One of the holiest cities for Hindus, Nashik stands on the banks of Godavari River in Maharashtra. Believed to be the place where Lord Ram spent time during his exile, Nashik is one of the venues of the Kumbh Mela.
Third largest city in Maharashtra, Nashik has adapted well with the times but maintains a fine balance between old and new architecture. The city has an interesting mix of modern and historically important buildings like temples and forts.
At an elevation of almost 1,900 ft, Nashik enjoys pleasant weather for most part of the year. Surrounded by nine hills named Durga, Pandav, Chitraghanta, Mhasarul, Dinger Ali, Konkani, Jogwada, Ganesh and Pathanpura, the city of Nashik stands in the midst of lush green forests and valleys. The beauty of the city increases due to the presence of many lakes like the Samangaon Lake and the Chandshi Lake.
A very important pilgrimage for Hindus, Nashik even finds mention in Ramayan. It is also strongly believed that Surpanakha tried to seduce Lord Ram in the region which now forms the city of Nashik. About nine km from Nashik lies Trymabakeshwar, home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
Nashik is also known as the wine capital of India due to the numerous vineyards that dot the countryside surrounding the city. Many vineyards allow tours to tour and get firsthand knowledge of grape cultivation. Some even offer short courses on identification of different wines and how to savour wines.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman spent time in Nashik during their exile. The city got its name from a famous story from Ramayan. The sister of Ravan, Surpanakha had her nose cut off by Lakshman in the region and that’s how the place came to be known as Nashik (from Sanskrit word Nasika).
Mughals renamed it as "Gulshanabad" meaning the city of gardens. However, during the rule of the Peshwas the place was finally renamed as Nashik.
The people of the city have been active during the struggle for independence. The most important event in the history of Nashik towards the freedom struggle was the shootout of Jackson, a collector at Vijayanand theatre by freedom crusader Anant Kanhere. Anant Kanhere and the other conspirators, Vinayak Deshpande and Krishnaji Karve were sentenced to death.
Veer Savarkar organised the underground movement against the Britishers after being influenced by a speech given by Lokmanya Tilak.
Nashik boasts of extremely talented and unique craftsmanship in silverware. You can also shop for ornaments in Saraf Bazar. You can also get dry fruits, spices and chocolates in Kaanchwala Avenue.
Where to stay
There is a big cluster of budget hotels in Vakilwadi that offer decent amenities. Mid-range hotels are aplenty on the Agra-Pune Highway that offer much better facilities and very close to the city.
There are a few luxury hotels on the Mumbai-Agra Highway and in Ambad that can cater to any need and have an array of facilities for you to avail.
Where to eat
There are many options for eating out in Nashik ranging from coffee houses to multi-cuisine restaurants that suits every palette and budget range.
Pav bhaaji and missal pav are special dishes that are available throughout Nashik along with authentic Maharashtrian cuisine. You will also find restaurants that serve Punjabi, Italian and Chinese cuisine. The city is known for Nashik Chivda.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Nashik is between October and March. The weather is pleasant and ideal for outings during these months.