The heritage walk in old Nashik starts off at the Kalaram temple, and winds around the small by-lanes. Almost every old structure has a history—an interesting one in many cases. On the walk, we saw 300+ year old murals, saw a Peshwa structure, art deco buildings, and lots of temples. We also learned about interesting cultural events that take place in the most unassuming, unexpected areas.
The walking tour is not difficult or strenuous, but older folk and those with knee issues may struggle with the temple steps.
That's the practical information out of the way.
Amrita is the founder and guide for Nashik Heritage Trails. She's grown up in the area, and her love and passion for its stories shine through vividly. She deftly weaves history with mythology and lore, pointing out interesting titbits like stonework details and motifs in most heritage structures.
Each of the places she chooses to speak about is different, yet interconnected. Ultimately, you are left with a sense of Nashik's history as a whole, rather than a timeline. Amrita's talk draws connections between history, geography, religion, politics, culture, and even people. It was an absorbing experience.
What I personally loved about the walk was her intellectual honesty. Many times during the walk, she explained her theories about the structures. In some cases, these tallied with what academicians or historians have said; in others, her opinion diverged. It was refreshing to meet someone who was upfront about that, even as she explained her logic. (I'm inclined to agree with whatever conclusions she's drawn, just to be clear.)
In case it isn't blindingly obvious from what I've written above, I highly highly recommend this tour. I wasn't expecting a great deal, but was completely blown away. Amrita is a fantastic storyteller and guide, and this experience was worth every cent.