Nasik in Maharashtra is considered one of the most pious places in the whole of India. It is said that during samudra manthan i.e. churning of ocean by the gods and demons, the nectar of immortality fell at a few places. These places includes Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. This wonderful mythological belief is holds testimony to that fact that Nasik is indeed a very holy place in India. The abundance of rich temples and stories makes this place the destination for spiritual people. Sundarnarayan temple is one such temple. It is located at the corner of Ahillybai Holkar Bridge in Nasik. The term Sundarnarayan literally means beautiful Narayan. Narayan is referred to Lord Vishnu.
More about Sundarnarayan temple
Sundarnarayan temple was built in the year 1756 by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud. The presiding deity in here is Lord Vishnu in the form of Sundarnarayan. Along with the idol of Lord Vishnu there exists the idols of goddess Laxmi and goddess Saraswati in the temple complex. The carvings on the temple are beautiful. The walls of the temple are adorned by the paintings of Narayan, Hanuman and Indra. This ancient structure is a treat to the eyes. The fine architecture of the Sundarnarayan temple is mesmerizing. People who are interested in exploring ancient structures must visit this temple.
Story behind Sundarnarayan temple
The Sundarnarayan temple has an interesting story associated with it. Once there lived a demon by the name Jalandhar. He had a very devoted wife named Vrinda Devi. Jalandhar was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is considered as the most giving of all the gods and goddesses. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Shiva gave Jalandhar a boon that made him immortal. Jalandhar, a crook by nature started creating havoc on planet earth. He even disturbing human beings, gods and goddesses. If all of this wasn’t enough, he even went on challenging Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva understood that he was beyond repair and thus it became necessary to eliminate him. But this would have been contrary to the boon given by him. So, Lord Vishnu came to the rescue. In order to eliminate him the only way left was to suspect Vrinda Devi’s chastity. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar and started living with Vrinda Devi. Thus, her chastity was suspected and the boon given to him was taken back from him. In this way he was destroyed. But when Vrinda Devi came to know about this she started burning with fury. She cursed Lord Vishnu. Due to this the handsome body of his turned black in colour. After this Lord Vishnu took a bath in the holy river Godavari and regained his complexion. This is the reason by this temple is known as the Sundarnarayan temple.
Architecture of Sundarnarayan temple
The Sundarnarayan temple is a fine example of Indian style of temple making and is made out of stone. This structure is rock solid and stands tall till date. The temple has three porches which are provided by balcony seating. In addition to this it consists of two mandapas and a well decorated corridor. The pillar of Sundarnarayan temple are adorned with beautiful carvings.
This temple also reflects hints of Mughal architecture. The globular domes is an example of this.
The temple faces east. A striking feature of this temple is that it is sculpted at such an angle that the first rays of sunlight fall exactly on the idol on 21st March. The temple is hoarded with visitors to witness this spectacular sight.
The grandeur of this temple is a delight to the eyes. One must not miss a single opportunity visit this architectural marvel.
A Tourist’s Guide
Sundarnarayan temple is open on all days of the week from 7 am to 7 pm. Entry is not ticketed here. The best time to visit this temple is between the months of October and March. The climate is pleasant during this time of the year and sightseeing will be enjoyable. The nearest railway station from Sundarnarayan temple is Nasik Railway Station. One can easily avail the facility of public transport like cabs, auto and buses when in here. The nearest airport from here is Ozar Airport which is at a distance of 24 km from the city centre. There are several hotels to stay and dine at.
A visit to Sundarnarayan Temple is a must if one is a spiritual person or interested in historical structures.