35 odd minute lunch break.
After a not so scrumptious meal and chugging through and around 5, I found myself about 170 kms from Pune and I was kind of elated! While I continued to ride, I did a quick calculation and plotted an ETA to Pune by 7 but soon enough the traffic post Satara was pathetic coupled with bad roads. As I got closer to Pune, the Traffic just kept getting worse and meant that I was able to reach Hinjewadi (Outskirts of Pune city) only by 730. I stopped for fuel near Nashik Phata and Google Mata stated that I had another almost 4-hour ride even though the distance was a mere 120 kms! This rang a bell that the roads conditions are for sure bad to worse and sadly Maharashtra state highways aren’t that good compared to other states. The biggest concern that I had was running on a set of tyres meant for road touring – The Metzeler’s M7RR Sportec!
After battling Pune city’s traffic and the poor traffic sense, I continued and by 930, I had around 60 odd kilometers to go. Right then, I got a call from Trilok and I quickly updated him about my ETA. He was thrilled to know that I had reached Junnar and should be at the camping spot within an hour and he warned me about keeping the GPS turned on as there was no signal at most places and I might not be able to locate him later should I try to turn GPS on later. With this, I had locked on the GPS to his location and I continued to ride. The roads were outright bad!
By 10:20, I reached the location Trilok had shared and he stated that I would be able to spot their VW Polo but that wasn’t the case. Google Mata continuously kept saying ‘You’ve arrived’ while I was actually about 500-600 meters away from the camping spot!
I parked Green Lantern aside and then looked for a grey VW polo car and tents but this was just the start of a quest. I tried reaching out to Trilok via phone but Apple said, ‘No Network’. By now it was about half an hour since I reached and I had no clue where the camping site was. I got back to Green lantern and did a couple of recce’s but with no luck. With almost an hour of searching without the cell phone network, I wandered into the nearby settlement and inquired villagers about having spotted Trilok and others. The response from them in Marathi meant that there are many folks who come by to camp there as it was one of the famous places and today as well there were many. Kind of disappointed, I got back to almost the end of road near Naneghat and plot a self-rescue plan :). I made my plan B which was to find a place with shelter and deploy my sleeping bag and bring in the new year under the stars in company of myself!!! Now with this thing off my head, I continued to search and ended up visiting quite a lot of people who were camping. With barely half an hour to 12, I continued searching and kept telling myself to stay calm and just focus on checking all possible camping sites recalling that Trilok mentioned that they were about 200 meters from the car. With findings Nanne’s car (our beloved friend and Trilok’s rommie) as goal, I brain-mapped and divided the places and eliminated the ones I had already searched and focused on the ones that were left. About 20 mins to 12, two men came back from the village and inquired if I was searching for a couple of folks, I instantly nodded and good news was that these guys had delivered food to couple of folks camping at the very top and he offered me to show the way – I was thrilled at this god-sent men but at the same time was vigilant too and had my camping knife handy just in case. Luckily, that wasn’t of use as these guys were genuine and they got their own bike and had me followed them to the top and off-roading on an M7 under moonlight. This made me forget everything else and I said to myself, even if I don’t find Trilok tonight it’s alright as the location was fabulous with a starry ceiling and I could easily spend the night here. But in matter of minutes, I spotted the Polo and boy o boy, it was a different kinda thrill as I saw Trilok and others waving at me! Trilok was super concerned and couldn’t enjoy the ongoing camping party, so he too was elated to see or rather find me. It was a moment of defying biking brotherhood and a start of new friendship saga.
I quickly unloaded the essential items for the night and it was 12 now and we just partied in a different way and enjoyed every moment. Around 230 am, when we were in our trance, we heard loud music and upon checking, it turned out to be all the local lads having a ball of a time and they had prepped really well – They had food, drinks, a bug ass loud speaker and it was fun to watch them from a distance and it was like a night fest or rather Local Tomorrow land sorts! They went on to party beyond 4 while we decided to call it a night.
I and Trilok shared the same tent and woke up by around 630 am and enjoyed the views Naneghat showed us! Here’s a sneak peak.
Below are two pics shot from the same location in span of 20 minutes!
We trekked for about 2 kilometers and the difficulty level was easy to moderate; the Trek was refreshing and the views it offered was certainly breathtaking! One can surely spend some quality time here!
The breathtaking views continued till the summit and once we reached there, we were surprised to see the view captured in the next pic!
Here’s another pic from farther distance – This sure should tell you how awesome this place actually is! The red marker is my camping spot.
This was a great start to 2018 and though it was only a couple of hours I spent at Naneghat, it felt long and a relaxing. I plan go back there during 2018 Monsoon as it would be totally green and plush!
With this thought in mind and the sun starting to hit hard, we decided to collect the trash and head to Mumbai.
Thanks to my aux lights, I could successfully navigate through these meadows at night.
You can complain about the tyres, the risk, the traction what not! End of it all, how far are willing to push urself? Riding the trails on malshej on a NON off road tyre and a semi adv ride… #touragrapher #kawasaki #versys650 #alpinestars #frogman #dirtsack #dirtsackluggage #formaadventure #malshej #naneghat #agv @agvhelmets @indiakawasaki @kawasaki #maharastra_ig #maharastra #metzelersportecm7rr #metzelerm7rr #adventure #adventuremotorcycle #advrider #trailhunting #offroad
On our way back, we visited MTDC resort at Malshej for breakfast and the food was ok! You might as well move on and stop at the road side eateries near Thane.
We reached Mumbai by around 12ish and hit the sack for some much required sleep. I surely am going back here during Monsoon to experience the greenery!
- There are no reputed hotels near Nanenghat however there are a couple of local ones which promise stay too but its best to camp as its safe here.
- If you are planning to camp, its best to carry plenty of water, food and snacks are the options you get near Naneghat post Junnar are minimal
- Liquor – Couple of bars are found near Junnar, ensure you pick it from here else be prepared for a dry outing!
- Food – Locals cook good food but choice are minimal and if you are finicky about what you eat then best to pick it on the way or have a barbecue party
- If camping, please carry tents, sleeping bags and other items as required as you barely find places with shade!
Remember, its our social responsibility to keep the place hence please carry your trash back and dump it at the near by village trash center!
I hope you enjoyed reading my chronicle on Naneghat and do come back for more as I would frequent the posts that I add. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, comments, please feel free leave a comment.