Nashik Tour

My daughter Vaishali invited us to join her on the Nashik tour for three days. We happily accepted her invitation and three of us – Vaishali, my wife Dr. Bhavna and myself began for the Nashik Tour. Vaishali and I had prepared the timetable after studying Google – Wikipedia and whatnot. We had already visited Nashik four times. So our expectations were clear. 

Nashik is known as one of the most religious cities in India related to Ramayana time around 5000 years back Treta yug. Nowadays, it can boast of being the big Industrial Estate and Indian Capital of wine manufacturers. Shirdi - home of the revered Saint Sai Baba, Trimbakeshwar temple at Trimbak, and Saptashringi are important tourist attractions nearby. From Bilimora one can go to Nashik via Saputara or Dharampur. We choose Dharampur – Kaparada route. During the rainy season, the forests were in a great mood with greenery all around with hills and valleys making a great scenery worth enjoying. The road was shown by google-map-so there was hardly any confusion. Yes, after Dharampur you do not have any restaurants or rent rooms till Kaparada. And same is the story after Kaparada to Nashik. So keep this in mind. We could enjoy the tour full of natural glory and be in no hurry to reach, so speed was slow enough to make the maximum pleasure.

I am not writing this essay for essay competition so I will not be academically perfect. I will not tell about all the places worth visiting but I will restrict only to my experience of Nashik.

The word Nashik is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nashika’ meaning nose. It is more relevant because the story of cutting the nose of Suparnakha by Laxman in her attempt to seduce Rama prevails. Nashika (Nose) ultimately became Nashik.

Well, there is ‘Kumbh Mela’ every twelve years with holistic dipping in tiver Gadovari at Panchavati by Lakhs of Sadhus and the Public of India, you cannot even imagine how stay, food and taking bath (Snan) by lakhs of people at one place is managed by Governor machinery!

Panchvati, Nashik

  • Panchvati is a place having five (Panch) huge banyan trees (at Vati = “Vad” tree) on the bank of river Godavari. 
  • Lord Rama stayed here for fourteen years after exile. He stayed here with his wife Sita and brother Laxman. Kidnapping of Sita (Sitaharan) by Ravana took place here. 
  • Dr. V. R. Rao (Professor of Anthropology) says: Definitely, the events described in Ramayan occurred here in reality. 
  • Panchavati is an area on the bank of a river. It is comparable to Har-ki-Paudi Ghat of Haridwar. 


27x12 sq. mt. bathing tank on the bank of River Godavari is known as Ramkund because Lord Ram is said to have bathed here during 14 years of exile. This was built in 1696 AD by Chitrarao Khatarkar. Ashti Visarjan Tirth (Ashes of bones of dead immersion spot) Lord Rama performed his father King Dasharath’s funeral rights here by doing bone immersion. According to popular belief it ashes of a dead relative immersed here he attains Salvation. ‘Dip’ in this tank is believed to fulfill one’s desires/wishes and free oneself from one’s sins.

Sita Caves (Sita Gufa):

A temple near Kalaram temple is surrounded by five banyan trees. Ravan kidnapped Sita from this place (Sitaharan). Sita worshipped Lord Shiva – ancient Shivlinga still exists in the cave. The cave has idols of Ram–Sita and Laxman. A narrow small staircase entry is the only way to go inside.

Shri Kalaram Temple:

Situated just nearby (500 mts.) Ramkund is this old Hindu Shrine in the Panchvati area. Because the idol of Lord Rama is made of black stone, it is known as Kalaram (the black-colored Lord Rama). The architectural design of Trimbakeshwar. The summit of this temple is made up of 32 tons of Gold. The temple is surrounded by an enclosure that comprises 96 pillars. The black body of Vishnu turned white while taking a bath here in river Godavari.


Tapovan is a forest place (van) where Ram, Laxman, and Sita (Tap) the religious prayers. It is a Sangam (confluence) of Rivers Kapila and Godavari. They spent maximum time here. The place is dedicated to Lord Shri Ram as a founder. Laxman temple is a place where he met Ravan’s Sister Suparnakha and Laxman cut her nose when she tried to seduce Rama. There are Mahalaxmi, Lambe Hanuman, and many other temples.

You can find a place known as Laxman Rekha (the line drawn by Lakshman asking Sita not to cross one), but she ignores this and crosses Laxman Rekha when Ravan kidnaps (Sitaharan). While in Tapovan, do see:

  • Sita Agni Kund
  • Kapila Godavari Sangam
  • Suparnakha Temple
  • Sarva Dharma temple
  • Laxman Rekha and

Ramji Vanvas Kutir (Ram’s Forest Residence):

So, Nashik is a place where (5000 years back) Lord Ram–Sita and Laxman stayed for fourteen years of exile. Panchavati is a holy place near the river bank of Godavari where they took baths and Tapovan is a place where they stayed and did prayers. So do not miss Panchavati and Tapovani.

Hotel Stay:

Good hotels of higher stars have a staff of pleasing manners – respecting you all the while – smiling and they are well dressed to make you feel comfortable and happy.

The rooms have clear drapes on the bed with eye-pleasing cleanliness of the room and washrooms.

We are supplied with soaps, shampoos, shaving kits, sugar, tea, coffee & milk sachets for preparing tea coffee. After paying high bills, some of us are tempted to carry home all such disposables. They are not costly items nor they are of much use at home, so such greediness is controlled.

American breakfast offers multiple items – like fruits, fruit juices, tea-coffee-biscuits, bread, cakes & pastries – with Dosas, idlis, poha, and upama. All in all, you see more than 50 items to eat. Be cautious here, you are a disciplined controlled diet-eating person. Do not think of money spent and overeat, you may get ill. The same is the story of dinner serving 99 items – Limit yourself to a few choicest items needed to satisfy hunger or you will be in trouble and make others also irritated.

Pandava Caves (alias Trirashmi Buddha Caves):

The name is misleading because the place has nothing to do with the five brothers of Mahabharata Pandava. 3 km away from Nahik these 25 caves are on the hill situated at 3004 feet height above the sea level. You have to climb around 300+ steps to reach the place. The steps are scientifically, placed not more than 9” in height, and their feet flat walk after each step making your climbing easy! 2000 years old caves were built by Queen Badamp mother of Satavahana king Satakarni. Caves are meant for Buddhist monks to provide them shelter, and do religious meetings with discourses and prayers. One of the caves – cave no eleven is a Jainism cave having cells inside for stay and religious activity. Queen’s Cave or Gantamniputra Vihara.

The largest of all is cave no. 3 – three known st having 41’ wide x 46’ deep hall with 18 cells of 9’x7’ for monk’s prayers. The carvings on the entrance show a picture of two men and a woman. The entrance has six pillars. The inscriptions tell the history of King Vashisthaputra Pulumavi 120 BCE. A Chaitya is carved on the back wall of the cave side wall and has the Dhammachakra and Bodhi tree carved. The second largest named Nahapada Vihara is 4.3’ wide & 45’ deep.

You can have glimpses of the industrial city Nashik from the height showing the round dome of the Buddha stupa and multi-storeyed buildings with roads and railway. The name of the hill ‘Trirashmi” means three rays of sunlight. If you have seen Ajanta – Elora caves, these caves have hardly anything to see. If you are not a trekker by nature, you can skip the trouble of climbing up. Well, ultimately the choice is yours.

Trirashmi Buddha Smarak:

Stupa 8 km away from Nahik near the hill for Pandava Caves, is a must-visit place. The shrine has a big dome-shaped circular hall echoing even the most feeble sounds. It can be called a stupa possessing a golden statue of Lord Buddha in the Abhaya Mudra (fearlessness pose). It is a silent zone to maintain silence for meditation. Whether Buddhist or not, inner peace and a sense of calmness are certainly gained here by just sitting for a while and doing meditation. Seeing is believing.


Stinking! If you understand the meaning of this word you would avoid visiting such a place. Its poor cleanliness with dirty waste, smelling unbearably bad from gutters that makes such a bad scene – no one can hardly bear and tolerate it – even for a small while. Unfortunately, this is true for all religious places – I do not know even one exception be it Trimbakeshwar, Dakor, Somnath, Bhimashankar, or Nashik for example.

However religious you are long walk with bare foot in a queue for an hour or more crossing three / four specially made halls for queuing for visitors before reaching the central part of the temple will reduce your faith in God to be seen to zero! So, either you raise your dirt tolerance or cancel the visit.

With this foreword, let me tell you about Trimbak, situated 30 km away from Nashik. It has a temple of Lord Shiva named Trimbakeshwar. It was built by Nanasaheb Peshawa in black stone between 1755-86 AD. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born here. Revered sage Gautama worshipped Lord Shiva here to get relief from sin following the killing of a cow (Gauhatya). This temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of India. God is seated in the depression on the floor. River Godavari begins at Brahmagiri mountain at 1298 meters height. Despite my strong faith in Hinduism, I am hardly ever ready to visit such a place!


Nashik is full of history related to Ramayana telling about fourteen years of Ram-Lakshman-Sita's stay during exile. Shravan is also a part of Ramayan because he was killed by King Dasharatha while he was fetching water for his parents on the riverbank. The most important part of his life is to care for his parents, carrying them in one basket on each side of a stick (kavad) generally used to carry water from the river. Parents were debilitated-blind and old- but this son took all the pains to travel holy places carrying them on his shoulders on a stick - kavad. So, old and senior parents remember ‘Shravan’ when they are treated with extraordinary care by their offspring. They call them ‘Shravan; when children make them travel to holy places.

Coins & History Museum, Trambak:

I have a hobby of coin collection, so I was curious to visit this place. Though less than 10-15 people visit this place every day, I would advise you to go. They have presented all types of coins with stories and histories related to them. The physical presentation of stone, metal, and paper money is certainly worth seeing. The second part deals with the history of India with pictures and stories related to India. Do spare as much time as possible and see the coins.

Sula Wines Visit:

Derived name ‘Sula’ from mother’s name ‘Sulabha’ by the owner's son, Sula Vineyard, was the first of its kind to start preparing different wines only twenty-one years back. And now Nahisk is a famous city for wines with 300+ wine manufacturers like York Winery, Vallone Vineyouds, Soma Vivegard, and many others. To know the details, you have to visit the place within at least three hours. They show the process of preparing wines first and then seat us for tasting six different wines. The guide gives 10-15 ml of wine after telling about the method of holding a glass, the effects of wines, and the characteristics with alcohol contents of each. Generally, wines do not cross 15% alcohol. Then you can sit in a restaurant to enjoy the food you like. They have prepared photo-shooting points all around. Visit each with your photo as a selfie or otherwise.

If you have your vehicle, better drive with it or Rixavalas will ask for an unimaginable charge like 600 Rs. or more for a return journey of less than 10 km.

We had a long time spared to be there. My daughter Vaishali, my wife Dr. Bhavana, and I went there. We enjoyed the visit to the vineyard and “Wine tasting Session” with 20 more people. The photo session will mark a lifetime memory!

The return journey from Nashik was via Trambak – Vikramgadh – Manor to Mumbai. Curved Hilly area road, with height at places with rainy season greenery and raining off & on. A worthwhile experience one should ever have – we had! Though driving is not easy – a good vehicle and slow driving by an experienced driver make the journey safe and pleasant. Have you ever traveled in a big vehicle with only three people inside without any hurry whatsoever and enjoyed the nature-only goal? Do try.

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