Duke's Nose Point
Being by the side of the Sahyadri Mountain of the Western Ghats, Khopoli has got a mix of rugged hilly terrain with the underlying green valley. Due to its undulating topography, Khopoli region has remained a favourite among trekkers. The Duke’s Nose Point is one of the most exciting and adventurous hiking location of the region. Situated at around 7 kilo meters or 4.3 miles from the Karjat Khopoli region, the cliff of Duke’s Nose stands tall inviting tourists. The place got its name from its resemblance with a nose and it has been named after the Duke of Wellington. The cliff is pointed with twisted bends making it look like the head of a snake, which has led to the naming of the place as ‘Nagphani’ which means the hood of a snake.
The cliff of Duke’s Nose is the most prominent structure of the entire region and can be viewed while on a drive to Lonavala from Mumbai city. The cliff appears to be unapproachable from the distance, but is one of the most sought trekking points of the Maharashtra state. From the top, tourists can get an aerial view of the entire Sahyadri mountain range, which gives the feel of a wave from the distance. There is proper road connectivity till the base of this cliff, from where one has to walk his or her way up to the top. There is a parking space for private cars at the base.
Duke’s Nose or Nagphani is also accessible from the Khandala Railway Station. There is a base camp at a small altitude, till where anyone can go and enjoy the adjoining nature. After this point, the road becomes steep and rugged, but the trek is not a difficult one and can be enjoyed by amateurs too. On the top, there is a camp site for adventure lovers, where they can rest at night and enjoy the cool breeze. The magnificent view of the lower valley at night time is unparalleled. The place is perfect for shutterbugs. The camping experience is fun with all the bonfire, barbeque and star gazing.
The best time to visit Duke’s Nose or Nagphani is during summers and winter months. Summer days can be hot but night times are cool and pleasant. Winters are a bit chilly and can be breezy at times. Monsoons are times when trekking should be done only by pro trekkers, as the routes can be slippery and muddy. The fog and sudden waterfalls inside the forest area are mesmerizing. This is the time when the surrounding nature is at its best with beautiful flower blooms at various patches. In totality this cliff is a must place to pay a visit for all ages.
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