Naneghat Trek – Western Ghats, Maharasthra
August 26, 2018
Naneghat is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats. The pass is about 150 kms from Mumbai, Maharashtra. During 200 BCE, it was one of the trade routes used during that period. Literally, the name nane means “coin” and ghat means “pass”. The name is given because this path was used as a tollbooth to collect toll from traders crossing the hills. Near the top is large, ancient manmade cave. On the cave’s inner wall are a series of inscriptions, some long and others short. Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naneghat
We started our journey from Kalyan around 10 AM. The bus to Ahmednagar goes through the starting point of the trek. We boarded the bus from Kalyan Bus Station, which is just outside the train station. The starting point of the trek is around five kms after Tokawade village. It is not a designated bus stop. You will have to request the conductor to stop at that point.
The journey to the starting point of Naneghat trek took around 2 hours, including a 15 minutes tea break stop. If you are coming by your own transport, you can find the starting point by looking for the signboard shown in the picture below. It is located on the right side of the road.
There is a food stall at the base. The items available are basic. We had noodles and omelet to energize ourselves for the trek. If you are not carrying any food, better to eat from here as the next one is only after 75 minutes.
After a 10 minutes’ walk from the main road, we reached the entrance of the trek route. The gate was unmanned when we went. At the entrance, we can see the top of the Naneghat mountain pass.
The Naneghat trekking trail consists of two parts. The first part of the trail is muddy and the second part consists of steps made of stone. We took around 75 minutes to cover the first part. Even though, the first part was not challenging, it bought a closeness with nature. There were few water crossings, which was exciting as I nearly slipped while crossing.
At the end of this trail, there is a huge flat area. There are couple of food stalls located in that area. We took a small healthy snack break. Spicy cucumber and corn. There are no more food stalls until we reach the top.
Stone Step Trail
After the food stalls area, the second part of the trail begins. It is a steep climb up the stone stairs. It becomes challenging as you go higher. Nevertheless, it was worth the pain. The views and the weather kept improving with the height.
We could see waterfalls here and there, but we could not go closer to it. The steps were slippery due to the rains. Water flowing through the steps was a sight to see.
Just before you reach the top, there is a cave. There are inscriptions in the cave, which gives you the directions on how to cross this pass. Villagers used this pass to cross the mountain in the ancient period.
After the caves, a set of very slippery steps takes you to the top of the pass. We were surprised to see many people coming down the steps. Apparently, this pass is also accessible by road from Junnar.
It took us 2 hours to finish the second part of the trail. We reached the top at 3 PM. The view from the top was absolutely memorizing. The weather at the top was fantastic. We were very tired on the way up but the tiredness just vanished the moment we reached the top.
Naneghat Reverse Waterfall
A group whom we met at the top advised us to visit the reverse waterfall. They said it is only a twenty minutes’ walk to the waterfall. Following their suggestion, we went to the reverse waterfall.
When we reached there, we were glad that we made the decision to visit the waterfall. The wind was so strong that the water was coming back up and we were standing right at the edge. It was awesome and it made the hike more rewarding.
After visiting the waterfall, it was time to start the descent. Here comes the crazy part. Instead of trekking down, we decided to take the road from Naneghat to Junnar. We went around asking people for a lift to the nearest bus stop. After asking few people, one uncle agreed to drop us at the highway. He was running a tea stall on his van. For 1500 rupees, he will pack up his stall straight away and drop us on his van. Initially, we thought he was joking. However, when he repeated the offer, we realized he was not joking. We agreed to the price and jumped in onto the back of his van.
The first stop was his village where he offloaded all his shop items. It was a typical village with lots of children playing around and grown-ups taking their cows to the fields. The atmosphere was calm with a slight mist. Little did we knew, that it was the calmness before the storm.
After 15 minutes, we started the road trip downhill. It was one hell of a ride. The roads were very bad. We were jumping up and down at the back of his van. Every time he stopped, I was thanking God. The journey was so bad that I even thought of getting down and walk to the highway. The misadventure lasted for one full hour and 45 minutes. When he dropped us at the highway, it took couple of minutes for my head to stop swirling.
Return Bus Trip
From the highway, we boarded a bus to Kalyan at 6:30 PM. We were very happy once we sat on our seats. However, that happiness lasted only for a few minutes. Thirty minutes into ride, the fog level increased drastically. I would have enjoyed the fog if I were sitting on the side of the road, sipping a tea. But, I was in a speeding bus whose driver had no intention of slowing down. I could barely see anything outside the bus. All I could see was lots of wide opened eyes. Everyone was at the edge of his or her seat. Thankfully, nothing happened and we finally reached Kalyan at 9:30 PM.
The whole trip was just amazing. The experience is beyond words. And yes, I would do the same trip in the same fashion again.