Just a three-hour drive from Mumbai, not many people know about this small city in Maharashtra. Since ancient times, Nashik had been a seat of commerce and trade in India. It has now seemingly faded into the background. With the exception of those annual wine tasting fests, the city isn't on the usual tourist radar. However, a lot remains to be explored and experienced in Nashik. A great time to visit this city is during Kumbh Mela season in the beginning of the year. However, if you are heading there only for the weekend, worry not because you will still have a lot to see!
Start With A Prayer
If you are looking to begin your day with a little bit of calm and quiet and in the company of the spiritual, head for the Trimbakeshwar Temple. Located at the foothills of the Bramhagiri mountains on the banks of the Godavari, this temple opens as early as 5:30 in the morning. It is about 30kms from the Nashik Bus Stand and has a regular ferry of devotees, so finding a ride will never be a problem.
Head Out For History
After offering your prayers, you can make your way to the Pandavleni Caves. Believed to have been built in the third century, these are ancient rock-cut caves and are also known as the ‘Pandu Caves’. With beautiful, intricate carvings (both inside and outside), these caves are said to be representative of Hinayan Buddhism.
Take A Sip
If you are looking for something a little more relaxing, go over to Sula Vineyards in Nashik. One of the most popular vineyards in the country, they open at 12 pm. You can sign up for a guided tour where, apart from wine tasting, you will also get to know about the different blends of wine produced here.
Finish At Ram Kund
End your day with a visit to Ram Kund located in the Panchvati area in Nashik. This bathing tank was built in 1696 AD and locals believe that the souls of the dead can achieve salvation if their ashes are immersed in the water. This place is open until 9pm and is a sight to behold when it is lit up in the evenings.
Begin With A View
Head over to Kalsubai for an adventurous trek which ends in a rather spectacular view. The trek begins at around 3:15 am from the nearby Bari Village and spans over a total of approximately three hours. At 5,400 ft. this is the highest peak in Maharashtra, you can watch the sunrise from its viewpoint.
Move To The Museum
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About 19kms from Nashik bus stand, this museum sprawls across 505 acres of land and has a large variety of coins, dyes and replicas on display. Apart from learning about the various coin minting techniques, it also has an exhibition tracing the history of Indian currency.
Gear Up For An Adventure
Go white water rafting on the Vaitarna river, it's an unforgettable experience. The Adventure Camp Zone near the river will provide you with all the gear that you need for rafting. That’s not all. You can also try cliff diving at this spot.
Stop By The Dam
Home to the longest reservoir in Asia, the Gangapur Dam is open throughout the day and is a great stop for a stroll in the nearby gardens. A favourite with many migratory birds, the dam and its surroundings make for a picturesque setting in the evening, and is a great way to end your day.