Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nashik Introduction - River Godavari

Nasikana Dharmik Gramstanam meaning Nashik is a religious province - This inscription carved in the very ancient Pandav caves aptly describes my next destination – Nashik. Nashik and Shirdi being in close proximity to each other, people generally visit both the cities whenever they plan a trip to this part of the country.

Situated 100 km from Shirdi and 190 km from Mumbai, Nashik is a rich historical town dotted with legendary caves and ancient temples. It is venerated as the town of Lord Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, who spent some time of his exile here. Great poets of yore like Rishi Valmiki, Mahakavi Kalidas and Bhavabhooti have praised this holy city in many of their works.

India’s second largest river, known as the Ganges of the south, and one of the seven sacred river of the Hindus, River Godavari flows through the city of Nashik. It is believed that Lord Ram had taken a bath at the Ramkund Ghat here. Many famous sages like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have bathed in her waters as an act of worship.

Our trip in Nashik started off with a holy dip in the Godavari River on the banks of which the city is located. People were performing various rituals like offering prayers to the sun god, some lighting oil lamps (Deep daan), while others collecting the holy waters to take back home. To know more about the rituals performed on the ghats of the river click here.

Flower and diya sellers at the Godavari river in Nashik
[ Flower and diya sellers on the ghats of the Godavari river in Nashik ]

A boy collects holy waters of the river Godavari in Nashik
[ A boy collects holy waters of the river Godavari ]

The Godavari river is one of the four locations for the Kumbh Mela (the other places being Haridwar, Allahabad and Ujjain), a Hindu religious event, when it becomes a convergence point for millions of spiritually enlightened from all over the world.

Imagine this place with millions of pilgrims...

River Godavari in Nashik where Kumbha mela is held every 12 years
Godavari river banks in Nashik
[ River Godavari in Nashik where Kumbh mela is held every 12 years ]

I remember my trip to Triveni Sangam in Prayag, Allahabad during the Magh Mela in January 2010… Gosh, the crowds were huge! And this, when the Magh Mela is just a mini version of the actual Kumbh event!!

[ From the archives: The Magh Mela at Prayag in Allahabad ]

…Its difficult to imagine, really!

Numerous small temples and pilgrimage places dot the banks of the river. The main temple on the ghats is the Ganga Godavari temple.

The Ganga Godavari Temple on the banks of the Godavari river in Nashik
[ The Ganga Godavari Temple on the ghats of the Godavari river ]

A Lord Shiva Temple on the banks of the Godavari river in Nashik
[ A Lord Shiva Temple on the ghats of the Godavari river ]

Where to Stay, Eat in Nashik

There are numerous places where you can stay in Nashik, but if you are planning to visit during the Kumbh mela then make sure you book your rooms well in advance. I stayed at the hotel Abhishek, situated very close to the banks of the Godavari. The rooms are spacious, clean and the tariff reasonable. For eating, you can check out Hotel Panchvati Yatri. The thali at their restaurant Pangat is way too good to be missed.

My room at hotel Abhishek in Nashik
[ My room at hotel Abhishek in Nashik ]

Hotel Panchvati where we took lunch in Nashik
[ Hotel Panchvati ]

Address:
Panchvati Karanja,
Panchvati, Nashik.
0253 – 2514201/02
www.hotelabhishek.com


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35 comments:

  1. It was a great read and the pictures are simply beautiful :-)

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  2. great post. i learned alot!! can you please explain the word ghat?
    i like your room in the hotel. its looks clean and peaceful
    ~laura x

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  3. lovely clicks arti, very nice place..

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  4. The picture of the flower vendors is my favorite! So colorful and pretty. Also the Shiva Temple, did you do that bell shot on purpose? Those hanging bells, a man is walking behind them. The bells are exactly in front of him so all you can see is his legs, and they make the clapper of the bells!!

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  5. @ Pooch Purple Reign (Laura)
    The area surrounding any sacred water body, such as lake or river, where stairs are built leading up to the water is known as 'Ghat'.

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  6. How wonderful. I especially like the 5th photograph down as it gives you a real sense of the numbers of people.

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  7. Such a beautiful place..it has a very spiritual vibe to it!

    US Masala

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  8. wonderful images and useful information

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  9. Nice one... I just made a fleeting visit to Nashik, and that was before I started the blog, so have no photos at all! have to go again! but i remember eating at the same place! did u go to the starting point of the godavari? thats something i want to do sometime!

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  10. I am with you Arti, for this trip. Loved all the photos especially people swimming in the Godavari.The Sivalinga is small and cute.

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  11. These photos are so beautiful and full of atmosphere Arti! During your trip, you've become a good photographer - keep on doing it!

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  12. WOW, what a beautiful place! Being able to collect the Holy water must be amazing. The pictures are beautiful!
    Thanks for visiting today~
    Deborah

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  13. Thanks for this story and unusual pictures for me:) Greetings

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  14. Terrific post, Arti...I love the photos and the info! So glad you stopped by my blogs so I could check out yours. India is a place I'm keen to see but haven't made it to, so I will enjoy travelling vicariously with your posts. Looking forward to more...

    Lynette

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  15. Such wonderful colorful pictures and I always appreciate learning the history. It boggles my mind to see the modern skyscrapers and hotel right next to the people observing centuries old traditions -- just wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

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  16. Woooow..amezing I have been to Nasik so many times but never though it had such beautiful places ..next time I am surely gonna visit this place..

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  17. Colorful and fascinating, as always!

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  18. Sorry for only now returning your visit to my blog. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments.

    Blessings & Aloha!

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  19. Simply lovely - so much culture to explore!

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  20. The old architecture is stunning, and so are the colours. Thanks for your visit.

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  21. Beautiful photographs and alot of interesting information about your country. Looks so warm and inviting. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. :)

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  22. Arti, dear, I am so delighted with all images and all your amazing writing! I DO enjoy different cultutes and India is said to be a magical place, with such spiritual power and rich in generosity.
    I am so glad with your comment on my blog! Thanks!! I wish you a peaceful and healthy new year!! Love! Bela

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  23. hi arti,

    How are u doing ... i love the nasik pictures ... i was in nasik 2 weeks back as i was in shirdi ...
    your post shirdi was very helpful for accomodation as we contacted them in advance...

    you are lucky u are so close to shirdi..it was my first visit to shirdi and i loved it

    I will surely visit again by sai grace

    keep in touch


    Satya

    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  24. hey i m anshay frm bhopal i find ur blog really exciting ,,,,,can we friends? whenever u come online just pls do me a favor just review my blog and contact me i need ur help ur posts are awesome i too wanna write some of theme
    http://www.heartofviper.co.cc/

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  25. Thanks for sharing these interesting pictures! What a wonderful place, it's amazing to see the pilgrims collecting holy waters. The Hotel Panchvati looks really confortable.
    Happy Sunday :-)

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  26. Wonderful shots. As a kid I had been here.

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  27. very nice caption and wonderful pics:)

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  28. Wow great. The birth land of Dakshin Gangothri

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  29. I was there last year during tata nano superdrive...

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