Nashik or Nasik is a city in India's Maharashtra state. Nashik is in the northwest of Maharashtra, 160 km from Mumbai (Bombay) and 220 km from Pune. Nashik is the administrative headquarters of Nashik District and Nashik Division. The "Wine Capital of India", or the "Grape City", as it is popularly known, the city is located in the Western Ghats, on the western edge of the Deccan peninsula on the banks of the Godavari River. The city is known for its picturesque surroundings and pleasant climate. The Godavari River flows through Nashik from its source, which lies to the west-southwest of the city, in the holy place of Trimbakeshwar. It is a rapidly developing city with a population close to 1.4 million (2006 est).
Nashik is also important mythologically, historically, socially and culturally. Known for the temples on the banks of the Godavari, it has historically been one of the holy sites of the Hindu religion. It is one of the four cities that hosts the massive Sinhastha Kumbh Mela once every twelve years.
Legend dictates that the name "Nashik" is derived from the Hindu epic Ramayana. During the exile of Rama, Shoorpanakha the sister of the demon king Ravana tried to seduce Rama. Angered, Rama ordered Lakshmana to cut off Shoorpanakha's nose (nasika). According to the Ramayana, Sita was abducted by Ravana in the area of Panchavati, in the Western Ghats.
The most striking historical structure in Nashik is the Trirashmi Caves also known as the Pandav Caves. These were originally viharas of Buddhist monks carved in stone in the mountain. There are extensive writings in Brahmi script that show that the township of Nashik supported Bhikkhu Sangha from about a century BC to about sixth century AD. One huge cave is a donation of Gautamiputra Shatkarni, the most famous king of Shatkarni dynasty. Another one is made by a Greek (Yavan) father and son who had apparently become monks.
Traditionally Nashik was known as the Gulshanabad meaning the city of roses. It is currently known for grapes and the revived rose farming it was famous for. Modern efforts are on to promote the growth of an export-oriented rose farming and wine industry in the district. Nashik is also deemed "the third most industrialised city of Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune", mainly due to extensive industrial development in recent times. It is home to an important thermal power plant (Eklahare) and a National Treasury Printing Press (India Security Press at Nashik Road). There are five "Industrial Zones" in the Nashik area and its outskirts (Satpur, Ambad, Sinnar, Igatpuri and Dindori).