It describes itself as unspoilt, unhurried, untouched, unexpected, unconfined, unparalleled, unconquered, unmatched, unstressed and, most importantly, "UNLIMITED". It is the third largest state in India by area and second largest by population. It is one of the most wonderful states in India. With its cultural and geographical diversities, it has attracted a huge number of tourists. Maharashtra has hill-stations, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries.
The capital of Maharashtra is the number one tourist destination. Also known as "the city that never sleeps", it's pulsating, alive, and on the move. It captures the heart-beats of Indians. As the state is bordered by the konkan coastline on its west, beaches also hold a considerable amount of tourist interest. Some of the beaches are coconut-fringed and quiet while some are bustling with frivolity and some with hills beside it, are laced with cashew and jackfruit tress. Alibaug, Tarkarli and Ganapatipule are the most sought-after beaches.
The cave temples and monasteries are another highly looked for attraction. The Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta and the not-so-well-known Pitalkhora caves are extraordinary in terms of appeal and grandeur. These caves are artistically built and are situated in the formidable Sahayadri Mountain Range.
Other than Mumbai, one can visit the hill stations of Khandala, Lonavala, Matheran and Panchgani for their breath-taking views. These towns are clean, calm and refreshing alternative to the fast city life. Pune, Thane, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Kolhapur are worth a visit too. Shirdi and Nasik can be visited for its temples. Memoirs can be brought back in the form of Kolhapuri slippers, Ajanta paintings, Sawantwadi crafts (handicraft of lacquer ware) and Worli paintings.
Maharashtra is a haven for people looking for some action or for the ones who want to get away from it; for the ones who came looking for peace and spirituality or for people who come looking for action, adventure and fun. Truly said, it's Maharashtra unlimited.
More facts about Maharashtra
Closest airport: Maharashtra has five airports: Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nasik and Aurangabad.
Official languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
A cosmopolitan like no other, a city that never sleeps-Mumbai is always on the move. It's known for its fast paced life, extreme standards of living, and last but not the least, its home to India's Bollywood film industry. Mumbai's top attractions are the stunning example of colonial British architecture that can be found all over the city. Some of the captivating buildings include the Prince of Wales museum which is a gothic looking intricate architectural building in the Kala Ghoda art precinct, Victoria terminus railway station, the Bombay high court, (wander inside and be entertained by a trial) and the buildings of Horniman Circle in the Fort area. The feature of Horniman Circle is its huge gardens, which provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Also have a wander past the historic 18th century homes in Khotachiwadi village. Mumbai also has a pulsating nightlife, with unforgettable bars, live music venues, and traveler hangouts.
Mumbai's most recognized monument is the Gateway of India. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It's also a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. These days the atmosphere around the monument resembles a circus at times, with numerous vendors peddling everything from balloons to Indian tea.
The water kingdom, kala ghoda art gallery, Essel world, film city, Jain temple, marine drive, Kanheri caves, Juhu beach, Chowpatty beach, Nehru science centre, Shree siddhivinayak temple, Haji Ali mosque and St. Thomas cathedral are on the list of must-see destination if you want to explore Mumbai the Bombay-way.
Ajanta and Ellora caves:
These caves as astonishingly carved into hillside rock in the middle of nowhere. The most incredible fact about all these caves is that they were crafted by hand, with only a chisel and a hammer. There are 34 caves at Ellora dating from between the 6th and 11th centuries AD, and 29 caves at Ajanta dating back to between the 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. The Ajanta caves are all Buddhist, while the caves at Ellora are a mix of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain. The Ajanta caves are rich in paintings and sculpture while the Ellora caves are renowned for their extraordinary architecture.
These caves are situated near Aurangabad in northern Maharashtra, around 400kms (250 miles) from Mumbai and can be accessed by road or railways.
Maharashtra's Konkan coast that stretches south along the cost from Mumbai to goa houses some of the most beautiful and undeveloped beaches out of which Alibaug, Ganapatipule and Tarkarli stand out as extraordinary. A small idyllic town on the narrow strip of the Arabian Sea, at the southern tip of Mumbai, Alibaug is laced with coconut trees and sun roasted beaches lapped up by the ocean. It is also the beach playground for India's rich and famous. Take extra time to unwind, go shopping and beach hopping.
Khandala and Lonavala:
These hill stations are blessed with natural beauty and bounty. Deep valley on one side and high hills on the other side divide Khandala and Lonavala. Lonavala and Khandala are full of tourists practically for the whole year. Main reasons for this is the fact that it is very close to Mumbai, so people from Mumbai find it very convenient other reason is that the passengers travelling to south India or returning from there also pass through, making this place a busy spot. And the natural beauty of Lonavala & Khandala makes one forget the fatigue of the journey. Being at a considerable height from sea level, these two places enjoy a cool climate. That is why many people stay here for a month or more during summer and winter. Many people make it a point to visit during the weekends to forget the Big City Blues.
For those with a spiritual side, Shirdi is the best destination once u step in Maharashtra. Shirdi is the abode of one of Maharashtra's most revered saint- Sai Baba of Shirdi. Every activity here revolves around the vast temple complex. There are other places of interest that devotees can visit as well including Dwarkamani Mosque where the Baba meditated and slept on alternate nights. Near the mosque, in a corridor is the dhuni or eternal flame that burns day and night. Other places of importance are the Gurusthan, the Kandoba Temple, Shani Mandir, Narsimha Mandir, Changdev Maharaja Samadhi and the Sakori Ashram.