Posted by : Prajna LS March 24, 2014


I am not a travel buff. Most of my expeditions are of recreational kind, and family oriented trips. Love to sit and sip in a couch at a corner of my sweet home and I do travel through my mind, and try to reach across all depths of my inner world!
Kids do not listen. As and when they declare their holiday schedule, it has been mandatory for us to look out for various travel destinations. This year we were at Nashik during Deepawali vacations. The pilgrimage city Nashik is located in Maharashtra on the banks of Godavari River. It is at about 180 km away from my home town Aurangabad; about three and half hours drive in a taxi.
However, we decided to travel by train. We took the morning Jan Shatabdi express from Aurangabad that leaves at 6 ‘O’ clock and reaches Nashik at about 8.45 am. We had already booked rooms to avoid last minute anxiety and had hired a taxi for travelling around the city. We were there for only two days, next evening were back to Aurangabad by the evening train.
Nashik is gearing up for Maha Kumbhamela to be held in 2015. Everywhere in the city, we could hear the buzz about forthcoming Kumbhamela. A 13 km long flyover bridge has been built to control the major traffic. Maha Kumbhamela is a huge congregation of devotees to be held at river banks for a ritual bath. 
Image credit :Prajna ls
People belonging to all sects and traditions (not necessarily Hindus) gather at river banks for a bathing ritual that would be fixed according to Hindu calendar. This congregation takes place once in twelve years or once in six years. Kumbhamelas are held at four places in India: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. It is a kind of ritualistic Yatra in Indian traditions.
Nashik is one of those cities in India that houses a ‘Jyotirlinga’. The ‘Jyotirlinga’ lies inside an ancient temple. There are twelve ‘Jyotirlingas of Shiva’ in India and one among them is located in Trimbakeshwar near Nashik city. This is situated at the foothills of Brahmagiri where Godavari River originates.
As we had already decided, we moved towards Trimbakeshwar directly from the railway station. The temple is located at 40 km distance from Nashik city. If you visit the temple during hot seasons, say for instance during festivals or holidays, you will have to stand in a long queue for the Darshan. Since it was a holiday season, we had to wait for about two and half hours to get the darshan.
It is an ancient temple built by a Peshwa King. Visitors are not allowed to take photos. We were moved by the beautiful stone carvings on the outer portion of the temple. There was huge crowd that day, so people were pushing us for quick ‘darshan’ of the deity. The ‘lingam’ is said to be invisible there. Actually, what we see as lingam is a hollow.
Trimbakeswar is best known for performing ancestral rituals of Hindus. We see people performing various other kinds of rituals also, especially the Naga Bali Puja. We dipped our legs and sprinkled the water on ourselves in ‘Kushavartha’, that is the pond from where Godavari River takes its further course.
It is such a beautiful place that we wished to stay there for some more time. One can visit the place all through the day, so a visit during evenings or in the early mornings would be more pleasant I feel. We returned to Nashik thinking about spending an evening at the temple to enjoy the sunset.

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