Nasik is an ancient city located approximately four hours northeast of Mumbai in Maharashtra. On one hand, the city is a holy and sacred pilgrimage destination and on the other hand, it is home to a cosmopolitan crowd and has the finest wines in India. The city is situated on the banks of river Godavari and is the site of Kumbh Mela that is held once every 12 years. Half of India’svineyards and wineries are located in Nasik, due to which it is also known as the ‘wine capital of India’.
As per Ramayana, Nasik is the place where Laxman cut the nose of shurpanakha, by the wish of lord Rama and thus the city was named Nashik. According to mythology, Ram, along with Sita and brother Lakshmana made Nashik his home during his 14 years of exile from Ayodhya. They inhabited the place that is now known as Panchavati in the Old City. The city has a tropical wet and dry climate due to the tropical location and high altitude. The city’s diversity can be found in its various sightseeing and touristspots. Apart from its temples, Nashik has many forts, waterfalls and vineyards to visit. The city offers a lot to visitors in terms of sightseeing.
Located along the bank of Godavari River, in the heart of Nashik’s old city, this place is a holy spot. Its holy water is an attraction to both tourists and pilgrims. It is believed that lord Rama and his wife Sita bathed here. Hundreds of Hindu pilgrims arrive here daily to bathe and pray here. Also, lord Rama’s father’s death rituals have supposedly been performed here. This is why people from near and far come to Ramkund to immerse the ashes of their deceased family and friends, to help liberate their souls. In the year 1696, the tank was built and even though it has not been maintained well, it offers a good relaxation time. It isworth visiting the adjoining brimming with life vegetable market as well.
Temples- there are more than 100 temples in Nashik, most of which lies near the Godavari river, which flows through the city. The most important shrine in the city is probably the Kalaram temple that is dedicated to lord Rama and I s situated in the Panchvati area. The black statue of lord Ram gives it its name. Inside the sanctum is also the statue of goddess Sita and Lakshmana. The main temple of ram has 14 steps, which denotes the 14 years of exile of lord ram. Hundreds of devotees visit this temple every day. Nearby the Kalaram temple is the kapaleshwar mahadev temple, which is also visited by many pilgrims. Near the Kalaram temple is also Sita gufa, a small cave where sits took refuge to escape from Ravan. Although it is not sure, how far this is authentic. Close to Ramkund is the Naroshankar temple, and Kapileswara temple. Next to Victoria Bridge is the Sundar Narayan temple, which offers a breath, taking view of the Godavari River. The temple, with a spacious complex e is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and has stunning architecture.
Pandavleni Caves- also known as the Nasik caves, it is a conglomeration of 24 caves that dates back to the 2nd century bc.it is evident from the inscriptions that most of the construction took place during the 2nd century AD. These caves, which are one of the oldest caves in Maharashtra, served as monasteries for the disciples of LordBuddha. After the decline of Buddhism, Jain monks inhabited these caves. Following the decline of Buddhism, Jain monks began inhabiting the caves and contributed to their structure.The rulers of the Satavahana dynasty provided generous funds for the maintenanceof these caves along with monetary contributions from people of all walks of life. The number 18 cave is the main cave that houses a prayer hall with a stupa. The other interestingcaves are three and 10. Cave 3 is popular for its sculptures of idols, while cave 10 is remains unchanged overthe years structurally along with its inscriptions. The Pandavleni Caves located just off the Mumbai-Nashik Highwayis a must visit for anyone visiting the city. The best time to visit is early morning so that you do not have to trek for 30 minutes in the heat. Also, the caves face east and the morning sun brightens up their carvings.
Sula Vineyard in Nashik-Nashik is the hub of wine tourism. Wine tourism is flourishing in Nashik. There are nearly 50 vineyards in and around the city, which has contributed to the flourishing of the wine tourism. Many of these vineyards have tasting rooms, restaurants, cafes and accommodations for visitors. The vineyards are spreadin all directions from Nashik, so you will need a vehicle to reach them. You can also take a wine tour. Go first to Sanjegaon district, Dindori district and Gangapur Dam. York Winery and Sula Vineyards are both located in the Gangapur Dam area.
Trip to Trimbak-Trimbakeshwar temple, approximately 40 minutes west of Nashik, is a great pilgrim destination. This temple has one of the 12-jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. This temple is around 1000 years old and a major part of its stone exterior is filled with intricate sculptures. The Nashik Kumbh Mela happens closely to thistemple.On the way to Trimbakeshwar from Nashik, you can visit the Shubham Water World with family. The place is full of fun. Also on the way to Trimbakeshwar you will find a small coin museum, which is a must visit.
Brahmagiri hills-Not far from Trimbakeshwar temple, is the Brahmagiri hill. This is a scenic touristattraction. It takes two to three hours to reach the top. The view from the top is panoramic. A couple ofancient temples are in the hills too. The top of Brahmagiri hills has forests and wildlife.
So all of you who have not visited Nashik yet, get ready for exploring the magnificence if thisancientcity. There are many budgeted hotels and villa in nashik for you to stay in. With so much sightseeing that the city offers, Nashik must be in your next go to destination.