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Nasik - Wine Capital Of India OR Grape City OR Pilgrimage City

STATE - MAHARASHTRA
   
DISTANCE - 185 KM From Mumbai, 678 KM From Nagpur

CONNECTION
 
By Air : Nearest airport from Nashik is at Mumbai , which is 185-km away from the city. From the airport you can take a taxi to reach the bus stand.

By 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.

By Road : Nashik 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.
 
ABOUT NASIK
 
The city of Nasik situated on the banks of Godavari River. Nasik is situated in the northwestern part of Maharashtra state, India. Nasik is the major Hindu pilgrimage center with rich culture and tradition. However, there are number of beautiful ghats located on the banks of the Godavari River. Moreover, the major part of Nasik lies on the right bank of the river Godavari. Panchavati, the left bank also has several temples on its side. During the festival season, Nasik becomes very crowded. Well, Kumbha Mela is the largest religious gathering in India. It is believed that, a holy dip in the Godavari River in a predetermined time may wash away all the sins of devotees.

The term Nasik is derived from the word Nashik. It is based on the Indian mythology of Laxmana (brother of Lord Rama) who cuts off the nose of Shurpnakha; during the period of their exile, from this story the word Nashik is derived. In Sanskrit, nose is referred as Nasika, hence known as Nasik. Sita Gumpha caves, where the Lord Rama, Sita, and Laxmana had stayed is still here. This is the place from where the Sita (wife of Lord Rama) was abducted by the demon King, Ravana.

The history records of Nasik dates back to the 150 BC. Earlier, Nasik was also known as one of the most important trade centers of India. During the Mughal period, city was also known to be as Gulshanabad. However, later under the rule of Peshwas gave the present name to city as Nashik, when they had taken the control of city in the year 1818. When the rule of peshwas under set and soon the glorious city went in the hands of British Raj. Till 1947, Nasik remained under the influence of colonial rule of Britishers.
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PLACES OF INTERESTS & RELIGIOUS PLACES IN NASIK
 
Kumbh Mela : Kumbh Mela is the most important Hindu spiritual gathering in India that comes once every three years, rotating between four major Hindu pilgrim centers of India - Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. The Nashik Kumbh Mela is generally considered to be the most sacred of all the festivals. Kumb Mela in Nashik, like other fairs is also a mammoth affair attending by nearly three and a half million pilgrims. Thousands of sadhus and holy men and millions of pilgrims take dip in the holy Ramkund and Kushavarta reservoirs.Special arrangements are made by the state government for the devotees coming here. There are many guest houses and Dharamshala's here for the visitors and pilgrims to stay. Ghats are cleaned and security measures are taken. Thus, the government tries its best to make the Kumbh Mela, a peaceful and serene experience.

Saptashringi Devi Temple : The temple is at Wani, which is 55 km from Nashik. This temple is at Saptashringi Hill. The presiding goddess Saptashringi Devi has 18 weapons in 18 hands and is positioned ready to fight the demons. Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute (MERI) or at Sitakund at Mhasrul village is on the way. Sita the wife of Rama used to bathe at this is the site.

Panchavati : Panchwati is situated in the northern part of Nashik. According to a legend Lord Shri Ram and Sita along with Lakshman (also spelt as Laxman) stayed at Panchavati for some time. Thus, it is a significant place. Panchavati derives its name from the five Banyan ('Vad') trees present here.

Bhandardara : Bhandardara is located at a distance of 70 km from Nashik. It is a small and peaceful area. This hill station is popular for fun loving and picnic lovers. The largest earthen dam in the country and one of the oldest dams in Asia, Wilson Dam or Bhandardara Dam is at Bhandardara. The height of the dam is nearly 150 m. The overflowing water makes the Umbrella Falls, which is a picturesque sight during the monsoon season.

Sita Gumpha : The literal meaning of Gumpha is a cave, the Sita Gumpha is located near the five Banyan trees in Panchavati. It is one of the major attractions of Nasik. There is a narrow staircase used to enter the cave. In the cave one can see idols of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. It is believed that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place.

Sundarnarayan Temple : This temple is situated at the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar Bridge in Nasik. Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud built it in the year 1756. The worshiped deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, who is also known as Sundarnarayan.

Dudhasagar Waterfalls : Dudhsagar waterfall, situated at Someshwar is a favourite destination for youngsters where they come often to liven up their spirits. This is one of the best picturesque spots in Nashik. The waterfalls are 10m long and the water is milky white, so it is called Dudhsagar waterfall.

Modakeshwar Ganesh Temple : The Modakeshwar Ganesh Temple is another famous temple of Nasik. The idol in the temple is believed to be self emerged and is also known as 'Swaymbhu'. The temple derives its name from the 'Modak' a special Maharastrian dish made of coconut and jaggery. This dish is considered to be Lord Ganesh's favorite.

Ramkund : The Ramkund in the river Godavari, attracts innumerable pilgrims. Here devotees take a holy dip. The Ramkund is considered the 'Ganges of the south'. It is the spot from where the river Godavari turns to right at an angle of 90 degrees. It is said that Lord Rama took a bath here, during his stay at Nasik. Thus, it is a significant place.

Kalaram Temple : The Kalaram temple is one of the most important temples located in the Panchavati area of Nasik. This temple was built in 1794 by Gopikabai Peshwa. The architecture of this temple is outstanding with the motif similar to that of the Trimbakeshwar Temple. The unique feature of this temple is that it was built with black stones.

Shirdi : Shirdi, a small village in Kopargam Taluk, in Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra is regarded to be an important pilgrimage place in India as sage Sai Baba lived here till his death. It is about 285 km, which is 6 hours drive from Mumbai. After his death, Sai Baba's fame has spread far and wide. Sai Baba believed and respected all religions. Samadhi Temple was started during the lifetime of Sai Baba, with a view to having a temple of Sri Krishna. But later, Sai Baba himself decided to live there. So, after Sai Baba attained Nirvana (eternal peace), His mortal remains were buried at the place. The articles and valuables, which were used by the Baba, are exhibited in a room here.

Nandur Madhameshwar Bird Sanctuary : The sanctuary has 220 species of birds, 400 species of vegetation, 24 species of fish and several smaller mammals. The sanctuary spreads over the protected area of 10000 hectares, lies the core area of 1765 hectares. It is now counted as one of the important waterfowl habitats in the region by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.
 
WHEN TO GO NASIK
 
Best Season to visit Nasik is between October and March.
 
WEATHER FORECAST
 
Summers (March to May) are hot with maximum temperature reaches above 42°C; generally tourists avoid visiting Nasik during the summers, especially April and May.

Monsoons (June to September) offer medium rainfalls giving reprieve of the hot climate; it is good for city visit.

Winters (December to February) are mostly pleasant with a maximum and minimum temperature of 32°C and 8°C, the best period for sight seeing.
 
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN NASIK
 
In Nasik different festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and excitement. Some of the important festivals celebrated are the Shravan Pornima and Maha Parva - Shravan Amavasya (new moon), in the month of August and the Bhadrapad Amavasya (new moon) in the month of September. Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are the other festivals celebrated here with equal pomp and gaiety.

The Kirti Kala Mandir in the town celebrates the Krishna Jayanti Mohotsav (a Hindu festival) every year which offers wonderful performances by renowned artists. Painting and sketching exhibitions are regularly held at the Mahatma Phule art gallery in the town.

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