Last Updated on June 22, 2022 by asoulwindow
Information about Naneghat
There are many well-known and offbeat treks to do in Maharashtra. One such lesser explored trek of Maharashtra is Naneghat trek near Pune and Kalyan in Mumbai. Not only is it easy to reach Naneghat but is also relatively a cushy trek to participate in, thus, making it ideal for beginners. What makes this trek interesting is its historical importance! More on that, later in the blog.
This is the most comprehensive guide on Naneghat fort trek from Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. I have covered all aspects such as maps, Naneghat Trek route, difficulty, transport, time taken, history etc in this detailed travel guide on Naneghat. This information packed blog is packed with all the details that you need about Naneghat trek in an exhaustive manner.
Where is Naneghat located?
The historical mountain pass of Naneghat or Nanaghat is situated in the bio diverse Western ghat range of India. Sandwiched between ancient Junnar town and the verdant Konkan coast, it is one of the best places to visit in the Deccan plateau. Did you know that Naneghat trek also forms a portion of Ghatghar forest?
Naneghat is located just few hours away from the Indian metro cities of Mumbai, Pune and Navi Mumbai.
Why is Naneghat Famous?
What is special about Naneghat Trek? The beautiful landscapes, especially during monsoon, ancient Satavahana caves, unusual trekking path and a staircase which is constantly awash with fresh rain water makes Naneghat Trek one of the most popular treks in all of Maharashtra.
The gravity-defying reverse waterfall of Naneghat has also added to its popularity with the weekenders from Mumbai and Pune. Naneghat Trek reverse waterfall is a major attraction here. Sahyadri Trekking is anyways popular in this part of the India. I have myself done many treks in the Sahyadri.
History of Naneghat trek
This is one of the oldest trekking routes of Maharashtra, much before hobby trekking became a thing with urban people globally. The Naneghat Trek route once was an ancient trade route which was in extensive use to transport goods arriving at the Junnar which was then a flourishing marketplace. The locals are still found using this pass to reach Konkan.
Naneghat history is very interesting. The deeper I delved the more facts I came out with. This pass once served as a vital trade route between Kalyan and Junnar. Naneghat caves were artificially made and provide a place for temporary rest and shelter for travellers and traders.
Altitude of Naneghat
Unlike the high-altitude treks I did in Tibet, Nepal and India, height of Naneghat is very low. Naneghat is perched on a height of approximately 2800 feet or 853 meter above sea level only.
Exploratory Trek: Do it yourself guide to Naneghat trek
I undertook this trail as part of trekking company’s documentation project! It was meant to be an exploratory trek, which means none of the trek participants have been to this trail before and it’s a DYI (Do it yourself!) trek. I have never trekked like this before, so it was double the fun to discover the trek trail on our own, take wrong routes, almost get lost and then triumphantly find our way to the top! This travelogue on Naneghat is based on my own experience.
Main Entry of Naneghat trek in monsoon
A 2-hour long ride on a rickety ST bus from Kalyan later, 4 of us reach the main entrance of Naneghat trek towards our right. The bus drops right at the entrance of the Naneghat trek. A huge inverted ‘U’ shaped gate with a picture of attacking tiger and a ‘I -don’t-give-a-damn look on its face’ deer welcomes the visitors. A huge concrete board, left to the gate tells us that the Naneghat Trek route is as old as 250 BC.
Excited, we could not stop ourselves to begin our trek. But, much to our chagrin, we were welcomed by 3 decaying carcasses in ‘really bad condition’ right at the entrance. But then I have had a record of successful trek every time I come across a dead animal en route. We rushed past the carcasses hurriedly so as to escape the foul smell asap.
Trekking to Naneghat pass in rains
Naneghat trek is one of the best monsoon treks in India. It was drizzling lightly and we donned our raincoats, windcheaters and start the adventure. The beginning of the trail is rather smooth and without much of an obstacle or hardships. Somehow when I arrived at the Naneghat pass or Naneghat Darra, my Bermuda pants tore apart. It was a funny scene. You can imagine how I returned home in those torn pants!
All one has to do is walk on the easy dirt road (and sometimes rocky patches), soaking in the greenery on either side. We walked nonchalantly till at least for the first 30 minutes of the trail. The first 30 minutes of the trail was an easy dirt road with rocky patches. The landscape was teeming with interesting insect life.
Landscape of Naneghat
Here is all you wanted to know about the larger-than-life landscape of Naneghat which everyone talks about! The hiking trail to Naneghat is a visual delight in rains!
The whole atmosphere of Naneghat was surreal, inspiring rhapsodical accounts of all that my eyes witnessed. Far away from the urban whirligig and chaos, we were treated with visual bliss in every direction our eyes rested at. The zilch sign of so-called civilization and ugly urbanization (OK, the ugly electricity towers in the verdant hills are forgiven!) is something we all secretly crave for.
When seen from the top in rainy season, Naneghat looks nothing less than a heaven on earth! Whether it is the rocky trails or verdant open fields or the rain-washed carpets of grass, nothing matches with the beauty of Naneghat in monsoon. The strong winds only add to the drama!
Flora and Fauna of Naneghat
The landscape of Naneghat teems with life, especially in rainy season. What transported my soul into another world were the trees stooping with the abundance of new leaves, the plains inundated with fresh grass and wild flowers, the little toad’s volte face from one twig to another, the centipede strolling languorously on green meadows; the colony of snails holding a serious looking conference (perhaps, on 101 ways to make a rabbit feel bad about itself, eh?) near the Naneghat waterfall, the saintly chameleon hiding its ulterior motives by stealthily waiting for its prey and of course the rare mushroom sitting pretty, as if it just got the epiphany that how beautiful it looked.
Yes, someone stop me from singing paeans for this place which looked like some other planet! This is why Naneghat is the best monsoon treks in Maharashtra, India.
Crossing the water stream
Absorbing all this and much more, we traversed across the ethereal looking plains, finding the route till we reached a small stream of water after just 20 minutes from the beginning of the trek. This stream is rather easy to cross thanks to its shallow depth.
During monsoon, it was the first source of fresh potable water in the route. Towards the left, there was a small dam as well. We filled our bottles and crossed the stream, leaving no stone unturned to ensure that our expensive trekking shoes didn’t go wet.
Little idea did we have that when trekking in Naneghat during monsoon, there is no option of not getting wet. Just 5 minutes’ walk away from the first shallow and easy stream, we learnt our lessons the hard way, when we approached the next stream, which was stronger and more voluminous. It was almost like a waterfall with a river (OK, rivulet, if you insist!).
We were pointlessly looking for options to cross the stream without getting our shoes wet. More so, because we just saw a group crossing the same, gurgling water kissing their knee. Unwilling to fall prey to same fate, we turned left and crossed the stream by walking on the rocks at the top of a mini Naneghat waterfall. We were just hoping to avoid wading through the river.
A huge and thick stick we found on the grass helped. Some Man vs wild moment, this! Exulted at our feat, we patted our backs for not letting our shoes get wet but our spirits soon dampened.
The next stream which we thought was just as shallow turned out to be deeper, ankle deep to be precise. There was no option but to do the entire trek with wet shoes. We stopped fighting our fate and gave in. And of course, burst out laughing at our over-smart big city ideas which fell flat! I have always enjoyed Sahyadri trekking! Not only is Naneghat one of the top monsoon treks in Maharashtra, it is also a lot of fun!
Second water stream at Naneghat
Anyhow, we move on to another easy walkway. 10 minutes after crossing the stream, we came across another stream to the right.
Its source was a small dam. Thankfully we did not have to cross it but walk by its side.
We took the path parallel to the stream and soon realised we had taken a wrong route when we reached a dead end. Without wasting any time, we returned back in a jiffy. At the beginning of this stream, there were 2 paths, divided by thick trees cover; one leads slightly downhill and the other was a moderately uphill route.
First ascend to Naneghat
The uphill path was the correct one, we discovered on our own. It starts with pathways covered in thick green grass but soon turns out to be a rough rocky patch. And it is here that we face the first ascend, 45 minutes after we begin our trek.
The ascending trail is surrounded by thick foliage on either side, is not too steep and easily manageable. The forest cover ensures that there is lesser light reaching the trail. After ascending for some odd 10 minutes, we reach a clearing.
Mosquitoes at Naneghat
Before claustrophobia hit us, we were welcomed by the lush green meadows, exactly 1 hour after we started the trek. By this time, we ended up with a blitzkrieg of attacks by adamant mosquitoes.
They were not ordinary mosquitoes, but were made up of sterner stuff. They were very tiny, had black and white stripes and unlike ordinary mosquitoes. Once stuck to your skin, it’s hard to shoo them off. I suspect they were Aedes albopictus species aka Tiger mosquito or Forest Day mosquito. I encountered them in my previous monsoon trek to Bhimashankar as well.
Cursing ourselves for not carrying any mosquito repellent, we took advantage of the green plains to change into full sleeve shirts/jackets and shun Bermudas for full length track pants. The plains were also ideal for refreshing and rest. Though rest was not really required, thanks to the ease of the trek. So, we quickly had our fill of lime water and snacks and moved on.
First view of Nanacha Angtha
As soon as we started to walk again, we were delighted to see the first proper view of the famous and majestic Nanacha Angtha to our left (Meaning: Thumb, owing to its shape). Enveloped in green cover and surrounded by thick mist, it looked ethereal and outstanding.
Its sight was our constant companion for next few minutes. After 10 minutes of walking on easy green plains, we reached an elevated waterfall on the left.
Though this was not the route, but we took a detour for few minutes to enjoy the Naneghat waterfall. For the first time, we had a sense of height here as we saw the water cascading poetically down the steep hills. This is why I am so fond of trekking in Sahyadri.
Reaching the base village Vaishakhare
It also facilitates the first birds’ eye view of the region, its hills, its forests and its beauty. The small Naneghat waterfall is also ideal for water refilling though one should negotiate the rough terrains with utmost care as it gets very slippery during the monsoon.
We again take right from this unnamed Naneghat waterfall and continue our trek; again, no ascending or descending was involved, just plain walking was sufficient. 20 minutes into the walk and we reached another clearing, this time Nanacha Angatha staring at us right in front of us. We were now at the base of the hill.
It is possible to arrive at Naneghat from the Vaishakhare village as well as Dahndya. This is where Naneghat trekking point begins. I noticed that a wide stone signboard was located right at the place where the bus stopped us. The board announced in Marathi language and Devanagari script.:
“Satavahan Kaleen (260 Isa Poorv) Nane Ghat Vyapari Marg. Kalyan Te Pratishthan (Junnar)”
It can be translated as
From Satavahana Era (260 B.C.E.) Nane Ghat Trade Route. Kalyan to Pratishthan (Junnar)
As soon as we entered the main entrance, we were welcomed by another gate. It was written, “Nane Ghat Gufa Marg” on it in Marathi language and Hindi script. Unnecessary images of a tiger pouncing towards a nonchalant deer flank either side of the door on the top.
The route to Naneghat through Vaishakhare village is the most popular one with trekkers. I had trekked to Naneghat via Vaishakhare village and I can vouch for its breath-taking beauty! Naneghat trekking starts right at the Ahmednagar-Kalyan Road.
Soul Window Observations
The atmosphere here was memorable thanks to the wide-open spaces, views of many waterfalls, proximity to mist laden hills, seasonal tiny flowers (and mushrooms) carpeting the ground, the works! From here, it was again a mild ascent on rocky patches and once again we were rewarded with breath taking panoramic views, only this time, the views were bigger and better.
Getting lost in forest
Just when the things were going unbelievably smooth, it was the first time we seriously got lost during the hiking trail to Naneghat, merely 15 minutes after we started the last ascend. And it’s now that we got the first kick of being on an ‘exploratory trek’. We came across a fallen tree in the middle of what looked like a trail.
Termite colonies in Naneghat
The dampness of the area and a lack of direct sunlight supported lots of mushroom and fern varieties. The fall of the tree can be attributed to the colossal termite colonies in the area. For a moment I didn’t care about getting lost but instead took a pause to observe the termite colonies; up close and personal.
The termite colonies looked eerie and I could not help but admire the architecture by these little nondescript unsung engineers hidden under their home which rather looked like a fort from the Middle East.
Since, there are no defined trails here, you have to be watchful and careful while walking. Some trees are termite infested and have weak roots. They tend to fall and block the trail. You need to navigate around these obstacles while walking up the trail to reach Naneghat Pass.
Finding the correct route of Naneghat again
We came across another group which was lost on the way. Together we wasted around 30 minutes in finding the trail. A bird with her mellifluous whistle only made the matters worse by constantly whistling in a bizarre and amusing way in an irreverent tone, as if making fun of us.
As if telling us “Yes! I know the trail you morons!” Of course, we took it very personally! But we soon laughed at our shenanigans and desperate efforts when we realised all we had to do was turn to left and find a give-away trail of ascending rocky patch fashioned like a stair case. Though there are several arrow marks (white arrows on black rocks) throughout the trail indicating the route, but most of them have either faded away or hard to locate.
The challenging part of Naneghat
Now, it was a relatively cushy uphill journey to our destination. The next 20 minutes, we had to ascend on the most uneven sized and oddly shaped rocks strewn here and there, with little water gently cascading on it.
Of course, the zig-zag route was not a pleasant experience thanks to the slippery and loose rocks and the unpredictability of the ground beneath our feet.
20 minutes later, we again took a wrong turn when we ended up pushing ourselves to climb on a very steep vertical rock which was way too slippery to negotiate.
The climb we took was a bit scary as our only panacea was to hold on to the firm rocks and deeply rooted trees.
In our hearts we said our, “I love you mom, I love you dad!” and took the plunge after hesitant baby steps. We later realised that we could have taken the easier route towards our right when the other trek group’s members waved at us wondering if we are doing it wrong or them?
Arriving at historical water tank of Naneghat
20 minutes later, we reached the first water tank towards our left on the path leading up to the caves. The tank was overflowing with water thanks to incessant rains by now. Walk for 20 more minutes from this tank and you will reach the final destination; i.e. the caves.
Outside the cave from Satavahana era, there are multiple water tanks which can be used for bottle filling. These water tanks are unusual places to see in Naneghat. I always prefer places which have rich history such as this. Naneghat history goes back to thousands of years ago. It is one of those rare places where we can still see the Satavahana remains.
Waterfall steps of Naneghat
But not before enjoying the most unique feature of Naneghat trek in the monsoons. The final 20 minutes of the trek is the piece de resistance, something the memories of which you will cherish forever. These unique steps are also major attraction of Naneghat.
It’s a simple uphill route on neatly manmade rock cut stairs. So far so good! What makes it out of the ordinary is that during monsoon one gets to traverse it with gushing waterfall engulfing your legs as you climb up. It’s akin to walking on a waterfall staircase. This is the reward we get when we go off the beaten track.
While we were still on the ‘waterfall steps’, we started smiling foolishly as soon as we saw the first glimpse of the caves on our right. The excitement to reach there fast resulted in a faster movement on the steps and in no time, we were on the top enveloping the surroundings with our cheers, high fives and guffaws.
Arriving at Satavahana Caves built by Devi Naganika
It is always good to engage in some ancient history along with fun moments on the treks. And no other place in India can beat Maharashtra in this. Satavahana cave is the top sightseeing attraction of Naneghat. Sahyadri Trekking anyways comes with a lot of history, most of which is associated with Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The highlight in Naneghat trek is the ancient cave from the glorious Satavahana era. These Satavahana caves at Naneghat were commissioned by a woman ruler Naganika. It was built probably to serve as a resting place for the traders who used this route in ancient times. We know this because stone seats can still be seen along the walls of the cave.
Both weather and human attacks have destroyed much of what was present in these caves originally. This is the most offbeat place to see in Naneghat. It is also located away from the crowds. I am sharing some deep insights on the Satavahana caves below. You will not find such valuable information and lesser-known facts in mainstream media or old-fashioned guide books.
Who was Devi Naganika and Satakarni I?
Devi Naganika was the wife of Satakarni I (180-170 BCE), the third ruler from the Satavahana era. Some say her name was Nayanika. She commissioned the Satavahana carvings after the demise of her husband Satakarni I. We know this because the inscription mentions about their son being the new Satavahana king. Details on their life together can also be seen in the inscription.
Not only was Satakarni I the earliest of Satavahana rulers but was also the one of the greatest. Satakarni I ruled this part of India after Krishna. The rule of Satakarni I lasted between 70 and 60 B.C.E. The powerful Satavahanas ruled at what is now Maharashtra and the coastal area of present Andhra Pradesh.
The Satavahana ruled for a long time between mid-1st century B.C.E. and early 3rd century C.E. Agriculture was their main economy and Prakrit was preferred over the ancient Sanskrit language by the Satavahanas. The capital of Satavahanas in those times used to be Amravati and Pratishthana or Paithan.
It is interesting to note that according to another inscription of Hatigumpha and Guntupalli, Satakarni I was defeated by the Jain King Kharavela of Kalinga.
The Hathigumpha inscription can still be seen in a cavern known as Hathigumpha in the famous tourist destination of Udayagiri hills. Since it is located near the historical city of Bhubaneswar, which is also the capital of beautiful Odisha, therefore it is easy to reach. Hathigumpha inscription is written in the ancient Prakrit language in the Brahmi script. It is a 17-line inscription.
The trail leads straight to the top of the peak. The top has lovely views of the valley below. A cave is located on the top which also has inscriptions carved in the walls. These inscriptions are believed to be at least 2000 years old. Also known as the Nanaghat inscriptions, these are dated between as early as 2nd and 1st century B.C.E. As per D.C. Sircar, according to palaeography, the Naneghat inscription date back to 1st century B.C.E.
The inscriptions mostly talk about the achievements of the king Satakarni I from the Satavahana dynasty and thus are a vital source of information for the historians. This is a little-known fact about Naneghat which sadly doesn’t find mention in the mainstream media.
The Naneghat inscriptions describe Satakarni as “Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty.” This is a little-known fact about Naneghat. It gave me goosebumps to come face to face with something so ancient.
The inscriptions and the cave are well preserved though the statues which once existed here no longer exist. As many as 8 life-sized statues used to be present here once. Who wrote Naneghat inscription? Devi Naganika, who was a widow of Satakarni I had issued the Satavana inscription in Naneghat.
These precious ancient inscriptions were written in Brahmi script and Sanskrit language. In fact, the Naneghat inscription is a specimen of one of the oldest Sanskrit inscriptions of India. Archaeologists also concluded that the script seen in Naneghat caves was the prototype of the refined Devanagari which prevailed in India later.
While some of these very old inscriptions are long, some are short. Please don’t write on the walls of the caves as some irresponsible tourists do. You should help in keeping it well preserved for posterity.
Through the Naneghat inscriptions in the caves, we also know that apart from Satavahana dynasty, Mauryan empire also ruled here. Sightseeing places such as these always leave me bewildered. These inscriptions are a must-see ! Naneghat inscription can be seen on the right and left side of the wall in the caves.
Vedic proofs in Naneghat Inscription
Much of what we know about the rich history of Satavahana is thanks to Naneghat inscription. Not only is Nanaghat inscription the oldest historical documentation of West India but it is also one of the most detailed and important inscriptions all across India. It helped the historians and archeologists join the dots and improve our knowledge of Hindu history.
Mention of Surya Bhagwan, Dharma Indra Bhagwan and Chandra Devta who are prominent Vedic Gods have also been observed at the Nanaghat inscriptions. Yama, Vāsava, Varuṇa and Kubera, the 4 lokapalas or the guardians of the world also find a mention in Naneghat Inscription. Worship of Saṃkarṣaṇa and Vāsudeva was also prevalent in ancient day Mathura, Besnagar, Ghosundi and even Ai Khanoum which is now in present-day Afghanistan.
In fact, through the Naneghat inscription, we also know that Bhagavata tradition of Sanatan Dharm or Hinduism was patronized in the powerful Satavahana dynasty. Vaishnavism related mentions such as Vasudeva (Shri Krishna) and Samkarsana (Balarama ji) have also been observed in the Naneghat inscriptions. This proves that Naneghat Inscription were Hindu inscriptions and not a Buddhist heritage as was believed earlier by western explorers.
The inscription also elucidates the Vaidika Yajnas which the royal couple performed in those days. The inscription also elaborates on the donations made by the couple on such special occasions. For example, one of the yajnas was called as Saptadaśātrātra. This yajna continued for 7 days. Generous donations of 1 horse with silver trappings, 17 cows and as many as 10,000 Kārṣapaṇas were made in this yajna by the royal couple.
Naneghat inscription and old numerals
Naneghat inscriptions also throw light on the ancient numerals which were in practise in those days. As many as 30 mentions of numerals have been observed in Naneghat inscription. World’s oldest known numeration symbols for digits such as 2, 4, 6, 7, and 9 have been observed here. It is interesting to note that it looks very similar to the present-day numerals, especially the Nagari script.
Other old inscriptions in Maharashtra
Nasik Caves inscription of Kanha, a Satavahana ruler dates back to 100-70 BCE. Similar ancient inscriptions have also been noticed in the Kanheri caves near Kandivali and Borivali in the megacity Mumbai. The Brahmi stone inscription of Kanheri caves have told us a lot about history. It is located within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Soul Window Thoughts
During my extensive travels in all corners of India since the year 2008, I have seen many medieval inscriptions in places as different as Lepakshi temple in Andhra Pradesh, Meguti Jain temple in Aihole in Karnataka, the inscription on a pillar in Pattadakal, Baijnath temple, Chamba statue in Ladakh or even the small inscription I saw in Katarmal Sun Temple in the hilly Indian state of Uttarakhand.
We should be thankful to our ancestors that they left behind records. Much of what we know about the glorious past of India is thanks to these inscriptions. What the invaders tried to destroy is now revealed through these inscriptions.
Arriving at Naneghat Pass
On the left of the caves is the famed Naneghat Pass, which is a magnificent and grand piece of ancient architecture. The rock cut stairs surrounded by huge rock walls on either side add to its allure and magic. Not many know that these huge caves were manmade.
The Naneghat pass speaks volume of the enterprising nature and resourcefulness of ancient India. This pass was wisely and strategically carved out during the Satavahana period (200 BCE-190CE) to facilitate trade route between Kalyan and Junnar.
Nomenclature and Etymology of Naneghat
What does name Nane means? What does ghat means? Naneghat is also known as Nanaghat or Nana Ghat. The name Naneghat is self-explanatory as ‘Nane’ means coin while ‘Ghat’ stands for ‘pass’.
Arriving at Naneghat Plateau
Once you cross the pass on the ascending stairs in flat 2 minutes, you will again be surprised to see a new landscape, i.e., the Naneghat plateau. No rocky patches here but only miles and miles of muddy plains, agricultural lands and farms and the 1st sign of civilisation ever since the trek begun. Sahyadri Trekking is always full of such surprises. It is a must-see place.
Ancient toll-booth of Naneghat and Naneghat Temple
The density of mist on the plateau was much more than what we experienced earlier. And so were the intensity of wind and chill in the air.
As we emerged from Naneghat pass, we saw a small temple dedicated to Bhagwan Ganesha on our right. This Naneghat Temple is a must-visit place. Now another question arises. For what was Nane pass used?
On the left of the temple of Ganesh ji, I noticed a huge rock cut pot which was used in ancient times to collect coins from the traders who crossed Naneghat pass. Isn’t it equivalent to our modern-day tollbooths where they collect toll? It is a must-visit place in Naneghat!
Nane after all means coins while ghat stands for pass. The mountain pass of Naneghat was a gateway to enter the Deccan plateau region and back in the day all traders who passed through this route were required to pay a tax to the local ruler. They used to collect toll and the tax was deposited in a large stone pot carved out of a single rock. The pot still exists and can be seen at the summit.
As I said before many times, such places in Maharashtra are not only picturesque but also rich in history. This ancient toll booth is one of the top places to see in Naneghat.
Ancient trade route through Naneghat pass
In ancient times, Naneghat pass used to connect the west coast seaports of Kalyan, Sopara and Thane with Paithan and Nasik. Harbour of Sopara is presently known as Nalasopara. This was the fastest route to connect the sea ports with economic centres such as the human settlements of Paithan and Nashik. This interesting fact about mountain pass of Naneghat has also been supported by ASI or Archaeological Survey of India.
Mountain pass of Naneghat is not ordinary. The trade route between Junnar and Kalyan via Nanghat Pass was very popular in old days. In an era when the powerful Satavahanas ruled, Naneghat served as the main route to Junnar. Of course, we are talking about an era where there were no baby bottom smooth roads and the efficient ST buses and cars.
This is why Naneghat pass was important as it connected Paithan and Junnar directly with Kalyan and Sopara. The road links from Naneghat, Malshej Ghat and Bor Ghat that connected to the Junnar plateau was very popular. No wonder Naneghat was the main and most important trade route during the reign of Satavahana dynasty in this region.
However, subsequently it fell in the hands of later rulers. Needless to say, the scenic route slipped into disuse and lack of maintenance over the years. Today, Naneghat is a major tourist attraction for tourists and trekkers from Mumbai and Pune.
Naneghat reverse waterfall
The reverse waterfall is one of the top attractions of Naneghat! Not many know that Naneghat is also home to a mysterious reverse waterfall! It is a very unique phenomenon which is also seen at some other places in Maharashtra during monsoon. But how and why does the water flow in opposite direction, defying gravity?
I found out that the winds in this region flow with force. Due to the powerful winds, the gushing water is pushed upwards and it gives the illusion that the water in flowing towards the sky. Law of gravity is clearly defied here by nature itself!
I am amazed that the strong force of the winds in this region has the capability of even pushing up the water. It must be noted that this strange phenomenon is observed only in the rainy season, especially in the months of June, July and August when this region of Maharashtra experiences heavy rain. You can observe this only when the force of water and wind is strong enough. Do not miss the Naneghat Trek reverse waterfall, which is also the most famous places of interest in Naneghat.
I have written about many mysterious places in and outside India such as Gauri Kund, Rakshastal, Manasarovar Lake, Kailash Parbat, Lepakshi Temple, Sri Jagannath Temple, Brihadisvara Temple, Shore temple. However, the mysterious phenomenon which takes place at Naneghat still baffles me. It just goes on to show how little we really understand our world.
Top things to do in Naneghat
What is there to do in Naneghat? There are many activities you can do at Naneghat whether solo, with friends or with family. Some of the best things to do in Naneghat are as below
- Village Walk
- Exploring botany
- Staying with a local
- Learning history of Satavahanas
You can pick or all of these activities depending on the time and budget you have.
Night Trek to Naneghat
Can I trek to Naneghat during night? Yes, it is also possible to trek to Naneghat trek during night. Though I have done many night treks which included the trek to Harihar Fort, I do not recommend it for Naneghat. The visual beauty of Naneghat can be seen only in the day.
Also, because it is possible to simply catch a bus after arriving at Naneghat Pass makes it unlikely that you will take the effort to descend down the trekking trail. However, if you are still keen to trek to Naneghat trek in night, ensure that you are trekking with someone who knows the Naneghat Trek route.
Also, do carry torch and paper soaps. Trekking under the soft glow of moonlight can also be rewarding. Naneghat is located in a remote location, away from the crowds. So, do not expect modern frills here.
Stargazing is one of the most unusual things to do in Naneghat. In case you are staying overnight at Naneghat or doing the night trek to Naneghat, ensure you do the stargazing. However, be warned that stargazing is not possible in the cloudy weather of monsoon! For best stargazing experience at Naneghat, the ideal time to visit is the dry months of summer and winter. Stargazing is best enjoyed during Naneghat night trek. You can also try astrophotography during summer.
Thanks to the lack of modern ugly building and the pollution they bring along, it is very satisfying to do stargazing at Naneghat. The beauty of the night sky of Naneghat is to be seen to be believed, especially in summer. A dark sky or moonless sky is best for stargazing because there is no glow of moon which can hide the stars. There are many tour operators who also organize special stargazing events at Naneghat along with the trek, of course.
In fact, many such fort treks of Maharashtra are ideal for starwatching especially for those who love topics like astronomy and astrophysics. For example, I did a wonderful stargazing with my friends on the top of Harihar Fort trek. We were ordinary people with no background of astronomy. We just used a mobile app to identify several stars including constellation of many zodiac signs such as vrishchik or scorpion. Any additional equipment or accessories like telescope is not required for stargazing. Stargazing is surely the top things to do in Naneghat.
Vegan and Vegetarian food at Naneghat Trek
Hungry and drained of all our energy after Naneghat Trek finished, we were delirious with joy to see a ghostly looking local emerging eerily out of thick fog with a tea kettle in his hands. Just what we wanted! The smile on his face and warmth in his speech only added to our comfort.
He readily took us to a makeshift room (a huge hall, in fact), 5 minutes’ walk away from the Naneghat pass. We changed our clothes, hogged on the freshly made Poha and warm tea (as if hungry for years!), sharing occasionally with their pet dogs who accompanied us in the room.
He was a local farmer who runs a small tea stall near Naneghat pass and Satavana cave. He also offers some local snacks like ‘Poha’. There is a small shed which can be used by campers at night. He refused to put a price for renting the shed and said that he accepts whatever people decide to pay him. You can also ask for Maharashtrian cuisine such as Misal Pao, Zunka Bhakari, Puran Poli, Vada Pao, Bhareli Wangi etc.
Do remember that there are no food stalls at the starting point or during the 3 hours long trek. This is why carry some dry snacks and water from home. I bought these the night before the trek was to begin early morning.
Where to stay for Naneghat Trek
We didn’t stay back at Naneghat as it was a day trip for us from Vashi in Navi Mumbai. You can find accommodation at the homestay near Naneghat Pass though. Not many hotels are located near Naneghat Pass. Far better facilities are there in the nearby Junnar and Malshej Ghat.
There is no Naneghat resort near the mountain pass. The nearest MTDC resort run by government of Maharashtra is located at Malshej Ghat. I personally like staying at the MTDC resorts while traveling across Maharashtra.
Stay at Satavahana caves
Satavahana Caves are one of the biggest points of attractions of Naneghat but I am aghast at its poor maintenance. Sadly, some careless trekker also stayed in the Satavahana era cave when we visited. Many irresponsible trekkers cook, eating and monkey around in the ancient caves which also has some of the oldest inscriptions of India. In the long run, all the smoke from cooking may damage the inscription.
I feel Government should ban staying inside the cave and appoint a guard here instead of locking the caves altogether. I do not recommend staying at the cave. It is our duty to protect our national monuments and heritage.
Naneghat camping and cooking
Huge open spaces are available throughout the Naneghat trek. However, I do not recommend camping in the dense forest area. I have cooked many times myself during treks in Maharashtra. I have cooked during the dangerous Dhak Bahiri trek, Rajmachi trek and Harihar Fort night trek. I always chose open ground for cooking.
This is why I recommend that if you want to camp up, you should do it near the Naneghat Pass area. There is a lot of open space in this part. You can easily pitch a tent here at no additional cost. If you are not keen to cook, you can request the local villagers to arrange nice vegetarian meals for you. Generally, food here is very low-cost despite being very delicious. Naneghat Camping is one of the best things to do in Naneghat.
Homestay experience with a local
Apart from the Satavana era caves, this room located near the Naneghat Trek can also be used as a shelter for nominal charges for trekkers who want to stay back. The many empty bottles of whiskey lying in a corner were the tell-tale signs. If you are unable to locate the place, the person in charge Sunny Nangre can be contacted at 976504198.
Village walk at Naneghat
What else is there to do inNaneghat? You can also visit the local homes of the villagers, with their permission of course. The villages with homes are located the top, near Naneghat Pass. Interacting with the simple and friendly people of rural Maharashtra always warms my heart.
Their simplicity and goodness have always touched my heart, when I was least expecting it. I am sure you will find your moments as well if you open up to the local people! Naneghat is a hidden gem which is still unexplored despite some traffic in monsoon during weekends. Personally, I prefer going to lesser-known places such as Naneghat.
Other facilities near Naneghat
Nearest medical care can be availed at Ghogarewadi which is 18.4 kilometres away. Nearest police station and post office is located at Junnar. Most of the trekkers, of course do not ever need these facilities unless it is an emergency.
Naneghat Trek in monsoon
It is one thing to trek in the majestic Sahyadris in dry season but it is a different ballgame altogether to indulge in a monsoon trek in the verdant and misty hills of Maharashtra. Of course, it is a ‘limited period offer’.
Come July, August and September, the hills of Maharashtra display their split personality unabashedly. The dry brown shrubs give way to greenery all around. The hot clear skies turn to cool, breezy and mist laden atmosphere. The nondescript dry streams metamorphosizes into monstrous waterfalls.
And the clouds are your constant companion. There is joie de vivre in the air and you definitely want to be a part of it! No wonder, every monsoon, the hills of Maharashtra beckon a huge influx of adventure seekers from all over.
Nanghat trek is best enjoyed during the monsoon months when it rains heavily in Maharashtra. The hiking trail of Naneghat comes alive in the rainy season!
What to carry for Naneghat Trek in monsoon?
Based upon my personal experience, the ‘Forget me not’ checklist for Naneghat Trek is as below
- Walking stick, not much required though.
- Please avoid wearing Gold and other ornaments.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, caps, goggles if it’s a sunny day.
- Mosquito repellents to fight the mosquito, esp. in monsoons.
- A windcheater/raincoat/Poncho and umbrella to brave the rains.
- Camera and plastic covers to protect camera and other electronics from rain
- Do wear trekking shoes and not chappals or sandals because it gets slippery in rain.
- Water (around 2 litres per person as it is a 3–4 hours trek one side, esp in dry season)
- Lots of healthy snacks like dry fruits, khakhra and lime water to keep energy levels up.
- Basic first aid kit like band-aid, pudin hara, etc. Personal medicines, if one is on any medication.
- Carry power bank and charge your gadgets before leaving home. There may be little to no electricity facility at Naneghat.
- Spare dry clothes and lots of small and big polythene bags to compartmentalize wet clothes and most importantly to protect your electronics, esp. camera and cellphones.
Best Time to visit Naneghat Trek
Is Naneghat open? How is the weather now in Naneghat? What is the best month to visit Naneghat? Is winter a good time to visit Naneghat? These are the most commonly asked questions on Naneghat. Below is a detailed guide on the climate, weather and temperatures of Naneghat.
Monsoon is the main season here as this region receives heavy rainfall. Monsoon or the rainy season is the best time to visit Naneghat. In fact, the entire Konkan Belt is famous for its heavy rainfall which ranges between 2500 mm to 4500 mm. This is why the climate is also humid and warm around Naneghat. Expect temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius even in rains. I personally never felt hot while doing the trek. It was very breezy and pleasant when I trekked in monsoon.
From July to September, expect abundant greenery, breathtakingly views, mist laden hills and a very pleasant weather in Naneghat. The other months can be dry, hot and uninspiring. The night temperature in monsoon can dip to 39°C.
While many trekkers also go to Naneghat in the winter months October, November, December and January, they miss out on the visually stunning landscape which one can see in monsoon. However, the climate of Naneghat is mild in winter.
You can still consider trekking up the Naneghat pass, in case you are more interested in Naneghat history and not just views. The climate is dry and cool during winters in Nana Ghat. Lack of rains also make it easier to trek to Naneghat pass during the winter months. The maximum temperature in winter is 28 degrees Celsius.
Summers are harsh in Nana Ghat. February and March are also a good time to visit Naneghat. But avoid April, May and June. This is the hottest month in Naneghat. Also, the dry weather means ugly looking brown grass. If you have ever been to other places in Maharashtra in monsoon, you know why traveling in other months is far from a visual delight! Expect very hot and humid climate in summer. Temperatures can soar to a sultry 40 degrees Celsius in summer.
Difficulty level of Naneghat Trek
Is Naneghat trek difficult? Is Naneghat trek easy? What is the Naneghat trek difficulty level? These are other frequently asked questions on Naneghat. I found Naneghat cave trek to be a very easy trek. But then, I have done some difficult treks such as Roopkund Trek, Darwa Pass via Dodital Trek, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, Everest Base Camp Trek and Poonhill Trek in Nepal.
For an inexperienced trekker, Naneghat trek may seem moderate if not easy or difficult. Therefore, the difficulty level of Naneghat trek is very relative. All said and done, Naneghaat trek is not even one of the toughest treks in Maharashtra such as Alang Kuland Madan and Dhak Bahiri trek, which I did. Any one with general fitness, whether young or old can do Naneghat trek. Even the ascends at Naneghat trek is not all that difficult. The hiking trail of Naneghat is quite doable.
Duration of Naneghat Day Trek
What is the total Naneghat trek time? It took us only 3 hours and 10 minutes to arrive at the Naneghat pass, the final destination from the base. I did a day trek to Naneghat.
Starting at 8:30 a.m., we were successful in completing the trek by 11:40 a.m. Despite taking many breaks for photography and soaking in the views we completed the trek within the record time. We had also lost our way many times and had challenges like crossing water steams, all of which took time. Despite all the challenges the trek threw at us, we were successful in finishing the Naneghat cave trek within time.
Below is the time taken to complete the Naneghat Trek:
Naneghat Trek start time: 8:30 a.m.
Reaching Naneghat pass and the Satavahana era caves at: 11:40 a.m.
Naneghat Day Trek itinerary
The below itinerary of Naneghat is based on my own experience. Naneghat Trek from Mumbai is easy. This guide also answers, “How to reach Naneghat from Mumbai by train?” You can adjust it as per your location and convenience.
5 a.m. I woke up, got ready and left my home in Sanpada in Navi Mumbai.
6 a.m. Took a local train to Kalyan from Vashi, followed by a bus to Vaishakhare base village. This is the most popular Naneghat trekking point to start the trek.
8:30 a.m. Started the trek to Naneghat
11:40 a.m. Reached Naneghat pass
13:00 p.m. Caught a bus to Navi Mumbai via Pune.
Reached home by evening. This is how you can also do day trek to Naneghat like I did.
Naneghat Trek kilometres: Distance covered in Naneghat Trek
How many kilometres of walking Naneghat Trek involves? How long is Naneghat? I covered a total of 4.8 kilometres one way on Naneghat trek. However, the weather was so good that I never got tired or asked the other trekkers, “kitna aur?” or “How much more?”
Excursions from Naneghat
Most of the travelers who visit Naneghat do not explore other historical sites which are located nearby perhaps due to lack of knowledge. This is why I wanted to write this guide on excursions from Naneghat.
Some of the best nearby attractions from Naneghat are listed as below:
- Bhimashankar Temple: Located only 125 kilometers away from Pune, Bhimashakar is highly revered because it is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. I had trekked through the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary, which is also the home of Shekaru or Malabar Giant Squirrel, the state animal of Maharashtra. You can read my detailed guide to Bhimashankar. You can reach here by bus or trek. The trek took us several hours.
- Girijatmaka Temple: This unique cave temple, which is devoted to Ganesh Bhagwan is located very close to the highway. You can also visit the other caves that surround this temple.
- Shivneri Fort: This fort is nothing less than a temple for many Maharashtrians because this is the place where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born. Shivneri Fort is located only 30 kilometers away from Naneghat. Idols of Jijabai and a younger Shivaji Maharaj are worshipped here. The water tank called as Badami Talav is located in the center of the fort while the two perennial water springs which are located here are known as Ganga and Yamuna.
- Jivdhan Fort: Not many know that Jivdhan is located just 2.3 kilometers or 8 minutes away on an open field from Naneghat. Jivdhan Fort is situated in Ghatghar town of Junnar Taluka of Pune district. Many people also do Jivdhan Fort trek via Naneghat. This important guard fort was used by several powerful kingdoms of past. Jivdhan Naneghat trek is also very popular here.
- Malshej Ghat: Malshej Ghat is a popular monsoon destination, loved by Mumbaikars and Puneiites alike. The good news is that Malshej Ghat is located only 1 hour and 38 kilometers away from Naneghat. You can see many waterfalls here and enjoy hot corn while being drenched in rain. Not many know that while passing through the touristy Malshej Ghat, it is also easily possible to get a glimpse of Naneghat right after Murbad. So, watch out if you are driving to Malshej Ghat.
- Lenyadri Group of Theravada Buddhist Caves: TheseBuddhist caves arelocated just 35 kilometers or 22 miles from Naneghat. It makes for a quick tour from Nanaghat.
- Ancient Mounds of Junnar: Not many people even know that as many as a whooping 200 mounds have been unearthed near Junnar by archeologists. You will be surprised to learn that these ancient mounds are dated between 3rd-century B.C.E and 3rd-century C.E. The huge brick structures which were excavated in Junnar has been the subject of study since a long time. It was found by the archeologists that these 10 feet or 3.2-meter-tall structures were used as granaries during the Satavahana era.
- Bhairavgadh: This thrilling trek is located just 5 kilometers from Nana Ghat. Many adventurous trekkers club Naneghat with Bhairavgarh.
- Manikdoh dam: Located only 13.1 kilometers away from Naneghat and 1 kilometer away from Lenyadri, Manikdoh dam is a favorite sightseeing place for many. Several village routes also fall on the way as you try to reach the dam. Most of the road which leads to this dam is smooth expect for some narrow patches, which I experienced at many places in Maharashtra.
There are many other interesting places of interest near Naneghat. Do read all my comprehensive blogs on Maharashtra. I have been mentioned as Most successful travel blogger in India so many times. Other places to visit near Naneghat are as follows
- Hadsar Fort
- Nimgiri fort
- Pimpalgaon Joga Dam
How to reach Naneghat?
How do I get to Naneghat? How to arrive at Naneghat Trek from Pune? How to visit Naneghat trek from Mumbai? How to do Naneghat Trek from Kalyan? This exhaustive travel guide with Naneghat is packed with such information which is not found in most traditional guide books or mainstream media.
Base village: How to Reach Naneghat Trek Start Point
What is the Starting Point of trek Naneghat? How do I get to Naneghat Trek? It is fairly easy to reach Naneghat. Located close to all the metro cities of Maharashtra, Naneghat trek is one of the best weekend-break from Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Vaishakhare is the base village for Naneghat trek.
Returning back to Mumbai from Naneghat
Gaining new happy memories from the Naneghat day trek, we head to our homes, grumpy and sullen faced, thinking of the urban whirligig we Mumbaikars have to face the next Monday. Think local trains, the suffocating Mumbai ‘matchbox’ apartment, difficult colleagues at workplace, the ‘Bai’ not turning up to cook food and wash the clothes, the works!
Ah, there is no such thing as eternal paradise. Time to brood, squirm, introspect, sulk and plan for next monsoon trek in the Sahyadris! Escapism is easy if you happen to live near Sahyadris.
Road Trip to Naneghat
If you are not into trekking, you can simply drive to the Naneghat pass, see Satavahana caves, ancient toll booth pot and water tanks. Hot chai and food at local dhaba are cherry on the cake!
Naneghat Trek from Pune
How can I reach Naneghat trek from Pune? Catch the 3:30 am Mahalakshami Express to reach Kalyan in 2.5 hours. Ticket price is very low. Alternatively, take a bus to Kalyan.
State transport buses from Kalyan to Junnar are also easily available. Located on the Malshej Ghat road, ask the driver to stop near the base village of Vaishakhare village. I had spotted a signboard signalling start of Naneghat trek, so it was easy for me to stop. Atgaon railway station is the nearest railhead from here. Pune also has the nearest railway station from Naneghat, followed by Mumbai.
Naneghat Trek From Mumbai
How to reach Naneghat from Mumbai by a train? Here is the most detailed guide to Naneghat Trek from Mumbai. I reached Kalyan by 6:00 am by a local train from Vashi railway station in Navi Mumbai. Kalyan is the closest railway station from Naneghat.
Naneghat Trek from Kalyan
Naneghat Trek from Kalyan is also easy. From MSRTC bus stand, catch any Ahmednagar or Shirdi bound bus. Buy a ticket upto Vaishakhare village and ask the conductor to halt at the Naneghat gate, the trek’s start point. Ticket price is Rs.101/- and takes approximately 1.5 hours. In case you forget to pack snacks, Kalyan station is the ideal place to stock up on convenient finger foods.
Returning back from Naneghat Trek
You can of course trek back. But if lazy and tired, there is a very convenient way to get down via the rickety ST bus. In fact, we found some picknickers riding their bikes and cars to reach the Naneghat plateau directly but then they didn’t know what fun it was to trek the hills.
Frequent Junnar bound buses are available from Ghatgar village, an easy 3 kms walk from the Naneghat pass. The last bus is at 4:30 pm and it takes around 1 hour to reach Junnar from Ghatghar village.
From Junnar, there are many buses connecting to Pune and Kalyan in Mumbai. The bus route from Junnar to Kalyan is rather scenic as it passes through the famous tourist magnet, i.e. the water fall rich Malshej Ghat.
Getting Back by Buses
To return to either Mumbai or Pune the most convenient way is to walk to Ghatgar Village and take a bus to Junnar. Beware as the bus as well as the journey is extremely uncomfortable as the road is full of potholes and the bus is very poorly maintained. It takes an hour to reach Junnar from Ghatgar. The last bus from Ghatgar to Junnar is at around 4:30 pm. Trekkers should time themselves properly so as not to miss this connection.
There are many busses connecting Junnar with Pune and Kalyan. Bus fare from Junnar to Pune Station is approximately Rs. 97. Although the distance to Pune is only 90 kms, the journey takes approximately 3 hours as the bus has many stops.
Distances from Naneghat
Distance from Naneghat to other nearby places of interests are listed as below in ascending order:
- Distance between Junnar and Naneghat is 30 kilometres
- Distance between Atgaon Railhead and Naneghat is 117 kilometres
- Distance between Kalyan and Naneghat is 122 kilometres
- Distance between Mumbai and Naneghat is 164 kilometres
- Distance between Nasik and Naneghat is 178 kilometres
- Distance between Pune and Naneghat is 120.2 kilometres
- Distance between Satara and Naneghat is 239 kilometres
- Distance between Karad and Naneghat is 288 kilometres
- Distance between Sangli and Naneghat is 360 kilometres
Naneghat Trek package
Several Mumbai and Pune based trekking companies also organise trek to Naneghat. You can easily book a trip to trek Naneghat with them. I recommend going with a local guide or trekking group as it helps to find the Naneghat Trek route and organise Naneghat tour in a much better way than doing it solo or with friends none of who know the route. Most tour operators run 1 night and 1 day package to Naneghat.
- Keep the Naneghat hiking trail clean.
- Smoking and drinking should also be avoided, especially during trek.
- Don’t disturb the peace and tranquillity of the place by shouting and hooting.
- Please do not play music as it may disturb local animal, birds and even the villagers.
- Don’t litter the place. Pick up your mess in a polythene bag and dispose in proper place.
- You might come across snakes like green viper. Don’t harm them and just leave them alone.
Naneghat Trek travel tips
The deepest stream in the Hiking trail of Naneghat will have knee deep water. You must be careful while crossing these water streams as the current can be strong. Furthermore, the rocks are also slippery due to algae formation and hence trekkers should be careful and watchful.
The trek begins on flat land and you get excellent views of the twin peaks. If trekking during the monsoon season you will find a number of seasonal streams gushing down. These streams also form a number of Naneghat waterfalls on the cliffs of the hills.
There is a dirt road in the initial approach of the trek. This dirt road is approximately 25% of the total trek length and takes you to the foothills. From the foothills you have to engineer your way up as there is no clearly defined trail. You can use the tracks created by the seasonal streams.
Also, do remember that limited phone connectivity is available at Naneghat for many cellular services. This is why inform the same to your loved ones before leaving home.
Are there marking on the route of Naneghat?
Yes, at some places there are temporary marks, perhaps made my local villagers. At some places there are even rocks with arrow marks to guide you through the correct path of the Naneghat trek as it is easy to get lost here. However, these markings are often very faint and can be missed easily.
After overcoming the initial obstacles of falling trees and a trail covered with thick undergrowth, we reached a point where we found a clear trail created by a seasonal water stream. Along this trail there are numerous markings in blue paint which point towards the right direction.
Care must be taken while walking up these trails as during monsoons the stream is gushing with water and the current is strong.
Is it safe to do Naneghat trek?
During the major part of the Naneghat trek, we were the only people visible, barring one or two occasions. The only other people we saw were either locals or other trekkers which could be counted on fingers. Despite the loneliness, I never felt unsafe doing trek Naneghat.
In fact, many people who stay back in the open caves from Satavahana era also do not feel any safety problem. The people of Maharashtra are some of the most friendly, honest and helpful I have ever met. This is also why I always feel safe and happy traveling across Maharashtra.
Toilet at Naneghat
I didn’t see any toilet during the trek at Naneghat. Mostly people take a leak at a corner in the forest itself. Ask for the toilet facility at the Naneghat pass at the end of the trek.
Parking facility and Parking charges
Is there parking facility at Naneghat? Yes, ample parking space is available at the Naneghat pass. You need to pay a small amount to the local villagers to park the car. You can also park at the start of the trek at the base village. But it is solely on owner’s risk. Designated parking spot is available only at the top.
Entry fee at Naneghat
No entry fee is charged at Naneghat. Yes, there are so many free things to do in Naneghat because there is no entry fee either at the top or the bottom end of the trek. You can have a free walking tour here amidst nature!
Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Naneghat Trek
There are no souvenir shops here. Naneghat is not a regular tourist attraction where you can expect gift shops or Souvenir shops.
ATM in Naneghat
There is not a single ATM at the beginning, middle or end of trek Naneghat. Do carry cash before you leave home. Digital payment is not accepted at most places during Naneghat trip. You will need to pay the home-stay owner, bus conductor and others in hard cash.
Photography Tips for Naneghat
The beauty of Naneghat, especially during monsoon can-not be described in mere words. One of my best photography tips during Naneghat trek is that you should click Nanacha Angtha or Thumbs Up mountain, right at the beginning of the trek. The first sight of Nanacha Angtha is also the best view of this uniquely shaped mountain.
Also, do not forget to click the ‘easy-to-miss’ inscriptions inside the Satavahana caves. IT is one of the rarest examples of such script.
The waterfall, nature and shots of the pass also come out very well during Naneghat Trek, especially in monsoon. There are many tourist places in Naneghat, all of which are equally stunning! This is why Naneghat tourism is so popular!
Soul Window Travel Tip
However, in case you are doing this adventurous trek in rainy season, please take immense care to protect your camera from rain. During monsoon, rain can come without any prior announcement in the western ghats range. And just to warn you, it rains like cats and dogs at most of the places in Maharashtra. This is why you should carry extra plastic bags, raincoat, umbrella and protection for camera during Naneghat Trek. Double packing the expensive gadgets such phones, cameras etc in plastic is a good idea!
Hire local tourist guide in Naneghat
Though ours was a self-guided trek to Naneghat, but in case you feel unconfident on visiting Naneghat on your own, especially as a solo traveler, then you must hire a local guide. The locals know the Naneghat Trek route
very well and for a small sum of money, they can help you finish this trek in a shorter span of time with less or no hassles.
The local guides or a Mumbai based guide speak in Hindi, Marathi and English.
Budget and cost of Naneghat Trek
Naneghat Trek is a low-cost adventure activity. There is not much you can splurge on here. The only things I spent on during Naneghat trek were the money spent on bus and food. Since I took ST buses run by MSRTC, the cost of transportation was very low. The poha also didn’t cost much. The money spent on Naneghat Trek for me was less than what people spend on coffee in fancy places.
How many days it takes to complete Naneghat Trek?
How many days should I spend doing Naneghat Trek? Is it possible to do Naneghat Trek in one day? I keep repeating that Naneghat is the top weekend destination from metro cities such as Mumbai and Pune. I visited from Vashi in Navi Mumbai via local trains and ST buses and I was still able to return back on the same day.
Why should I spend 2 days in Naneghat? Many trekkers love to stay overnight in the hilltop homestay in Naneghat. I feel it is very interesting to spend 2 days here, in case you have extra time and money at hand. Not only will you get the chance to do some unexpected interactions with local people but also have an immersive cultural experience.
Timing of Naneghat Trek
It is a good idea to start doing Naneghat trek as early in the morning as you can so that you can easily return back to Mumbai, Pune or Navi Mumbai on the same day itself. I and my friend were able to finish the hike and return back to Kharghar in Navi Mumbai on the same day.
Not only did it save us the hotel cost but it also allowed to report to the boss in the office next day, without taking a day off. I and my office friend Shrikant Nagesh had visited Naneghat trek as a day trip on a Sunday. Naneghat trek, after all, is one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.
What to wear for Naneghat trek?
In case you are visiting Naneghat in monsoon, do not forget to wear raincoat on light cotton shirts and pants. I wore cotton shirt, half pants and windcheater to fight the rains. I also carried many plastic bags in my cloth bag to protect my expensive DSLR camera from rains.
However, the packing should be done differently if you are doing Naneghat trekking in winter. Do note that though it never gets too cold anywhere in Maharashtra unlike North India, but the nights can be chilly. So do carry warm clothes if you are trekking to Naneghat Pass in winters.
Trekking to Naneghat is fairly simple in summer months. Just wear a shirt, or vest or nothing on top. Club it with half pants and you are sorted.
Conclusion: Is Naneghat Trek worth the effort?
Here is the bottomline! Yes, Naneghat trek is one of the best things I did in Maharashtra, one of my favourite states in India. In fact, Naneghat trek is easily one of the best monsoon treks in India.
Most of the treks in Maharashtra come with history, the remnants of which we can still touch and see. One such remnant of past from the powerful Satavahana dynasty can still be explored in Naneghat.
Here are my final thoughts on Naneghat. The surreal landscapes, waterfall staircases, pristine water streams, sudden rains, warm local food and interaction with the humble local people from rural Maharashtra warmed my heart throughout the Naneghat trek.
To summarize, Naneghat, one of the most offbeat places to see in Maharashtra is indeed a must-visit place for trekkers! In a nutshell, if you love going off the touristy trail, you will enjoy the trek to Naneghat.
The view from my Soul Window is balm to the eyes!
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