Pune’s Geological Gems: Discovering Potholes of Mutha River’s Bed

Pune's Geological Gems: Discovering Potholes of Mutha River's Bed

Pune's Geological Gems: Discovering Potholes of Mutha River's Bed

Share This News

Chetna Raja

In a quiet spot next to a crematorium in Shivane, near Nanded City on Sinhagad Road, lies a natural wonder often overlooked amidst urban Pune: pothole-like formations on the riverbed of the Mutha River. These geological marvels, reminiscent of the famous Kundalika potholes in Nighoj, in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district reveal a tale of the river’s powerful past.

The 20 sqmt section of the Mutha’s riverbed showcases shallow depressions, a testament to the force with which the river once flowed. Geomorphologists explain that these potholes are formed over decades as fast-flowing water scours basalt bedrock, carving out circular erosional features. Similar formations are found in nearby rivers like the Indrayani, but the Mutha’s are particularly pronounced.

Shrikant Karlekar, a leading geomorphologist, noted the Mutha River’s turbulent history, comparing it to other regional rivers. He emphasized that while these features are significant, they are unlikely to evolve into the massive potholes seen at Nighoj’s Kukadi River, which span up to 3km with depths reaching 100 feet.

“The conditions necessary for such formations, like intense river flow filling weak spots, are not prevalent in the Mutha,” Karlekar explained. “Nevertheless, these natural depressions are a crucial part of Pune’s geological heritage and must be preserved.”

Local efforts, such as those by Shreeram Shinde from the Nanded City Social Cultural Foundation, highlight the need for conservation. Shinde expressed concerns over the river’s pollution and encroachment, stressing the importance of cleaning up and protecting these formations for future generations.

“The Mutha River, now burdened with garbage and pollution, exerts immense pressure on these natural features,” Shinde lamented. “We aim to educate people about their significance and promote responsible tourism to safeguard this visual and geological treasure.”

Despite challenges, these potholes remain a testament to Pune’s natural diversity and geological history. As efforts to conserve and raise awareness continue, they serve as a reminder of the delicate balance between urban development and preserving our natural heritage.