Village of hospitable and humble people: Nandgane, Maharashtra
Nandgane is a village located at an altitude of around 2,340 feet above sea level and is at a distance of about 30km from the town of Wai, in the state of Maharashtra. The village of Nandgane is located about 200 meters from the banks of River Krishna.
This village—Nandgane is full of hospitable and humble people who willingly welcome travellers. Economically not a well off place, the villagers are rich in heart as they cook extra food to offer to visitors. The villagers are firm believers in the principle of Karma and well and truly live India’s tourism motto of ‘Atthi Devo Bhava’.
The best and also most economical way of getting to Nandgane is to board a bus to Wai and from there take any of the local state transport or ST buses plying in that direction. There are buses after an interval of 30 minute from the Wai bus station. The bus ride from Wai to Nandgane village takes about 40 minutes.
The other option available is to hop onto one of the share seat private jeeps that ferry people at a faster pace and at a higher cost. These jeeps can be found lined up on the road opposite to the State Transport (ST) bus stand. The jeep service operates from 6 am to 8 pm. These jeeps reach Nandgane village in about 25 minutes.
The people who live in Nandgane speak a dialect of Marathi which is the regional language of the state of Maharashtra. The people here are also well versed in Hindi. The main occupation of the people in Nandgane is farming, while a few work in the small scale industries in Wai. The houses in Nandgane have a store room where grains are husked and stocked up for the entire year.
Jakmighad (wounded) which was a fort that belonged to Shivaji is very easily approachable from Nandgane. The hike from Nandgane takes about 40 minutes. This is the shortest and the easiest of the hiking trails to this fort, the other being from the village of Balakwadi.
The place was called Jakmighad as the injured soldiers would get healed by the soil of the fort. Till today it is claimed that the soil of this place has healing properties. The villagers of Nandgane also say that there is tunnel inside the fort that cannot be penetrated with even the strongest of light beams and clam that even the strongest of light beams stop working inside that tunnel.
The village of Nandgane has no provisions for accommodation and also no restaurants and hence the only option a traveller has is to either camp on the banks of the river Krishna which is near the village or opt for a home stay.
For those in search of the culture of Maharashta, a home stay is a great option as it is the best way to get a feel of the place and the cuisine by living a day or more with one of the families. The people of Nandgane are very warm people so getting a home stay is easy.
The best time to visit Nandgane is during the months of November to the end of February since the weather is perfect for wilderness backpacking and also during the monsoon months of July to September as the village turns into a green paradise.
It is strongly recommended to carry a sleeping bag along since the temperature during winter in the night drop well below 5°C.
Nandgane is a great place for anyone looking to go camping or stargazing and is not to far away from the cities of Mumbai and Pune.
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