Positioned in the Western zone of Indian peninsula, Maharashtra is bordered by the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Gujarat. The western cost of the state is bordered by vast Arabian Sea. The spell-binding natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra makes it indeed a “Maha-Rashtra”, meaning a great nation.
It is also one of the most industrialized states of India. A popular destination for tourism in India, Maharashtra is known for its natural caves of bygone era, forts, historical monuments, museums, ancient cites of pilgrimage, hill stations, beaches, awestrucking waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries, colourful festivals and much more.Maharashtra Tour Packages
Tourism in Maharashtra is multi-faceted; it is not only about heritage tourism, cultural tourism, a pilgrimage or nature & wildlife tourism but much beyond, including Bollywood tourism, Wine tourism, Agro Tourism, Eco Tourism and others. This state is dotted with numerous forts, caves, beaches, religious sites, hill stations, historical monuments and buildings. Some of the most popular places in Maharashtra are Mumbai – the commercial capital of India, Elephanta, Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Mahabaleshwar, and Aurangabad, Ganapati Phule, Bhandardara, Matheran, Nashik, Shirdi, Pune, Khandala, Lonavala and others. Other places, though off-beat but very interesting and are being visited are Lonar- Earth's only meteor crater in basaltic rock is present here, Mulshi — a major dam, Talasari – a Parsi heritage village, and Dudhni Lake.
Named after Mughal King Aurangzeb, Aurangabad is a heritage tourist hub of Maharashtra. This place has a number of World Heritage Sites and historical monuments worth a visit. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ajanta and Ellora Caves are the most visited attractions here. The Ajanta Caves are Buddhist caves carved between the 2nd Century BC and the 6th Century AD, being one of the oldest UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Ellora caves, carved sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries AD, are also ancient historical caves. These are carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Around 16 km from Aurangabad, the Daulatabad hill fort is one of the best preserved Forts in Maharashtra. Also, Jama Masjid, Bibi ka Maqbara, and Panchakki are tourist attractions in Aurangabad. Aurangabad also has a number of museums, temples, mosques and gardens to explore. At 107 km from Mumbai at Karli, there stands the Karla Caves, an intricate ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut cave temple. The Lohagad Fort is also one of the most visited forts in Maharashtra. The Elephanta caves (UNESCO World Heritage Site), are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour. A little further other places that are tourist hot spots include Ratnagiri Mountains, Murud-Janjira Fort, Sinhagad Fort, Bhaja Caves, Prapatgarh fort, Revdanda fort, Pandavleni Caves, Rajmachi Fort, Kanheri Caves and more.
Maharashtra is an abode of numerous pilgrimage destinations. The most visited ones are Sai Mandir at Shirdi, Shani Signapur - near Nasik, Tryambakeswar - near Nasik, Bhimshankar Temple at Pune, Ghrushneshwar / Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple near Ellora Caves, Yamai Devi Temple - Aundh near Satara, Jejuri Khandoba Temple or Malhari Martand in the region, Ganesh Temple at Ganpatipule, and Saptashrungi Devi Mandir near Nanduri village. Bhuleshwar is also an ancient temple perched on a hill near Malshiras in Pune. It is a protected monument built in the 13th century during Yadava Rulers. Amongst others, Siddhivinayak in Mumbai is very popular. Apart from these, Ellora — is world famous for its caves of three religions; total of 30 caves are divided into Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves. Mahalakshmi temple in south Mumbai, the famous Tulja Bhavani Temple of Tuljapur town of Osmanabad District and Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temples are also very popular. Apart from these, the Haji Ali Dargah, a popular mosque built in the sea off the coast of Worli, Mount Mary church in the suburb of Bandra, Osho International Meditation Resort at Pune, and Hazur Sahib Nanded - the famous Gurdwara near Nanded, also one of the popular place which attracts a number of devotees.
Blessed with nature’s bounty, Maharashtra has the best range of lofty mountains, river beds, rocky terrains and more that leverage adventure sports, camping, trekking etc., here. The two most preferred places to camp here are at Kambre and by Koyna Dam. Some campsites also arrange for bouldering, zip-lining, rappelling, rock climbing, river crossing and valley crossing. Adventure trips in Maharashtra cannot be complete without wildlife safaris at Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and Satpura National Park. One can also enjoy sailing off the coast of Mumbai.
Hot Air Ballooning at Lonavala is very famous. Kamshet, near Pune, is the paragliding capital of India. The hills here are moderately high and make easily-accessible launching sites. For White Water Rafting, you will have to travel to the village of Kolad, on the banks of the Kundalika River.
The parks, reserves and sanctuaries of this state are perfect treasures of many wild and exotic species of flora and fauna. The reserves and sanctuaries are well protected and safeguarded. Tourists enjoy safari rides, visual and audio-aided guides, a library and more. Comfortable staying and commuting options makes these places popular. The wildlife sanctuaries in Maharashtra are at Chaprala, Tadoba, Tipeshwar, Chikhaldara, Dajpur, Bhamragarh, Navegaon and Bor. Pench National Park, Mahim Nature Park, Karnala Bird Sanctuary and Tadoba National Park are very popular. The Pench National Park, which covers the borders of the two states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, offers camping facilities as well. Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in Maharashtra are Bhamragarh Wildlife sanctuary, Bor Wildlife sanctuary, Chaprala Wildlife sanctuary, Chikhaldara wildlife sanctuary, Dajipur sanctuary, Nagzira wildlife sanctuary, Navegaon sanctuary, and Tipeshwar. These parks and sanctuaries have many rare varieties of flora and fauna owing to the climate and soil conditions. Animals commonly sighted here are Wild Dog, Sambar, Flying Squirrels, Tiger, Bison, Crocodiles, Jungle cats, Sloth Bear, Four Horned Antelope, Chinkara, Chowsinga, Langurs, Black Buck, Panther, Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, Giant Squirrel, Bonnet Monkey, Nilgai, Pangolin and more. Common plantations here are Teak, Terminalia, Dalbergia Latifolia, Terminalia Paniculata, Adina Cordifolia, Bamboo, Anogeissius, Boswelia, Dalbergia, Shisham, Isnceolata, Logerstroemia, T. bellercia, Andug Prerocarpuss, Prerocarpuss marsupium and Grewia tiliaefolia.
Maharashtra being a large state is home to many religions & communities and nurtures different traditions. The people here are fun-loving people and celebrate all festivals with much grandeur. Along with Eid, Holi, Christmas etc., Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important festival here. The festival is celebrated for ten days. Other cultural & literary festivals like Banganga Festival, Kalidas Festival, Ellora Festival and Elephanta Festival are organized. Kojagiri Poornima or Ashwin Poornima, Ganga Dashahara, Banganga Festival, Nag Panchami, Wat Pournima, Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti and Palkhi Festival are some of the important festivals of Maharashtra.
The cuisines of this place include mild and spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit are dietary staples. Peanuts and cashews are often served with vegetables. Meat is traditionally used sparsely or by the well-off until recently because of economic conditions and culture. When in Maharashtra, do not miss pav bhaji, vada pav, batata vada, poha, Charli Vangi, sabudana khichdi, mutton rassa, and sol kadhi in savoury and shrikhand & pooranpoli in sweets.
Shopping in Maharashtra offers diverse varieties. Mumbai offers a wide range of shopping to visitors. It's a shopper's paradise. Shopping in Pune, too is like that of Mumbai. Jewellery, Maharashtrian traditional wares, pearl nose ring, necklaces and sarees. When we talk of shopping in Aurangabad, him roo shawls, mashroo and kimkhab weaves click on one's mind. The fine paithani silk sarees and silver inlay craft of Bidri ware too is world famous. Kolhapur is popular for its Kolhapuri sarees, Kohlapuri footwear and Kolhapur saaj. In Nagpur, is famous for its world-class oranges as well. Orange products like jam, jelly, marmalade and fruit squash can also be purchased in the cheapest rates with the best quality.
People here are very warm and helpful. Common languages here are Marathi, followed by Hindi, and English is primarily restricted to the educated mass. Weather here is mostly humid, and tourists prefer to tour this zone most monsoons and in winter.
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