Nashik or Nasik is a religious city situated on the banks of River Godavari in Maharashtra, India. Nashik is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in India, and among the must-include places in Maharashtra tour packages as this is the place where Lord Rama, stayed for a while along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana during their exile. Nashik is fondly called the wine capital of India. With a blend of old and new, Nashik is famous for its numerous temples and draws lots of tourists as well as devotees for seeking spirituality and divinity. The place is also home to one of the important and largest religious gatherings, Kumbha Mela that held once in 12 years.
Here is the list of a few religious temples in Nashik for a spiritual journey.
Kalaram Temple is an old Hindu shrine built by Sardar Rangarao Odhekar in 1790 AD and is situated in the Panchavati area of Nashik in Maharashtra. Dedicated to Lord Rama, it is probably the most important temple that must visit as part of Nashik tour packages. The architectural design of this temple is similar to the temple of Trimbakeshwar. The idol of Lord Rama as well as of Lakshmana and Sita are carved out of black stone, hence the temple got its name, Kalaram, meaning black Ram. The Kalaram Temple is surrounded by several smaller temples such as the Vithal Temple, Ganapathi Temple, and Maruti Temple.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapleshwar is located quite close to the Ramkund in the holy city of Nashik. It is one of the best religious places to visit in Nashik. This temple was initially built in 1763 and was renovated by Peshwe. The temple is different from other Shiva temples as there is no Nandi at Kapaleshwar Temple. According to the legend, the temple was the place where Lord Shiva performed penance by the advice of Nandi to wash off his sin of killing a cow. He adopted Nandi as his Guru and hence there is no deity of Nandi to guard the Kapleshwar temple of Nashik, among the top places to visit in Maharashtra.
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Sri Dharmachakra Prabhav Tirth is a beautiful Jain Temple situated near Viholi village on Nashik – Mumbai Road. Popularly called Jain Mandir, this temple was established under the divine inspiration of Acharya Sri Jag Vallabh Surishwaraji Maharaj Saheb. Built using pink sandstone and white marbles, the main deity of the temple is Sri Mantradhiraj Parshwanath Bhagwan. The temple is adorned with the idols of the Jain saints and the most important among them is the idol of 24th Jain Tirthankar, which is made of Panchdhatu and weighs about 12 tons. Also, the foreground of the temple is impressive with an enchanting creation of the magnanimous Yantra of the Sri Mantradhiraj Stotra which is etched with figurines and flanked by an array of the statues of revered Gods and Goddesses. It is one of the popular Jain places to visit in Maharashtra.
Built by Sri JayramBhai Bytco in 1971, Muktidham Mandir is a Hindu temple complex located at Deolali Gaon in the suburbs of Nashik. It is one of the popular tourist places in Nashik. It is a magnificent piece of architecture, made with white marble from Makran in Rajasthan. An abode of most of the gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion, this splendid shrine displays the replica of all the 12 Jyotirlingas of India. It is believed that a holy darshan of this shrine provides as much virtue as a visit to Char Dhams, which makes this magnificent shrine a crowded pilgrim center. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna in the Muktidham complex. The walls of the Krishna temple have paintings depicting scenes from the life of Krishna and Mahabharata.
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One of the beautiful temples in Nashik, the Sundarnarayan Temple is situated at the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar Bridge near Ram Kund in the Panchavati area of Nashik. Built by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud in 1756, the presiding deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu as Sundarnarayan flanked by Lakshmi and Saraswati. There are small carvings of Hanuman, Narayana, and Indira on the walls. The most remarkable thing about this temple is the angle at which it is built. The first rays of the rising sun fall directly on the idols on March 21st every year that drew thousands of devotees to witness this holy event.
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Located on the banks of River Godavari, Someshwar Temple is one of the oldest temples in Nashik. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the best places to visit in Nashik. Besides Lord Shiva, the temple is also the abode of Lord Hanuman. The temple is surrounded by greenery, which provides an idyllic ambiance to this pretty shrine. The temple premise also possesses a boating club and a small children’s park providing recreation. The riverbeds here are very suitable for swimming and boating. The temple is visited by a large number of people throughout the year.
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Sita Gufaa or Sita Gumpha is yet another popular temple located in the Panchavati area of Nashik. Situated near Kalaram Temple, it is one of the must-visit places during your Nashik Tour. It is believed to be the place where Sita worshipped Lord Shiva during their exile. The cave, containing the idols of Lord Ram, Sita, and Lakshmana, can be accessed only through the help of a narrow staircase along with the ancient Shivlinga. Devotees also believed that this is the place from where Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, abducted Sita. There is a large grove of 5 very old Banyan trees outside the cave from which the area is named Panchavati. Also, there is a place called Tapovan where Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, cut off the nose of Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana.
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Trimbakeshwar or Tryambakeswar is a small pilgrimage town located on the banks of River Godavari at the foothills of Brahmagiri Mountains near Nasik. The town is known for its famous Trimbakeshwar Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva. It is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in Maharashtra, and among the must-include places in Nashik packages. Built by Sri Nana Saheb Peshwa in 1755-1786 AD, the striking feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra. The temple premises also have a pond named Kushavarta, which is the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The other places to visit in Trimbakeshwar are Gangadwar, Brahmagiri, Caves of 108 Shiva lingams, Parashuram temple, Bilwa Tirtha, Gautama Tirtha, Indra Tirtha, and Ahilya Sangam Tirtha.
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Saptashrungi Devi Temple
Positioned atop the cliff with an altitude of 1,230 m, Saptashrungi Devi Mandir is a Hindu temple situated near Nanduri village. Dedicated to Goddess Saptashrungi, the temple is popularly known as one of the ‘three and a half Shakti Peethas’ of Maharashtra, and among the 51 Shakti Peethas located on the Indian subcontinent where Goddess Sati’s right arm is reported to have fallen. The temple is a two-storied shrine with the Devi enshrined on the top floor and the goddess idol is said to be swayambu (self-manifested) which was carved on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. Decorated with a high crown, a silver nose-ring, and necklaces, the idol is about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding various weapons, and is always coated with sindoor. Chaitrotsav is the biggest and important festival in this temple that starts on Rama Navami and culminates on Chaitra Poornima (full moon day) that drawing thousands of tourists as well as devotees.