Hey there fellow travelers! If you’re in Nashik, make sure to check out the Sundarnarayan Temple near the Ahilyabai Holkar Bridge. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu turned charcoal black after being cursed by the wife of a sage, but regained his beautiful form after taking a dip in the waters of Godavari here.
And let me tell you, he looks stunning!
The temple attracts a huge crowd on the day of spring equinox, when the sun’s rays fall directly on the idols of Vishnu, Lakshmi and Saraswati. It’s like a celestial photoshoot, you don’t wanna miss it!
But beware, the Google map location is completely off. So, first, find Shree Ekmukhi Datta Mandir on Google map which is on the bank of Godavari River near a road bridge. Sundarnarayan Temple is on the other side of the road bridge. It’s a bit of a trek, but totally worth it.
The temple was built in 1756 by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud and has some seriously impressive architecture. The vaulted niche gives off some major Mughal vibes, and the three porches with balcony, lobed arches and globular domes are just stunning.
The main deity Lord Vishnu is flanked by Lakshmi and Saraswati, and there are small carvings of Hanuman, Narayana and Indira on the walls. The temple is a bit rundown and needs some urgent attention, but it still has some interesting carvings and features that are worth checking out.
And if you’re into legends, there’s another one about Lord Vishnu adopting the look of an evil demon named Jalandar to kill him and save mankind. But the demon’s wife cursed Lord Vishnu to turn black and ugly, hence the whole taking a dip in the river thing.
The temple is open from 6 AM to 12 PM and 5 PM to 9 PM, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.