Famous for its many temples and ghats, Nashik is one of the holiest cities in India. And for those looking for something more, there are the Sula Vineyards to explore. The eventful history of Nasik is evident in its various forts, including Harihar Fort and Ramshej Fort, that are sprinkled all over the city. The Sita Gufa or the Cave of Sita is believed to be the spot from where Goddess Sita was abducted by Ravana, while Panchvati is believed to be the asylum of Lord Rama during his exile. The Timbakeshwar Temple of Nasik is as much an architectural masterpiece as it is a religious centre. Carved intricately, this much-celebrated temple is perched on top of the Brahmagiri hills. Indulge your senses at the Sula Vineyards, which offer an insightful and entertaining tour that offers information on wine manufacturing and a chance for wine tasting. Nasik offers an impressive assortment of Maharashtrian food that is lightly influenced by the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Popular restaurants include Barbeque Ville Veg Aroma and Aster The Coffee Shop. For accommodation, Nashik has options in all segments – budget, mid-range and luxury hotels.
Though it's a small city making its way towards commercialisation, Nagpur is a delight to discover. It also offers all its visitors a delicious variety of oranges. More importantly, Nagpur is the gateway to many national parks and reserves including Pench National Park and Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. Among places to see in Nagpur, Shree Ganesh Mandir Tekdi, Deeksha Bhoomi and Nagpur Ramtek temple are great options to include in your itinerary. The high quality mandarin oranges grown here are souvenirs to carry back home in case you are here for a day. Though, it's best not to expect too much from the city as a tourist since you might be disappointed.
The destination of the World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora caves where you find a new meaning of beauty, Aurangabad was named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The city is located at the banks of the Kham River and known as one of the most historically significant cities of Maharshtra. You will also find the best museums out here which include the three most important ones. These are the Sunehri Mahal Museum, University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. apart from recieving all other modern facilities and amenities during your trip, you can laze away the afternoons in the beauty of the Bani Begum Gardens too.
One of the most sacred towns in India, Shirdi, also known as Sainagar or the Land of Sai, is located in the state of Maharashtra. Considered to be the place where the saint Sai Baba lived till 1918, it houses the great Sai Baba Temple. The temple is the burial site of Sai Baba and holds a lot of importance for devotees from across the country. Entry to the temple is free but to escape the crowd, there are special passes available for a certain amount. Don't miss the evening aarti and also be prepared for a huge rush to enter the temple. Gurusthan is another significant spot. It is the tree where Baba was often seen meditating. After visiting the tree one can collect Udhi which is a powder given to visitors and devotees. You can also visit Dwarakamayi; situated adjacent to the temple, which is the mosque where Sai Baba lived for 60 years till his samadhi in 1918. Devotees go there to watch Dhuni, the fire that was lit by Baba 100 years ago and is still ablaze.
Saputara is a picturesque hill station located in the Dang district of Gujarat. Known as the 'womb of nature', Saputara is wrapped in greenery and boasts of untouched beauty. Perhaps the most famous hill station in the region, it offers a respite from mundane city life. Similar to most hill stations, Saputara has tons of places for you to explore. Do visit the pristine Saputara Lake, the Nageshwar Mahadev Temple, the sunrise point and the sunset point, which offers panoramic views of the entire region and are a photographer's delight! The hill station, situated on a plateau of the Western Ghats, has an interesting tribal culture with an 'Artist Village' that offers a peek into tribal culture and way of life. Saputara is natively known as the 'abode of serpents', and the beautiful Sarpagana river that flows by it has sacred relevance for the tribals. Saputara is also home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, including the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary. The Gira Falls located in the periphery is another must-visit and so are the myriad gardens surrounding the falls.
Home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh is located about 60 minutes from Indore. Visited by tourists from across the world, Omkareshwar is perhaps one of the most popular spots around Indore. The small town is home to two temples, Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar, located opposite each other. It is widely believed that Mamleshwar is actually where the Jyotirlinga is situated, though both temples are architecturally brilliant and have a wonderful energy. You can either take the connecting bridge to the temple from the mainland or enjoy a boat ride till the temple. The rates are nominal and the boat drivers serve as knowledgeable tour guides. Once at the temple, be a little careful. Not only is it very crowded but priests bombard you with requests of donating money to the temple. There is a small market adjacent to the market, though you won't find many things to take back home, there are a few souvenirs you can pick up. Avoid the summer months since it's unbearably hot in the region.
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