Nashik is a hill city in Maharashtra known for its sacred pilgrimage spots and vineyards more recently . This sleepy, quaint city, which was nowhere on travel enthusiasts’ radar until a decade ago, is slowly becoming a favourite with tourists. At a drivable distance from Mumbai and Pune, it boasts of a mix of heritage and mythology, several treks that take you to its caves and hills and of course, the wine tasting at its now-famous vineyards. You can do a lot on a 2-3 days trip to this town. Here is our list of 5 things to do in Nashik.
1. Go Vineyard Hopping in Nashik
While pub-hopping may be the norm in metropolitan cities in Nashik, it is vineyard hopping that you can do. There are ten famous vineyards in and around Nashik that offer tours and wine tasting sessions. Sula is the undisputed winner, not just for the wines but also for its entire experience. Right from the restaurants to the vantage points to click Instagram able pics to ‘The Source’ where you can stay everything about it is first class. Many vineyards have a cover charge starting from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 depending on whether you plan to visit on a weekday or weekend. Soma, York, Vallonne are other popular vineyards here.
2. Trek to Pandav Leni Caves in Nashik
If you are a heritage lover, then the more than 200 steps you will have to climb to reach the Pandav Leni caves will be worth it. 24 Buddhist Caves were constructed between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD. Statues of Buddhas with inscriptions can be found in the caves. Caves 3, 10, 18, 20, 23 are the best of the lot so make sure you don’t miss them. Depending on your stamina and age, the 200+ steps climb to the caves will take you between 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Make sure you carry water and take breaks when tired so that you don’t run out of steam.
3. Pay your respects at Ram Kund and sacred temples
The Panchvati area is where you will find the Ram Kund and numerous temples. Ram Kund is a sacred water body where the Hindus immerse the remains of the dead for attaining salvation. Legend has it that King Rama did the same for his father and took a dip here before the exile. Several famous personalities including the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar’s ashes have been immersed here. The Kalaram Temple has a black idol of Lord Rama and is one of the most popular temples here. The Sita Gufa or Cave is also located close by. The other important temple is Trimbakeshwar which houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
4. Eat some Missal Pav
If you are a foodie, then your trip to Nashik would be incomplete if you didn’t savour the local Missal Pav here. The main ingredients are the sprouts in a spicy curry and farsan, a medley of sev/vermicelli, boondi and papadi. The missal is sprinkled with chopped onions and coriander and eaten with pav/ bread bun. Frequently papad and a vati/bowl of curd are served with it. There are numerous Missal Pav joints in Nashik, with Sadhana Missal being the most well-known. The place resembles a village-style dhaba set up with rows of charpoys and tables. Scores of tourists and locals can be seen making a beeline to these missal joints. Camel rides, bullock cart rides, paan stalls and numerous other attractions ensure that it is not just the eating but the entire experience that needs to be savoured.
5. Enjoy Water Sports at MTDC Boat Club
MTDC has set up a water sports facility on the Gangapur dam. Evenings and mornings are the best time to visit. Jet skiing, banana boat ride, kayaking, speed boats and many other options are available. The café serves value for money snacks with some peppy music playing so that there is never a dull moment. Should you not want to do water sports, just sitting at the café and enjoying the view of the dam would be worth it. The entry fee to the Boat Club is Rs. 80 per person.