Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

Nashik – a day trip


|| Trip to the Monsoons ||

 

Making an instant weekend trip can always be done. But being in Maharashtra (Mumbai) and during the monsoons, it should be mandatory to visit the sheer beauty of the nature.

Thus, the trip to Nashik was planned (or rather unplanned). After I boarded the train towards Pune from Lokamanya Tilak Terminus station at 5:30 a.m., I realized that the trip is going to be a nature’s treat. The train windows were having beautiful slide shows through the water droplets over it.

Ok, this trip was not only a Nashik visit, but also a meet-up with a childhood friend. So, after a journey of around approximately 5 hours, I finally reached Nashik and we met at the station. Local auto-rickshaws were abundant, one of which took us to our pre-booked hotel.

Getting a cab for the rest of the day’s trip was our priority and after some consultation at the hotel desk, we got a cab for the sightseeing of the day. Doing all these took us to the later part of the day and hence Pandavleni caves was the nearest option to start our trip.

As per Wiki, Pandavleni are a group of 24 caves carved between the 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century CE, representing the Hinayana Buddhist caves and has nothing to do with the characters of Mahabharata (the Pandavas). Most of the caves are Viharas except for the 18th cave which is a Chaitya.

 

Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Entry to Pandavleni Caves ||



Since the caves are East facing, one should visit in the early morning to view its grace. But during monsoons, we saw a different beauty of the city from the top as the cool breeze was combing through the hair. Also, the water streams at the entrance of most of the caves were a part of the attractions. The lush greenery was an add-on to the small elevated road towards the caves.

 

Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Water stream in front of one of the caves ||

Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| One of the Viharas ||
Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| View of the City from the heights, at Pandavleni Caves ||
Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Nashik City ||
Pandavleni caves, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| City – Views ||

After this we were taken near to the Godavari river as we told our driver to show a waterfall. Maharashtra, specially Nashik, has its name for beautiful waterfalls during monsoons and hence we didn’t want to miss a chance of the thrill. As we proceeded near the Godavari bank, the noise started posing as a huge pandemonium among the crowd, rain and the water falling.

Godavari river, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| At the Godavari river ||

The river was boisterous and turbulent, roaring and raging from the top plateau to the lower one towards its direction. The magnanimous waterfall was worth many pictures and going close to it for a view was worth the slight risk too.

Godavari river, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Waterfall at Godavari ||

Godavari river, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

This area is near to a temple, which we didn’t find interesting for a visit though. After spending around 15-20 minutes, our next destination was the famous Sula Vineyards for wine-making tour and tasting.

The entry to the Sula Vineyards (a drive of around 15 kms from our hotel) was too gracious as it gave a feeling of entering a royal garden (or grapes). The plants were planted in rows from North to South direction so that all the plants get an equal distribution of sunlight throughout the day. (I got this piece of information later in the guided tour). The place has a well-maintained restaurant with a great view over the vineyards. Since it was a weekend, the place was as usual crowded. So, we dropped the idea of trying the food over there.

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| At the Sula Vineyards ||

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Wine Glasses at the Restaurant Bar ||

As we had booked a wine tour and tasting plan (@375/- per head), we had to wait for our turn. This was the time to roam around the place which was extremely vibrant and photogenic. There were full of graffiti and decorations with wine bottles.

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Graffiti at the walls ||
Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| The Sula bottle ||

 

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

After the wine tasting sessions, we bought few varieties of wine before returning to our hotel. They had all the varieties in that shop. As a whole the day was well spent with few activities and lots of chats.

Here are more glimpses to the vineyards:

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Wine Basket ||
Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Wine Barrels, visited during the Wine tour ||

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul

Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Sparkling Wine ||
Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul, red wine
|| Wine-tasting Session ||
Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Me at the Sula Campus ||
Sula Vineyards, Nashik, Travel, pristine, routes, pristine routes, PR, Maharashtra, photography by Aparajita Paul
|| Sula Bottle replica ||

Where we stayed: Hotel Hi5

Tips before you go:

  • For Pandavleni caves, try to go as early as possible and take care of the shoes you wear
  • There are proper stairs though and the trek is easy for aged people too
  • Ticket price is Rs. 15 per head for visitng Pandavleni Caves. The caves are well maintained and clean
  • Please keep the area clean as well
  • For Sula Vineyards, be in your senses as a wino would not enjoy to the full

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