When living in India, one cannot escape the spiritual essence small towns and cities offer. However, people look for some other activities as well when exploring a new place. Nashik is modern mix of holiness and rich leisurely experience wrapped into one - holy for its spiritual history and serene experience it enriches you with. Leisurely affair because of all the wine tasting hobby you can develop here :)
Nashik is a well known ancient holy city situated at the northwestern side of Maharashtra and is hugely popular amongst Hindu devotees as it hosts the MahaKumbh Mela - largest religious gathering every 12 years.
The point is even if you are not ardently religious, you are bound to get spiritual at this place - sit at the steps of water in the temple complex and you will get the feel of it. Ramakund is famous holy tank where you can take a dip.
There is a huge temple complex right in middle of the old Nashik city and lies on the banks of river Godavari. All references in Ramayana of Nashik like Panchavati can be found here in temples. In fact, there are certain temples which open only during Kumbh i.e. every 12 years.
The feel of this place especially in early mornings and late evening is truly captivating. I found my moments of peace and quite here observing other people performing their rituals and in general just thinking nothing. Now I do understand why holy places make up for a great meditation place!
Another interesting activity you can combine with visiting holy temples is trekking. Trimbakeshwar is another important holy place in hindu mythology , only 30 kms from Nashik city is an ideal place to trek. The Shiva temple, surrounded by huge hill ranges, makes up for awe inspiring view. You can choose a small hill nearby and enjoy the majestic view of the temple and the town.
|The hill top where where we trekked|
When you have soaked in the ambience of Nashik city and had the spiritual encounter, there is another part city eagerly waiting for an entirely difference experience. It doesn't seem right to not visit at least one winery int eh "Wine Capital of India". There are a huge number of wineries - 22 precisely when I last checked. Sula and York are popular choices and offer wine tasting, tour of the factory, wine-dining among other things. You can experiment with different items on their food menu to go with a range of wines.
Best season to visit Nashik for a lifetime memory will be of course during the Kumbh Mela in the month of April-May of the designated year. Another hot month is the month of Feb-March - the grape stomping season. Various wineries have remarkable wine festivals during these months as well.
Whatever your calling, Nashik is one city which will leave you enriched and mesmerized.