Nashik, an ancient city in the northwest region of Maharashtra, has a personality of its own due to its mythological, historical, social and cultural importance. The river Godavari flows through the city. Temples and Ghats on the banks of Godavari have made Nashik one of the holiest places for Hindus all over the World. In a true way the city can be called as city of Temples.

Nashik allegedly got its name from the act of cutting nose ‘nasika’ of Surpanakha, sister of Ravana by Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama.

Religious sites 

Kalaram Temple

This temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Rama, immortalized in the epic Ramayana. It is considered one of the most important Hindu temples in Nashik, and it venerates the god in a black form. The goddess Sita, the wife of Rama, is also worshiped along with Rama’s brother, Lakshman. Visited by thousands of pilgrims every day, the temple was built by Sardar Rangarao Odhekar of the Maratha Empire in 1788 after he was saw a dream of Rama in the Godavari River in black. He woke up and searched for the idol, and found it where he had seen it in his dream. The idol now resides within the temple. The Hanuman deity here is also black in colour, and there is a ancient tree here said to contain the footprints of Dattatreya on stone. The temple itself is built with black stones that were sourced from Ramshej around 200 years ago. The temple is said to have taken 12 years to be built, and its apex is said to contain 32 tons of gold.

The Kalaram Temple sees massive processions during Ram Navami, Dussehra and Chaitra Padwa.

Sundarnarayan Temple 

This temple lies near the Ahilyabai Holka bridge. The temple is closely associated with the tale of Jalandar, a wicked demon, and his faithful and pious wife Vrinda Devi. Jalandar once received the boon of immortality from the god Shiva, and he used this power to wreck havoc in the world, even confronting Shiva himself. Realizing that the only way to win against this threat was to attack the chastity of Vrinda Devi, the god Vishnu took the form of Jalandar and came to her. Her faith and chastity gone, the angry Vrinda Devi cursed Vishnu to turn black. It was only when he bathed in the waters of the Godavari that he regained his beauty. He is thus called Sundarnarayana, and the temple is dedicated to him.

Built in 1756 by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud, the temple uses simple Mughal-inspired architecture, but with fine details carved on its stone. Along with Vishnu, the goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi are also venerated here. The temple is designed in a way that every March 21, the rising sun’s first rays fall upon the idols. The road here that leads to the river also has a pond named Badarika Sangam. It is said that the local king, Devgiri, bathed and performed his rites at the pond. Badarika Sangam is also mentioned in Dnyaneshwari, a holy book.

Naroshankar Temple 

Built by Naroshankar Rajebahaddur, a commander of the Maratha Empire, in 1747, the Naroshankar Temple is dedicated to the Hindu gods Shiva and Rama. It lies in Panchavati, a holy site and pilgrimage destination closely associated to the mythology of Rama and the epic Ramayana. The temple, located on the banks of the Godavari River, has been built in the style of Maya architecture, and is a rather rare and beautiful 18th century temple. The main structure lies atop an elevated platform, with the main deity placed on the outer part of the temple instead of inside. The temple has striking decorative lacework and designs of peacocks with bead garlands.

On all four directions of the temple lie statues of sages in the Padmasana pose, with one hand holding a rosary and another holding a holy book. Some of these statues have partially fallen to the ravages of time, and there are several carvings of elephants, tigers, monkeys and other animals as well. With an 11-foot fortification around it, the temple once had four umbrellas or Meghadambari on its four corners. Only three remain right now; as one washed away in the Godavari floods. The fortification has the famous bell house that has the Naroshankar Bell inside, a memorial built to commemorate the Maratha Empire’s victory over the Portuguese.


Northern part of Nashik city is called as Panchavati. It is said that Lord Shri Ram and Sita along with Laxman stayed at Panchavati for some time. Thus Panchavati has gained holy importance. There are five Banyan (Vat) trees and hence the area is called Panchavati.

Panchavati in Nashik is famed for its association with the Ramayana, an epic tale revered in Hinduism. The place is said to have been the home of the Hindu god Rama and his consort Sita and brother Lakshman for many years during their exile.  Located a little ahead of Panchavati lies Tapovan, which literally translates into forest of penance or meditation. This is where sages, centuries ago, would meditate in search of enlightenment, in the midst of nature.

More importantly, Tapovan is also said to be the place where Lakshman once resided and where he famously cut the nose of Shurpanakha, the sister of the king of Lanka, Ravana. The place has several famous temples of Hanuman and Lakshmana. A cavernous fissure on boulders along the riverbed is called Brahma Yoni. Very close by, is the Kapil Tirth. On the right bank of Godavari, there are eleven rocky cavernous spaces where rishi-munis must have been retreating for sacraments.

Nearby is Sita Gumpha (cave) where Sita is said to have stayed for some time. One can enter the cave with the help of a very narrow staircase. The cave has the idol of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. To the left, one can enter into the cave having the Shiva Linga. Devotees believe that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place.


The most important place in Panchavati is Ramkund. It is so called because Lord Rama is believed to have taken bath there. Mortal remains (Asthi) immersed in this kunda, are immediately absorbed in the water. A dip in this sacred kunda is considered very pious.

Someshwar Temple 

This temple is one among the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Mahadeva in Nashik. Besides 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.



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