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Travel: Head to these places in Maharashtra mentioned in the Ramayana

Maharashtra features prominently in the Ramayana. We plot a few sites for you to make the trip for a travel back in time

Nashik
Nashik is one of India's holiest cities as it is one of the sites where the Kumbh Mela unfolds. The city is located on the banks of river Godavari, considered to be holy in Hindu treatises.

Ramkund  in Nashik
Ramkund in Nashik

It is believed that Ram, Laxman and Sita stayed here during their period of exile. It was here that Laxman cut off the nose of Ravan's sister Shurpanakha, which gives the city its name.

Ramkund
Ramkund in Panchavati was said to be a waterbody where Ram would bathe during his period of exile

The forest, known as Tapovan, is also where several ascetics camp during the Kumbh Mela. Panchvati, which is situated on the left banks of Godavari has several temples, which are rich in history.

Tapovan
Tapovan

Sita Gupha, which is located about 3 km away from Panchvati, is supposed to be the location where Ram would shelter Sita while away.

There are many more legends associated with this location. Ravan is said to have abducted Sita from here. It is also said that Ramkund in Nashik was where Ram would bathe.

According to lore, this water contains bone dissolving Asthivilaya Tirth. The ashes of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and YB Chavan have been immersed here.

How to reach
Approx 165 km from Mumbai. NH3 will take you to Nashik by road

Banganga Tank, Mumbai
Located in Walkeshwar, the Banganga Tank is a token of the city's association with the Hindu epic. While the tank was built around 1127 AD, it is said that Laxman shot an arrow into the ground to source water for Ram.

Also read: Banganga Tank was part of a heritage walk earlier this year


Pic/Bipin Kokate

The water that came forth, is said to be a tributary of Ganga. The place now serves as a cremation ground in the city.

How to reach 
Closest railway station: Charni Road

Jatayu's claw mark, near Pali
There is a Shiv Temple in Pali, which is more than a century old. There, lies a rock, which according to locals, is believed to carry the claw mark of Jatayu.


Pic Courtesy/Mango Huts

In the Ramayana, Jatayu, the valiant vulture lost his wings in a fight with Ravan when trying to save Sita.

How to reach
Approx 112 km from Mumbai. Take the Mumbai Pune Expressway.

Ramtek
The city of Ramtek, located nearly 40 km from Nagpur, is known to have an important link to the Ramayana. There are several centuries-old temples here dedicated to Ram, who is believed to have rested here during his exile. (Click here to read more about Ramtek and other holy places)

The city also hosts the Kalidas Festival as it is said the hills of Ramtek inspired the great Indian poet Kalidas to write his poem, Meghdootam. While at Ramtek, also visit the Nagardhan Fort, supposed to be built by Raja Raghuji Bhonsale, a Maratha king from the Bhonsale dynasty.

How to reach
Approx 860 km from Mumbai. There are regular flights and trains from Mumbai.

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