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archaeological excavations it is found that the territory around
Nashik was occupied in the early Stone Age. Tools of trap rock
characteristic of that time have been found buried in the riverbed
at Gangavadi, 16 Km North - West of Nashik. Agastya, the renowned
sage was the first Aryan to cross the Vindhya mountains and live on
the banks of the Godavari. Other sages followed Agastya and the
cloister of hermitages of the bank of the Godavari was called
"Janasthana". Lord Ram accompanied by Lakshman and Sita
met Agastya, and he presented Ram with bow and two quivers
presumable to fight the rakshasas. He also advised him to settle
down at Panchavati, so called because of the five great banyan
trees, which grew there. Panchavati was then at the fringe of the
Dandakaranya forest. It is from here that Ravan of Lanka abducted
Sita. Later on poets like Valmiki, Kalidas, the dramatist bhavbhuti
discovered and found in "Padmapur" as Nashik was then
known, great inspiration.
closer to historical times, we find that all this territory was
included in Ashok's mighty empire. Later during the era of the
Satavahana the Nashik district became very prosperous as it lay on
the trade route to Broach. The city was named as
"Gulshanabad" during Mughal period, in appreciation of
beauty of Nashik. The old name was restored when Peshwas took over
in 1751. Raghobadada and Anandibai of Peshwas had stayed at Nashik
during later part of their life. By 1818, Nashik was a considerable
town with two palaces, magnificent buildings and beautiful gardens
19,1818 Nashik surrendered to the British. During the freedom
struggle of 1857, Nashik was the scene of considerable disturbance.
The struggle ended by 1860, and Nashik once again enjoyed
Municipality was formed in 1864. In 1869, Nashik was made a full
fledged District with its present 13 talukas. Laying of Railway
tracks and commenced around that time and Nashik Road railway
station was formed. Nashik Road subsequently grew with the
establishment of Central Jail, India Security Press and the
Distillery, which then existed for the English soldiers at Deolali.
Nashik grew to be a flourishing commercial centre where artisans
skilled in making utensils and smiths excelling in silver and gold
ornaments crowded to ply their trade. Nashik was always prominent as
a centre of revolutionary activities. Anant Kanhere, a great
revolutionist, fired at Mr.Jackson, the then Collector of Nashik, on
the night of 21st December 1909, while he was watching a play at
Vijayanand Theatre. Mr Jackson died on the spot which resulted in
arrests, trails and sentences.
Gandhi's non-cooperation movement found its share of forest
satyagrahas and underground activities here in Nashik as well. Dr.
Ambedkar has organized his temple entry movement for the abolition
of untouchability and mass satyagraha was organized in 1932. In
1950, Session of India National Congress was held at Nashik at a
place now called Nehrunagar (between Nashik and Nashik Road).