Maharashtra boasts of several picturesque hill stations in the section of the Western Ghats passing through the state. Most of these spots are the favourite of travellers who love the woods, mist, rain and mountains.
Apart from the popular tourism centres, there are several sparsely crowded and unspoiled hill destinations in Maharashtra such as Duke’s Nose. Also known as Nagphani, the hill earned its name due to the similarity with the sharp nose of the Duke of Wellington, Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley.
Around 300 feet tall, the hill offers stunning views, apart from adventure activities such as rock climbing, valley crossing, slacklining and highlining, attracting travellers around the year.
How to reach
Duke’s Nose is located near INS Shivaji in Lonavala and the most convenient as well as the cheapest way to arrive is by train. The nearest railway station is at Lonavala, which is connected to Pune, Mumbai and other major cities in India. Kurvande, the village situated closest to Duke’s Rock, is a mere six km from Lonavala railway station and can be reached by an auto-rickshaw. A traveller from Mumbai may need to spend only Rs 200 for the trip.
In case travel by train is not preferred, bikes can be rented from Pune and Mumbai.
There are two trekking routes to the summit of Duke’s Nose. While the first one passes through Kurvande village, the other one starts from Khandala railway station.
The easier route is from Kurvande and trekkers can reach the top in around an hour. At the same time, you may need between two and two-and-a-half hours to cover the distance along the Khandala route. Travellers have to negotiate a very steep climb, but at the hilltop, the rock is flat.
Attractions at the summit include a small temple and breathtaking views of the Mumbai – Pune road, railway tracks, peaks of the Western Ghats and Khandala.
Things to note
A journey during the monsoon could be dangerous as the trekking path would be slippery. In fact, several mishaps involving travellers are reported from Duke’s Rock in the rainy season.
Another point to remember while planning a trip is to carry sufficient amounts of food and water.