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Holy Destinations of India

Nasik

Nashik is one of the most important cities of Northern Maharashtra.  Nashik, in Maharashtra, is situated at a distance of 200 km from Mumbai (Bombay) as  well as Pune. The city has become the center of attraction because of its beautiful surroundings and cool and pleasant climate. Nashik has a personality of its own due to  its mythological, historical, social and cultural importance.  The city, vibrant and  active  on the industrial, political, social and cultural fronts, has influenced the lives of many a 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.  To share the activities of such a dynamic place with the people of the world.

History of Nasik

Nashik has a personality of its own, due to its mythological, historical, social and cultural importance. The city is situated on the banks of the Godavari River, making it one of the holiest places for Hindus all over the world. Nashik has a rich historical past, as the mythology has it that Lord Rama, the King of Ayodhya, made Nashik his adobe during his 14 years in exile. At the same place Lord Laxman, by the wish of Lord Rama, cut the nose of "Shurpnakha" and thus this city was named as "Nasik".

In Kritayuga, Nashik was 'Trikantak', 'Janasthana' in Dwaparyuga and later in Kuliyuga it became 'Navashikh' or 'Nashik'. Renowed poets like Valmiki, Kalidas and Bhavabhooti have paid rich tributes here. Nashik in 150 BC.was beleived to be the country's largets market place. From 1487 A.D, this province came under the rule of Mughals and was known as 'Gulchanabad'. It was also home of emperor Akbar and he has written at lenght about Nashik in 'Ein-e-Akbari'. It was also known as the 'Land of the brave' during the regime of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.


Ramayana Period

No one knows when the city of Nashik came into existence. It is stated to have been present even in the stone age. Lord Ramchandra along with wife Sita and brother Laxman settled down in Nashik for the major time of their "Vanwasa". According to the mythology, Laxman cut the nose ("Nasika" in Sanskrita) of "Shurpanakha" and hence the city got the name 'Nashik'. Long ago, Brahmadeva had meditated in "Padmasana" here, so the city was also called "Padma-Aasana" for some time. It is also believed that, Lord Vishnu had defeated the three demons and thus city also had the name "Tri-Kantak" (Tri = Three).



Facts and Figures:

Latitude: 190-33' and 200-53' North 

Longitude: 730-16' and 750-6' East

Area:259.13 Sq. Km (Second largest in Maharashtra after Mumbai)

Rivers:Godavari, Kashyapi, Darana, Nasardi (Nandini)

Population:6,48,000 (1991 census)

STD:0253

Length of roads:650 Km 

National Highway passing  through the city:Mumbai-Agra National Highway No. 3 (1000 Km) Nashik-Pune National Highway No. 50 (210 Km) 


Photos of
Nasik

Nasik Ghats Nasik Ghats

Tourist Attraction of Nasik

SomeshwarOn the way to Gangapur dam, tourists are fascinated by the beautiful nature spot called "Someshwar". There is a temple of  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 filmshootings. On the way to Someshwar, there is a village named Anandwalli. It is so named because Peshwas - Anandibai and  Raghobadada, lived there for some time. The temple - Navasha Ganpati was built by them. 
 
Deolali Camp Deolali Camp is an important Indian military center. Deolali camp which is one of the oldest center in  India, is located 16 km away from Nashik. The center was set up by the British in 1861. The area  surrounded with gardens, playgrounds and wide roads proves its uniqueness. 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 shoppings.Also Temple Hill nearby is worth visiting.On the hill there is a famous temple of lord Khandoba, hence the hill is popularly known as Khandobachi Tekadi
In the days of the British Raj, soldiers who cracked up under the stresses and strains of life in British India  were invariably packed off to a military psychiatric hospital in the small Maharashtrian cantonment town of   Deolali, near Nashik, to recover. Its name became synonymous with nervous breakdown; hence the English  idiom "to go doolally", meaning to become insane or eccentric.

Artillery Centre :Behind the Pandav Caves, is the biggest Artillery Center in Asia. This  artillery center was shifted from Pakistan in 1947, and is now completing its 50th year. The Indian army's officers and soldiers are trained here. Training for 'Bofors Gun' is given here. The area is under military and is restricted for civilians.


Bhagur :Bhagur is the birth place of the freedom fighter, Swatantrya Veer Savarkar and hence it has gainedhistorical importance. There is also a beautiful temple of "Bhagur Devi". Bhagur is situated 3 km away from Deolali Camp.

Takli :Takli is the place of saint Samarth Ramdas. He was the Guru (teacher) of Chatrapati Shivaji. Ramdas  was a bramhachari (bachelor) all through his life. He promoted the  Hindu religion and told people the importance of simple living and high thinking. Ramdas ran away from his marriage procession and  settled down at Takli. He meditated here for 12 years. He was devotee of lord Ram and meditated with  the words Shriram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram for 13 crores times. After such a long devotion, he left.  Ramdas Swami's ashram is preserved in his memory at Takli. There is also a beautiful Hanuman temple  surrounded with greenery on the bank of river Nandini or Nasardi.

Temples in Nasik

Panchavati :River Godavari flows through Nashik and its Northern part is called as Panchavati. It is said that lord Shri Ram and Sita along with Laxman stayed at Panchavati for some time. Thus Panchavati has gained holy importance.  There are five Banyan (Vad) trees and hence the area is called Panchavati.Nearby is Sita Gumpha (cave) where Sita is said to have stayed for some time 

Sita Gumpha : The Gumpha (i.e. Cave) is near the five Banyan trees in Panchavati. One can enter the cave with the help of a very narrow staircase. The cave has the idol of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. To 
the left, one can enter into the cave having the Shiva Linga. Devotees believe that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place. 
 

Ramkund/Gandhi Memorial  The most important place in Panchavati is Ramkund. It is so called because Lord Rama is believed to  have taken bath there. Mortal remains (Asthi) immersed in this kunda, are immediately absorbed in the water. A dip in this sacred kunda is considered very pious. Situated nearby is Gandhi Lake (Talav) having a memorable monument made out of white marble, in memory of the Father of the Nation. The  ashes were dropped in Ramkund after Gandhiji passed away on 30th January 1948. Mr. Nehru was also present on this occasion. 

Kalaram mandir Another important temple is that of Kala Ram. This temple was built by Peshwas. There are great processions and utsav on Ramnavami, Dasara and Chaitra Padwa (Hindu new year day). The specialty of the temple is that it was built with black stones.The stones were brought from Ramshej 200 years ago. It took 23 lakhs of rupees 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. 

Naroshankar Temple : Situated in Panchavati area, on the bank of river Godavari - fondly called as anga by Nasikites - isNaroshankar Temple of  Rameshwar built by Naroshankar Rajebahaddur in 1747. The architectural style of the temple is called "Maya" style. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of temple architecture of the 18th century. The main temple is on a platform. Rather than  inside of the temple, sculpture on the outer part is stunning. It has rows of striking designs. One layer is of decorative lacework. The next one is that of peacocks holding bead garlends. In four directions are statues of the saints in Padmasana - one holding rosary, the other one a holy book - they are all scholars. Some of the statues are deformed - their hands are broken.  There is also an assembly of animals - tigers, monkeys,elephants etc. This depicts that Hindu culture is not limited only to human beings but also has relation with  birds, animals, trees, and nature in general. 

The temple is surrounded by 11 feet fortification. In its four corners are umbrellas - called "Meghadambari" or "Barasati". One of them was washed away by Godavari floods and only three are existing presently.  The fortification also centres a "Bell house" in the front part. The famous bell , called  "Naroshankar Bell" is fixed there. The bell is a victory memorial over Portuguese. The Maratha Ruler  Bajirao Peshwa’s younger brother Chimaji Appa won the fort of Vasai  against Portuguese. The famous  knight of Peshwas - Mr Naroshankar Rajebahaddur played a critical role in this war. After winning the  fort, Vasai Portuguese Church bell was removed, marched on elephant till Nashik with great celebration and offered to Naroshankar as a medal  - an award for  his bravery.  It is made of bronze, with six feet diameter. The year engraved on it is 1921. The bell jingle can be heard up to 5 miles, it is said. This bell  and its ringing is so famous that a phrase is coined after it in Marathi. If  a woman is talking in a very high pitch, she is called "Naroshankarachi ghanta". 
Recently renovation of the bell is undertaken by the Municipal Corporation of Nashik. 

Sundarnarayan Temple :Sundarnarayan temple is situated at the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar Bridge. The story goes like this : Vrinda Devi was a very pious and faithful wife of  Jalandar - a wicked demon. Jalandar, a mighty crook, was the devotee of Lord Shiva. Pleased with his prayers and impressed by Jalandar's wife's chastity, Lord Shiva gave him a boon that made him immortal. With this boon, Jalandar became vicious and started creating havoc on earth. He not only troubled human beings, but also disturbed the Gods. He even ventured to pick up a quarrel with Lord Shiva himself. It became necessary to eliminate him which was contrary to the boon given by Lord Shiva. The only way out was to suspect  Vrinda Devi's chastity. For this task Lord Vishnu duplicated himself to look like Jalandar and lived with Vrinda Devi. Thus her chastity was suspected and the boon given to Jalandar was withdrawn and he was destroyed. When Vrinda Devi came to know of the trick played by Lord Vishnu, she got furious and cursed Lord Vishnu. His attractive body turned black due to the curse. Lord Vishnu took a holy bath in the river Godavari and regained his complexion. Since he became beautiful again, - the Lord is named as Sundarnarayana. Sundar in Marathi means beautiful. 

The Sundarnarayan temple is built by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud in 1756. The entrance of the temple is to the East. The two Mandaps may be small but their architecture is attractive and the round dome is made by little ornamental cordons. The arched recesses are impressions by Mughal style because during the Mughal Regime many temples were demolished by Muslims and graveyards were built in their place. The main deity is of Lord Vishnu - alias Narayana . To his left and right are Laxmi and Saraswati respectively. Fine design is carved on the stones of the temple. On the road leading towards Godavari River there is pond named Badarika Sangam Pond. It is said that the king of Devgiri bathed and performed rites in this pond. We also find a mention of this pond in the holy book Dnyaneshwari. One remarkable thing about this temple is that it is built at such an angle that on 21st March, rays of the rising Sun first fall exactly upon the idols. 

Godavari Temple : The Godavari Temple was built by Elder Madhavrao Peshwa's mother, Gopikabai in 1760. This temple is open for devotees only during the period of Kumbhamela (once in 12 years) for 13 months. It is also called Ganga Temple.

Places to See Near Nasik

Ahmednagar Fort : Ahmednagar Fort is one of the best designed forts in the entire state of Maharashtra. At the same time, it is also counted amongst the impregnable forts of India. The fort is situated in the Ahmednagar district and dates back to the year 1559.

Shirdi : Shirdi, a small hamlet situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, is renowned for once being the abode of Shri Sai Baba. Thronged by devotees throughout the year, the town contributed majorly to the travel and tourism industry of India.

Trimbakeshwar Temple : Trimbakeshwar Temple is the most popular and most visited excursion near the Nashik city of Maharashtra. It is situated in the Trimbak village, which lies at a distance of approximately 36 km from Nashik. One of the main attractions of the Trimbakeshwar Temple is that it is regarded as the main Jyotirlinga.

Bhandardara : Are you tired of the ear-splitting noises and maddening rush of the city life? Do you want to escape from the hectic pace of your city and escape to some place where you can forget all the tension and spend sometime in peace? Welcome to Bhandardara!

Saptashringi Devi Temple : Saptashringi Devi Temple is situated at Wani, approximately 55 km from Nashik city. Dedicated to Goddess Saptashringi, the temple is revered by the local populace of Maharashtra. The idol of the goddess is shown having 18 hands, each of the hands carrying a weapon, and seems to be ready to fight the demons.

Nandurmadhmeshwar : Nandurmadhmeshwa, situated around 60 km from Nashik, is famous for housing a bird sanctuary. The bird sanctuary was established in the year 1950 and since then, has been serving as home to thousands of migratory birds. The best time to come here, for indulging in bird watching, is during the months of October to March.

Jawhar : Jawhar is a picturesque hill station, which lies at a distance of almost 80 km from Nasik. It comes under the Thane district of Maharashtra and is full of exotic valleys and lush green forests. It is one of the best places to have a glimpse into the tribal life of the state. The magnificent Warli paintings of Jawhar hill resort are popular throughout India.

Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary  : One of the most popular excursions of Nashik is the Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of wildlife, comprising of 220 species of birds, 24 species of fish and numerous mammals. It is spread over an area of approximately 10000 hectares and stands covered with 400 species of vegetation. Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary claims the distinction of being listed as one of the important waterfowl habitats in the region, by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.

 

How to Reach There :

Nashik is one of the major cities of Maharashtra, which is situated in its northwest region. It lies approximately 180 km from Mumbai and 220 km from Pune. It comes under the Nashik district and serves as its administrative headquarters also. The large number of people who visit Nasik every year, whether for business or for tourism purposes, require the information on how to reach there and what modes of transportation are the best for them. Keeping this mind, we have provided a complete article providing information on the means of getting to Nashik. Scroll down to know about traveling to the city.

By Air
Nashik city does not have an airport of its own. The airport that falls nearest from its periphery is the Chhatrapati Shivaji international Airport of Mumbai. It is approximately 180 km from the Nashik city and is serviced by almost all the national as well as international airlines. The next nearest airport is that of Pune, a domestic one.

By Rail
The railway station at Nashik is counted amongst the major stations on the Central Railway. It is serviced by almost all the express and fast trains that go through the region. Reaching Nasik by rail is not at all difficult, since the railway station is connect with all the key cities of Maharashtra as well as India, through direct trains.

By Road
Nashik is located at a distance of approximately 180 km from Mumbai and 220 km from Pune and is easily accessible by road from both of the cities. You can easily find State Transport as well as private buses for all the cities in Maharashtra and the neighboring states from here. Taxis are also easily available.

 

Fairs and Festivals

The Sinhastha Kumbhamela : By far the most spectacular of all the events, the Kumbh Mela is a religious festival that occurs once every 12 years, and is celebrated in four major pilgrim centres around the country. In Maharastra, the festival is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. The Nashik Kumbh Mela is generally acknowledged to be the most sacred of all the festivals

       

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