Nashik, the holy city as per the Indian Mythology of Ramayana holds a great significance. The land of this city has provided shelter to Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman during their eviction. The holy land of Nashik is one of the four places in India that holds the famous Kumbh Mela. This city is one of the pilgrim tourist spots of Maharashtra. Nestled around the Sahayadari range, the town has a scenic charm. Nashik is also known for its vineyards and agriculture. Also known as the Wine Capital of India it houses some of the best vineyards. Nashik is a perfect example of dwelling the history and striving towards modernization at the same time. Here is a list of top 10 places that are a must visit in Nashik:
1. Trimbakeshwar Temple
The famous temple of Trimbakeshwar is devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed by the Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao and houses a dozen Jyotirlingas. The sacred pond or the Kund, Kusavarta that is in the premises of the temple is said to be the symbolic source of River Godavari. The temple has a darker tinge because of its construction with the black stand stone. The temple is also rich in its architecture and is a sculpted marvel.
2. Pandavleni Caves
This congregation of twenty-four caves that date back to 2nd century BC is intricately carved caves that unveil the Buddhist Hinayana architecture. Pandavleni caves were carved from 3rd century BC till the 2nd century AD. The cave showcases a vihara style of architecture except the eighteenth cave which is from the Chaitya. These caves speak a lot about Buddhist teachings which are clear from the inscriptions on the walls. These caves face eastwards and are a stunner.
3. Sula Vineyards
Sprawling in an area of about 160 acres, Sula Vineyards is the first commercial vineyard in the valley. Sula Winery produces wine from the grapes that are grown in the local Nashik district and Dindori. This Vineyard has a tasting room that holds samples of the in-house wines and also has a resort for the wine lovers to spend a day or two here and enjoy the grapiness of the place.
4. Muktidham Temple
This white marbled temple was built in 1971 with the marble from Makrana, Rajasthan. The temple has a distinctive architecture. The Muktidham Temple houses all the twelve Jyotirlings which makes the temple holy. The uniqueness of this temple lies in the fact that its walls are inscribed with the verses of the entire Bhagwad Geeta.
5. Coin Museum
A rich collection of coins from various periods have been assembled and laid out on display. The only one of its kind in Asia, Coin Museum helps to gain knowledge about the Numismatics of India. Constructed in 1980, the museum displays the coins with a brief write up on the sides so it becomes easier for the common people to know more about it. Located at the foothills of Anjaneri Mountain in the background is an added advantage.
6. Anjaneri Mountains
Anjaneri Mountains are associated with the Hindu Epic Ramayana. It is believed that this mountain is the birth place of Lord Hanuman. There is a sacred temple at the hilltop that is visited by many devotees. The mountain is named after the mother of Lord Hanuman, Anjani. Reaching the hilltop involves some trekking and the view from there is breath taking. Apart for being important for its holy reasons the place also has a scenic charm.
Saptashrungi or the seven peaks is famous for its temple of Saptashrungi Nivasini. The place is said to be sacred because it is believed that while carrying the body of Sati (Lord Shiva’s Wife), her limbs fell down at this particular place. Saptashurngi Mountains also find a place in Ramayana as it is believed that Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman used to come here to seek the blessings of the goddess during their exile.
8. Kalaram Mandir
Kalaram Mandir, a prime pilgrimage destination for the Hindus lies in the Panchvati area of Nashik. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and the statue of the lord inside the temple is black in colour therefore the temple is called Kalaram Mandir. With Lord Ram at the centre there are statues of Sita and Laxman on the sides. Built over a course of twelve long years the structure is constructed with black stones and was also a part of the Satyagrah Movement.
9. Artillery Centre
The Military restricted are behind the Pandavleni caves holds the largest artillery centre in Asia. It is said to be moved to Nashik from Pakistan during Independence. A rigorous military training to soldiers is been given here. It also trains the militants for using the ‘Gofor Guns’. The Artillery centre also houses a war memorial and an artillery museum that shows the history of armaments.
The holy waters of Ramkund are considered to be sacred for Lord Rama bathing in the waters during his exile. The pond’s water is of high importance and draws a large number of pilgrims to dip in the holy water of Ramkund. It is believed that Sitaji also bathe in the same pond. Apart from the religious belief the change in the course of river Godavari, taking a sharp ninety degree happens at this very pond.
Nashik is a place of religious beliefs and showcases a large section of Ramayana being laid out in this part of the country. In the modern times the city is famous for its winery and draws a lot of pilgrims and tourists to explore the region.
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