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town, northwestern Maharashtra state, western India. It lies along the Godavari River and is situated along major road and rail routes at a point about 110 miles (180 km) northeast of Bombay. Nasik is an important religious centre and attracts thousands of pilgrims annually because of the sanctity of the Godavari River and because of the legend that Rama, the hero of the Ramayana epic, lived there for a time with his wife Sita and his brother Laksmana. The main part of the town lies on the right (south) bank of the river, while Panchavati, a quarter on the left bank, has several temples. The town's riverbanks are lined with ghats (stepped bathing places). Nasik is the site of the Pandu (Buddhist) and Chamar (Jaina) cave temples dating to the 1st century AD. Of its many Hindu temples, Kala Ram and Gora Ram are among the holiest. Tryambakesvar, a village and the site of a Saivite Jyotirlinga temple 14 miles (22 km) from Nasik, is the most important of the pilgrim sites. In the second half of the 20th century the town has become industrialized; silk and cotton weaving and sugar and oil processing are important. Ozar is a new suburban township. Nasik has several colleges affiliated with the University of Poona.