Deolali Camp

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Deolali Camp, Nashik Overview

Deolali camp is a small hill station located away from the cacophony of the urban cities all around it. The greeneries of Sahyadri have left its trace in this tiny, secluded town as well. This popular weekend getaway within around 150 kilometres from big cities like Mumbai and Pune has been a significant military centre ever since the days of the British. In fact, it is among the oldest army cantonments of the country. However, the reason people visit Deolali the most is because of its healing factor.

The town has many health resorts and sanatoriums and is known for its clean, fresh air which is recommended for stress relief and rehabilitation. Anyone going through a difficult mental phase or recovering from a tough illness or just simply looking for a peaceful retreat will find Deolali Camp and its surroundings the perfect place to heal. Along with the traffic-less, tree-lined bylanes, carpets of lush green grass and an atmosphere that feels good to breathe, there are also some temples, good options for shopping and eating and a famous Buddhist cave called Pandavleni Caves.

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Evening walks along the camp bylanes: This is the main purpose of visiting Deolali camp area. The roadways are peaceful, devoid the utter pollution and crowd of the city streets. You can take a walk there with your earphones on or share it with a companion. Because it is a cantonment area, it does not have random constructions, and thus greenery still exists. The air is full of oxygen - yet another thing you will not find in the city. Very few things can calm the mind like a long, worriless walk and at Deolali, you will get to exactly the same.

Stay in the health resorts: Sanatoriums or health resorts with air conditioned suites and all other sorts of facilities are rented out for visitors for over a period of month or two. These are mainly for those seeking for a change and not just a small vacation. Prolonged period of stay in a calm and secluded place like Deolali camp help them heal and rejuvenate from whatever their physical or mental troubles are. It is a great option for proper unwinding if you have the time and opportunity.

Taste desserts at Empire Bakery: The Empire Bakery in the market area is a traditional sweetshop selling a variety of cakes, pastries and sweets. Crispy milk toasts and mawa cakes are their specialities - do not miss them.

Khandobachi Tekadi or Temple Hill
This is a small shrine very close to the military camp area dedicated to Khandoba Maharaj - a reincarnation of Lord Shiva as believed by the locals. The temple is around 500 years old and is located on a hill. Apart from visiting the shrine itself, you can have a great view of the city of Nasik from there as well as enjoy the sunsets. There is also a beautiful garden with fountain and a walking track around it for people to enjoy a peaceful afternoon there. 

Pandavleni Caves
Pandavleni caves are within a half-hour drive from the Temple Hill. This group of 24 caves dating back to 1st century BC to 3rd century CE. The caves are mostly Buddhist bhikkhu viharas, which are residential homes of Buddhist monks. But one of them - cave 18, is a chaitya, a sanctum for worshipping. These caves depict the evolution of Hinayana Buddhist art in the carvings and architecture of the pillars and wall inscriptions and will interest the history enthusiasts.

Artillery Centre Museum
Located in between the previous two spots, the Artillery Centre Museum features a whole range of weapons and aircraft that has been used by the Indian army over the last many decades. Among them, the AOP aircraft and the MIG 23UM are the most popular displays. Though the museum has fixed timings - 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Saturdays, and 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM on every other day - there might still be restrictions for the civilians upon military orders. The place is closed on Mondays.

Muktidham Mandir
This is a unique temple dedicated to no single deity. It has replicas of the twelve Shiv Jyotirlingas, a Vishnu shrine and temples of other gods and goddesses like Laxmi, Ganesh, Durga and Hanuman. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that on its marble walls, all the 18 chapters of the holy Gita has been written. The temple is on the main Nashik road, a few minutes away from Deolali Camp.

Deolali camp is a cantonment set up by the British in 1861. It was initially the place where Army Staff College was located which now has been converted into the Defence Services Staff College of India and the Command and Staff College of Pakistan. Because of being a full army residential area, the place has remained neat and clean, safe, disciplined and most importantly aesthetic over the years.

You will find the mention of this town in British colloquial vocabulary as well. The veterans who did duty in India as a British colony coined the term doolally tap which loosely translated to 'camp fever.' It meant the anxiety of the army men while waiting for ships to take them back home once their tour of duty is done in this land.

Hiring a car or a taxi from the main city of Nashik is the best way to get to Deolali camp. If you are there for only a few days, keep the car with you to see around the place. Though there are shared auto-rickshaws and bus service, this is a more convenient option for you.

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