Maharashtra is an epitome of India's rich culture and history. It is adorned by serene beaches, forts having a unique story to tell, tranquil religious places, enigmatic mountains and hill stations. Visiting Maharashtra is like living through its history which leaves you spellbound with its enchanting tourist destinations. Places in Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Igatpuri, Pune, Raigad, the Konkan belt, and each part of Maharashtra portrays a different story interwoven to form a beauty which is unbeatable.
Maharashtra offers a mixture of bustling city life like in Mumbai and Pune and a peaceful and traditional lifestyle in the Konkan belt. You could plan a whirlwind tour covering major cities, a beach or two and a hill station in 7 to 10 day, or you could plan to explore each facet of the state - city live, hills, heritage, and religious - in separate trips each lasting several days.
Mumbai is the financial capital and one of the most popular cities of Maharashtra. Victorian Gothic style British architectural monuments like the Rajabai clock tower, Taj Mahal Palace, and Gateway of India reflect the city’s historical links. The beaches including the Juhu Chowpatty, Versova and Aksa are the best places to de-stress with a breathtaking view of sunrise and sunset. Mumbai is also home to one of the biggest film industries in India - Bollywood. In Mumbai, you'll find peace in chaos and wouldn't want to leave this magical city.
Pune is a hub for IT, education and automotive industries. Pune is known for the mystical monuments like the Shaniwar wada, Sadashiv Peth, Nana Peth, Dagdusheth temple, and the majestic Aga Khan Palace. There are some of the premier institutes of India including the National Defence Academy, Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), the National Film archives located in Pune.
The western coastline of Maharashtra, the Konkan belt offers a bounty of pristine beaches. If you are looking for serenity then Alibaug, Kashid, Devgad, Vengurla, Murud and Karde are some of the beaches adorning the Konkan region which you must visit. They are surrounded with lush hills and tranquil waters which provide magical vistas.
There are numerous forts in Maharashtra with a story of their own. The Murud-Janjira fort, Raigad fort, Sindhudurg fort, and Pratapgad fort tell many heroic stories of Maharashtra simply through its majestic grandeur.
The magnificent Ajanta and Ellora caves located near Aurangabad and Elephanta caves near Mumbai share the mystic quality of the forts. There are 30 Buddhist caves at Ajanta and famous rock-cut caves in Ellora are adorned by beautiful paintings and sculptures. The beauty of Elephanta caves has bestowed upon it the title of ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO.
Maharashtra also has some of the best crafted pilgrim sites and temples. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, Someshwar, Gondeshwar and Aishwaryeshwar temple in Nashik, lord Shiva temple in Harihareshwar, Swayambhu Ganpati Temple in Ganpatipule, Shirdi temple, Siddhivinayak temple, Haji Ali Dargah, Mahalakshmi temple, and Mount Mary church in Mumbai enchants you with their serenity and intricate architecture.
The hill stations in Maharashtra deserve a special mention as they are the perfect amalgamation of nature and history. Some of the most famous hill stations located in diverse towns of Maharashtra are Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Panchgani, Igatpuri, Khandala, Amboli, among others. Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau located near Satara. There are several vantage points like the Sunrise point, Lodwick point, and Monkey point which offer breathtaking views. During the monsoon, waterfalls such as Dhobi Falls and Lingmala Falls add to the unforgettable splendour of the place. Matheran, also known as the 'pedestrian' hill station, is known for its pollution-free environment. The tiny train that transverses narrow pathways to the top offers stunning views.