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Nashik

Situated on the banks of the sacred Godavari River, Nashik attracts swarms of Hindu pilgrims each year, who gather here to not only take a dip in the propitious river water, but because legend has it that the highly revered Lord Rama periodically lived here. Apart from its numerous temples and bathing ghats (riverside steps/landing), this north Maharashtra town has, in recent times, emerged as one of India's major wine-producing hubs, thanks to its fertile ground and agreeable climate.

How to Get There
Nashik can be reached by bus and train from a range of towns. There are three main bus terminals in Nashik: the Old Central Bus Stand, which mainly services buses to the town of Trimbak, 20 miles (33 kilometers) west of Nashik; the New Central Bus Stand, which services Aurangabad and Pune; and the Mahamarg Bus Stand (hourly services to and from Mumbai). Nashik's train station is located around five miles (eight kilometers) southeast of the center.

How to Get Around
The most convenient and economical way is by autorickshaw or taxi.

Attractions
Nashik is dotted with many temples, including the 18th-century Kalaram, deemed the city's most sacred Hindu site, as well as the Panchavati gompa and the Sundar Narayan Temple.

The Sula Vineyards are situated about five miles (eight kilometers) southwest of Nashik and are open to tourists. This is one of India's pioneer vineyards, which launched its first wines in 2000; today the winery produces white, red, rosé, dessert, and sparkling wines. There is a stylish tasting room with views over the vineyard. To take a vineyard tour and sample some of the estate's wines, call ahead; tel. +91 (0)253 223 1663.

Places to Eat
Nashik has few restaurants—most are simple roadside eateries—so most travelers dine in the hotels.

One good possibility unaffiliated with a hotel is the Annapoorna Lunch Home, which features South Indian food such as dosas, idlis, and assorted vegetarian curries. MG Road.

For a minor splurge, try one of the restaurants at the Taj Residency hotel (described in the Places to Stay section, below): the Panchratna offers Indian and Chinese cuisine; the Garden Café dishes up Indian and continental fare; the dimly lit Somras Bar is just the place to kick back with a frosty cocktail. P-17 MIDC Ambad.

Places to Stay
Nashik has accommodations to suit all budgets.

The town's most upmarket hotel is the Taj Residency, set in well-tended gardens and with an inviting swimming pool and selection of good eateries. The rooms are modern, immaculate, and relatively posh. P-17 MIDC Ambad; tel. +91 (0)253 660 4499; e-mail residency.nashik@tajhotels.com.

In the mid-range is the Hotel Panchavati Yatri, which has clean, spacious rooms and a variety of decent restaurants. 430 Chandak Wadi; tel. +91 (0)253 257 8782.

One of Nashik's most appealing budget choices is the modest Hotel Abhishek, which has comfortable but plainly furnished rooms. Panchavati Karanja; tel. +91 (0)253 251 4201; e-mail hotabhi_nsk@sancharnet.in.

For More Information
MTDC Tourist Office Paryatan Bhavan, Old Agra Road; tel. +91 (0)253 257 0059.

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