1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Nasik

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NASIK, a town and district of British India, in the central division of Bombay. The town is on the Godavari river, connected by a tramway (5 m.) with Nasik Road railway station, 107 m. N.E. of Bombay. Pop. (1901) 21,490. It is a very holy place of Hindu pilgrimage, being 30 m. from the source of the Godavari. Shrines and temples line the river banks, and some stand even in the river. In the vicinity there are a number of sacred caves, among which those of Pandu Lena are the most noteworthy. They are ancient Buddhist caves dating from the 3rd century before Christ to the 6th century after. There are numerous inscriptions of the highest historical value. Nasik has manufactures of cotton goods, brass-ware and mineral waters.

The District of Nasik has an area of 5850 sq. m. With the exception of a few villages in the west, the whole district is situated on a tableland from 1300 to 2000 ft. above sea-level. The western portion is hilly, and intersected by ravines, and only the simplest kind of cultivation is possible. The eastern tract is open, fertile and well cultivated. The Sahyadri range stretches from north to south; the watershed is formed by the Chander range, which runs east and west. All the streams to the south of that range are tributaries of the Godavari. To the north of the watershed, the Girna and its tributary the Mosam flow through fertile valleys into the Tapti. The district generally is destitute of trees, and the forests which formerly clothed the Sahyadri hills have nearly disappeared; efforts are now being made to prevent further destruction. and to reclothe some of the slopes. The district contains several old hill forts, the scenes of many engagements during the Mahratta wars. Nasik district became British territory in 1818 on the overthrow of the peshwa. The population in 1901 was 816,504, showing a decrease of 3% in the decade. The principal crops are millet, wheat, pulse, oil-seeds, cotton and sugar cane. There are also some vineyards of old date, and much garden cultivation. Yeola is an important centre for weaving silk and cotton goods. There are flour-mills at Malegaon, railway workshops at Igatpuri, and cantonments at Deolali and Malegaon. At Sharanpur is a Christian village, with an orphanage of the C.M.S., founded in 1854. The district is crossed by the main line and also by the chord line of the Great Indian Peninsula railway.