Nashik, Holy City : What To See

Nashik Hanuman Temple

Nashik is often called Dakshin Kashi, and is one of the holiest cities for Hindus. It has plenty of such attractions, so a visit to this beautiful city must include the following:

Trimbakeshwar Temple : Situated 30km west of Nashik, it contains one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, making it one of the holiest temples in India. The nearby Brahmagiri Hill is from where the holy river Godavari starts.

Sundanarayan Temple : On the elevated west bank of Godavari, this ancient temple has ancient carvings of Hanuman, Narayana and Indra.

Kumbh Mela : The largest religious gathering of humans in the world, Kumbh Mela comes to Nashik once every 12 years.

Kalaram Mandir : Built in 1782 by Sardar Odhekar of Peshwa, this temple has a black carving of Lord Ram, hence the name. There are plenty of gatherings and festivities during Ramanavami, Dussehra and Chaitra Padwa.

Pandavlene Caves : Around 8km away from Nashik, on the Mumbai – Nashik Highway is a group of 24 rock cut Hinayana Buddhist caves dating from around 1st Century BC. Elaborately carved out of rock, these are a must see. Around the caves is a small nature reserve and worth a walk.

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Birding Near Nashik

The early bird gets the worm, and the earlier the birder, the better the birds. Birding is a joy in the grasslands around Nashik. However lazy one gets in the winters of midland India, it’s always more than worth pushing oneself out to the field with the first rays of the sun.

Pushing ourselves out of a comfortably warm room, we moved towards a tiny patch of privately owned grasslands near Nashik, in the hope of a morning well spent birding. A cold breeze number my shutter finger as I tried approaching the tiny rockchats and pippits, already out looking for breakfast, keeping the grassland ecosystem in good shape. We had only about two hours before work made us leave, so we tried making the most of it.

A Black Winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) circles overhead looking for prey. By eating up any rodents and reptiles these beautiful raptors prove to a farmer’s good friends.

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Nashik : An Evening In The Old Bazaars

Nashik is an ancient city with plenty of history, right from the time of Ashoka to the British rule in India. Nashik is also a prominent grape growing region of India and the fertile lands around it provide much of Mumbai and Pune’s  vegetables. It’s also a holy city for the Hindus, since Panchvati is where Lord Rama is supposed to have built his home in exile.

In one of our monsoon drives, we decided to pay Nashik a visit, having heard much about the holy part of the city, the Panchvati. We also wanted to visit Nashik before the millions came for the Kumbh Mela.

A walk through these beautiful old parts of Nashik are completely worth it. We went towards the end of monsoons in 2014, when the river Godavari was flowing with full force and some residual rains remained.

The approach to Panchvati. This holy part of Nashik is full of ancient and new temples.
At the Ramkund, Panchvati. There is a traditionof floating small lamps with prayers in the holy waters of the Godavari.

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Gulmohar Homestay : A Beautiful Home

In our quest to find quaint and quiet places, we discovered Gulmohar Homestay. Just on the outskirts of Nashik city, Gulmohar is a beautiful home amidst a private farm. Large swaying trees, singing birds and many beautiful flowers surround the home run by Vinod and Kamala Parekh, along with their son Sumit and his wife Anjali. The rooms are spacious and clean, and the food delicious. Plus the loving family makes for great company.

Kamala and Vinod Parekh are a lovely couple and make for engaging conversations.

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