Tour at Punjab

Behind every name normally there is some short history or reason. Greeks called Punjab as Pentapotamia and Punjab derives its name from two Persian words, panj meaning five and an aab meaning water having reference to the five rivers Jhelum, Chinab, Ravi, Bias and Sutlej which flow through this region. But actually Punjab is having six rivers instead of five, but as the Indus was much dreaded by the religious classes, and was considered the sacred boundary of India to the far west, the ancestors seem to have disregarded it in giving the region its present name. Analysis of these rivers is necessary, not only because they form the principal features in the topography of the province, but because their importance from a military as well as from a political and mercantile point of view. The most remarkable feature in the topography of the state is found in its rivers, the feeders of the great Indus, which after traversing for hundreds of miles in the mountainous regions of the Himalayas, descend into the plains, fertilizing the soil, and continue their course generally to the south, until after their confluence with the Indus, the Nile of India, the amalgamated waters fall into the ocean.

Golden temple (Harmander Sahib)
A place of historical and religious importance The Golden temple is located in the holy city of the Sikhs, Amritsar. The Golden temple is famous for its full golden dome, it is one of the most sacred pilgrim spots for Sikhs. The Mandir is built on a 67-ft square of marble and is a two storied structure. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kg of gold leaf. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a number of other famous temples like the Durgiana Temple. The fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ram Das who had initially constructed a pool here, founded Amritsar, which houses the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib. It is here that Sage Valmiki wrote the epic, Ramayana. Rama and Sita are believed to have spent their fourteen-year exile in Amritsar, the center of Sikhism. To the south of the temple is a garden, and the tower of Baba Atal. The Central Sikh Museum is atop the Clock Tower. The 'Guru Ka Langar' offers free food to around 20,000 people every day. The number shoots up to 100,000 on special occasions. A visitor must cover his / her head before entering the temple premises. The Granth Sahib is kept in the Temple during the day and is kept in the Akal Takht or Eternal Throne in the night. The Akal Takht also houses the ancient weapons used by the Sikh warriors. Guru Hargobind established it. The rugged old Jubi Tree in the north west corner of the compound is believed to possess special powers. It was planted 450 years ago, by the Golden Temple's first high priest, Baba Buddha. Guru-ka-Langar or the communal canteen is towards the eastern entrance of the temple complex, and it provides free food to all visitors, regardless of colour, creed, caste or gender. Visitors to the Golden Temple must remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering the temple. The temple is less crowded in the early mornings on weekends. Within the sacred precincts of the Golden Temple, a devotee can seek blessing at The Akal Takht , Har Ki Pauri , Dukh Bhanjani Ber (Jujube Tree) , Thara Sahib, Ber Baba Budha Ji , Gurudwara Ilachi Ber , Ath Sath Tirath, Bunga Baba Deep Singh

Durgiana Temple
Built in the third decade of the 20th Century it echoes, not the traditional Hindu temple architecture, but that of the Golden Temple and, in a similar manner rises from the midst of a tank and has canopies and the central dome in the style of the Sikh temple. One of the greatest reformers and political leaders of resurgent India, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, laid its foundation stone. It is a well-known repository of Hindu scriptures.

Wagha Border
The international border between India and Pakistan. The coverage of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a charming experience. Wagha, an army outpost on Indo-Pak border - between Amritsar and Lahore, is an elaborate complex of buildings, roads and barriers on both sides. The daily highlight is the evening "Beating the Retreat" ceremony. Soldiers from both countries march in perfect drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective national flags. As the sun goes down, nationalistic fervour rises and lights are switched on marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause.

Jallianwala Bagh
The memorial at this site commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed or wounded, shot indiscriminately by the British under the command of Gen Michael O"Dyer on April 13, 1919 while participating in a peaceful public meeting. This was one of the major incidents of India's freedom struggle. The story of this appalling massacre is told in the Martyr's Gallery at the site. A section of wall with bullet marks still visible is preserved along with the memorial well, in which some people jumped to escape. It is sadly remembered by every Indian as Jallianwala Bagh massacre and is written in history as the cruelest event against humanity. "This disproportionate severity of punishment inflicted upon the unfortunate people and method of carrying it out is without parallel in the history of civilized govt." wrote Rabindra Nath Tagore while returning knighthood.

Ram Bagh
Ram Bagh a beautiful garden, an accustomed listener to the Neighs of thousand horses, announcing the arrival of the statesman of the century Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) the Lion of Punjab, has in its heart the summer Palace of this great ruler. Maintenance free inbuilt cooling system designed in the Palace exhibits the architectural excellence and invokes a keen interest. The king of his time brought local chieftains under his control and virtually finished any eventuality of possible attacks on the kingdom raised by him. To commemorate the memory of his velour Ram Bagh on its one end has a lively statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh saddled on a horse in a winsome posture. The garden was named by the ruler himself as a tribute to Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city. Now the summer palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been converted into a museum which speaks volumes on his times. On display are weapons dating back to Mughal times, portraits of ruling houses of Punjab and a replica of diamond "Kohinoor". In those days the garden was approached by a huge fortified gate which still exists in its original form and is just on the periphery of the garden.

Ram Tirath
Located 11 Km West of Amritsar on Chogawan road, dates back to the period of Ramayana, Rishi Valmiki's hermitage. The place has an ancient tank and many temples. A hut marks the site where Mata Sita gave birth to Luv & Kush and also, still existing are Rishi Valmiki's hut and the well with stairs where Mata Sita used to take her bath. The Bedis of Punjab Guru Nanak Dev, the founder Prophet of Sikhism was a Bedi trace their descent from Kush and Sodhis the 10th Prophet of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh was a Sodhi from Love. A four day fair, since times immemorial is held here starting on the full moon night in November. Sixteen Kilometres west on Choganwan road is Ram Tirath, commemorating Maharishi Balmik Ji´s heritage.

Pul Kanjari
It is another heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh around which are sewn many tales and legends. Situated near the villages of Daoka and Dhanoa Kalan right on the Wagha border, Pul Kanjari is about 35 kms. Both from Amritsar & Lahore. The Maharaja would often rest and leisure here in the baradari while passing by along with his royal troop and retinues. Despite a ruined fort and a baoli-a bathing pool - this heritage site has a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque which bespeak of the secular concerns of the Maharaja. The inside of the dome on the corner of the baoli enshrines a number of scenes and sights from the Hindu scriptures and the Raj Darbar. These frescoes are laced with floral frames.

Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji
About 30 km south east from Amritsar, and within easy reach from Goindwal Sahib is a Samadhi of the second Guru. It was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1815 A.D.

Jama Masjid Khairuddin
Built by Mohd. Khairuddin in 1876, this masjid is a place of architectural beauty situated in the Hall Bazar. This is the holy place from where a call against the British rule was given by Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.

Samadhi of Shravan
About six Kilometres from Ajnala near Jastarwal is located one of the oldest heritage spots in Amritsar. It belongs to the Ramayana period a legend has it that Shravan lies buried here after the fell from the arrow of King Dashrath, the Lord of Ayodhya. The Samadhi is situated on the banks of an old river. Shravan had taken his blind parents on a wide-ranging pilgrimage by cradling them on his shoulder in a wooden doly.

Khoo Kalyanwala
The city has played a stellar role in the liberation of India from the British clutches. Freedom fighters like Madan Lal Dhingra, Ras Bihari Bose, S.Kartar Singh Sarabhai, Dr. Satya Pal and Dr. Saif-ud-din Kitchlu are house-hold names in Amritsar. When Mangal Pande blew the bugle of rebellion against the British in 1857, its echoes and shock-waves were felt in Amritsar also. A platoon of 400 soldier stationed at Lahore rebelled against the British Government by fleeing their barracks. The deserted soldiers bravely swam across the flooded Ravi and reached Ajnala. The information was received by Mr. Fredric Cooper, the then Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar. On his order, all of them were put in a coop-like room where almost 200 soldiers died of asphyxia. The rest of them were brutally shot dead the next morning and their dead bodies thrown in the well which is known as the Kalyanwala Khoo in Tehsil Ajnala.

Tour at Nashik

Nashik is situated on the banks of the holy Godavari River and has been home to a large number of mythological incidents. It is said that Lord Rama lived in Panchvati area of Nashik, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, during his 14 years of exile. Another mythological story related to Nashik is that it was around this area only that Agasti Rishi performed his continuous meditation of one year and pleased the Lord.

Nashik a.k.a Nasik has become the center of attraction because of its beautiful surroundings and cool and pleasant climate. Nashik, vibrant and active on the industrial, political, social and cultural fronts, has influenced the lives of many great personalities. The river Godavari flows through the city. Temples and ghats on the banks of Godavari have made Nashik one of the holiest places for Hindus all over the World.

Places To Visit In And Around Nashik

Nashik city is counted amongst the major pilgrim destinations in the state of Maharashtra because the city is situated on the banks of the holy Godavari River and is home to a number of revered temples and ghats. Adding to the attraction of Nashik city is the fact that it serves as one of the venuea of Kumbh Mela, held once in every 12 years.
Following are some important places which you can see in and around Nashik city:

Ajneri is located on the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar road. Ajneri is an important pilgrim center as its the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. Numerous Jain temples scattered on the landscape evidences that this lovely place was a Jain settlement earlier. A mountainous terrain amidst the lustrous greenery makes Anjneri a popular tourist location.

The serene ambience of the hilly area is renowned for the Institute of Numismatic Studies - a unique museum, which is considered to be one of its kinds in Asia. It provides an authentic history of Indian numismatics through photographs, articles, line drawings, replicas and real coins. Anjneri is also a perfect spot for rock climbing because of its rocky surroundings. With all of this to offer, Anjneri is all set to enthrall the visitors with its wide-ranging attractions.

Bhaktidham, a place renowned for its numerous temples is situated near Dindori Naka, about a distance of 2.5 km from Central Bus Station. Bhaktidham is a rising pilgrimage centre for the devotees coming to Nashik. A hub of religious activities, this place is often thrived with frequent religious discussions, poojas and deliberations on Vedas. Bhaktidham offers a wide range of religious books on sale and in recent years it has been possessed the privilege of an ideal place of Vedic studies and research.

Bhandardara is a place whose beauty emerges only after the rains. Located around 70 Kms from Nashik, the best part of going to Bhandardara by road with your own transport is the serenity it offers all along the way. The Nashik highway is comparatively clear of heavy traffic.
Bhandardara without the rains is an ordinary, dull & forming into the rising wind. Built in 1926, the Bhandardara dam is one of the oldest dams in Asia & is known for its Umbrella Falls which provides a most picturesque sight for some best photographs.

Randha Falls is another waterfall at just 11 km away from the Bhandardara dam. Here the water gushes down the rock face to all 45 meters into the rocky ravine forming a bubbling stream which apart from offering a glimpse of natural design looks extremely dangerous. While there is an excellent point just opposite the waterfall for a perfect view of its cascading effect, the place has not been provided with any railings or other security measures so that a bit of daring could go a long way right into the gorge.

For trekking there is the well known Kalsubai peak - the highest peak of Maharashtra on the Sahyadri range, standing 1,646 meters above sea level. Dense foliage & uncharted territories lead the way up to temple - Amruteshwar temple, reachable by boat which houses Lord Shiva.

Coin Museum
Coin Museum is one of the most popular tourist places in the Nashik city of Maharashtra. The museum was founded in 1980 at Anjneri Hills under the Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies. Anjneri itself has had a glorious historical past. Its tryst with destiny has resulted in many ups and downs, under many great rulers including the Bahmanis, Marathas, Mughals and Kolis.

Coin Museum is the only one of its kind museum in the whole of Asia. Coin Museum displays a very rich collection of research and well-documented history of the Indian currency system. The items displayed inside the museum comprise of coins, moulds, dyes, replicas, photographs, and concise write-ups. Here, you can get to see the processes of casting and machine striking, along with those of coin minting and coin manufacturing. The other items put on show inside the Coin Museum include numismatic material, along with bronze, terracotta's, copper-hoard objects, paintings and some historical artifacts.

The main aim behind its establishment was to maintain records on the history of the currencies of India and let the general public have an idea about the Indian coins. The information on the Indian coinage, provided at the Coin Museum of Nashik, dates back from its initial years to the present day world.
The rich compilation of the museum is made up of nearly 1, 00,000 cardexes which have been preserved for the reference of researchers and others. Coin Museum also organizes workshops, on a regular basis, with the aim of promoting coin collecting in India.

Deolali Camp
Deolali camp which is one of the oldest centers in India is located 16 km away from Nashik. Deolali camp was set up by the British in 1861. The main aim behind its establishment was to provide a place where mentally strained and worn out soldiers could take rest and rejuvenate themselves. An officer of the rank of Major General holds the position of the head of the Artillery school here. Beyond Military centre Deolali market is famous for shopping. One of its major attractions is Khandobachi Tekadi Temple, visited by devotees in large numbers.

Dudhsagar Falls

Dudhsagar Waterfalls in Someshwar is regarded as one among the best in the entire world itself. This cascading cataract is a favourite picnic spot in the city. The waterfalls reach its peak during the monsoon season when the cascade displays plenty of water in it. The 10-meter stretch of this cascade is often crowded with young people since it helps to evoke the adventurous spirit in them. Another remarkable fact about this lovely falls is its creamy white water that gained it with the pretty name Dudhsagar. Carved steps on the rocks make access to the top of this spot without much effort.

Ganga Ghat
Nashik is a hub of religious activities which are centered on the sacred banks of the River Godavari. Numerous temples and well maintained ghats are lined up on the banks of river Godavari. These ghats always echo with holy recites of people who gather there to offer the last rituals of their beloved ones. It is presumed that bathing in Ganga ghat will cleanse off all the sins. In the evenings, Ganga ghat looks absolutely beautiful as the sacred river is enlightened with huge number of oil lamps and hovers of flowers.

Kalaram Temple
Sardar Odhekar of Peshwa built this simple, large temple in 1782.The main deities in the temple are Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman. The idols are pretty black in colour and decorated with ornaments, hence the name Kalaram. Built with black stones, the70 feet high temple happens to be the busiest temples in the locality. It took Rs. 23, 00,000 and 2000 workers to build the temple in 12 years. The apex of the temple is made up of 32 tons of gold. In 1930, Dr. Ambedkar performed Satyagraha, to allow the entry of Harijans into the temple.

This grand structure plunks in the midst of a walled corral of 96 columns and accessible through an arched balcony. On the festive occasions like Ramnavami, Dushera and Chaitra Padwa the temple looks gorgeous with grand processions and decorations. The temple premises also hold small shrines dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Lord Vithala and Lord Ganesha.

Kapileshwara Temple

Kapaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Nashik. This fabulous temple is located on the peaceful ambience of Godavari River. Absence of Nandi Idol in the temple premises is a mystery. Generally, all Shiva temples have an idol of Nandi Bull which overlooks its master’s sanctum. The temple is crowded with devotees on the festive occasions of Shivratri and Shravani Somvar.

Muktidham Temple
Muktidham Temple is situated only 7 km away from the heart of Nashik. Built entirely with shining white makrana marble, the temple is extremely famous for its magnificent and unique architecture. Muktidham temple was recently built by Late Shri JayramBhai Bytco. The white walls of the temple have been inscribed with the 18 chapters of the Gita. You can also see the replicas of all the 12 Jyotirling’s over here and also icons of all major Hindu Gods and Godesses. A visit to this temple by Hindus is considered as a visit to the 4 dhams or holy centres.

Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary
Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary is situated 60 km away from Nashik and is truly a bird-lover's paradise. Aptly called Maharashtra's Bharatpur, a wonderful bird sanctuary has been developed here since 1950. Through ceaseless efforts of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Forest Department of the Government of Maharashtra, this sanctuary now houses more than 220 species of birds, 400 species of vegetation and 24 species of fish along with several smaller mammals which came into existence along the Nandur Madhameshwar dam. Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary is spread over the protected area of 10000 hectares of which the core area is of 1765 hectares where large variety of water birds, resident and migratory birds come together in season. Best time to watch different species of birds is between October to March.

Pandav Leni Caves
Pandav Leni caves are a group of 24 Hinayana Buddhist Caves, dating from around the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD, built by the Jain kings. These caves are situated about 8-km south of Nashik on a tableland on the Trivashmi Hill. As the name suggests “Pandav”, these caves have NO relation to pandavas.

All these caves are viharas (monasteries), with the exception of cave 18, and are counted amongst the oldest structures situated in the vicinity of Nashik. Cave 3 is a huge vihara, which has been adorned with a few magnificent sculptures. Cave 10, though older than cave 3 and with more intricately carved sculptures, looks almost identical to the latter. Cave 18 comprises of a Chaitya Hall and is believed to have been built around the same time as the Karla Caves. The cave boasts of splendid sculptural designs and has a beautifully ornamented portico.

Pandav Leni caves were home to Jain saints such as Tirthankara Vrishabdeo, Veer Manibhadraji, and Ambikadevi. There are sculptures of the Buddha and bodhisattvas as well. The cave complex consists of large Caves, which were probably the meeting place of disciples and areas of preaching sermons. There are several water tanks chiseled into the rock. Though more than 2000 years old, Pandav Leni Caves are definitely worth having a look at.

The Ganges of the south, Ramkund in the sacred river Godavari, draws countless pilgrims every year. This holy tank is 27 m by 12 m and was built in 1696 by Chitrarao Khatarkar. It is believed that Rama and Sita used to bathe in this tank during their exile. It is in this tank of holy water or kund that religious Hindus even today, immerse a dead person's ashes so that the soul of the dead person can attain moksha or liberation. One among the alluring picnic spots, at Ramkund the river Godavari takes a 90 degree bend and that spot is considered as the most holy by the pilgrims.

Saptashringi Devi Temple
Saptashringi Devi Temple is situated around 55 kms from Nashik at Wani. This temple is located on Saptashringi Hill. The goddess is known to have possessed 18 weapons in 18 hands and is positioned ready to fight the demons. On the way, you can stop at Sitakund at Mhasrul village. This is the site where Sita the wife of Rama used to bathe during their exile. This destination is filled with stories and legends connected to the Ramayana.

Shirdi is the abode of the famous Indian saint Shri Sai baba. Shri Sai Baba is revered as one of the greatest saints ever seen in India, endowed with unprecedented powers, and is worshipped as a God incarnate. Shirdi is one of the most honored among the spiritual destinations of India and is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra near the sacred city of Nasik. Shirdi is situated at a distance of approximately 122 km from Nashik, 200 km to the north of Pune city and 300 km to the east of Mumbai city.

Shirdi is dotted with many religious sites that are visited by many tourists no matter to which religion they belong to. Secondly, as Shirdi is gaining huge popularity it is attracting large number of foreign tourists as well. The key attractions of Shirdi are Sai Baba mandir and his samadhi, Dwarkamai, Gurusthan, Chavadi, Lendi Baug, Maruti Mandir, Chawadi and Samadhi of Abdulbaba.

Someshwar is situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari. On the way to Gangapur dam, tourists are fascinated by the beautiful nature spot called Someshwar. Someshwar Temple houses Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman on the banks of the river Godavari. The area is covered with greenery all over, with a pleasant climate. Tourists can take pleasure of swimming and boating in the river. Someshwar has been a favourite location for many a film shootings as well. Navasha Ganpati located at Anandwalli village is also quite famous.

Sula Vineyards
Among the various grape producing areas of India, Nashik adorns a prominent position. One of the famous vineyards in Nashik is Sula Vineyards. Since its inception in the year 1997, Sula has managed to complement itself with the reputation of India’s best wineries. Recent years have shown an amazing growth of these vineyards from the original 30-acre family estate to a vast spread of 1500 acres, which increases the winery’s total capacity to 5 million liters.

The tasting room of these wineries covers a total area of 2000 square feet. Besides offering the tasty wines, this room shows off a balcony from where one can get the panoramic view of the undulating vineyards bounded in a pretty ambience. The public is admitted to enjoy the fantastic scenery of the large expansion of grape yards. Winery Tours are scheduled between 11.30 am – 5.30 pm and it will take 45 minutes to roam through the lush greenery. Winery tour includes a package of tasting of the premium quality wines produced in the Sula yards.

Takli is the place of saint Shri Samarth Ramdas. He was the Guru of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Ramdas was a bramhachari throughout his life. He promoted the Hindu religion and told people the importance of simple living and high thinking. As per legends, it is said that Shri Samarth Ramdas ran away from his marriage procession and settled down at Takli.
Shri Samarth Ramdas was a devotee of Lord Rama and meditated for 12 years by chanting the words “Shri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” for 13 crore times. You can come across Ramdas Swami's ashram at Takli, which is preserved in his memory.

Tapovan is a pictorial spot and has a close association with the epic Ramayana. Tapovan means a place which is reserved for meditation and sacrament. Plagued in the richness of lush greenery, Tapovan presents a peaceful ambience. This place might be used by great sages for meditation. It is believed that it was here that Lakshman - brother of Lord Ram, cut the nose of Shurpanakha - sister of Ravana. This sacred place has temples of Lakshman and Hanuman. As one meditates, this stunning locale enthralls the mind with Godavari’s noiselessly babbling stream, long stretch of green woods and proximity to jungle’s flora and fauna.

Trimbakeshwar Temple is 36 km away from Nashik situated on Trimbak village. Trimbak village is famous for the Trimbakeshwar Temple and as the source of the Godavari River. Trimbakeshwar one of the 12 jyotirlings dedicated to Shiva and this one is considered to be the main jyotirling. Legend has it that Guatam Rishi performed a rigorous ritual of prayer and tapasya to Lord Shiva on Brahmagiri Hill which rises above the present-day temple. Pleased with this devotion, Lord Shiva is said to have blessed him and brought down to earth from heaven the sacred rivers of Ganga, Gautami and Godavari.

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