NASHIK

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Location: 185-km Away From Mumbai, On The Northwestern Part Of Maharashtra
Previously Spelt As: Nasik
Famous As: Religious Centre


Nashik city, formerly spelt "Nasik" forms a part of the northwestern Maharashtra State. It lies along the Godavari River 565m above sea level and about 185-km from Mumbai .

Nashik is an important religious center and attracts thousands of pilgrims annually because of the sanctity of the Godavari River and because of the legend that Rama, the hero of the Ramayana epic, lived here for a time with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana. The main part of the town lies on the right (south) bank of the river, while Panchavati, a quarter on the left bank has several temples. The town's riverbanks are lined with ghats (bathing places with steps).

History

From archaeological excavations it is found that the territory around Nashik was occupied in the early Stone Age. Its only real monuments are the rock-cut caves nearby Pandav Lena, these two-thousand-year-old cells dates back to the days when Nashik was the capital of the powerful Satavahana (also spelt as Satvahans) dynasty. Nashik dominated all-important trade routes linking the Ganges Plains with the ports to the west.

The city was named as "Gulshanabad" during Mughal period, in appreciation of beauty of Nashik. The old name was restored when Peshwas took over in 1751. In 1818 Nashik surrendered to the British. During the freedom struggle of 1857, Nashik was the scene of considerable disturbance. The struggle ended by 1860, and Nashik once again enjoyed peace.

Nashik Municipality was formed in 1864. In 1869, Nashik was made a full-fledged District with its present 13 'Talukas' (regions.) Nashik was always prominent as a center of revolutionary activities. Mahatma Gandhi's non-cooperation movement found its share of activities here in Nashik as well. Dr. Ambedkar has organized his temple entry movement for the abolition of untouchability and mass movement was organized in 1932.

Cultural life

Nagpur cherishes a rich tradition of music, particularly the Hindustani classical form. Kirti Kala Mandir in the town celebrates the Krishna Jayanti Mohotsav (a Hindu festival) every year by inviting renowned performers in Nashik. Painting and sketching exhibitions are regularly held at the Mahatma Phule art gallery in town.

Eminent Personalities

Nashik has produced many well known, eminent personalities in literature, art, social workers, filmmakers, dramatists, musician's etc. However, the famous among these people is the memorable personality - Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, one of the fervent freedom fighters of India. Nashik is home to renowned writers like the Tatyasaheb Shirwadkar, Vasant Kanetkar, and A.V. Warty. Mr. Dadasahed Phalke, who hailed from Nashik, made the first moving picture produced in India - 'Raja Harishchandra.'

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Panchavati
Northern part of Nashik is known as Panchavati as River Godavari flows. It is believed that Lord Shri Ram and Sita along with Lakshman (also spelt as Laxman) stayed at Panchavati for some time. Thus Panchavati gained lot of importance. There are five Banyan ('Vad') trees and hence the area is called Panchavati.

Sita Gumpha
The Gumpha, which means a cave, located near the five Banyan trees in Panchavati is one of the attractions of Nashik. One can enter the cave with the help of a narrow staircase. The cave has the idol of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. Devotees believe that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place.

Naroshankar Temple
Naroshankar Temple is situated in Panchavati area, on the bank of river Godavari - fondly called as Anga by Nasikites. Naroshankar Rajebahaddur built this temple 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 temple is surrounded by 11 feet fortification. In its Four Corners are umbrellas - called "Meghadambari" or "Barasati". There is a "Bell house" called "Naroshankar Bell" in the front part, which is very famous.

Sundarnarayan Temple
Sundarnarayan temple is situated at the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar Bridge in Nashik. Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud built it in 1756. Presiding deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu, who is also known as Sundarnarayan.

Modakeshwar Ganesh Temple
Another famous temple of Nashik where the idol in the temple is believed to be self emerged. The 'Modak' is a special Maharastrian dish made of coconut and jaggery. This dish is considered to be Lord Ganesh's favorite.

Guru Gangeshwar Ved Mandir
Guru Gangeshwar Ved Mandir was built with the aim of studying Indian culture and Ved and Puranas. The entrance to the temple is very large and attractive with glasses and floodlights. Free training and education on Ved-Puranas is given to students from all over India. The temple contains the idols of Shri Ram, Laxman (also spelt as Lakshman) and Sita along with a beautiful idol of Guru Gangeshwaraji.

Yashwantrao Maharaj Memorial
Situated on the banks of the river Godavari, this temple dedicated to Saint Yashwantrao Maharaj Deo Mamaledar was built in 1887 after the Samadhi of Deo Mamaledar. Yashwantrao Maharaj was the Mamaledar (civil servant) at Satana.

Gondeshwar Temple
A beautiful temple built in the Hemadpanthi style of architecture, during the Adilshahi rule in Maharashtra. This style of architecture was developed by one of the pradhans (minister) of Ahmednagar named Hemadpanth. He popularised this typical style of construction using locally available black stone and lime. This style became very popular and came to be known as the "Hemadpanthi" style. The Gondeshwar temple is one of the few structures of this style still in good shape.

Ramkund
Hundreds of pilgrims arrive here to take a holly dip at the 'Ramkund' in the river Godavari, which is considered the 'Ganges of the south'. Ramkund is the spot where the river Godavari turns to right at an angle of 90 degrees and gains importance, as Lord Ram is said to have taken his daily bath here, during his stay at Nashik.

Muktidham Temple
Muktidham temple is about 7-km from downtown on the road to the railway station in Nashik. This temple is built in white marble and is one of the most important temples of the city. It has been constructed recently but still it is noted for its architecture. The Muktidham Temple is pure white, the colour of holiness and peace.

In addition to its unique architecture, eighteen chapters of the 'Gita' are written on the walls of the temples. After visiting this Temple, every Hindu feels that he has visited the four 'Dham' (holy centers) in India.

Kalaram Temple
The most significant temple is the Kalaram temple located in the Panchavati area, Nashik. This temple built in 1794 by Gopikabai Peshwa, is an architectural grandeur, with the motif, pretty much analogous to that of the Trimbakeshwar Temple. The speciality of the temple is that it was built with black stones.

Coin Museum
The Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies was established in 1980 and is the only one of its kind in Asia. To impart a general idea about Indian coins to the common people, the Institute has organized a small museum. The Coin Museum is positioned against the backdrop of the enthralling Ajneri Hill at Nashik.

Pandavleni Caves
Pandavleni 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 cvaes are situated about 8-km south of Nashik on a tableland atop the Trivashmi Hill, close to the Mumbai Road. 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 Lonavala. Cave 18 is a 'Chaitya' believed to date from the same time as the Karla Cave. It is a well-sculptured cave and its elaborate facade is particularly noteworthy.

EXCURSIONS

Shirdi
Shiridi is a small village in Kopargam Taluk, in Ahmadnagar District of the Maharastra State. Shirdi is a very sacred, powerful and important place of pilgrimage in India. Shirdi is about 285-km and a 6 hours' drive from Mumbai (Bombay). Shirdi was a sleepy little village, tucked away in the interiors of Maharashtra. An old sage called Sai Baba lived in the village. This sage was their mentor and prophet. Even today the last few surviving elders of the village vividly recall the miraculous wonders of the sage. He died in 1918 leaving behind grieving villagers.

Infant Jesus Shrine
This Church is situated on Nashik - Pune Highway. Every year in the month of February, there is a fair held over here.

Kapaleshwar Mandir
Kapaleshwar Temple situated at Nashik is said to be the oldest temple in Nashik. It lies on the bank of river Godavari near Ramkund. It is usual that every Mahadeva temple has a Nandi (the vehicle of Lord Shiva) but the peculiar feature of this temple is it does not have Nandi. This temple is worth visiting.

Someshwar
Someshwar temple is one of the oldest temples dedicated to Mahadeva (Someshwar), which is situated on the Gangapur Road. It is about 6-km from Nashik city. This temple lies along the banks of river Godavari.

Wani
The temple of Sapatashrungi Mata is on Saptashruga hill near the village Nanduri. It is about 52-Kms from Nashik City. The temple is atop a hill and there are around 450 steps to climb. In April of every year, a major fair is held over here.

Peacock in Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary in MaharashtraNandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary
Through ceaseless efforts of Bombay Natural History Society, World Wildlife Fund and Forest Department of the Government of Maharashtra, this 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 Madhameshwar dam at the confluence of Godavari and Kadwa. Spread over the protected area of 10,000 hectares, lies the core area of 1,765 hectares, where the large variety of water birds, resident and migratory birds congregate in season. It is now counted as one of the important waterfowl habitats in the region by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.

Bhandardara
Bhandardara is located 70-km away from Nahsik. It is a small and serene locale for those who need a break from their tedious and tiring lives. An exquisite holiday resort and an ideal getaway for fun-loving trekkers and picnickers. Bhandardara houses exhilarating waterfall - Radha Falls, a deep valley, a clean and large Arthur Lake, a historical Ratangadh Fort, an ancient temple - Amritheshwar Temple, a peaceful Agasti Rishi Ashram, Wilson Dam also known as Bhandardara Dam, and Viewpoints. It also hosts an ideal trekking destination known as Mount Kalusubai.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Nearest airport from Nashik is at Mumbai , which is 185-km away from the city.

Rail: Nashik is one the major stations on the Central Railway and there are a number of convenient trains that connect Nashik to other cities and towns. The fastest train to Mumbai is the Panchvati Express, which does the trip in 4 ½ hours.

Road: Nashik is 185-kms from Mumbai and is well connected by road. Pune-Nashik highway is 220-kms away from the city. There are also several private and state buses available between Mumbai/Thane and Nashik.

Local Transport: Visitors can use taxis, tourist cars, auto-rickshaws and vans, which are easily available and ideal for families and groups.

WHERE TO STAY

Nashik is well equipped with middle class budgeted hotels, which are available at reasonable prices. But one has also got the options for luxurious hotels too.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Banks:
State Bank of India
Old Agra Road, C.B.S

Bank of Maharashtra
Gadakari Chowk

Indian Overseas Bank
Nasihk Road

I.C.I.C.I. Bank
S.P.Road

Hospitals:
Life Line Hospital
Wadala Naka, Arga road

Jai Hospital
Tilak wadi, Sharanpur Road

Nahush Hospital
16, Manik Nagar, Gangapur Road

Tourist Offices:
The MTDC tourist office
T-1, Golf Club, Old Agra Road

GENERAL INFORMATION

Temperature Range (Deg °c) Maximum Minimum
Summer: 45° C 29º C
Winter: 26° C 6° C
Latitude: 18° 15 ' to 19° 55'
Longitude: 77° to 78° 25'
Clothing: Light Cotton and Woollen in winter
STD Code: 07369/02462
Population: 2,75,083 (1991 Census)
Climate: Tropical
Rainfall: Average 897.8 mm

NEARBY CITIES

Someshwar: 6-km
Nanduri: 52-km
Bhandadara: 70-km
Mumbai- 185-km



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