Nashik - a historic visit ..
Its really funny. I've spent my entire school and junior college years in Nashik and yet there are places in Nashik where I've never been. Strange enough some of these places are really famous like the Sundar Narayan Temple or Sita Guha. So this vacation I spent a couple of days in my hometown - Nashik to actually see the places for which Nashik is famous.
I visited the Sundar Narayan temple on the Godavari river banks. It is said that on the day of equinox in March, the Sun rays directly fall at the feet of the idol here. Its a very beautiful temple but sadly not very well maintained.
From the temple we went onward to the river banks also known as Goda (short for Godavari river) Ghat. Here too there are several temples - one specific worth mentioning is this temple with a bell on the top. It is said that during monsoons, when the river water reaches this bell, the bell starts ringing. This is a sign for the people around to move to safer areas as this indicates flooding has started. Brilliant idea to inform people about floods I must say ... :)
The river banks are spacious but there is a vegetable market there which makes the entire area really messy. Further down the banks there are specific areas for 'kriyakaram'. Also along both banks, there are illegal settlements - a stark and sad reality of most temple towns of India. And people are misusing the river waters for washing in spite of large boards saying that this is not allowed.
From there we went further to tapovan and panchvati areas where it is said that Lord Rama used to stay during his visit here. There is this temple or more like a case called Sita Guha where Sita used to stay or visit. This is a scary place since it has a very narrow entrance and exit road. I did not dare go down there as I am afraid of closed spaces .. :(
From there we simply roamed around in the nearby areas where there are loads of historic structures like the government buildings during the British rule. There is this one specific old lodge worth mentioning. Its name is very peculiar - 15 August. Indian Independence day. This was a very famous lodge once frequented by many social workers and freedom fighters in 1950s. It has sadly become some obscure place now.
No trip is complete without some delicious snacks .. :) So we headed to the famous Saintara for sabudana wada and batata kachori - local favorites. Finished it with a glass of hot milk - another local favorite. Loved it all the way ... after all I am a local here... :)