The Maha Kumbh Mela
Welcome to Nasik,
Nashik is a disrict in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Nashik is located in the northwest of Maharashtra. It is located in the Western Ghats, on the western edge of the Deccan Peninsula on the banks of the Godavari. In addition to supplying the name to the famed Nassak Diamond, the city is known for its picturesque surroundings and pleasant climate. The Godavari River flows through Nashik from its source, which lies to the southwest of the city, in Trimbakeshwar.
The climate of Nashik is very conducive to the growing of grapes as well as making of wines. This, combined with the 'Grape Processing Industry Policy' of the Maharashtra government made the hub of wine industry in India. This has resulted in it being popularly known as the 'Wine Capital of India' or the 'Grape City of India'.
Nashik is one of world's holiest Hindu cities. Kumbh Mela(Fair) is held here once in 12 years along with four other cities in India. Lord Rama spent 14 years of his exile at Tapovan near Nashik. It is said that Lord Rama lives in Panchvati area of Nashik, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, during his years of exile.
An important pilgrim center, as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, Ajneri is located on the Nasik-Trimbakeshwar road. Numerous Jain temples scattered on the landscape evidences that this lovely place was a Jain settlement earlier. A mountainous terrain amidst the lustrous greenery makes Anjneri a popular tourist location. Its rocky surroundings offer a perfect spot for rock climbing.
The serene ambience of the hilly area is renowned for the Institute of Numismatic Studies - a unique museum, which is considered to be one of its kind in Asia. It provides an authentic history of Indian numismatics through photographs, articles, line drawings, replicas and real coins. A famous locality with a glorious, Ajneri is all set to enthrall the visitors with its wide-ranging attractions
Bhakti Dham, a place renowned for its numerous temples is situated near Dindori Naka, about a distance of 2.5 km from Central Bus Station. The entire area gives an impression of a singular shrine and among the various holy places of worships, Bakthidham temple takes the prominent position.
Bhaktidham is a rising pilgrimage centre for the devotees coming to Nashik. A hub of religious activities, this place is often thrived with frequent religious discussions, poojas and deliberations on Vedas. Bhakti Dham offers a wide range of religious books on sale and in recent years it has been possessed the privilege of an ideal place of Vedic studies and research.
Igatpuri is a city and a Hill Station municipal council in Nashik District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is located in the Western Ghats. The station lies in Nashik District, between Mumbai and Nashik Road on the Central Railway. Igatpuri is known for its Buddhist Pagoda for Meditation called Vipassana and wada pavs.
The city of Nasik and the adjoining areas are famed for scores of temples and holy places. One among such sacred spot is Teerthraj Gajpantha, which is a holy places of the Jains and Chambharlena caves are a portion of this famous place. Placed atop of the hill at an elevation of 400 feet, commands a panoramic sight of the valley below. These cave offers a tranquil ambience suitable for rumination.
Gajapantha Teerth where the caves are a part consists of other important structures like a small hut, a temple, among other things. The popular belief is that Chamaraj the King of Mysore built Chambharlena in 600 BC. Hence the caves obtained the name "Chamer Caves" or "Chambhar Caves" in the local lingo.
The Dada Saheb Phalke is the legendary figure who was the progressive spirit behind the century old Indian Cinema. A memorial to this great visionary, Dadasaheb 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.
Dadasaheb Phalke Smarak spread across a vast extend of 29 acres, and it holds a pretty garden in its courtyard. Placed in the pretty surroundings of a majestic Pandava caves, Dada Saheb Phalke Smarak is one among the busiest attractions in Nasik.
Located at a panoramic place, Dudhsagar Waterfalls in Someshwar is regarded as one among the best in the entire world itself. This cascading cataract is a favourite picnic spot in the city, which offers picture book scenery. The waterfalls reach its zenith during monsoon season when the cascade displays plenty of water in it.
The 10-meter stretch of this cascade is often crowed with young people since it helps to evoke the adventurous spirit in them. Another remarkable fact about this lovely falls is its creamy white water that gained it with the pretty name Dudhsagar. Carved steps on the rocks makes access to the top of this lovely spot effortless.
One of the famous holy places in India, Nask is a hub of religious activities, which are centered around the sacred banks of the Godaveri River.The banks of this holy river is wizened with well maintained ghats and numerous temples. These bathing ghats reverberate with holy recites of people who gathers there to offer the last rituals of their beloved ones. Ganga bathing ghat whose waters are presumed to cleanse the sins, offers an awe-inspiring view to the spectator. The majestic Ganga ghat, looks incredibly stunning in the twilight, when the holy waters of the sacred rive is enlighten with multitude of oil lamps and hovers of flowers.
The Godavari is a river that runs from western to southern India and is considered to be one of the big river basins in India. It originates near Trimbak in Nashik District of Maharashtra state and flows east across the Deccan Plateau into the Bay of Bengal near Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
A huge newly built temple complex dedicated to Jain saints, Jain Mandir is located at Vilhouli, Nasik. This pretty three-storied shrine presents a different architectural grandeur than that of the other temples. Shree Dharmachakra Prabhav Tirth, which is popularly called as Jain Mandir is constructed with white marble and pink sand.
The ground floor of these eloquent building houses a Pravachan Hall, where sermons and meditations take place "Choumukhji" is placed in the first floor and the third floor is reserved for "Ashtapadji". One among the deities of this Mandir is the 24th thirthankara of the Jains. This amazing deity weighs 12 ton and it is made up of Panchdhatu. Situated in a serene ambience, all the idols enshrined in this temple adorns a serious outlook.
Kalaram Temple is a temple built by Peshwas and is an important pilgrimage site. This temple is famous for the great procession that are held here during Ramnavami, Chitra Padwa ( New year day for Hindus) and Dasara. This temple is completely build of black stone and the tip is made up of 2 tons of gold. After a Satyagraha by Dr. B.R Ambedkar in 1930, Harijans were also allowed into the temple.
One of the oldest temples in Nasik, the Kapaleshwar Temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This fabulous shrine is located on the serene ambience of the sacred river Godavri. Absence of Nandi Idol in the temple premises is a mystery. Generally, all Shiva temples have an idol of Nandi Bull, which overlooks its master's sanctum.
An architectural marvel, this Shiva temple is a must see holy spot in Nasik. The temple displays an unparalleled tranquility and the unruffled atmosphere of this sacred shrine would be crowded with devotees on the festive occasions of Shivratri and Shravani Somvar.
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.
Situated on the suburbs of Nasik, Muktidham Temple is a beautiful marble temple complex, built by Late Shri JayramBhai Bytco. An abode of all most all the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, this splendid shrine displays the facsimile of all the 12 Jyotirlingas of India.
It is believed that a holy dharshan of this shrine provides as much virtue as a visit to four holy places, which makes this magnificient shrine a crowded pilgrim center. This delicate piece of architecture with its glittering whiteness embodies its serenity and sacredness. Exquisitely carved interior walls with the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, is worth mentioning.
An 18th century temple dedicated to lord Sankara, Naroshankara temple is popularly called as Ganga of the South India. This temple is constructed by Naroshankar Rajebahaddur in 1747. Unique style of architecture, which is called Maya, is a classic example of the 18th century structural design. The stunning sculptural works on the exterior exhibits strings of intricate designs.
Each section displays some sort of ornamental works that contains elaborate laceworks, peacocks wearing blob garlands, statues of the saints in Padmasana and an assembly of animals. These elegant designs illustrate the rich tradition of Hinduism, which includes not only human beings but also the entire universe. Other conspicuous formations, which are worth watching, include Naroshankar Bell and Barasati.
All religious activities in Nasik are centered around the majestic Godavri River, especially on its Northern banks. Considered as the most holy spot, Panchavati is believed to be a shelter to Lord Ram, Lakshman, and Sita during their exile.
This sacred spot gets its name from the five banyan trees that stand by the riverside. Believed to be a part of the Dandakaranya Forest, Panchavadi is the right option to begin the tour. Since this place acquire a prominent place in the epic, people frequent here to take a holy dip so that they will be cleansed from their sins.
A cluster of Hinayana Buddhist rock cut caves dating from around the 1st century BC Pandavleni caves, are located on the Trivashmi hills. Remarkably carved doorways and brilliant sculptures are the main characteristics of Pandavleni caves, which might have been used as the dwelling places of the monks.
Out of the 24 caves, 3, 10, 18 caves are really worth mentioning for their outstanding sculptures. The caves houses icons of Buddha, Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, Ambikadevi, Veer Manibhadraji and Bodhisattva. The interiors of the caves were popular meeting places for the disciples, where sermons were concerned. Proficiently molded water tanks on the rocks make one astounding.
bout 8 Kms South of Nasik, is a group of 24 Hinayana Buddhist Caves dating from around the 1st century BC to the 2nd AD. The most important in this group are number 18 and 20. Except caves no. 18, the rest of the caves are Viharas or Monasteries. This group of caves is one of the most important and intriguing in western India. The oldest historical place in Nashik is Pandav caves which are also known as Trirashmi Leni. The famous Dadasaheb Phalke Smarak and Buddhasmarak are soon to be opened for public, which are known for their creativity and only of their kind.
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 and is well sculptured. Its elaborate facade is particularly noteworthy. The cave houses the idols of Buddha, Jain Teerthankara Vrishabhdeo, the icons of Bodhisatva, Veer Manibhadraji and Ambikadevi. The interiors of the caves were popular meeting places for the disciples, where sermons were conducted. There are attractive water tanks very skillfully chiselled into the rock. The 2000-yr-old Pandavleni caves, built by the Jain kings, are located on a tableland atop the Trivashmi Hill, close to the Mumbai Road.
The 'Ganges' of the south, Ramkund in the sacred river Godavari, draws countless pilgrim every year. The popular belief is that Lord Ram had his bath here, at some stage of his exile. To commemorate that the devotees frequents here to have a holy dip.
In 1696, Chitrarao Khatarkar built a holy tank on the spot where it is believed that Rama and Sita took their bath. Devotees gather here to plunge their beloved's ashes on the strong belief that it will help the dead to get salvation. One among the alluring picnic spots, at Ramkund the river Godavari takes a 90 degree bend and that spot is considered as the most holy by the pilgrims.
This a major temple devoted to the Saptashringi goddess (Seven pinnacled goddess). She is one of the forms of Shakti. She is considered to be the destroyer of evil and is depicted with 18 hands.
Sita Gufaa is believed to be the place where Sita was kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. The literal connotation of Gufaa is a cave and it is located at the western side door of Kalaram Temple. The nearby premises of the temple holds five Banyan trees and that is the reason the place is called by the name Panchavati.
The cave has idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshmna. The cave is accessible only through the help of a narrow staircase. Other significant importance of this temple is that the Shivlinga in the temple is the same idol, which was worshipped by Sita. It is one of the main attractions of Nasik.
One among the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Mahadeva, the Someshwar temple is situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari. Besides Shiva, the temple is also the abode of Lord Hanuman. The temple is surrounded by all around greenery, which provides an idyllic ambience to the serene environment of this pretty shrine. "Someshwar, the place, where the temple is placed tourists is a beautiful nature spot with a pleasant climate.
Someshwar temple is a delight not only for an ardent devotee, but also for a nature lover. The riverbeds here are very suitable for swimming and boating.
Among the various grape producing areas of India, Nasik adorns a prominent position. The salubrious climate of this city is conducive for large-scale grape cultivation and one of the famous vineyards in Nasik is Sula Vineyards. From its formation in the year 1997, Sula has managed to complement itself with the reputation of India's best wineries. A synonym of Indian wines, Sula was the cover story of the famous wine Magazine - Wine Spectator, in its November 2002 issue.
Recent years have shown an amazing growth of these vineyards from the original 30-acre family estate to a vast spread of 1500 acres, which increases the winery's total capacity to 5 million liters. 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 abbience.
A Vaishavite temple on the lofty west bank of the Godavari, Sundarnarayan temple is built by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud in 1756. The main deity Lord Vishnu, flanked by Lakshmi and Saraswati adorns the sanctum of the temple. There are small carvings of Hanuman, Narayana and Indira on the walls. The east-facing temple has three porches with balcony seating, lobed arches and globular domes. Angled eaves and serpentine pediments head the doorways inside the porches.
The temple presents imposing architecture especially the vaulted niche, which strikes a chord with the Mughal sculpture. Other significant feature of this finely carved stone temple is that it is erected at such an angle that on 21st March, rays of the rising Sun first fall exactly upon the idols.
Once a part of the holy Dandakaranya forest, Tapovan is a pictorial spot and has a close association with the epic Ramayana. Tapovan literally means a place which is reserved for rumination and reparation. Besieged in the richness of lush greenery, Tapovan presents a tranquil ambience This place might be used by great sages for meditation.
It is believed that it was here that Laxmana - brother of Rama, cut the nose of Shurpanakha, the sister of Ravana. This sacred place has temples of Laxmana and Hanuman. This stunning locale enthralls the tourists mind with Godavari's noiselessly babbling stream, long stretch of green woods and proximity to jungle's flora and fauna.
The Maha Kumbhmela is The most awaited and the most outstanding event India witnesses. Kumbhmela is a religious festival which is a world known event and is celebrated every 12 years. This spectacular event is celebrated in four famous pilgrim sites, Allahabad, Haridwar, ujjain, and Nasik. Nasik is the biggest of them all with over three and a half million devotees attending it to take a holy dip in the sacred Gangothri. It is said that, to save the nectar from Demons the Gods had to stay on earth for 12 heavenly days which are equal to 12 earthly years, that is why this grand Kumbhmela is celebrated every 12 years. The exact time of the celebration are decided according to the position of stars and planets.
The next Maha Kumbh mela in Nasik is slated to be held in 2015 starting on August 15th till September 23rd. Kumbha mela is not just a ritual that id followed blindly, it is a very scientific and thought through tradition of the Hindu culture. In the month of Kumbh mela, residents of Nasik are in a festive mood and they put all there daily chores aside to enjoy the color and brightness of the city.
This is one of the 12 sacred jyotirlingas. This temple which is devoted to Lord Shiva was built in 1730 by Baji Rao Peshwa. It is said that the source of Godavari river lies few hundred feet above the temple. Although the Non-Hindu are not allowed inside but they can go up till the steps and take a look inside. one will see the combination of both Malwa and Meru style in its architecture. It is not difficult to reach this temple as there are regular bus service from Nasik to Trimbakeshwara Temple.
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.
Ved Mandir is founded by a private trust and its premises house an elegant temple, which a classic example of modern architecture. The foyer to the temple is very large and ornamented with attractive with glasses and floodlights. The interiors of this pretty shrine are laid with Italian Marble. The temple contains the idols of Lord Ram, his consort Sita, and Laxman. Beside these idols, the temple also holds a beautiful idol of Guru Gangeshwaraji.
Vihigaon is situated in the outskirt if the Nasik. One can go there to see the waterfall. The water is rappelling over 120 feet of gushing waterfall there. Canyoneering is a brand new sport that's becoming very popular all over the world. Western Ghats have many waterfalls and flowing streams that offer plenty of opportunity to enjoy this sport. This unique, multi-sport adventure combines rappelling, down-climbing and river tracing in a deep valleys. Exploring trails following down the steep waterfalls is an adventure experience of a lifetime - go where very few have had the privilege to roam! Imagine yourself in the midst thick forest at the top of tropical waterfalls with surprises each step of the way.
At Wani, there is a temple of Sapatashrungi Mata situated on Saptashruga hill near the village Nanduri. It is about 52-Kms from Nasik City and is situated on top of a hill. This temple is the venue of a major fair held in the month of April every year.
- Deccan peninsula, Kusumagraj Smarak, Paragliding, Gangapur etc.