Nasik is a famous pilgrimage centre for Hindus and also a fantastic tourist destination filled with culture, heritage and history. Placed at a height of 565 mts, it is spread across the north-western part of Maharashtra. Located on the banks of the holy Godavari , this city is marked by rich scenic beauty, busy markets, pious shrines and meditating sages.
This place has close reference to the Ramayan. According to the Hindu mythology it is believed that Lord Rama, along with Seeta and Lakshman dwelled at Nasik for a period of 14 years during their exile. The name ‘Nasik’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nasika’ which means nose. It is also strongly believed that the Shurpanika’s nose was cut off by Lakshmana at this place, hence it is called Nasik.
Nasik shows huge inflow of visitors during the MahaKumbmela which is proudly hosted by the city once in 12 years. It is also the abode of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Last but not the least Nasik is famously called the ‘Grape City’ and witnesses the production of good wine.
This pulsating place is best visited during October-March.
PLACES TO VISIT
Chamar Caves (Teertharaj Gajapantha) : These caves are a part of Gajapantha Teerth. Located on a 400 feet tall hill, it is believed that these caves was built by King Chamaraj of Mysore in about 600 B.C. Being a holy place for the Jain, it offers panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes and plantations.
Naroshankara Temple : This beautiful temple built in the ‘Mayan’ style of architecture is majestically placed on the banks of the river Godavari. This temple was built by Naroshankar Rajebahaddur in the 18th century. It leaves the art lovers speechless with its beautiful carvings. One section showcases the impressive lacework. Other section displays the carving of the peacocks, tigers, elephants etc. There is also a beautiful statue of the saint Padmasana. Nagoshankar bell and Barasati are the famous attractions.
Shree Sunder Narayan Temple : This beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu was constructed in 1756 by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud. On the either sides of Lord Vishnu are goddesses Laksmi and Saraswathi. Its arch and domes reminds us of the artistic style of the Mughal period. The east facing temple is constructed such that the idols receive direct rays of the morning sun on March 21st.
Mukthi Dham : This beautiful White marble temple was built by Shri JayramBhai Bytco. The main attraction of this pious place is the model of 12 Jyotirlingas placed here. 18 chapters of the divine Bhagavatgeeta is carved on the walls. One gets a feel of visiting Chardham after paying a visit here.
Kapileshwar Temple : This temple with its unmatched calmness and spirituality is dedicated to Lord Shiva. People throng the temple on Shivarathri and Shravan Somvar. The strange aspect of this temple is the absence of Lord Nandi in front of Lord Shiva.
Someshwar Temple : This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located against the spectacular backdrop of the Godavari river and lush greenery. This is a hot spot for film shooting. Swimming and boating can be enjoyed in the Godavari. Hanuman temple is also located close-by.
Seeta Gumpha : It stands to the west of Kalaram temple. Historians strongly believe that Seeta was kidnapped by Ravan from this cave. The cave houses the Shivlinga, which was worshipped by Seeta mata. It is famously called the Panchavati as there is a group of 5 banyan trees in this area.
Kalaram Temple : This temple was constructed in the 18th century by Mr. Odhekar. This beautiful temple is built with black stone. Lord Rama is the main diety. Ramnavami, Dasara and Chaitra Padwa are celebrated with great joy.
Pandav Lani Caves : These beautiful Buddhist caves were built about 2100 years ago. This group of 29 caves is located on the Trivashmi hill. This cave consists of beautiful idols of Buddha, Bodhisatva, Jain Tirthankar Vrishabhdeo, Veer Kapibhadra and Ambikadevi. The large caves were used as a school to teach the disciples. The cave was well planned and had many water tanks.
Ramkund : This place is of great historic significance as it is believed that Lord Rama and Seeta had their regular ablutions in this pond during their exile. This is a pious place as every Hindu wishes to have their ashes immersed in this holy water after their death. Chitrarao Khatarkar built a holy tank here in 1696. Ramkund also houses the memorial of ‘The Father of Our Nation’.
Dadasaheb Phalke Smarak : This smarak is dedicated to the ‘Father of Indian Cinemas’, Dadasaheb phalke. This beautiful place is located amidst the spectacular backdrop of rich scenic beauty and has a beautiful garden within its premises. This is one of the most visited places in Nasik.
OTHER INTERESTING PLACES
Shree Ved Temple
HOW TO REACH
By Air: Mumbai airport is about 185 kms from here. From the airport taxi can be hired.
By Rail: Nashik is one the major stations which has good connectivity to other cities and towns. Panchavati express is the fastest train which runs to Mumbai.
By Road: Mumbai-Nasik is 185 kms, Pune-Nasik is 220kms. Several private and public buses run between the places.