With weekend jaunts to Pune, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Karjat and Lonavla becoming so de-rigueur, we had to set our sights elsewhere, hunting for someplace we hadn’t been to before, yet one that was close enough to drive down to by lunchtime. Oh, and it had to be exciting and different too. Nashik fit the bill perfectly. We’re so glad we went, and now you can too. Read on to plan your trip with our Nashik Guide.
Getting to Nashik on the brand new highway makes for a beautifully picturesque 3.5 hour drive through the hills from Mumbai. And thanks to the much-hyped annual celebration of wine and music – Sulafest, Nashik is fast becoming an extremely popular weekend destination for people from Mumbai and Pune. Kingfisher Airlines used to operate on the Mumbai- Nashik route, but we don’t seem to find any airline options anymore. A severe lack of demand, I guess.
There isn’t much to do in Nashik, which is always a good thing if you’re in need of a relaxing weekend away from home.
- Winery tours and tastings are offered by prominent Nashik vineyards such as Sula, Tiger Hills and York. Producing the country’s popular wines, these vineyards spread across the rolling hillscapes of grape city have earned Nashik the label of India’s Napa Valley.
- Discover Khandeshi cuisine; Nashik’s spicy and flavoursome food, best sampled at the clusters of Dhabas that flank the Nashik highway. Mutton Kalarassa with bhakri is our top recommendation at Chaan Sonali Dhaba.
- Explore ancient religious and mythological sites like Sita Gufa, Tapovan, Panchavati, Kalaram Temple, Ganga Ghat, Pandav caves, the Stone Age site, the Dudhsagar falls, Trambakeshwar and a whole host of temples.
Accomodation in Nashik isn’t hard to come by, but these are our top picks:
- Budget friendly and basic, but convenient and clean is the Ginger hotel.
- Vineyard views, in villas, cut off from Nashik city at Beyond by Sula.
- Old world charm and probably the most luxurious experience Nashik can provide at the foot of the city at The Gateway Ambad, a Taj property.
The best time to go is during the cool months of November to March which is also when the Sula fest is, so watch out if you’re trying to get away from the crowds, you might just end up travelling with them to another city. Summer and monsoon months are just not advisable. We went on the spur of the moment in May. And well, it was 43 degrees Celcius in the shade.
A word of caution: Nashik is a circular city with the National Highway (Mumbai-Agra Road) running right through it. This road (once you enter the city) is currently undergoing a massive overhaul, and while it will be brilliantly smooth and open once it’s up and running, navigating your vehicle over gravel with vehicles coming at you in every direction may not be your idea of a holiday.
Do you have any tips or questions that should be addressed in the Nashik Guide? Let us know!