Nasik in Maharashtra is famous for many reasons. This place houses versatile places of importance. Nasik accommodates a good amount of spiritually charged places. These include temples belonging to the ancient era as well as recently made temples. Nasik is associated with the famous epic, Ramayana. It is said that during Lord Rama’s exile he had spent some of his time here in Nasik along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman. The area where they had spent their time together during the exile is about 5 km and is known as Panchvati. Sita Gufa is also one such place of importance and holds testimony of their exile. It is said that the party of these three indivisuals had stayed in the Sita Gufa. Sita Gufa is a popular tourist destination amongst the spiritual lot.
More about Sita Gufa
The area in which Sita Gufa is located is known as Panchvati. The literal meaning of Panchvati is five banyan trees or five vat trees. These five banyan trees are housed around the Sita Gufa. These ancient trees still stand tall. They have been numbered for the convenience of the tourists.
The Sita Gufa literally translates to Sita’s Cave. This structure is very small. The height of the gufa is around 3 feet. So, one has to bend and enter this structure. There are steps that leads one inside the gufa. But due to the low height of this place, one has to sit and climb up and down the stairs. This cave gets narrower as one goes inside it. As a result of which it is advisable that people who are physically fit must enter this structure. Going in and out the gufa is an issue for obese people as well as for people having issues related to breathing.
Inside Sita Gufa
Sita Gufa is a small and petite structure. It has two rooms. One of the rooms consists of the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Laxman. The other room houses a Shiva Linga. Devotees come in and pray to the gods and goddesses. This small space has an aura of divinity in it. The space though small is highly spiritually charged. One can feel it in their bones. This beautiful ancient structure backed by the rich mythological existence in here, makes this place a unique destination ofr religious people.
Story behind Sita Gufa
A very famous instance in the Ramayana talks about a popular encounter between Laxman and Ramavan’s sister, Surpanarakha. Laxman had cut Surpanarakha’s nose and the moment he did so around 10,000 demos came to fight Lord Rama and Lord Laxmana. In other to save Goddess Sita they had built this gufa or cave in just a day. The fact that the cave gets narrower as one goes inside is backed by the story that this was done on purpose in order to save Sita from the big demons who couldn’t reach her in the narrow space. Then in order to mark this place they had planted five banyan trees. These trees are present around the gufa and as mentioned above are numbered. It is also said that Goddess Sita was abducted by Ravana from this site itself. Thus, this place holds many interesting stories.
A Tourist’s Guide
Sita Gufa is open on all days of the week. It is situated at a distance of 2.7 km from Nasik CBS Bus Station. The nearest railway station from Sita Gufa is Nasik Road Railway Station at a distance of 11 km. The nearest airport from here is Gandhinagar Military airport which is 7.5 km away from here. It is situated on the main road and one can easily get public transport to move around. Hiring a guide is also easy here. Photography is strictly prohibited here. There is no entry fees levied on the visitors. There exists a range of hotels nearby. One can choose from this wide spectra of hotels both online and offline.
Sita Gufa is a place where one can feel the warmth of devotion and spirituality. It is also a wonderful destination for people interested in ancient structures. Sita Gufa is crowded during most of the year. One has to stand in a queue in order to pay reverence. The ancient Shiva Linga also attracts many devotees. It is said that goddess Sita used to worship this linga while her stay here. This place has a lot of spiritual importance attached to it. Sita Gufa adds glory to the spiritual beauty of Nasik.