From the earliest times, the mountains have been considered the abode of Gods and revered and worshipped. There are hundreds of shrines and temples built atop the hills and innumerable caves and monuments linked to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions all over the Western Ghats.
There are over hundred Tirthas (holy places in the vicinity of rivers) and eighty Kshetras (places of pilgrimage) in the Sahyadri range. Tryambakeshwar is located at the source of Godavari near Nasik and contains one of the twelve ancient and sacred Jyotirlingas in India. Ramayana features Panchavati on the banks of Godavari near Nasik where Shri Rama stayed along with Sita and Lakshaman.
rises 40 km north of Khandala and at the source of this river is situated another of the twelve famous Jyotirlingas of Bhimashankar. Most of the famous Ashta Vinayaka temples of Maharashtra are located in the Sahyadris - Lenyadri, Siddhatek, Pali, Theur, Morgaon, etc.
rises near Mahabaleshwar along with four other rivers - Vena, Kakudmati, Savitri and Gayatri. The Shiva (Mahabaleshwara) temple is about 5 kms from the main bazaar of Mahabaleshwar hill station. There are legends associated with this spot in Mahabaleshwar. Mahatmya Pandharpur situated 40 miles west of Sholapur on the banks of river Bhima also known as Chandra-bhaga is the foremost pilgrimage centre of Maharashtra that houses the famous shrine of Vithoba.
is situated on the banks of Indrayani river 12 miles north of Pune and has the Samadhi and shrine of the famous Maharashtra saint Jnaneshwar. On the mountain at Jejuri, high up the Karha valley is the temple of Khandoba. Kolhapur is situated near the banks of river Panchaganga and is known for the ancient temple of Goddess Mahalakshmi.
India may not yet be a big destination for wine tours, but the wineries in the Nashik region of Maharashtra are certainly becoming popular for weekend breaks, between December and March every year. While about a half of India's wineries are located near Nashik, other regions with smaller wineries include Baramati and Sangli.
Nasik (or Nashik) is a religious city in Maharashtra located in the northwest part of the state. Nasik has been called the "Wine Capital of India" and is situated in the Western Ghats, on the banks of the River Godavari. This city has proved to be the best ever rising metropolis in Maharashtra and has grown immensely in the past two decades,
Many people are going on wine tours to Nasik because they want to do something different from the usual weekend breaks. They end up enjoying the relaxing experience which is perfect for families and friends to spend time with good food and wine. The socialising aspect is as much part of the wine tour as is wine tasting. Most of these customers may not be regular wine drinkers but are looking for a new experience. Besides weekend groups, there are also serious overseas travellers who are keen on following the wine trails in India. This group is well-travelled around international wine circuits and have a good understanding of wine. They are here to taste Indian wine after having tasted wine from established regions around the world for years. Besides wine tasting, the vineyards offer a relaxed ambience and an opportunity to meet the winemakers and understand the process of wine making. In addition, tourists also buy wine at discounts at wineries and pick up merchandise at the wine stores.
Wine tourism is the new buzzword in Nasik, around four hours from Mumbai. There are now almost 50 wineries in and around Nasik, and excitingly for wine connoisseurs and consumers, many Nasik vineyards now have tasting rooms that are open to the public. What is also appealing is that discounts of 10-20% on retail price are available on purchases. The vineyards fan out in all directions from Nasik.
Sula is perhaps India's most popular and most accessible winery. Sula organises combining wine with music at Sulafest, held there in February/March every year. Sula also offers a one day wine appreciation course every Thursday.
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rose, Sparkling Brut, Viognier, Reisling, Shiraz, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon.