Maharashtra - land of forts and hill stations

Explore cities, hill towns and Lonavala chikkis

Explore and experience the most aesthetic aspects of the country’s renowned state - Maharashtra. Often known as the Gateway to India, this state offers its locals and vacationers with fabulous treats. Be it the lip-smacking North Indian chats or fun-filled hill stations, temples, or shrines. You are in for a fabulous stay out here. You can explore the unique authenticity and hospitality of Indian culture.

Regions of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is India’s third-largest state and the second most populous. You have the state exposing varied dimensions of the country’s traditional and cultural canvas on a rich scale indeed. Maharashtra is nestled between the Western Ghats on one side with the beautiful Konkan coast on the other. You have a picturesque backdrop of mountains on one side and the coastal belt on the other. Maharashtra is fondly known as the ‘Gateway to the heart of India’. The phrase suits the place like none other. You can mesmerize your view with the beautiful Sahyadri ranges covering the Western Ghats. 

You find palatial mountains that roll into themselves behind the cloudy mist. The sprawling beauty of the Konkan Coast mesmerizes you with its silver-line beaches indeed. You can find century-old forts, palaces, temples, and shrines covering the belt between Pune and Ratnagiri.

For historical enthusiasts, you have century-old temples like Pandharpur and Ozar that still hold the ancient traditions of the country intact. For those of you who want to stay cuddled on the lap of nature, you have cozy hill-station resorts too. Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, and Matheran are a few of the beautiful ones where you can rest on the lap of nature. Vacationers have a beautiful respite from the hustle or bustle of city life.

Culture of Maharashtra

You find people belonging to varied cultures, traditions, and customs living amicably at Maharashtra. The original Marathi culture resonates with strength, purity, and sanctity. Marathi is therefore the official language spoken across districts, towns, and cities of Maharashtra. People also speak Hindi, Gujarathi, Konkani, and Tulu in parts of the State

Gudu Padwa is the harvest festival of the state of Maharashtra. Just like Baisakhi or Pongal, the festival resonates with the farmers who toil on their land for the entire year. The festival is celebrated in pomp and style.

Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated on a very grand scale for almost 10 days in a row. With buntings of ‘Ganapathi Papa Moriya, Ganesh idols are taken in huge processions. At the end of the 10th day, people do the visarjan of Ganesh idols at the sea. Holi, Deepavali, Lohri, Vat Purnima, and Banaganga festival are other joyful events that are celebrated grandly across every household.

Hindus constitute 79% of the population. You also have Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Jains living amicably with one another.

Ganesh Puja Lalbagh Mumbai

Ganesh Puja Lalbagh Mumbai

History of Maharashtra

The Maurya Empire ruled Maharashtra during the 3rd and 4th Century BCE. Maharashtra then came under the influence of the Satavahana dynasty for almost 400 years. The all-powerful ruler of the Satavahana dynasty was ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’. The ruler developed cities like Junnar and Pune. Then, the state saw the rule of Western Satraps, Gupta Empire, Gurjara-Pratihara, Vakataka, Kadambas, Chalukya Empire, Rashtrakuta dynasty, and Western Chalukya before coming under the Yadava rule. 

The state was under the predominant rule of Western Chalukya and the Chola dynasty between the 11th and 12 Centuries AD. During the early 17th Century, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj succeeded in capturing the Maratha Empire, which was further developed during the 18th Century. The British then governed Western Maharashtra under the ‘Bombay Presidency’. The area was between Karachi now in Pakistan up until Northern Deccan. They ruled the Bombay Presidency between 1848 and 1947.

Must-See in Mhaarashtra

You have a fabulous array of tourist attractions in and around the state of Maharashtra. Here is the list of must-see spots for you to drool over:

Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta and Ellora caves are rock-cut splendor located near Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. You have a kaleidoscope of paintings, sculptures, and rock-cut structures gleaming through. Ajanta and Ellora caves contain Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain monuments. You also have complexes housing Hindu and Jain temples.

The architectural splendor with which each rock-cut sculpture has been designed can astound you. Ajanta caves are 29 in number and were built across 2nd Century BC and 6th Century AD. While Ellora caves are 34 in number covering 6th and 11th Century AD. Ajanta and Ellora have designated the statuses of UNESCO world heritage sites. Hence, this spot is a revered one among travelers across the globe.

Mahabaleshwar

Do you want to escape from the hustle or bustle of hectic city life?A trip to the beautiful Mahabaleshwar is worth it. The scenic and popular hill station is located in the Western Ghats. The hill-resort is known for its luscious red strawberries. The place is also a sacred pilgrim spot amongst Hindus as the River Krishna originates from here. You have lush-green forests, waterfalls, cascading valleys, and hilltop attractions surrounding Mahabaleshwar.

Panchgani

Panchgani is another popular tourist attraction situated near Mahabaleshwar. As you have five hills surrounding it, the hilltop location is named Panchgani. You have beautiful vantage points for viewing sunrises and sunsets from the beautiful valley. Situated at an altitude of 1,334 meters above the sea level, you can witness a pleasant climate all round the year. You can also have panoramic scenic views of the Sahyadri ranges of Western Ghats. You can visit the tourist spot between September and May.

Shirdi

Shirdi is the most popular and iconic pilgrimage spot for devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. It is situated Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. You can discover various other temples apart from the Sai Samadhi located within the premises of Shirdi Baba Sansthan. Shirdi temple houses Chavadi, Samadhi Mandir, DwarakaMai masjid within the complex. This was the place where Shirdi Sai Baba lived most of his life. You can visit the museum that houses rare artifacts used by the Lord himself. Pilgrims across the world visit the holy place to seek the blessings of the Lord. You can visit Shani Singapur and Astaganapathi temples located within closer proximity of Shirdi.

Gateway of India Mumbai

Gateway of India Mumbai

Bandra Worli Sea Link Mumbai

Bandra Worli Sea Link Mumbai

Mumbai

Mumbai is at the epicenter of Maharashtra. It is the most vibrant capital city of the State. The city has a lavish cosmopolitan culture wherein a core of economic activities takes place. In fact, Mumbai is the financial capital of India. The famous Bollywood originates from here. You can visit the Marine drive. You can discover posh hotels to stay in. At the same time, you also find slum dwellers and fishermen tribes thriving in the city. Just like New York, Mumbai is the city in India that never sleeps. 

Lonavala

This is a popular hill-station located closer to Pune and Mumbai. It is a misty weekend getaway you would love enthralling yourself in. The Monsoons are absolute merriment to watch. You have waterfalls, hills, and lakes around this posh hill station. Lonavala Chikkis are world-famous indeed. The hill station is famous among hikers, trekkers, and nature lovers.

 Apart from these, you have Lavasa, Kolad, wildlife sanctuaries, and other places of tourist interest within the state of Maharashtra.

Must eat in Maharashtra

Authentic Maharashtrian dishes can tickle your taste buds indeed. Vada pav is a famous chat in Maharashtra. These are potato dumplings inside buns. You get lip-smacking varieties of Pav Bhaji at hotels and roadside eateries across the state. Foodies in Mumbai relish poori aamras. A typical Maharashtrian dish comprises of Chawal, dal, chapatis, a vegetable, pappads, and pickle. You can also opt for long dining Gujarathi thalis at a few of the select hotels in Mumbai or Pune. Punjabi dinners, South Indian breakfasts, and Bengali sweets are also famous among hotels and dining areas in the State.

Must do in Maharashtra

You can hike at Lonavala or go to Marine Drive to have a look at sun-kissed beaches. You can taste strawberries at Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. While you can visit Bollywood in Mumbai. You can have Vada Pav or Paani puri at drooling hub spots in the city. You can go on a double-decker bus with an open roof to live through breezy evenings.

You can, therefore, have a limitless array of activities that can keep you on your toes while you are here. Enjoy Maharashtra at its very best!

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