District – Ahmednagar
Sites to look out for:
Bhandardara, a hill station, has all the nature’s blessings a place can get. The lush greenery, the waterfalls and surrounded by high mountains makes for the perfect holiday destination for people who want to get back in touch with nature.
This little village is packed with so many attractions coupled with the serenity of the nature that it makes for an adventurous weekend. Waterfalls, old dams, and high mountains, this village has it all.
Top Attractions of Bhandardara
i) Wilson Dam
Situated at a height of 150m above sea level, Wilson Dam was built in 1910 across river Pravara. It is the largest earthen dam in India, a representative of the engineering excellence of the olden times. Not only does Wilson dam have the old charm to it, but the little stream and the lush green vegetation at the base of the dam will make one marvel at the beauty of mother nature.
When the monsoon arrives, bringing with it the much, required relief from the heat, the dam is opened and one can enjoy the gentle sprinkles of water emanating from it.
ii) Umbrella Falls
The falls formed from the force of water released from the Wilson dam, falling onto naturally placed rocks, gives the illusion of an umbrella. A small bridge across the Pravara river, allows one to get a closer look at the falls and creates a perfect place to take scenic pictures.
The local cuisine here is dominated by Maharashtrian food with a blend of South and North Indian cuisines, like Vada pav and Golgappas.
How to Reach Bhandardara
- By Road
Bhandardara is 165km (4hr 30mins) from Mumbai
II. Pandav Leni Caves
Bhandardhara is 60km from the SarvaGram’s Sangamner branch
The Pandavleni Caves are ancient rock-cut caves that are situated on the tableland of the Trivashmi Hills. These caves have existed for more than 2000 years now and date back to the period between the 3rd century BC and 2nd century AD. The Pandavleni caves are a group of 24 caves that represent Hinayana Buddhism. The mystic caves also comprise of musical fountains, museums and various outlets of food. Multiple monasteries, shrines, water tanks, pillars, and carvings can also be found inside. So, history and architecture buffs, make this your next pit stop.
Several tourists visit these caves to see the fountains and the and due to its location as a prominent Buddhist site. It also attracts several trekkers year-round.
How to Reach Pandavleni Caves
- By Road.
There are several buses which one can take from Nasik which is 9kms away (15mins). Autorickshaws also are available. To reach the caves on the hilltop, one can trek for 20mins on a well-made path of steps.
The land of Sai Baba! Shirdi holds strong importance as a holy and pilgrim place by Sai Baba devotees. The small town is filled with religious spots and activities, which will help you find your inner light and connect with God. The Shirdi temple offers several different darshans and aartis throughout the day. It is believed that Sai Baba arrived at Shirdi in 1858 and spent 60 years of his life here until he attained salvation in 1918. Sai Baba is popularly known as ‘child of God’, as he always spread the message of universal brotherhood.
Shirdi provides a variety of cuisines, from Gujurati to Maharashtrian thalis, from South Indian to North Indian as well as continental food. Since it’s a temple city the food here is predominantly vegetarian. Shirdi is also known as the home of the worlds largest solar cooker. One can find pomegranate and guava juice stands all over the city, refreshing one after a long day of pujas and aartis.
How To Reach Shirdi
- By Road
Shirdi is well connected by road from all the major cities in India. It is 85 km (2hrs) from Nashik, 201km (4hrs 30mins) from Pune and 238km (5hr 30mins) from Mumbai
- By Train
The nearest railway station is Sainagar Shirdi Railway Station. There are trains available from every major city.
- By Air
Shirdi has an airport with direct flights from Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Considered as one of the holiest temples of India, it houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, a form of Lord Shiva. Perched on the foot of Brahmagiri Hills, the temple is situated in the pious city of Trimbak. Built-in the 18th century by a Maratha ruler, the temple is another perfect epitome of how talented kings of that time were in the art of architecture and design. The sacred river Godavari originates near Trimba. The fascinating feature of the Jyotirlinga is its three faces symbolizing Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra. The lush green vegetation and the towering mountains remind one of the powers of the all-mighty and add to the ability of the town to bring peace and serenity to the mind, body, and soul. The story of the origin of the temple is strife with ancient folklore. It is believed that when rishis residing in the area, jealous of the fact the Rishi Gautum got favored by Lord Varuna, who provided Rishi Gautum with an unlimited supply of water, prayed to Lord Ganesha to send a cow to Gautam Rishi’s field which was rich with crops. When the cow went to Gautam Rishi’s field, he tried to frighten it. Somehow the cow died. Rishi Gautum then went to Lord Vishnu, to accept his punishment, Lord Vishnu got impressed and came down to Earth to live with Rishi Gautum in the form of a ling.
How To Reach Trimbekeshwar
- By Road
One can easily reach trimbekeshwar through taxis or autos. It is at a distance of 30kms (45mins) from Nashik, 242km (5hrs 30mins) from Pune and 178kms (4hrs 20mins) from Mumbai.