Situated nearly 3 hours away from Mumbai, Nashik is one of the popular weekend getaways in the northwest region of Maharashtra. Standing on the foothills of the Western Ghats at an elevation of 700 metres from the sea level, Nashik is visited by plenty of visitors all round the year. Be it a first timer or a frequent visitor, its scenic splendour and theology pulls numerous tourists here from all over the country.
Reckoned as one of the popular Hindu pilgrimages in India, Nashik is blessed with a rich variety of traditions. The local inhabitants of Nashik are known as the ‘Nashikkar’, who are relatively generous and religious by nature. They show great character when time comes to help people. Most of the population here are Hindu and they speak Marathi. In addition, Hindi, Guajarati and English are some other languages that are also spoken here. Being one of the famous Hindu pilgrimages in India, Nashik witnesses maximum footfalls during Kumbh Mela, which is celebrated here after every 12 years. Some other popular festivals that are celebrated here with great enthusiasm include Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Diwali, Dasserra and Holi.
Keeping aloof its scenic beauty and religious attraction, Nashik is equally an eminent place for various agricultural produces like onions and tomatoes. But considering the growing production and processing of table grapes, Nashik is considered as the “Wine Capital of India”. Besides, Nashik is also known for hosting thermal power plant and National Treasury Printing Press. Adding on, the city has a rich variety of industrial exposure allowing the city to boast five “Industrial Zones” here.
Being one of the popular cities in Maharashtra, one can expect various Maharashtrian platters here. So when in Nashik, don’t miss two of the most popular eatables here i.e. vadapav and pavbhaji. Apart from some of the popular Maharashtrian cuisines, the city is equally laid out with various dishes from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Nashik witnesses a scorching summer from March to May. During that period the mercury level in Nashik ranges somewhere between 33°C to 40°C. Moving ahead with the seasonal climate, the city experiences a moderate rainfall from June to September. Monsoon brings down the temperature here to a soothing level making the greenery in the city livelier. After a relaxing monsoon, winter blankets the region in the month of December and it lasts here till February. During winter, you can expect a comfy climate here that drops down till 12°C or less.
Best time to visit:
Considering the tropical climatic portrayed above, Nashik can best be explored during winter. For a rain lover, June to September could be idyllic to visit Nashik. On the other hand, if you want to experience a blissful holiday here, October to March is the best time to travel around the city. If holidaying there in hot summer is something you are planning for, it is advisable not to enact such humid plan. Intense humid and hot climate will grasp all the delight from a well-planned vacation.
Places to visit:
Nashik is often chalked out as a weekend getaway for Mumbaikars. The city has no dearth of offerings for weekenders and tourists. Hence, while holidaying in Nashik, make sure to explore the leading destinations that are outlined here:
Having said the religious attractions of Nashik, nothing could be as divine as starting your holy trip from Panchvati. Situated nearly 5 Kms from the city centre, Panchvati is the place where Lord Rama, Devi Sita and Lakshman spent their days during exile. Literally, the term ‘Panchvati’ signifies ‘garden of five banyan trees’ that can be spotted in the holy shrines located near Sita Gufaa. This is a place that can be visited all round the calendar. In Nashik, Panchvati is the centre of attraction to many Hindu pilgrims. So, if you want to witnesses one of the significant places from the epic of Ramayana, Panchvati is not that far.
Located nearly 35Kms from the main city, Trimbakeshwar is another Hindu religious centre in Nashik. Nestled at the source of river Godavari and atop the Brahmagiri hills, this holy site is popular for boasting one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. On the eve of Mahashivratri, Trimbakeshwar witnesses massive footfalls of Lord Shiva’s followers who flock here from different parts of the country. One of the significant allure of Trimbakeshwar is that the entire temple is built on black stone. On entering the temple complex, you can observe some fascinating carvings and embellishments on the stone.
According to the Hindu mythology and common belief it is said that; times ago, Gautam Rishi has performed once his rigorous ritual of prayer dedicated to Lord Shiva. Gautam Rishi was performing his deep reverence on the Brahmagiri hill. Seeing his unadulterated dedication and respect, Lord Shiva was very much pleased and as a result of which, three rivers were brought down to the earth. Today, these three rivers are known as Ganga, Gautami and Godavari.
The Wine Capital of India has several vineyards that are set up here to fulfil the mounting demand of winery market. Out of many, Sula Vineyard is one of the most eminent and the very first commercial vineyards in this region. Sprawl with more than 160 acres land, Sula Vineyard also houses a blend of testing room and relaxing resort. If you happen to be there, don’t forget to taste a rich variety of wines that are being processed here. Visiting here leaves you an enthralled experience witnessing the process how wine making gets started from gape to your glass. Hence, it can be said that exploring Sula Vineyard is going to be a delightful part of your trip to Nashik.
Located adjacent to Panchvati, Sita Gufa is another religious site that you must visit in Nashik. According to the epic of Ramayana, this is the place from where Devi Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. If you visit here, you will come across a narrow staircase that leads you to the caves. On accessing the caves you will get to notice idols of trio Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman. In addition, one Shivling is also there next to these idols, which used be worshipped by Devi Sita during her exile with Lord Ram and Lakshman.
Pandavleni or Pandu Leni is a group of 24 caves, which were craved ages back between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD. All these caves were craved here devoted to Buddhism and they all are positioned here facing eastwards. You will get to notice various eye-catching stone carvings and inscriptions inside the caves. Some of the inscriptions inside the caves depict the kind of admiration the kings of Nashik used to have that time towards Buddhism. It is said that three kings of Nashik namely; Abhirs, Kshatrapas and Satavahanas were not Buddhists in real life, yet they were in favour of Buddhism. Apart from the kings of Nashik, the local merchants and landlords also used to support Buddhism to a great extent that time. They have also donated huge amount for the sake of the development of these caves here in Nashik. Pandavleni caves are also referred as the Trirashmi Caves. The best time to catch a delightful glimpse of these caves is during early morning when the dazzling daylight emerge the beauty of these inscriptions and sculptures manifold.
Nashik has no dearth of religious attractions for you. As the name suggests, this place is believed to be named after Lord Hanuman’s mother. According to the local inhabitants, Anjaneri Hills is said to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman. The mountainous range of Anjaneri pulls many adventure buffs to take part in hiking and climbing activities. There lies a spectacular fort as well in the same name. On scaling the peak of Anjaneri Hills, you will get a picturesque vista of surrounding region before you. A blend of soothing panorama and tranquil environment drives you to a different level of imagination in the midst of natural splendour.
Situated nearly 8Kms from Nashik and close to the Someshwar temple, Dudhsagar Falls is known for its milky white water. Visiting here during monsoon offers you a charismatic vista of surrounding scenery. People plunge into the creamy fresh water of the cascade following the carved steps available here in the midst of the rocks. The site witnesses maximum footfalls during monsoon as the flow of water is intense that time. If you are in Nashik, don’t forget to explore this worth visiting site.
Here comes the much awaited delight for trekkers. Ahivantgad is known for its twin forts, which are now in their crumbling relics. After reaching the location, you get to notice two massive entrance gates. If you happen to scale atop the plateau, there stands an idol of deity Hanuman, which pulls many devotees here from its nearby locations. Apart from witnessing the remnants of the fortifications, few caves and lakes can also be spotted at this fascinating site. If you want to experience a rousing trekking at Ahivantgad, you may find some base camps/accommodations inside some of the caves.
Apart from Ahivantgad, you can also have a thrilling trekking experience in many other trekking trails available around Nashik. Some of these trekking destinations include Salher, Dhodap hill and Mulher.
Getting back to the holy places, Saptashrungi is one of the worth visiting religious destinations in Nashik. Located atop a cliff around 35 Kms from Saputara, Saptashrungi is considered amongst the 51 Shaktipeethas in the country. Literally the word ‘Saptashrungi’ indicates a mountain with seven peaks. Plenty of pilgrims visit here frequently to pay their deep reverence to Goddess Kali. Nestled in the midst of green mound, the white coloured shrine can be reached after crossing some mountainous steps
Situated near Ramkunda, Panchavati, Kapileshwara Temple is reckoned amongst the oldest temple of Lord Shiva in Nashik. Unlike many other Shiva temples, you won’t observe any statue of Nandi Bull at Kapileshwara Temple. According to the Hindu mythology the story goes like; a cow was mistakenly killed by Lord Shiva. In order to get rid of his sin, Lord Shiva was instructed by Nandi to take a bath in Ramkund and do spiritual hymns. Following Nandi’s instruction, Lord Shiva visited Nashik and took bath in Ramkund. This is how Kapileshwara Temple came into existence and today it has become one of the most religious centres in Nashik. Every Monday, a special puja is performed here at Ramkund Ghat devoted to Kapaleshwar. Apart from Kapileshwara Temple, there are many other holy shrines that are also worth visiting destinations in Nashik. Some of these temples include Gayatri Devi Mandir, Maruti Mandir and Ganesh Mandir.
Well, the attractions in Nashik are not confined to the above cited destinations. You can also plan exploring some other places including Vipassana International Academy, Kalaram Temple, Deolali Camp, Jain Temple etc.
After exploring all the major attractions, you can also go for city shopping in Nashik. To fulfil your shopping desire, Saraf Bazar is a worth visiting place in Nashik. This is one of the busiest markets in the entire city offering you some delightful shopping experiences. One of the key attractions at Saraf Bazar is ample of jewellery shops offering you an array of finest earrings, anklets, necklaces, arm rings etc. In addition, various stores are also available in the market from where you can purchase some stunning cloths.
Thus, it can be said that Nashik is not merely popular for its religious attractions. On the contrary, the city has lot more to make your visit more happening like never before.
How to Go:
Visiting Nashik is not a matter of fuss for travellers. The city is well accessible from various parts of the country through the following means of commutation:
By Air: Being one of the adjoining cities to Mumbai, the nearest airport to Nasik is Chatrapati Shivaji International airport. Situated around 170Kms from Nasik, Mumbai airport is well-connected to all other major cities in India. From Mumbai airport, you can hire a cab or book car to reach Nasik by road.
By Train: Nashik has its own railhead in the name of Nashik Road, which is in good touch with various adjoined as well as distant destinations. If you are travelling from Kalyan Junction, deboard at Nasik Road from where it’s merely 8 Kms to reach Nashik. Some of the major trains to reach Nashik include Howrah Mail, Pune Manmad Express, Janshatabdi Express, Devagiri Express etc. The travel time from Mumbai to reach Nashik by train is nearly 2 hours 25 minutes. However, depending on the train you book the travel hour may vary.
By Road: The road connectivity to reach Nashik is quite convenient from its nearby locations. There are several state and private transports from Mumbai to reach Nashik. From Mumbai the travel time by road is around 3 hours. On the other hand, if you are travelling from Pune, it will consume approximately 5 hours time of yours to reach Nashik. Apart from bus, you will also find various cabs and private cars to reach Nashik. If you want to experience a pleasing ride in the midst of scenic beauty, nothing could be as exciting as road journey.
Places to Stay:
From luxury to budget hotels, you will find numbers of comfortable options to stay in Nasik. Tourist visit is nothing new to this city. Hence, in order to cater them a relaxing stay with all essential amenities, various hotels are set up here from time-to-time.
If you are worried for finding a quality hotel during your short weekend getaway near Mumbai, say no to all your worries. Finding a comfortable accommodation in Nasik is no more a concern for you. Some of the pleasant staying options are listed here for you:
#Hotel Royale Heritage
G.P.O. Road, Near Shalimar,
Nashik, India 422001
Charges (approximately): INR 320
430, Vakil Wadi, Nashik, India 422001
Charges (approximately): INR 490
Plot No P 20 (Part), Satpur Midc, Nashik Trimbakesh Road,
Nashik, India 422007
Charges (approximately): INR 950
#Hi 5 Hotel & Experience
Plot # P-5, Ambad Midc, Pathardi Patha,
Mumbai – Agra Road, Nashik, India 422010
Charges (approximately): INR 1500
#The Soma Vineyard Resort
Survey No. 1, Village Ganghavare, Gangapur-Ganghavare Road,
Nashik, Maharashtra, India-422222
Charges (approximately): INR 5000
So, what are you waiting for? No matter in which part of the state you reside, visiting Nashik could be an absolute delight for a short and pleasant weekend trip near Mumbai. Starting from various sacred sites to picturesque landscape, Nashik has ample of attractions for you. But, make sure to book the hotels in advance if you are planning to visit there in peak season.