A travel Guide to Maharashtra
Maharashtra receives a huge number of travellers from across the globe every year. It is the second most visited Indian state by foreign tourists and the fourth most visited by national tourists. Owing to its location in a coastal area, Maharashtra doesn’t face extreme weather and is tourist-friendly throughout the year. Be it a romantic getaway, a family vacation away from the chaotic city life, or a soul-seeking trip, Maharashtra India is the one place for all.
Some of the best Maharashtra tourist attractions are the Gateway of India and Juhu Chowpatty in Mumbai, Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad, Shirdi Mandir in Nashik, Igatpuri, Rajmachi, Aga Khan Palace, and Shaniwar Wada in Pune, the list simply goes on. Here’s a concise travel guide before you set out on a Maharashtra tour.
Places to visit in Maharashtra
Mumbai has been awarded several well-deserved names such as ‘the city that never sleeps’ or ‘the city of dreams’ and once you step your foot into this city, you will know why. Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and also one of the main centres of art, music, culture, dance, and theatre in the country. It is one of the top places to visit in Maharashtra and receives a lot of travellers every year, domestic as well as international. Being home to the Hindi Film Industry, it is part of every Bollywood fan’s Maharashtra travel guide. Many people come to the city and stand outside their favourite superstar’s house just to get a glimpse of the super star. What makes Mumbai one of the most popular Maharashtra tourist places is its ability to entice and entertain travellers of every age group. The beautiful sea and well-connected local trains are among the main highlights of the city. You will come across people from different places of the country with different backgrounds who are all hustling to make their dreams come true.
Located 150 km from Mumbai, the cultural capital of Maharashtra is growing into one of the top metropolitan cities of the country. It is also known as the Oxford of the East as it is the home to numerous educational institutions. Pune is packed with some of the most popular Maharashtra attractions like Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwar Wada, Osho Ashram, Parvati Hill, and the list just goes on. Pune has pleasant weather throughout the year so you can visit anytime you want. If you are into Indian history then Pune is just the place for you as it is the birthplace of the Maratha Empire. You can visit the Sinhagad Fort and witness the elegant Maratha Architecture with the scenic lush green Sahyadri in the backdrop.
It is located 624m above sea level, in the Sahyadri Range of the Western Ghats. Being close to the two major cities of Maharashtra i.e Mumbai and Pune, people visit it quite often with their family or friends for a weekend getaway from their hectic work schedule which has led to Lonavala becoming the most visited hill station in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has a big role in this as they have made great efforts in developing efficient transport and accommodation facilities in this location. Most people visit Lonavala during the monsoons as it is in its full glory at this time of the year. You can enjoy camping, trekking, and several adventure sports or go sightseeing at places like Bushi Dam, Lohagarh Fort and Tiger Point.
Located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Malvan is a small town that holds a great deal of cultural and historical significance. It is home to the Sindhudurg Fort built by Shivaji Maharaj, which is one of the most popular Maharashtra attractions. Malvan offers a serene atmosphere and scenic views. It has the cleanest beaches in the country because of its minimal population. While you are in Malvan, you can also enjoy the famous Malvani cuisine or indulge in various water sport activities.
Alibag has garnered the name, ‘mini Goa’ and has started to witness a high number of tourists in recent years. It is a small coastal town located 96 km from Mumbai in the Konkan region. You can enjoy a weekend getaway to Alibag by taking a ferry ride from Colaba in Mumbai. It is also the home of the famous Mandwa Beach where you could simply chill in a shack by the shore or indulge in watersports. It is known to offer the best views of the Gateway of India from its shore.
Things to do in Maharashtra
Maharashtra tourism offers numerous activities for all sorts of travellers that visit the state. Here are a few of the hundreds of things you can do during your trip to Maharashtra.
Explore the caves of Ajanta and Ellora
One of the most popular things to do in Maharashtra is to visit the Ajanta and Ellora caves, located in Aurangabad. These caves are the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves. They have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and rightfully so.
These caves are home to numerous intricately designed sculptures, paintings, Buddhist monasteries and Hindu and Jain monuments that pull in travellers from across the globe. Ajanta has a total number of 29 caves that were built between the 2nd Century BC and 6th Century AD while on the other hand, Ellora has 34 caves that date back to between the 6th and 11th Century AD. One of the most famous caves, the Kailash temple cave is a part of every tourist’s Maharashtra travel guide.
Pilgrimage to Shirdi
Shirdi is a religious site near Nashik that receives tourists in great numbers every year. It is most widely known for the Sai Baba Mandir. Sai Baba devotees dedicatedly visit this spot every year. It seems to have a calming effect on visitors. While you are in Shirdi, you can visit several other spots like the Samadhi Mandir, Dwarkamai Masjid, Shani Shignapur, and many others.
Located in the Western Ghats, Maharashtra provides numerous spots for trekking activities. One such popular spot among trekkers is Mt. Kalsubai. It is the highest peak in the state and is located in the Sahyadri Range. You can also get a sneak peek of this grand mountain range from Bhandardara which is another one on the list of famous Maharashtra tourist places among adventure seekers. The trek is quite difficult but if you are a seasoned trekker, you will make it to the top. If you are not that experienced in trekking, but still want to enjoy the mesmerising view from the top, you can take the steps leading to the top.
Wine tasting at Sula Vineyards
Sula Vineyards is the first winery in the ‘Wine Capital’ of India, Nashik. You can travel to Sula from Mumbai for a wine tasting session, enjoy different variants of wines and learn about its manufacturing process. It is one of the upcoming Maharashtra attractions. You can visit Sula with your friends and family. They have recently installed minimalistic accommodation facilities where you can unwind later on and enjoy the mesmerising view of the vineyards on your delightful getaway.
Best time to visit Maharashtra
Maharashtra experiences a tropical climate. Due to its coastal affinity, it is saved from extreme weather conditions and thus there isn’t particularly a best time to visit Maharashtra. The humid summers make the best time to visit the scenic hill-stations of Maharashtra and the monsoons add to its beauty. However, winters are considered the best season to visit Maharashtra as the weather is calm and pleasant across the state.
How to reach Maharashtra
You need not worry about ways to reach the state as Maharashtra Tourism has done excellent work to make it accessible to domestic as well as international travellers.
By Airways: All the major Maharashtra tourist places such as Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Shirdi have airports that have both, domestic as well as international flights.
By Railways: Maharashtra has an extensive rail network that connects it to all the major cities of the country. Some of the major railway stations of Maharashtra are in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, and Nagpur.
By Roadways: Since Maharashtra is a major state, it has well-connected national and state highways. You can travel conveniently by bus or car. So, how to reach Maharashtra should be the least of your concerns.