Thursday, January 13, 2011

Temples of Nashik - Muktidham, Sunder Narayan and others

Shree Sunder Narayan Temple

Shree Sunder Narayan Temple is a small temple situated besides the Ahilyabai Holkar Bridge in Nashik, but it is quite ancient and its architecture is very impressive. And just like the Kalaram temple we had seen earlier, this temple is made out of black stones too.

Magnificient Sundar Narayan Temple in Nashik
[ Magnificient Sunder Narayan Temple ]

Entrance to the Sundar Narayan Temple in Nashik
[ Entrance to the Sunder Narayan Temple ]

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu a.k.a. Narayan, the temple was built by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud in 1756 at a total cost of Rs. 10 lacs. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, are idols of Sunder Narayan with Goddess Laxmi and Vrunda while His vehicle Garud sits in front.

Idols in the Sundar Narayan Temple in Nashik
[ Idols of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi and Vrunda in the Temple ]

It is said that Goddess Vrunda had cursed Lord Vishnu following which his complexion had turned black. To free Himself from this curse, He took a dip in the Godavari River and became Sunder (beautiful) again.

The arched niches and fine carvings on the stones of the temple are impressions of the Mughal era.

Sundar Narayan Temple in Nashik
Beautiful carvings on the Sundar Narayan Temple in Nashik
[ Beautiful carvings on the Sundar Narayan Temple ]

The temple is artistically built in such a way that on the 20th and 21st of March every year, the very first ray of the rising Sun touches the holy feet of the idols. The temple also has idols of standing Ganesha, Kaal Bhairav and sitting Maruti.

Mukti Dham Temple

Built in pure white makrana marble of Rajasthan, Muktidham temple of Nashik is an architectural delight. Verses from the Bhagavad Gita are inscribed on the walls of the temple. The temple encloses beautiful replicas of the 12 Jyotirlings besides the idols of almost all the saints, Gods and Goddesses. A visit to this temple makes you feel like having taken a virtual yatra to the many pilgrimage places of India.

The grand entrance to the Muktidham Temple in Nashik
[ The grand entrance to the Muktidham Temple ]

Side view of the Muktidham Temple in Nashik
[ Side view of the Muktidham Temple in Nashik ]

There were some more temples in the Nashik province we wanted to visit but couldn’t due to lack of time.

Naroshankar Temple

Situated in Panchavati area, the temple is famous for its beautiful pieces of architecture of the 18th century and for a huge bell called the Naroshankar Bell. The bell was fixed here as a victory memorial of the Peshwas over the Portuguese.

Shree Kapaleshwar Mahadev

Situated on the banks of River Godavari, the distinguishing feature of this temple is that there is no idol of Nandi in front of Lord Mahadev which makes it one of the most peculiar Shiva or Mahadev Temples in India.

Pandav Caves (Pandav Leni)

One has to climb about 200 steep steps to reach the caves. These caves were built by Jain Kings and are 2000 years old. Icons of Gautam Buddha are wonderful crafted. During Jain regime B.C. 1000 to 1100 these were home to Jain saints. Inside the caves one can see idols of Buddha, Bodhisatva, Jain Tirthankar Vrishabhdeo, Veer Kapibhadra and Ambikadevi. There are large caves within the cave complex which were used as the meeting places of the disciples and where sermons were preached. The caves are well designed with beautiful architecture, engravings and carvings.

To read about the other temples in Nashik - Kalaram, Goraram and Panchvati - Click Here


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35 comments:

  1. sundar narayan temple is so beautifull... we missed the temple but next time we will try to visit surely

    Satya

    Super Yummy Recipes

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  2. Sundar Narayan temple is magnificent indeed. Sun's rays touching the feet of idols at predetermined days is interesting.. Did you not take any pictures in the Pandav Caves?. An interesting post Arti.. Keep them coming please.

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  3. Beautiful black stone! I could look at those intricate carvings all day. So lovely. As always thank you for sharing the snippets of history as well. You provide such a lovely easy way to learn!

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  4. pandav caves and mukti temple
    names are tempting for any person to visit this place.
    like the pics

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  5. very nice information and great place to visit

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  6. The sun hitting the idol's feet must be a spectacular sight to see.

    200 steps? I bet the view alone is worth the climb.

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  7. Your post brought back the old memories of these places that I visited few years ago.

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  8. i love the black stone. and also the caves sound like somewhere i would like to go
    have a great day
    ~laura x

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  9. W black one and a white one! That must have taken a lot of calculations to get the sun to rise on their feet for those days. So you haven't been to the caves...maybe sometime, and bring your camera, that would be spooky good pictures. So they are not real caves, but man made, I have never heard of such a thing. That would be why you have to climb instead of go under. Could you make all those steps?

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  10. Hello Arti

    thanks for your comment on my blog,
    yours is also very nice, i like the pictures from these temple's.

    greetings from Holland, Joop

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  11. So intricate and interesting-thanks for sharing this with us-I'll probably never get to see it!

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  12. I'm always at a loss for what to say when visiting your blog...the temples you photo are so utterly beautiful, I'm 'speechless'.

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  13. Aloha- fascinating temples and on a level remind me of church where I spent half my life, hmm.. Love your header and like all the detail in the ancient archetecture!
    Wishing you a fantastic weekend-

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  14. I like the temples and the surroundings as well..Thanks for the wonderful tour Arti!

    US Masala

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  15. nice blog girl...but whatz new in this...?? people can search these stuff in google more easily...

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  16. Hey...thanks for hopping over to my blog and your nice comment. You have a great blog. I think I'll keep you around if you don't mind. :)

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  17. Wow - the temples and statues are so intricate and stunning!

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  18. nasik sure is a city of temples!! and you are doing a great job of introducing them all to us! thank you!

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  19. I'd love to visit these temples some day. Very nice photos...and thanks for stopping by my blog. Will see you again!

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  20. Such history there in your country! =)

    Thanks for stopping by! =)

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  21. @Soulseek
    Thanks for your comment but I feel that you haven't read much here!

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  22. India is a religious land. Ever since the dawn of civilization, India has been the birthplace of many religions. Being so, the country boasts of a lot of pilgrim destinations within its precincts. Rich in mythology, it has a number of temples, mosques, monasteries, churches and gurdwaras, which attract lakhs of devotees every year. Pilgrimage tour India

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  23. Arti nice to read the detail description of Nasik and its temples, the photographs of Pandav leni is missing, by oversight i presume....

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  24. Beautiful glimpses of ancient temples of Nasik. This will certainly help m next trip.

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  25. Wonderful yatras, Arti...magnificient places and temples. One just stands in awe at each architectural excellence of the olden times like the sun rays touching the Lord's feet!
    Let India and its treasure keep unfolding here.
    Arti, you awe me...how do you do all these travelling? I mean so much of it???
    Love
    Deepa

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  26. Interesting place. It is a birth place of holy river Gongothri

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  27. An awesome post! I visited Triambakeshwara last year, and the experience was just exhilarating. Couldn't catch up with rest, glad u did! :)

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  28. Everytime i see your posts, i feel it more beautiful and lovely than previous one,

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  29. Very interesting blog! Do post more pics of other temple. There is one temple of Devi Nalini near Anjeneri. It is said that she is elder sister of Goddess Saptashringi, Vani. Hope you will post about it. Thanks

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  30. Hey hi,
    thanks for sharing nice blog.
    can you help us about staying in the mukti Dham temple?
    I heard people can stay in there, should we paying some Money?

    is it convenient/ easy to get?
    please reply asap.
    Thanks
    Sumit

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the appreciation, Sumit.

      There are lodging facilities inside the temple campus, as you've rightly said, but I'm sorry as I don't possess any concrete information about lodging facilities and room tariffs. I always stay in Panchvati hotel in Nashik whenever I travel. You can see more of it here -

      Hotel Panchvati in Nashik

      Wish you happy travels!

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