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Nashik

Introduction :

The interesting town with its 200 temples and picturesque bathing ghats stands on the Godavari River, one of the holiest rivers of the Deccan. Nasik is one of the four sites for the triennial Kumbh Mela, a huge Hindu gathering which take place here every 12 years. The town is about 8 kms north-west of the Nasik Road railway station, which is of 187 km from Mumbai.

Facts & Figures

Area 259.13 Sq. Km
Language

Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi & English

Population 6,48,000 (1991 census)
STD Code 0253
 History :

The History of the city dates back to Ramayana. There are many references of the city in many epics as well as vedas. According to the Ramayana, Nasik was where Rama - Vishnu in human form - his brother Lakshmana, and wife Sita lived during their exile from Ayodhya, and the archdemon Ravana, carried off Sita from here in an aerial chariot to his kingdom, Lanka in the far south. The scene of such episodes forms the core of the busy pilgrimage circuit. However, Nasik has a surprising dearth of historical buildings - even the famous temples beside the Godavari only date from the Maratha era of the 18th century. Its only real monuments are the rock-cut caves at nearby Pandav Lena. Excavated at the peak of Buddhist achievement on the Deccan, these 2,000 year old cells hard back to the days when, as capital of the powerful Satavahana dynasty, Nasik dominated the all-important trade routes linking the Ganges plains with the ports to the west.

 Sightseeing :
 

Sunder Narayan Temple to the west of the city, is worth a visit.

 Sita Gupta Cave :

Sita Gupta Cave from which, according to the Ramayana, Sita, the deity of agriculture and wife of Rama , was supposed to have been carried off to the island of Lanka by the evil king Ravana. Near the cave, in a grove of large banyan trees, is the fine house of the Panchavati family.

 Kala Rama :

Nasik-Kala-Ram-Temple

The largest and simplest of the temples is Kalaram Mandir, built in 1790 by Sardar Odhekar of Peshwa. There are great processions and utsav on Ramnavami, Dasara and Chaitra Padwa. It houses a black stone image of Rama, hence the name. The temple is made by complete black stones, which has four doors facing East, West, South and North.

 Kapaleshwar Temple :

Kapaleshwar Temple upstream is said to be the oldest in the town.

 Kumbh Mela :

The Kumbh Mela, purportedly the largest celebration of any kind on earth, alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. Kumbh means 'pot' or 'cup' and in Hindu mythology, four drops of the nectar of immortality fell to earth, one in each of these places.

 Place to Eat :

Hotel Siddharth, on the Pune Rd about 2 km from the roundabout, is a large, well kept place.

Hotel Padma, on Sharampur rd opposite the central bus stand, has simple clean rooms with attached bathrooms.

Hotel Samrat, near the central bus stand on Agra Rd, offer rooms with / without aircon.

Hotel Panchavati, 430 Vakilwadi, is large and centrally located, offering clean, good-value rooms with air-con; they are cheaper room in its annexed. There's a couple of good restaurants and a bar here as well.

Wasan's Inn an Old Agra Rd is similarly priced and has its own restaurant.

Woodlands Restaurant, across the road from the Hotel Siddhartha, serves excellent south Indian meals, but no alcohol.

Travel Info:

Air  : The airport for Nasik is located at Gandhinagar, which is at about 6 kms from the city centre.
Road : Nasik is well connected with all major cities in India by road. It takes about 5 hours time to travel approximately 200 kms by road.
Rail : Nasik is well connected with all major cities in India by railway. The railway station for Nasik is located at Nasik Road, which is at about 9 kms from the city centre.

 
Excursion:

Pandu Lena :

About eight km south of Nasik, close to the Mumbai road, is a group of 24 Hinayana Buddhist caves dating from around the Ist century BC to the 2nd AD. Cave 3 is a large vihara with some interesting sculptures. Cave 10 is also a vihara and almost identical in design to cave 3, although it is much older and finer in its detail. It is thought to be nearly as old as the Karla Cave near Lonavla. Cave 18 is a chaitya believed to date from the same time as the Karla Cave; it is well sculptured and its elaborate facade is particularly noteworthy. 

Trimbak :

From a sprIng high on a steep hill above Trimbak, 33km west of Nasik, the source of the Godavari River dribbles into the Ganga-sagar bathing tank whose waters are reputed to wash away sins. From this tiny start the Godavari eventually flows down to the Bay of Bengal, clear across India.

Also in Trimbak is the Trimbakeshwar Temple, one of India's most sacred, containing one of 12 jyotilingas (naturally occurring lingams) of Siva. Although the temple is open to Hindus only, it is possible (and pennitted) to see into the temple courtyard to the shrine from a convenient vantage point.

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