Nighoj is a village in Parner taluk in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra state in India and is 90 km from Pune city. It is at the inter junction of two districts viz Parner taluk in Ahmednagar and Shirur taluk in Pune district.
Nighoj is a place of world-famous nature’s miracle or Geological Wonder known as Nighojkund or Nighoj Potholes Nighoj Potholes (also known as Ranjankhalge) and has naturally created potholes (tinajas) on the riverbed of the Kukdi River. Nighojkund is Asia’s largest natural potholes, a fact recorded in Guinness Book Of World Records and thus, attracts experts from all over the world to undergo a study of potholes formation.
Detailed research by geologists shows that earlier there was heavy rainfall in this area due to which Kukdi river flowed out from the highlands with great force and this resulted in scouring of the bedrock and formation of these potholes and the gorge.
The pebbles and stones carried by river Kukdi got trapped in the cracks developed in the basalt rock riverbed. This has led to stones and pebbles rotating due to water current to form pot-shaped cavities in the basalt rock for more than 100 years.. The potholes are regular and smooth from the inside. The rock formations are such that they look like stone sculptures. The Gorge, which is 2-3 km in length, is not easily visible from a distance. The rock formations look similar to the surface of the moon or mars.
The depth of the potholes at Nighoj has increased over the years and according to village residents, the depth could be 100 ft at some spots.
Besides this geological phenomenon, Nighoj has other tourist attractions too. One such tourist attraction is a temple of the local deity, Malganga, which is next to these potholes on the side of Shirur Taluka in Pune district, in Takalihaji village. The people residing nearby believe that these potholes are a blessing of Malganga.
There is another Malganga temple though it falls in Parner Taluka in Ahmednagar District in Nighoj village. Both places are connected by a hanging bridge which also acts as a meeting point of two districts or boundary of two villages in different taluk and district.
Bridge Connecting Two Districts
Tourists can visit Nighoj throughout the year, but it is advisable to avoid visiting this place during monsoon as the gushing water is likely to hide these miraculous rock sculptures.
Nighoj is well-connected by road to Pune and buses ply from Shirur which is the nearest town.