09 Nov Road Trip Nashik to Sakri
A Journey of Serenity
We are regular visitors to Mumbai and Nasik, and we decided to make a road trip to Sakri from Nasik on this occasion. Driving in the early morning, Bombay-Agra National Hwy 3, the roads were quite clear from the chaotic traffic of Nasik, although we had to make a detour because of road works, which added another hour to the journey.
Driving on Indian roads is not easy, but it is exciting as long as you have a good driver who can manoeuvre between other cars meandering between lanes, the animals on the road, and the many potholes as you enter remote villages. It looks challenging, but I noticed how they drive efficiently, and no one seems upset. Just with a honk, you can make your way quite easily.
We did get further delayed as we encountered an accident en route with two trucks that had collided with each other (luckily, from what we could see, no one was hurt)
Driving through the villages gives you a sense of the local’s lifestyle and how they get on with their daily lives. Everyone seems content, and they look at us bewildered as we drive through their villages. There is much to see and appreciate how lucky we are in the West. The distance from Nashik to Sakri is approximately 168 kilometres which took us nearly 6 hours of driving and one stop to get there.
Following the Agra National Hwy, we bypassed a town called Ozar, where the Indian Air Force defence-based Airport known as Nashik or Oszr Airport is situated and runs daily cargo services. Home to the maintenance station of the Indian Air Force, Nashik Airport was formerly known as Ozar airport and connected Nasik to Delhi at this stage. This town is also famous for its Vineyards, Grapes, and Onions.
Places Of Interest
Nashik is a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai and is known as a wine destination; it is a place to enjoy locally produced wines from the gorgeous vineyards in the countryside.
Located on the holy Godavari River banks, a large provincial city’s old quarter has some intriguing wooden architecture. These interesting temples reference the Hindu epic and some gigantic bathing ghats.
Every 12 years, Nashik plays host to the grand Kumbh Mela, the most significant Hindu religious festival and major pilgrimage gathering on Earth. This festival is celebrated every 12 years to commemorate every revolution Brihaspati completes at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain.
Trimbakeshwar (Shiva Temple) - Kumbh Mela
Trimbakeshwar is a pilgrimage town approximately 28 km from Nashik, on the banks of River Godavari at the Brahmagiri Mountains.
The Trimbakeshwar Temple is famously known as the 12 Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva, built-in 1755-1786 AD. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga embodies the three faces of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra, from which a crown with precious stones rests on this Linga. You can see the crown on display every Monday from 4 PM – 5 PM.
You can visit other places in the Trimbakeshwar area: Gangadwar, Brahmagiri, Caves of 108 Shivalingams, Parashuram temple, Bilwa Tirtha, Gautama Tirtha, Indra Tirtha, and Ahilya Sangam Tirtha to name a few. Several ashrams in this area are also devoted to Ashtanga Yoga, the Hindu art of living.
Wine Capital of India
Nashik is now known as the Wine Capital of India, with 50 per cent of the country’s wineries in Nashik. Located about 15 kilometres from Nasik, Sula Vineyards is famous for wine lovers. Since the 1990s, there are now approximately 40 vineyards spread throughout the area. Tropical white and fruit-driven red wines are grape varieties used for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc. In 1999 Sula Vineyard was established by Rajeev Samant. Enjoy wine-tasting sessions or a picnic by the lake.
Pimpalgaon Baswant was the next city we passed through in the Nashik district, 30 km north of Nashik. The NH3 is a six-lane motorway, and the drive was surprisingly easy, almost like driving on our motorways back home in the West.
As the city is known for farming onions, grapes & tomatoes, we observed many trucks loaded with onions and numerous landscapes of people farming in the fields.
Usually, we would have taken the direct road after Pimpalgaon that goes directly to Sakri. The direct road from Nasik to Sakri was going through significant roadworks, so we had to take a longer route. We continued to drive on the highway crossing Chandwad and Malegaon and then towards Sakri.
Passing through a village called Chandwad in Taluka is 54 KM north of Nashik. It is famous for brass work, and the 11th-century Jain Caves, Renuka Devi mandir, Chandreshwar temple and Rangmahal are historical places to be found here. A community of Jain people living in Chandwad city believe this place was once famous and a prominent centre of Jainism.
After driving approximately 48 min (40.6 km) via NH60, you will come to Malegaon, a significant hub for traditional handloom weaving. The era of power looms emerged after 1935 in this city.
Driving through the old Malegaon town was an exciting experience. The whole landscape of the drive suddenly changed as if we had entered another country. The Muslim community primarily dominates Malegaon. Many mosques are seen, and it was great to experience the hustle and bustle of the locals going by in their daily lives, from kerbside vendors to kids getting on a bus to school. Interesting to see lots of meat shops and vegetable markets and men huddled together playing cards or simply drinking tea on the kerbside. The road we drove along, which was the main road, was very narrow, and we shared it with people walking in the same place the cars were trying to pass through.
After Malegaon and approximately 20kms of driving, we connected to another significant highway that connects Nagpur in central Maharashtra (famous for Oranges) to Surat in Gujarat and passes through Sakri, our final destination.
Akkalpada Dam: Lower Panzara Dam, also known as Akkalpada Dam, is an earth-fill dam on the Panzara river near Akkalpada (Sakri) in the Dhule district in Maharashtra, India.
Ner: Ner is a census town and tehsil in the Darwha subdivision of the Yavatmal district in Maharashtra.
Ramkund: Whether you’re here for a spiritual vacation or just a weekend getaway, visit the ghat of Ramkund, where Lord Rama and Sita used to bathe.
Dudhsagar Falls: A popular picnic spot during monsoon season, the Dudhasagar Waterfalls derive their name from dudh or milk.
Sakri is a town in the Dhule district, where the population there are primarily Hindu, and the languages mainly spoken in Sakri are Marathi & Ahirani.
In Sakri Tahasil, more than 200 small villages are occupied by tribes, including Konkani, Mavachi, Bhill and Vanjari. The famous Kanhaiyalal Maharaj temple at Amali (taluka-Sakri) is 40 km from Sakri towards (Gujarat). The Panzara Kan Sahakari sugar mill is Near Sakri. The Panzra and the Akkalpada Dam are in Sakri.
Saptashrungi Mata Temple (Mother of the seven peaks)
After spending some time in Sakri and heading back to Nashik, we stopped in the Vani, Nanduri village district and stopped at Saptashrungi Devi Temple, a Hindu pilgrimage site that lies on a cliff with an altitude of 1,230 m.
According to Hindu traditions, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Saptashrungi. It is a two-storied shrine where the Devi stands 10 feet tall with 18 hands, on the top floor carved into a rock surrounded by seven peaks and always coated with red Sindoor. Devi Mata’s 18 arms hold a weapon in each hand which she used to slay the demon Mahishasur, who came in the form of a buffalo.
Purchase offerings from the base before boarding the ropeway. Your shoes must be removed before heading to the temple and can be placed securely at the bottom.
A path has been cut out throughout the mountains to reach the top, forming steps where devotees can walk up to the temple. Today a funicular ropeway has been built, ideal for the elderly or people with mobility issues, to reach the top, with an extra cost of INR100, which makes Darshan relatively easy.
Once you have reached the top, you will join a winding queue which is disciplined and controlled, and as you walk the route, you will get glimpses of the Devi before reaching the final location to have Darshan and receive blessings from Mata. You can enjoy breathtaking views from the top.
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