Sahyadris

The hills of the district belong to two distinct systems. One running, on the whole, north and south, forms the main range of the Sahyadris, about seventy-three miles in a straight ling and about ninety following the course of the hills. The other system of hills includes the narrow broken-crested ridges and the bluff flat-topped masses that stretch eastwards and gradually sink into the plain, The crest of the Sahyadris falls in places to about 2000 feet, the level of the western limit of the Deccan plateau. In other places it rises in rounded bluffs and clear-cut ridges 3000 or 4000 feet high. The leading peaks are: In the extreme north, Harishchandragad whose mighty scarps, nearly 4000 feet high, support a plateau crowned by two low conical peaks. About ten miles to the south-west, at the head of the Kukdi valley and commanding the Nana pass, the massive rock of Jivdhan, its fortifications surmounted by a rounded grass-covered top, rises about 1000 feet above the Deccan plateau. About three miles south of Jivdhan, the next very prominent hill is Dhak. From the east Dhak shows only as a square flat tableland, but from the west it is one of the highest and strongest points among the battlements of the Sahyadris. Ten miles south-west of Dhak, where the direction of the Sahyadris changes from about west to about south, is the outstanding bluff of Ahupe. This rises from the Deccan plateau in gentle slopes, but falls west into the Konkan, a sheer cliff between 3000 and 4000 feet high. Eight miles south of Ahupe, and, like it, a gentle slope to the east and a precipice to the west, stands Bhimashankar, the sacred source of the river Bhima. About fourteen miles south comes a second Dhak, high, massive, and with clear-cut picturesque outline. Though its base is in Thana it forms a noticeable feature among the peaks of the Poona Sahyadris. Five miles further south, at the end of an outlying plateau, almost cut off from the Deccan, rises the famous double-peaked fort of Rajmachi. Ten miles south, a steep slope ends westwards in a sheer cliff known to the people as the Cobra’s Hood or Nag-phani, and to Europeans as the Duke’s Nose. About six miles south of the Duke’s Nose and a mile inland from the line of the Sahyadris, rises the lofty picturesque range known as the Jambulni hills. Further south the isolated rocks of Koiri and Majgaon command the Ambauni and Amboli passes. Six miles further is the prominent bluff of Saltar, and twenty miles beyond is Tamhini, the south-west corner of Poona.

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