Muktidham is a name I heard when my father came to fix up a place in Nasik last month. I admit that my family is not very religious but there are some places that you start craving to see the moment you hear their name. Muktidham, to me, is one such name. Especially the meaning of the name –‘the abode of salvation’.
Nasik has shown us a new aspect of life. At our earlier place of residence, many of our well-wishers were very sympathetic to us. Mumbai is popularly known as Mayanagri or the city of dreams. It flourishes with life around the clock. But since moving to Nasik, about 20 days ago, I have been fascinated by something new and very beautiful. In this city, roughly hundred miles from Mumbai, you don’t need to go to a temple to be peaceful. Peace thrives in the architecture, the roads and lanes…
I heard about Muktidham temple during the television broadcasting of 2015 Kumbh Mela of Nasik. At this time thousands of pilgrims visit the Godavari bank at Trimbak (Nasik) either for simple dips in the river or more elaborate rituals involving priests. A huge number of them make it a point to visit the temple. Idols of all major Hindu Gods and Goddesses–Lord Rama, Krishna, Vishnu, Laxmi, Durga, Hanuman, and Ganesha among others –are to be seen here in different parts of the temple complex.
Faced with corona epidemic and lockdown, I have not yet laid my eyes on this tourist destination which is just about 13 km away from my residence. Located on the Nasik road of Nasik city in Maharashtra, Muktidham is built in recent history –in 1971, through the generous donations of a famous local industrialist.
Those who have visited claim that it is a fine place for shopping and eating out. The complex also contains a dharamshala to accommodate 200 visitors and it is also in good state. The temple can be visited by people of all age-groups, including children and the elderly. If you go by reviews on the net, the dharamshala provides good facilities. There are no issues about eating, staying or safety.
The complex has a special Krishna temple whose walls are adorned with paintings of scenes from Krishna’s life and Mahabharata. Eighteen chapters of the Holy Gita are also written on the walls. The temple complex is made of marble which heightens its beauty to new levels.
The paintings on the walls have been made by famous artists. And the temple is made of marble brought in from Rajasthan. The sculptors who made it also came from Rajasthan. All in all, the temple is a thing of beauty with a peaceful divine quality. It inspires wonder among visitors. And with its representation of all major Hindu deities, it will continue to attract thousands of pilgrims.
Such temples speak a lot about the city itself. Nasik has many many temples, both small and big. It can never attract foreign tourists but it is famous among domestic tourists, And any Mumbaikar who lacks for peace of mind, has to come here just for a couple of days to find it back. Kumbh Mela, Muktidham Temple, Nasik Caves are some of the famous names it boasts of.
Even as I write this, it is late evening. And like the previous day, heavy clouds in delicate dark-blue and grey shades have overshadowed the sky to bring untimely rain. Thoughts of Muktidham Temple keep floating in my mind. When I came to know of the tourist destination, I never thought I would come to stay so close to it. My family has not been deeply religious ever but the temple continues to attract me… If not for the divine aspect, then for the remarkable combination of art and architecture.
Author: Ananya Aloke