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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.