Last Sunday offered us a chance to get out of Nashik city for a short drive. The hectic work schedule was getting to us and a day out on the road was the therapy we needed.
Research on new destinations yielded Pemgiri. This is a famous banyan tree, supposedly the second largest in India, spread over 2.5 acres of land. The largest banyan tree in India, spread over 4 acres, is in the botanical gardens in Kolkata. However, Pemgiri is the largest unattended banyan tree in India. Pemgiri fort (also known as Bhimagad) is also close-by and it has a temple of Goddess Pemadevi inside.
Pemgiri village is located approx. 22 kms. away from Sangamner. We took NH 50 highway which connects Nashik and Pune. Nashik to Sangamner is 70 kms. on this highway and it took us about 90 mins. to reach, thanks to the newly constructed expressway and bypass road for Sinnar city.
We took the Sangamner bypass road.. there's no need to enter the town. But you have to be careful as the turn for Pemgiri village is somewhere in the middle of the bypass road. It's easy to drive till the end of Sangamner, but you will have to backtrack. Once you leave the expressway, it is a single lane road, winding through several villages. It's very less crowded with the occasional tractor or jeep taxi coming along. No heavy or large vehicles on this road.
There are several signboards at intersections showing the direction for Pemgiri fort and banyan tree. So it's pretty easy to find the location.
It took us another 30 mins. to reach the famous banyan tree. The entrance to the area is impressive with two large trunks of the tree in the middle.