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Nasik



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OVERVIEW

Nasik is one of the most important cities of Northern Maharashtra. Nasik, in Maharashtra, is situated at a distance of 200 km from Mumbai (Bombay) as well as Pune. Situated on the banks of the sacred Godavari River, the city of Nasik is a perfect amalgamation of the old & new, the sacred & the intoxicating experiences. Perched at an altitude of 565 meter above the sea level, the city of Nasik revolves around the religious celebrations & fine wine.


Though Nasik doesn't have the characteristics of an established hill station, it is located comfortably in the basin formed by the high Sahyadri Hills. True to the city's holy image,it is home to one of India's 12 holy Jyotirlingas & the largest congregation of people at the Kumbh Mela. The city with remarkable structures of historical importance, the city is interspersed by temples, forts, wineries and industrial units too - it is worth exploring its varied facets.

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Steeped in rich cultural heritage, this city got its name from the great epic - Ramayana. Nasik is believed to be the place where Shoorppanakha tried to seduce Lord Ram. According to the mythology, Laxman cut the nose ("Nasika" in Sanskrita) of "Shurpanakha" and hence the city got the name 'Nasik'. 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).

During Peshwa's period, the Moguls were fascinated by the beauty of the city and renamed it as "Gulshanabad" meaning the city of gardens. Beautiful fresh flowers were sent to Aurangazeb from Gulshanabad i.e. nasik. But it was during the rule of the Peshwas, when the place was finally renamed as Nasik.

It was during the British rule in April 1818, when nasik once again regained its importance. The British fell in love with the beauty of the city and developed it in various fields. The Golf course, developed by the British, was one of the largest in Asia.

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Panchavati

Centered around the holy Godavari River, Panchavati is considered the most holy spot where Lord Ram, Lakshman & Sita took shelter during their exile. Panchavati - is derived from the five banyan trees which are along the riverside. A holy dip in the river here is believed to wash away your sins.
Pandavleni Caves


The Hinayana Buddhist rock cut caves are a cluster of caves dating back to the 1st century BC. As per the history, the caves have no connection to Pandava . The name Pandavlena is a recent  version of the old name Trirashmi. Pandavlena caves belong to the 1st Century B.C. to 4th Century A.D period.

Located on the Trivashmi Hills, its sculptures, carved doorways; idols of Buddha, Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, Ambikadevi, Veer Manibhadraji and Bodhisattva are some of its highlights. A must visit while in Nasik.

Timings: 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Charges: Rs 5
Sita Gufaa

Believed to be the place where Sita was kidnapped - the Sita Gufaa is a cave located on the western side of the Kalaram Temple. Idols of Lord Rama and Lakshmana are enshrined in the cave, along with the Shivling which is believed to be the same idol worshiped by Sita.
Anjneri

Located on the Nasik-Trimbakeshwar - the birth place of Lord Hanuman, Anjneri is a picturesque spot. With traces of ancient Jain settlements, rocky mountains, a unique numismatic museum and blessed with natures beauty - it is a must visit for every visitor coming to Nasik.
Dudhsagar Falls


Located in Someshwar, the Dudhsagar falls is a very popular & picturesque picnic spot sited on the west of Nasik (8 km). The waterfalls reach its zenith during monsoon season when the water is filled till the brim & gushes down the rocks.
Ganga Ghat

The hub of religious activities in Nasik, the Ganga Ghat is on the banks of the holy river lined by numerous temples. These bathing ghats are the sites where holy chants & pooja's are held. Every evening the ghat comes alive with lamps & flowers left afloat by the devotees & resonates with holy chants.
Jain Mandir

A newly built Jain temple located amid serene surroundings, is dedicated to the Jain Saints. The Jain Mandir is a three storied shrine whose architectural grandeur is worth admiring. Among the several deities here is the 24th Thirthankara of the Jains which weighs 12 tons & made of "Panchadhatu".
Kalaram Temple


Built by Sardar Odhekar of Peshwa in 1782, the Kalaram Temple enshrines the idols of Lord Ram,Sita & Lakshmana. The temples grandeur comes alive during the festivities of Ramnavami, Dushera and Chaitra Padwa.
Kapileswara Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleshwar temple is holy shrine located against the backdrop of the sacred river Godavari is a combination of devotion and serene beauty. Shivratri and Shravan Somvar are the most auspicious days when devotees throng to the temple.
Naroshankara Temple

Dedicated to Lord Sankara, the 18th century Naroshankara temple is constructed in classic Mayan style of architecture. The intricate carvings & elaborate lacework, along with several statues & elegant designs makes this temple a shrine of beauty & devotion.
Ramkund

Known as the Ganges of the South - Ramkund draws countless pilgrims each year. A popular belief that Lord Ram had a bath here at some stage of his exile is the reason for devotees who come here to bathe & to leave the ashes of loved ones in its holy waters.
Sundarnarayan Temple

Built by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud in 1756, the Vaishavite temple lies on the banks of the sacred Godavari River. The main deity revered here is Lord Vishnu, flanked by Goddess Lakshmi & Sarasawati. Its intricate architectural details & the fact that the first rays of the sun falls exactly on the idol every 21st March is a unique feature here.
Tapovan

Once part of the Dandakaranya Forest - Tapovan is a place for meditation & silent observation of Mother Nature at her best. Amid its tranquil ambiance is where it is believed that Laxmana - brother of Lord Rama, cut the nose of Shurpanakha, the sister of Ravana.
Bhaktidham

Renowned for numerous temples the Bhakhti Dham - is an entire area dedicated to several holy shrines of which the Bhakhti Dham is prominent. An ideal place to learn about rituals & sacred vedic chants.
Chambharlena Caves


A holy place for the Jain community, the Chambharlena Caves is located in the premises of the Teerthraj Gajpantha. Perched at an elevation of 400 feet the caves offer panoramic views of the valley below. The popular belief is that Chamaraj the King of Mysore built Chambharlena in 600 BC.
Dadasaheb Phalke Samarak

The spirit behind the century old Indian Film Industry - Dada Saheb Phalke Smarak is committed towards edifying, devout and rational development.The building contains a place for meditation, a main conference hall and an exhibition center. The Samarak also displays with an eloquent version of the works of the Dadasaheb Phalke.
Gangapur Lake

At a distance of around 13 km from Nasik lies the Gangapur Lake and is a worth seeing attraction of the region. It serves as a major water supply to most of the Nasik and a popular place for bird watching. Beyond this, the lake also offers kayaking and boating facilities. The best time to visit this lake is during morning and late evening.

Timings: Kayaking: 8 am - 12.30 pm, 3.30 pm - 5.30 pm
Charges: Kayaking - Rs 200 per person/half hour, Rs 300 for two people / half hour
Boating: Rs 100 per person/half hour
Muktidham Temple


Built by the Late Shri JayramBhai Bytco, the Mukhtidham Temple is a beautiful temple complex which is abode to all most all the gods of the Hindu religion. It is believed that a holy dharshan of this shrine provides as much virtue as a visit to the "Chardham" - the four holy places, which makes this shrine a popular pilgrim center.
Someshwar Temple

Among the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Mahadeva, the Someshwar Temple on the banks of river Godavari, is also the abode of Lord Hanuman. 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 film shootings.
Sula Vineyards

Sula Vineyards holds a reputation for producing one of the country’s best wines. The Vineyards covers an area of 500 acres, which produces a total of around 5 million liters wine. One among the significant feature of these wineries is the tasting room, which 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.

Contact: 00-91-253-2231663/1720 Timings: Winery and Tasting Tour - 11.30am – 5.30pm
Charges: Rs 150 with tasting of six wines
Veda Mandir

Built with a noble intention of imparting Indian culture, Vedas and Puranas, Veda Mandir at Nasik accommodates students from all over India. Free training and education on Ved-Puranas is given to all students here.
Vihigaon Waterfalls

Vihigaon falls in Thane district in Maharashtra is a monsoon fed waterfall known for its natural vista. The place is an ideal spot for rappelling. The water fall gives the adventurers an opportunity to rappel, down climb and rive trace in the middle of the thick forest.

The waterfall is also known for serving as a place for many shots of the film, Asoka, starring Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
Gargoti Museum, Sinnar

Located 32 kms from Nasik on Nasik-Shirdi highway is a small bustling town Sinnar, renowned for the award winning mineral museum called Gargoti Museum. Gargoti museum is the only museum in India that displays the mineral treasures of the earth like rocks, minerals and crystals varying in nature, shape, color and application.


The exhibits in the museums includes specimen of diamonds, cut stones, light green cubical apophyllite, crystals of yellow calcite, blue-green aquamarine, cavansite and rare foreign minerals.So whenever you come to Nasik do not miss the chance to see the museum.
Mangi Tungi

Situated in Baglan tehsil, about 150 Kms from Nasik, Mangi Tungi is described as Siddhakshetra which means it is a gateway to the state of enlightenment. The mythological tales assure those who are religiously inclined & who are seeking the path of enlightenment that more than 90 crore saints & celebraties such as Lord Rama & Lord Krishna had attained Moksha, the enlightenment at Mungi Tungi . Lord Krishna breathed his last & jettisoned his material body in the same area. It is further believed that his elder brother Balram, came out of the state of deep mourning after Lord Krishna's death and received paramadyana,ultimate knowledge which further helped him attain enlightenment at Mungi Tungi only.


It is stated in the Puranas that the last rites of Lord Krishna were performed by his brother here. Mythological tales further indicate that Lord Rama arrived here with 28000 Kings & 46000 others including his dear and close confidante, Lord Hanuman and after rigorous penance they all merged with the ultimate universal force. His wife Seeta also attained divinity at Mangi Tungi. Several Jain sages also attained divinity at Mangi Tungi & even today it is a home for the seekers of truth & knowledge of the universe.

The great festival on the mountains is celebrated every year in the holy month of Kartik (September - October) when Hindus & Jains converge in large numbers to  witness the grand Rathyatra. Interested tourists wanting to visit Mungi Tungi hilla , there is facility to stay in Dharmashalas & food at reasonable rates are provided. Thousands of Pilgrims all over the world come to Mangi Tungi every year.
Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary

Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary, which houses more than 220 species of birds, 400 species of vegetation, 24 species of fish and several smaller mammals came into existence along the Nandur Madhmeshwar dam at the confluence of Godavari and Kadwa. This sanctuary is located in Niphad Tehsil of Nasik district in Western Maharashtra. A stone pick up weir was constructed in 1907-13 across the river Godavari just below the confluence of Kodwa and Goadavari rivers at Nandur Madhameshwar. The water level is always fluctuating in Nandur Madhameshwar Lake.

Th water released from Gangapur and Darana water reservoirs is stored at Nandur Madhameshwar and subsequently released from here through canals for irrigation. Silts and organic matter that are carried away with water flow are accumulated in the lake, due to which islands and shallow water ponds have been created. This resulted in the biological enriched conditions by which aquatic vegetation has been stabilized  Thus the site has turned into good wetland habitat aptly described as 'Bharatpur Of Maharashtra".

How to get there:

Air : Nearest Airport is in Aurangabad at 180-km from the sanctuary.
Rail : Nearest railway station is Niphad a small station at 12-km on Mumbai-Bhusaval railway line.
Road : The sanctuary is easily approachable by road either via Niphad, Nasik and Sinnar.

Best Time To Visit: December To March 

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Kumbhamela

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, Nasik. The Nasik Kumbh Mela is generally acknowledged to be the most sacred of all the festivals.

The Nasik Kumbh Mela is a mammoth affair with over three and a half million people attending it. Thousands of Sadhus and holy men and millions of pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy Ramkund and Kushavarta reservoirs. The peak festival days are  August 14 and 25 and September 8 and 20. During the Kumbha Mela, nasik City and Triambakeshwar are in  a fantastic festive mood.  The festive and religious mood makes people get away from their daily chores and experience the spiritual ecstasy.

Why every 12 years?

Amrut had to be saved from Danavas. So Gods had to hide it at different places - Swargalok, Mrutyulok and Patallok. Gods  were on Mrutyulok (earth) for twelve days. Gods twelve days are equal to 12 years for Mrutyulok . Thus Gods were on earth for 12 years with Amrut. Hence every 12 years  Kumbha Mela is celebrated at the four places, where a few drops of Amrut had fallen.
Jesus Shrine Feast

The SHRINE FEAST (BAL Yeshu Yatra) in honour of the Infant Jesus at St.Xavier’s Church, Nasik. The Shrine of the Infant Jesus welcomes persons of all faiths. The Infant Jesus showers his blessings on all persons of good will. Love offerings are gratefully received and acknowledged. Intentions of devotees and Thanksgiving are specially offered to the infant Jesus at the perpetual Novena Mass at St.Xavier's Church, Nasik road. Besides, numerous little children in schools and boardings in Adivasi and Dalit rural areas are being provided with educational and medical facilities. These are continually grateful for your generosity and pray to the Infant Jesus for your welfare.
 
Justly celebrated throughout the world is the little statue of the infant Jesus in the Church of Shrine. Many a curious devotees has wondered as to why the holy shrine came to be located at Nasik. The answer is simple because after the training of father Peter, he was posted to the Parish at Nasik Road where he spent a considerable time. The propagation of the devotion to Infant Jesus which spread like wild fire was started by father Peter and he felt very befitting that the location of the shrine should be in the midst of these peaceful surroundings.
Rathayatra

Ramnavmi Rathayatra which nasik City mainly knows as Trith shetra, is the place where Lord Ramachandra stayed for more than 12 years in the area known as Panchavati. The Janmotsava of Lord Ramachandra begins from the first day of Chaitra till the Chaitra Poornima, spanning 15 days.

The Janmotsava takes place exactly at 1200hrs (in the noon) when thousands of piligrims are present on  this holy occassion. This janmotsav is celebrated by the Sansthan Shri Kalaram Mandir, Panchavati every year.

Another attraction of Janmotsava is on the 2nd day of Navmi when the Rathyatra starts from the east  door of the temple moving through the city of nasik. The Rathyathra starts at about 4.30 p.m. with the Shri Ramrath and Shri Garuda Rath.

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Travel within city

Nasik is a small city and traveling within Nasik is quite easy indeed. Public transport buses, taxis, auto rickshaws and rented cars are available for tourists looking to travel in and around Nasik.

Bus

Buses, which are run by the state government, are the cheapest mode of travel. Bus travel is also the most extensive mode among the travel options present in Nasik. You can reach any part of Nasik as all major stops are well connected and the bus network has been well established. Bus fares in Nasik will range around Rs 5 to 30, depending on the distance covered through travel. Nasik Darshan buses are also available for tourists to see the local places of attraction.

Auto Rickshaw

Auto rickshaws are also available in the city of Nasik, and these run on meter. Auto fares normally start off with Rs15 for the first couple of kilometers and Rs 8 for each additional kilometer. Auto rickshaws are the safest mode of travel in Nasik and night rates are not applicable in Nasik.

Taxi

Taxis are available from the railway station and the Nasik Airport, and you can either hire a taxi or share one with other passengers. Taxis and cabs charge around Rs 13 per kilometer.

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www.nashik.nic.in

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