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Nasik

Nasik, also known as Nashik, is situated in the northwestern part of Maharashtra State. The city of Nasik is a major Hindu pilgrimage center with rich culture and tradition. It is situated on the banks of sacred Godavari River at an altitude of 565 m above the sea level. There are many beautiful ghats situated on the banks of Godavari river. The major part of the town lies on the right (south) bank of the river, while Panchavati, a quarter on the left
bank has several temples. The holy and picturesque city of Nasik becomes very crowded during the festival season. Nasik tourism also highlights its bustling markets on the river banks, the ringing temple bells and sadhus meditating. According to a legend Lord Rama, the hero of the Ramayana epic, stayed here for some time with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, while they were on exile.

History

AncientNasik was the capital of the powerful Satavahana (also spelt as Satvahans) dynasty. It was an important trading port to the west. The city of Nasik was called as "Gulshanabad" during Mughal period. Later, it was again given its old name when Peshwas took over in 1751, but they lost Nasik to the British in 1818. In the year 1864, Nasik Municipality was formed and in
1869, it was made a full-fledged district with its present 13 'Talukas' (regions). Nashik also played a major role in the freedom struggle of India. The non-cooperation mov ement started by Mahatma Gandhi was a rage here. The temple entry movement to finish untouchability started by Dr. Ambedkar and the mass movement was also organized in Nasik in the year 1932.

Tourist Attractions

Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela, is said to be the largest religious gathering on the earth,well promoted by the Maharashtra tourism. It is a major attraction of the city, visited by innumerable devotees. The pilgrimage occurs four times every twelve years, once at each of four holy sites of India. These sites are Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar. The Allahabad Kumbh Mela is the largest and the
holiest of them. The Mela is famous for the huge number of Hindu holy men, who gather here during this time. During this fair millions of devotees' dip into the river Godavari. It is believed that this holy dip will cleanse their souls leading to salvation. One of the major event of the festival is a ritual bath taken at a predetermined time. The annual festival of Shivratri is also celebrated with great excitement and enthusiasm inviting thousands of pilgrims. Special arrangements are made by the state government for the devotees coming here. There are many guest houses and Dharamshala's here for the visitors and pilgrims to stay. Ghats are cleaned and security measures are taken. Thus, the government tries its best to make the Kumbh Mela, a peaceful and serene experience.

Panchavati

Panchwati is situated in the northern part of Nashik. According to a legend Lord Shri Ram and Sita along with Lakshman (also spelt as Laxman) stayed at Panchavati for some time. Thus, it is a significant place. Panchavati derives its name from the five Banyan ('Vad') trees present here.

Sita Gumpha

The literal meaning of Gumpha is a cave, the Sita Gumpha is located near the five Banyan trees in Panchavati. It is one of the major attractions of Nasik. There is a narrow staircase used to enter the cave. In the cave one can see idols of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. It is believed that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place.

Sundarnarayan Temple

This temple is situated at the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar Bridge in Nasik. Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud built it in the year 1756. The worshiped deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, who is also known as Sundarnarayan.

Tourist Attractions

Chowpatty Beach, Crawford Market, Prince of Wales Museum, Gateway of India, Nehru Planetarium, Flora Fountain, Nehru Centre, Elephanta Caves, Kanheri Caves, Karla Caves, Mantheran, Lonavala and Khandala

Modakeshwar Ganesh Temple

The Modakeshwar Ganesh Temple is another famous temple of Nasik. The idol in the temple is believed to be self emerged and is also known as 'Swaymbhu'. The temple derives its name from the 'Modak' a special Maharastrian dish made of coconut and jaggery. This dish is considered to be Lord Ganesh's favorite.

Ramkund

The Ramkund in the river Godavari, attracts innumerable pilgrims. Here devotees take a holy dip. The Ramkund is considered the 'Ganges of the south'. It is the spot from where the river Godavari turns to right at an angle of 90 degrees. It is said that Lord Rama took a bath here, during his stay at Nasik. Thus, it is a significant place.

Kalaram Temple

The Kalaram temple is one of the most important temples located in the Panchavati area of Nasik. This temple was built in 1794 by Gopikabai Peshwa. The architecture of this temple is outstanding with the motif similar to that of the Trimbakeshwar Temple. The unique feature of this temple is that it was built with black stones.

Excursions

Shirdi

Shiridi is a small village, located in Kopargam Taluk, in Ahmadnagar district of the Maharastra State. Shirdi holds an important place on the pilgrimage map of India. It is about 285-kms and 6 hours' drive away from Mumbai (Bombay). This small village has a shrine of an old sage called Sai Baba, who lived in this village. This sage was the mentor and prophet of the villager's and was famous for his miraculous wonders.

Kapaleshwar Mandir

The Kapaleshwar Temple, situated at Nashik is one of the oldest temples here. It is situated on the banks of river Godavari near Ramkund. Usually, every Shiva temple has a Nandi but it is not present in this temple, which is its unique feature. Definitely, a worth visiting temple.

Someshwar

The Someshwar temple is one of the oldest temples dedicated to Mahadeva (Someshwar). This temple is situated on the Gangapur Road, about 6-km away from Nasik city. It lies along the banks of river Godavari.

Wani

At Wani, there is a temple of Sapatashrungi Mata situated on Saptashruga hill near the village Nanduri. It is about 52-Kms from Nasik City and is situated on top of a hill. This temple is the venue of a major fair held in the month of April every year.

How to Get There

By Air

Nearest airport from Nashik is at Mumbai , which is 185-km away from the city. From the airport you can take a taxi to reach the bus stand.

By Train

Nashik is one the major stations on the Central Railway and there are a number of convenient Buy Trains that connect Nashik to other cities and towns. The fastest Buy Train to Mumbai is the Panchvati Express, which does the trip in 4 � hours.

By Road

Nashik is 185-kms from Mumbai and is well connected by road. Pune-Nashik highway is 220-kms away from the city. There are also several private and state buses available between Mumbai/Thane and Nashik.