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This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with Amrita Gangatirkar, researcher, filmmaker and the founder of travel experience company Nashik Heritage Trails (formerly Urban Serai)
Today's destination: Old Nashik and Panchvati!
Nearest Airport: Gandhinagar Airport, Nashiki, ISK
Nearest Railway Station: Nasik Road Railway Station, NK
Prerequisites - NA
Packing - NA
Time of the year - All year round, except monsoons
Length of the itinerary: 3 hours
Amrita takes us on a virtual walk around the heritage part of Nashik city - Panchavati and Old Nashik
Panchavati is the heritage part of Nashik that is home to some of the most sacred temples and old neighborhoods.
We start our walk with a visit to the Kalaram temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Ram. The temple and the deity are sculpted in black basalt stone, hence the name Kalaram. The temple also houses idols of Sita and Lakshman and is estimated to be built between the 7th-11th century originally and reconstructed during the 1780s. Nashik has a lot of influence from the Hindu epic of Ramayan, as is seen from the temples and the names of the neighborhoods.
The next stop is the Goraram temple, built in white marble and hence the name - Goraram or fair Ram, also believed to be built in the 1780s. The temple architecture resembles that of a wada (residence) and is very unique.
Another popular festival of Nashik is the Rangapanchami, celebrated a few days after holi, the festival of colors. The festival is very popular for the Rahad or the colored water pits!
Another popular temple in the locality is Kapaleshwar temple, close to the banks of the Godavari. It is unique for the mixed architecture and use of domes in the construction of the temple.
From here, we make a stop at the Godavari ghats and the popular kunds - Ramkund, Lakshman kund and Sitakund. The kunds are very significant as people perform final rites of their loved ones in these kunds. Another popular structure in this area is the Ahilya Devi Holkar bridge - learn more about the wonderful stories around this bridge.
Our final stop in Panchavati is the Naroshankar temple and it’s iconic Naroshankar bell, acquired during the battle at Vasai fort.
On the other side of the river is the Old city of Nashik that is popular for its markets and the wadas in the alleys. The popular markets include textile market (kaapadpet), Vessel market (bhaandi bazar), Jewellery market (Saraf bazar), steel market. One can spend hours in these markets and narrow alleys watching the beautiful wada architecture. We make some stops at local homes and discover the architecture of these old homes.
Our final stop of the walk is the Sarkar wada, now a government museum but that has been used as an administrative office, prison, a public library and a police station!
At the end of the walk, make sure to binge on some good old Nashik Misal, jalebis, fafdas, dhoklas (thanks to the gujarati influence), sabudana vada. One of the popular eateries in the locality is Sayantara!
Other options include the numerous forts in and around Nashik and the iconic wineries of Nashik! A great way to end your visit to Nashik with a visit to the wineries and vineyards
Link to Nashik Heritage Trails’ facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nashikheritagetrails/
Women who speak Heritage Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/7L3EXJBKfOskTSTOgP8RVO?si=5105790862f448dc
Image Credit - Amrita Gangatirkar
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