Nashik : A Wine Capital where mythology comes true
Metropolitans like New York, Berlin, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo always attract a lot of tourism and commercial opportunities. Big cities find their way into general discussions now and then. But it is the small cities that arouse the sense of curiosity as they are considered as the home of various cultures and humbled lifestyles. Let’s explore one such city today which has its roots anchored to Ancient India, Nashik.
A Fortress of green mountains: Nashik
The city is surrounded by a range of giant mountains and hills. This is where the atmosphere starts soothing you with the cool breezes. Being a hill-station in the past, the city hosts the most pleasant winter and monsoons. But don’t consider these mountains as just some other ordinary mountains. Each mountain is unique in it’s own way covered with layers of lush greens and embedded with ancient history. The greenest of them all is Pahine. Pahine showcases a strange and beautiful waterfall. With the combination of it’s height and fierce winds, the waterfall appears to be defying gravity and shooting upwards instead.
Anjaneri is another such mountain which is literally considered as the birthplace of God Hanuman, from the mythological epic Ramayana. It is one of the finest mountains for trekking in this city.
Well these mountains can suffice the trek lovers and adventure junkies. But how about a mountain that can peek the interests of the archaeologists as well? That brings us to the Pandavleni Caves which hosted the great Pandavas and their mother Kunti who are considered as the central protagonists of Mahabharata, the war epic. When the Pandavas and their mother lost their kingdom and were banished, they made these caves as their humble abode.
It seems that the city has a prominent mythological and cultural significance. So let’s revisit the ancient history before entering into the actual urbans of the city.
In Ramayana, Lord Ram was banished to 14 years of exile with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman. They arrived at a place called Panchavati and stayed there to complete their exile. This place Panchavati came to be known as Nashik! Sita Caves can still be found inside the city today. The major events of the worshipped epic took place in this city. Some of them included the abduction of Sita by the demon king Raavana and Hanuman’s birth.
In tribute to this tale, you will find various temples. One such is KalaRam Temple (Black statued Rama). This place is an architectural masterpiece with reference to it’s strong symbolism. It has 14 steps indicating the 14 years of exile and 84 pillars displaying the cycle of 84 lakh species one has to go to be born as a human.
Trimbakeshwar, the peculiar temple of lord Shiva is considered as one of the 12 sacred places in India. This place is also the main source of the Holy river Godavari, also known as “Ganga of southern part of India”. So what’s so special about this river? This river which is worshipped by millions, ends up being their final destination in life for them. Prominent personalities like Mahatma Gandhi & Jawaharlal Nehru had their ashes immersed in this river. This river also celebrates one of the colossal events known as Kumbh Mela which attracts over 95 million people including people from all walks of life and mysterious sadhus as well. This event happens once every 12 years. It showcases various cultural and religious practices, one of which is known to be washing your sins by taking a dip in the holy river.
The Wine Capital of Nashik
Well this city isn’t just a huge collection of historical monuments with mythological significance. Over a period of time, this city has established itself as the wine capital of the country with 29 wineries serving wine with ecstatic ambience. Sula and Soma Vineyards make sure that they enchant the taste buds of wine lovers with their authentic quality and class. And if you just need to watch the sunset with your loved ones, within a free space, then York wineries will be the best for you. You can savour the special variations of Shiraz Red wine or just stick to good old Chennin Blanc!
Now that we have visited all the captivating places that surround this small but amazing place, let’s know what it’s like living here. The city being comparatively small in area, you can traverse from one end of the city to another end of the city in hardly 30-40 minutes. The streets rarely get ridden by unnecessary traffic and most of the transport used by people over here are small vehicles. This amounts to the city being celebrated as the “Cleanest city in the state” in terms of public hygiene and air pollution.
Despite the city growing with a number of top notch brands and upcoming startups, the mindset of people here isn’t hyper ambitious. Slight traces of minimalistic lifestyle are found here. The commercial areas close at 10 p.m due to the fact that the people here are early risers. People here work the whole week and then lean back to eat their plate of Hot Missal Pav which is a spiced lentil soup with aromatic herbs and sip their glass of wine.
The city imbibes the sense of tranquility and fulfilment in every person here despite the ongoing conditions in this world. Nashik is truly a peaceful experience more than just a growing smalltown.
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