Maharashtra has been for ages the most fascinating tourist destination of India. All one can I imagine to see in life is available in Maharashtra. This state is also known as the state of Shivaji. From sun kissed beaches till caves all are waiting to be explored. The commercial capital of India, Mumbai is the state capital of Maharashtra. This state is a classic example of a mixture of traditional and contemporary cultures. The colorful cultural festivals of Maharashtra are sure to win your heart and make you remember this trip for ever.
The state of Maharashtra is spread over a vast area of 308000 square kilometers. The state shares its borders in the west with the Arabian Sea, with Dadra and Nagar Haveli as well as Gujarat on the north western side and in the north eastern side with Madhya Pradesh. In the eastern part of the state lie Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa to the southern southeastern and southwestern parts respectively. Maharashtra lies in between 18° 57'N latitude and 72° 49'E longitude.
Forts: There are round about 350 forts in this state. These frots are the testimony of Maharashtraâ€™s glorious past. Most of these gigantic constructions were made mostly by the Maratha rulers. Some of the famous forts are Vijaydurg and Sindhdurg were built during the reign of Shivaji, and they are located around 510 kilometers away from Mumbai. Shiver Fort is where Shivaji took birth, Pratepgad fort is where Shivaji forught with Afzal khan, Janjira fort which is 300 years old, Lohgad and Visapur forts etc. Visiting these forts area treat for adventure lovers.
Hill Stations: The Sahydri Mountains is the home of hill stations in Maharashtra. The British were the discoverer of most of these serine places. The beauty of these places is sure to mesmerize your heart. The most famous hill stations in Maharashtra include Amboli, Khandala, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Todarmal etc. The beauty and tranquil environment of these places are something you will surely love to experience.
Beaches: With a coastline spread over 530 Kilometers, Maharashtra holds many beautiful beaches in its lap. From crowdes and posh beaches of Juhu and Marine Drive till peaceful and tranquil beaches like Harnai and Bassein all are there to enchant you. The beaches like Velneshwar and Shriwardhana-Hariareshwar are heaven for adventure enthusiasts. The beaches in Vijaydurg-Sindhudurg and Dahanu-Bordi are sure to enchant you with remains of the forts which once existed and sure to take you down the memory lanes of the glorious past of Maharashrta. Many of these beaches are pilgrims as well.
Monuments: The state of Maharashtra was ruled by various dynasties that left behind architectural marvels as a testimony of their cultural grandeur. The Gateway of India is one of the most soughed after monuments of our country. It is the point from which most of the touristâ€™s start their tour of Maharashtra. Chandi Minar located at Daulatabad and the Maharajaâ€™s new Palace at Kolahapur is a couple monuments which attracts travelers round the year. Other famous monuments of Maharashtra include Agakhan Palace, Khuldabad, Raste Wada, Sahniwar Wada, Vishrambagh etc.
Religious Places: The state of Maharashtra has pilgrim places for every religion. Nashik is a holy place where Kumbh Mela which is a holy fair for the Hindus is organized every 3rd and Maha Kumbh Mela every 12th year. Other temples of great significance include Mumbadevi, Kailash temple of Aurangabad, Pandhapur, Shirdi and Bahubali. For Muslims, Hazi Ali Tomb which is more than 800 hundred years old is of great significance. Osho ashram of Pune and Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib of Nanded are also very famous. The list includes Marry Church and Afghan Memorial Church as well. The most famous and most visited temple of Maharashtra is Siddhi Vinayaka temple located at Munmbai.
The state of Maharashtra is famous for its caves. There are good numbers of caves in the state of Maharashtra which not only pulls travel enthusiasts form inside the country but travelers form far corners of the globe. Some of the most famous caves in Maharashtra are:
Ajanta Caves: Situated at a distance of around 99 kilometers from Aurangabad, it is commonly believed that the carving of this cave started way back in the 2nd century BC and finished in 6th century AD. There are a total of 30 caves here. The works include images of Buddha and animal figures. It is said that, some of the caves are unfinished in terms of their carving work. The cave no 1, 2, 16 and 17 have the best sculpture work one can find.
Elephanta Caves: Situated at the Elephanta Islands which is somewhere around 11 kilometers away from Mumbai, these cave are subject of great artistic interest for many. This is an UNESO World Heritage Site. These caves were built in between 9th till 12th century AD. Some historians say that these caves were built by Gupta dynasty in 3rd century AD. Some other historians are of a view that, these caves were raised by Pulkesin 2 in 6th century AD.
Ellora Caves: These caves are situated in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. They are believed to be built in between 350 till 700 AD. In total there 35 stone carved temples in Ellora depicting three eras of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain culture. Nearly 200000 tons of rocks were removed from the site while the carving of the caves was on. It took around 100 years to remove the wastes out of the site.
Other caves which can also be visited by tourists include Karla and Bhaja caves, Pandavleni caves and Paitalkhora caves.
Maharashtra is one of the state in India is very well connected by road, air and rail. Being a Metropolitan city, the capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai has all it takes to be well connected with the rest of the country.
By Air: The state is very well connected by airline services from all the parts of the country. Mumbai international airport is the busiest of the air ports in India. Mumbai had direct flights from all the major states and cities of the country. All major airline operators provide services to transfer passengers to and from Mumbai. Around 116 direct flights operate daily from the Mumbai airport. Apart from Mumbai there are airports in Pune and few other places of Maharashtra as well.
By Rail : Maharashtra is very well connected by the railway network both internally as well as on the national front. There are 3 interstate railway stations in Mumbai itself out of which Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the busiest. All major cities are connected with Mumbai regularly with the best in class trains operating to and fro. The internal train network is the backbone of public transport within Maharashtra.
By Road : The state of Maharashtra is very well connected with the rest of the western and southern India through roadways as well. Public and private transport operators provide excellent transport services to passengers as well as goods. Luxurious coaches and economical buses help passengers move from one state to other. The intrastate and intra-city bus service of Mumbai is also very well co-ordinated and managed.
The state of Maharashtra gives the tourists a host of things to do while they are in the state. From adventure sport till memorable train journey, from water sport till shopping all can be exploited once you are here in Maharashtra.
Dine and Party: Mumbai is known for its night life. So while you are in Mumbai you can savor you taste buds with some mouth watering delicacies and drop at any of the famous discos or pubs and have a great time with your near and dear ones.
Shop a lot for Fun: The state of Maharashtra is a shopperâ€™s paradise; specifically Mumbai is famous for its malls and hyper-marts. One can get merchandise and clothes manufactured by all the famous brands of the world here in Mumbai.
Long Drive: You can also choose to for a long drive on the Mumbai-Puna or Mumbai Goa Highway or the newly inaugurated sea link. The scenic beauty of the highways and green medown and blu sea is sure to spell bound you in its charm.
Enjoy Festival: While on trip to Maharashtra you can enjoy Marathi festivals which are celebrated with great vigor.
Adventure and Water Sports: In Mumbai you can enjoy host of adventure and water sports at Essel World and water kingdom. This two spots pulls thousands of people every day. The water rides of Water Kingdom and the dry rides of Essel Words will surely make you smile and go crazy out of fun. So donâ€™t miss it.
A Train Journey of Life: If you are one who loves nature, you should definitely go for a train journey on the Konkan Railway network. This ride will always stay in your memories because of the enchanting beauty of the nature and the beautiful sceneries that you will see sitting beside the window of your coach.
The months between October and February are most suitable for a trip Maharashtra to be planned. By this time the summers and monsoon are over and you get the most pleasant weather. This period is perfect for a trip to any part of Maharashtra. Days are bright and sunny and nights are extremely pleasant.
Maharashtra is very rich in its historical heritage. Many dynasties ruled over this state for centuries including the British. The most influential of them all was Chatrapati Shivaji. The testimonials of the majestic past of this state are the monuments, caves and the forts. Many historians have put forward their own thesis on the part of this state but one common observation of all of them is that, civilization started in this state as early as 2nd century BC or may be much earlier.
The state of Maharashtra enjoys an archetypal monsoon climate. With hot summers, cold winters and incessantly rainy monsoons. Summers prevail between the months of March till May and the temperature varies in between 22°C - 39°C. Its starts raining in the first part of July, and continue till September. The state of Maharashtra on an average gets around 200 cms of rain every year. Winter sets in November onwards and continues till the end of February. The average temperature in winter varies from 22°C to 39°C.