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History of Nasik

From 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.

Coming 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 and vineyards 

On April 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 peace. 

Nashik 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.

Mahatma 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).

History of Nasik

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