Maharashtra is a large state in Western peninsular India that is known for its progressive outlook especially economically as big and successful metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Pune are situated here. It is also great place any traveler to discover unique culture, cuisine, adventure, ancient history, heritage, tradition with a touch of modernity.
Maharashtra is a tune. It must be sung together. Long live Maharashtra.
- Destination: Maharashtra
- Nearest City (Airport): Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur
- Best Months: Throughout the year
- Duration: On request
- Dates: On request
- Price: On request
Maharashtra, the name means the great nation. It was formed into a Marathi speaking state based on the language spoken by the erstwhile Maratha Empire that was the dominant power a few centuries ago.
The state has many places of interest, with various activities that would appeal to different types of travelers. You would need many days to explore these places in the state. If you are traveling to and exploring India, Maharashtra definitely needs to be a part of your itinerary and you would definitely keep on coming back to explore more ☺.
Following are some of the places and experiences we have listed. Based on your interests and time we could curate a personalized itinerary for you.
The capital city or the maximum city is home to more than 20 million people and there are miliions of stories to be explored here right from the time the city was formed many centuries ago. The financial capital of the country and also home to the prolific Hindi film industry is a must visit if you are in Maharashtra and in India. One could live here for years yet keep on exploring the city and its ethos. There are multiple tours including walking tours with various themes, places, attractions and stories in the city that we organize. You could reach out to us to join an existing tour or to curate a customized tour for you.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year. However, it rains continuously during Monsoons (June to September), and the weather during winters (December-January) is mild and pleasant.
Places To Visit: Gateway of India, Marine Drive, Colaba Causeway, Juhu Beach, Siddhivinayak Temple, Haji Ali Dargah, Elephanta Caves, Girgaum Chowpatty, Bandra Worli Sea Link, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and many more places that are weaved in culture, food, entertainment and many stories.
How To Get There: By Air (Chhatrapati Shivaji international Airport), Rail and Road.
Pune was once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire. Over the years the city has grown rapidly owing to the IT boom here. Located near the Sahyadris mountain range it’s a perfect getaway place for day trips and treks near the city in many of the old forts and many vista points that are located there. During the monsoons the place is as green and fresh as ever to venture out and go for a hike.
The city itself like many others in India is divided in old and new city. It’s a unique experience to walk in the markets, try the street food and binge in the various bakeries esp. the famous Shrewsbury Biscuits.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year the weather in Pune is generally pleasant however the best time is during the monsoons (July to September) and winters (December-January).
Places To Visit: Aga Khan Palace, Osho Ashram, Katraj Snake Park, Karla Caves, Sinhagad Fort, Tribal Cultural Museum, Tulsi Baug, Rajgad Trek.
How To Get There: By Air (Pune International Airport), Rail and Road.
One of the things that are well known from this city is the Oranges. The fruit from here is much sought after and supplied to different parts of the country.
It is the third largest city and is the winter capital of the state of Maharashtra. One of the landmarks of the city is the Sitabuldi Fort, which was the site of an 1817 battle.
Nagpur, Maharashtra’s second capital, would be promoted as the “gateway to tiger reserves” as it is the entry point to 13 of the 39 tiger reserves in the country. Nagpur will also be the first to get a field office of the National Tiger Conservation Authority while two other offices are to be set up elsewhere in the country.
Sevagram: Around 60 kms from Nagpur is this 400 acre ashram set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1933. Gandhiites live in this ashram in piety, that also has the Mahatmas spectacles and the spinning wheel.
Tadoba is a 3 hour drive from Nagpur.
Best Time To Visit: June to February
Places To Visit: Seminary Hill, Dhamma Chakra Stupa, Ambazari Lake, Ramtek Fort Temple, Futala Lake, Nagpur Central Museum, Raman Science Centre.
How To Get There: By Air (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport), Rail and Road.
If you love wildlife and especially Tigers, then you have to come to Tadoba National Park. Located in the Chandrapur District, it is one of the old reserves of India.
Best Time To Visit: October to June. You can expect to spot tigers between March and June.
Things To Do: Safari and other outdoor activities.
How To Get There: The nearest station located around Tadoba is Chandrapur, which, is about 59 kms away. From there, one can take a taxi and reach the destination
It’s the city that has 20 forts, most of them built by Shivaji. The majesty of the forts will tell you how the King could keep the enemy at bay. These forts were a township in itself.
Places To Visit: Pratapgarh Fort, Sajjangarh Fort and Kaas Valley.
Pratapgarh Fort: Out of the 360 forts that bear testimony to the glory of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s, the Pratapgad Fort holds the most significant place in Maratha rule because it is from here that the history of this legendary emperor took a decisive course after he scored a victory against the mighty Afzal Khan, commander of the Bijapur Adilshahi forces. Also, the fort commands a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Located close to the hill station of Mahabaleshwar with an overview of the encirclement of mountain ranges and deep valleys, Pratapgad Fort made its way into history on November 10, 1659 with the meeting between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s and Afzal Khan. When the two warriors met, the tall and imposing Afzal Khan embraced Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s as a customary sign of friendship and then drew a hidden dagger to stab Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s in the back. Fortunately, the Maratha ruler was not harmed due to the iron armour that he had worn under his dress. In swift response, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s disemboweled Khan with a single stroke of his ‘waghnakhi’ (iron tiger claws) that he had worn on his hand and concealed with his finger rings. Afzal Khan was then beheaded by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s lieutenant, Sambhaji Kavji Kondhalkar.
After his burial, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s ordered for a ‘dargah’ to be built at Pratapgad Fort, which came to be known as ‘Afzal Buruj’. This tale of bravery apart, the fort in itself is interesting from an architectural point of view too. Described by locals as being ‘a fort within a fort’ since there are two parts to it, the lower fort, which is around 320 meters long and 110 meters wide, has been built on the southern and the eastern terraces and defended by towers and bastions 10 to 12 meters high at corners on the projecting spurs. The roughly square upper fort, which is 180 meters long on each side, was built upon the crest of the hill where the main proceedings and meetings were held.
The upper fort had several important buildings, including the famous temple of Mahadev located at the northwest of the fort. The royal ‘darbar’ used to be held right in front of this temple so that no one would tell a lie in this pious place. The fort is located at the extreme northwestern corner of Satara district and is at a height of 3,500 feet above sea level on a spur, which overlooks the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar. This place has over the years become an important tourist spot because of its proximity to the hill station of Mahabaleshwar that is barely 24 kilometers away. Udayan Raje Bhosale, the heir of the Satara princely state and a descendant ofChhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s, currently owns the fort, which is still inhabited by the descendant families of the original Maratha soldiers.
In a region that is essentially known for its hill forts, a long coastline with wonderful beaches and places of pilgrimage, Sajjangad in the district of Satara not only occupies a place of historical importance but tops the list when it comes to the devotees of Samarth Ramdas Swami, one of the most prominent spiritual mentors in this part of India. It was here that he stayed for a long time as also breathed his last.
Much before it began to attract pilgrims with their inherent faith in Samarth Ramdas Swami, Sajjangad was known as a historically important hill-fort considered as originally of the Shilaharas but re-built by the Bahamanis in the mid-15th century. It then came under the rule of Chhatrapai Shivaji Maharaj, during whose reign it was re-named Parali Fort. Later, however, due to the long stay of Samarth Ramdas Swami it began to be known as Sajjangad. Ramdas Swami was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and one of the best-known spiritual mentors of this region. And it was Sajjangad that became his final resting place, following which it has drawn the faithful from across the world in multitudes.
Also called Aswalya Gad due to the presence of many bears, Sajjangad is at a distance of around 18 kilometers from the city of Satara, which is also the nearest railway station. You can drive up to the base of the fort but then have to climb about a 100 steps to gain access within it. For those who may find this physically challenging, the service of palanquins is made available. For those without their own vehicles, state transport buses are available from the Satara Central Bus Stand.
The fort and the ‘samadhi’ of Samarth Ramdas Swami have been maintained by the Ramdas Swami Sansthan. The day begins with prayers, ‘abhishek’ and ‘puja’, and most importantly the reading of ‘Dasbodh’, a text authored by Samarth Ramdas. The main temple is built exactly on the final resting place of the saint and the idols in the temple dedicated to Rama are said to have been sculpted by a blind craftsman. The fort has undergone many renovations and you will find here relics that are evident of a glorious chapter from the history of the Maratha Empire as also the days of Ramdas Swami. Of these, the most interesting are the huge copper pots which were used by Kalyan Swami, Ramdas Swami’s ardent disciple, to fetch water from the river Urmodi for his teacher.
Those visiting the temple are served ‘prasad’, which is almost a complete meal, at fixed hours during the afternoon and evening. Visitors planning for a longer stay can avail of the free lodging facility in the ‘dharmashala’ built by the Ramdas Swami Sansthan, which runs with the help of donations from visitors. The fort is open from 5.30 am to 9 pm and entry and exit beyond these hours is restricted. Along with its spiritual and historical ambience, Sajjangad also offers a picturesque vista and is a preferred spot for photographers who often capture the sight of the Urmodi Dam and its catchment area. Moreover, the monsoon and the few days proceeding this season is the best period to absorb the true beauty of this place when it turns a deep green and sprouts impromptu waterfalls. The nearest MTDC resort is at Panchgani.
If ever you have wished to be surrounded by a bounty of colourful flowers and nothing else for quite a distance, the Kaas Plateau is where you should be. Just 25 kilometers from the bustling city lies this pristine and wonderfully unique ecosystem nestled in the Sahyadri Mountains. The metamorphosis that takes place here during the monsoon season is like witnessing Mother Nature unfolding a miracle for the world to be astounded with.
Known as the ‘Plateau of a Million Flowers’, Kaas has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the reason is quite clear – it is acknowledged as home to endemic life forms that are found nowhere else in the world! But what truly amazes, and presents a breathtakingly colourful picture, is the blossoming of thousands of flowers during the monsoon season when the plateau becomes covered with sheets and drapes of innumerable tiny flowering plants in a riot of yellows, pinks, blues, purples, and so on. The show that starts sometime late in July continues, changing dramatically, throughout August and into September.
The making of this very special place can be traced to the time when it was part of the Deccan Plateau which had 29 volcanic lava flows across 20 crore years. With every eruption, a new layer of lava flowed from the land’s fissures and spread horizontally over the already weathered older strata. When the flow of magma finally stopped, the action of many water streams and huge rivers began, eroding the flat land mass and forming deep valleys and gorges, thereby giving it its present form. With the arrival of the southwest monsoon clouds, the region receives up to 2,500 mm of rainfall in just about three months. The water that accumulates from this catchment finds its way into the Kaas Lake, which is the source of the river Urmodi. It is due to this life-giving rain that the thin layer of red soil suddenly erupts in a profusion of flowers.
Soon enough, the land is covered with the golden-hued Smithias and Sonkis. Not to be left behind are the carpets of pink, lavender and purple of the Balsams. Then there is the dazzling white from the blooms of Gend – Eriocaulon with their head-like flowers. In contrast is the peach of Murdania, which has spectacular sheen of gold dust on its petals. Adding to the colour purple is Seeta’s Tears or Utricularia, which have small bladders around their roots. Tiny insects, attracted to these bladders, get trapped, thus providing the plant with nitrogen and phosphorus. Taking this glamorous show forward is the universe of the ground orchids, including Habeneria digitata with its greenish-yellow flowers. Some of the other unique species found here include the Ceropegia, whose lantern-like appearance gives it its appropriate vernacular name of ‘Kandil Kharchudi’.
However, the story of Kaas would remain incomplete without a mention of the ubiquitous Pleocaulus ritchei, known in vernacular terms as ‘Topli Karvi (basket kept upside down). This plant flowers only once in its lifetime of eight years. And yet when it blossoms, it is a sight to behold with baskets of purple flowers swaying in the breeze. And with so many plants coming to life, the landscape also buzzes with bees, butterflies, insects and frogs for whom the plants provide yet another cycle of life.
Best Time To Visit: September to October
How To Get There: Its around 270 kms from Mumbai and 112 kms from Pune. You can alight at either of the airport and drive down or take a bus/train. Satara has a railway station.
Aurangabad is a historic city in Maharashtra. The city is a tourist hub as it is surrounded by many historical monuments such as Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara (burial place of Aurangzeb’s wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani) and Panchakki (17th Century water mill).
AJANTA AND ELLORA CAVES
Ajanta and Ellora Caves are located within 100 km of each other outside the city of Aurangabad. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Ajanta Caves are around 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments, which date from 2nd century BCE to 480 CE. The caves include frescoes and rock-cut sculptures.
Ellora Caves is large rock-cut monastery temple complex featuring Hindu, Buddhist and Jain monuments and painting dating from the 600-1000 CE period.
The caves are a testimony of the rich ancient Indian heritage with regards to art and religion. The visit to the caves is guaranteed to overwhelm you with the grandiosity and the intricacy of the complexes.
13 kms from Aurangabad is Daulatabad, the City of Fortune, built by Mohammad Bin Tughlaq who shifted the capital from Delhi to this place. The entire population marched this 1100 kms. This hilltop fortress is surrounded by 5 kms of walls and part of the ascent goes through a pitch black spiraling tunnel down which the forts defenders hurled burning coal, arrows or even boiling water at invaders.
Best Time To Visit: October to March
How To Get There: Take a flight or train to Aurangabad Airport and from there one could go by bus, taxi or car.
Shirdi is a major pilgrimage site being the former home of the spiritual leader Sai Baba. The Sai Baba Temple dedicated to him, is one of the most visited places amongst the various pilgrimage centres in India.
118 kms from Shirdi is Trimbakeshwar, that has the Trimbakeshwar temple, one of the most sacred temples of India. This Shiva temple has one of the 12 Jyotir Lingas. The river Godavari originates here.
Best Time To Visit: December to February as the weather is pleasant. March to May, the summers is less busy.
How To Get There: The nearest airport is Aurangabad airport, which is 130 km away. Else one can take a train to Sainagar Shirdi Railway Station.
THE HILL STATIONS/WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN MAHARASHTRA:
LONAVLA AND KHANDALA
Lonavala is one of the popular holiday getaways in Maharashtra thanks to the proximity to Mumbai and Pune.
Just 3 km from Lonavala, Khandala is also an amazing place to visit and stay.
Best Time To Visit: October to May
Places To Visit: Tiger’s Leap, Lonavala Lake, Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary, Koregad Fort, Amrutanjan Point, Bhaja Caves, Rajmachi Fort, Lohagad Fort, Bedse Caves, Visapur Fort, Kune Waterfalls, Bushi Dam, and Shooting Point and more.
Things To Do: Enjoy sightseeing and camping, trekking to Duke’s Nose, trek to Koregad, trek to Rajmachi and Kondane Caves, and more.
How To Get There: Lohegaon Airport (Pune) is the nearest airport located at a distance of about 71 kilometers from Lonavala. Lonavala is well connected to other cities in India through regular trains.
One of the smallest yet beautiful hill stations in India. Situated in the lush green forest rich in wildlife, the forested routes are a treat for hikers and trekkers.
Best Time To Visit: November to June
Places To Visit: Panorama Point, Echo Point, One Tree Hill Point, Charlotte Lake, Alexander Point, Prabal Fort, and Honeymoon Hill.
Things To Do: Trek through the Garbett Plateau, valley crossing from Honeymoon Point to Louisa Point, nature walking, and local shopping in Matheran, and more.
How To Get There: Take the toy train from Neral and enjoy a zigzag ride through which you can reach Matheran in just two hours. One can also drive to Matheran from Neral and reach within 30 minutes. Nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai) and the nearest railway station is Neral railway station.
Panchgani literally translates into the land of five hills and as can be seen from the scenic landscapes all around. It is also known as the headquarters for paragliding in the state of Maharashtra.
Best Time To Visit: September to May
Places To Visit: Table Land, Mapro Farms, Sydney Point, Lingmala Falls, Kate’s Point, Arthur Seat, Dhom Dam, Bhilar Waterfalls, and Elephant’s Head Point.
Things To Do: Go sightseeing in Panchgani, hiking near the Rajpuri Caves, enjoy trekking and cycling, go shopping for handicrafts, and much more.
How To Get There: One can get to Panchgani by flight via Pune Airport, which is located at a distance of 100 kilometers. The nearest railway station is also that of Pune.
Strawberry fields forever. This is Mahabaleshwar. Located in the Sahyadri ranges, it is an amazing place to visit to get away from the hot and busy cities.
Best Time To Visit: June to September
Places To Visit: Mahabaleshwar Temple, Morarji Castle, Venna Lake, Pratapgad, Mapro Garden, Tapola, Lingamala Falls, Lodwick Point, Elephant’s Head Point and many more.
Things To Do: Watch the magical sunrise at Wilson Point, mountain biking at Mahabaleshwar hill station, boating from Tapola to Bamnoli Island, rock climbing, horse riding, trekking & more.
How To Get There: Dabolim Airport of Goa is the nearest airport located about 113 kilometers from Amboli. Sawantwadi is the closest railway station located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Amboli.
The narrow strip of land between the Arabian Sea and the Western ghats has deserted beaches, palm trees, abandoned forts and isolated fishing communities.
Around 160 kms from Mumbai is this place best know for the island fortress of Janjira. Built in 1140 by SIddi Jahor, this became the capital of the SIddis, descendants of sailor traders from the Horn of Africa. The fort has 22 watchtowers , 12 m high walls, was impregnable even to the mighty Maratha kings.
Around 330 kms from Mumbai is the largest town on the coast. It has a small museum on Lokmanya Tilak and the Thibaw Palace, where the last Burmese King Thibaw was interned under the British from 1886 to 1916. This place is very famous for its Alphonso mangoes.
Ratnagiri has an airport and is one of the major railway stations on the Konkan Railway.
Around 375 kms from Mumbai is this beach. The main draw here is the Svayambhu ( Naturally formed) Ganesha discovered 1600 years ago. Its 40 kms from Ratnagiri.
140 kms from Ratnagiri, and very near to Goa is this place from where the very famous Malvani cuisine takes its name. It has the Sindhudurg fort, built by Shivaji. The nearest railway station is Sawantwadi on the Konkan Railway.
Best Time To Visit: October to March.
THE RUSTIC VILLAGE EXPERIENCE:
A few hours away from Mumbai are the villages of Walvanda, Purushwadi and Dehna. Experience the rustic life of these villages. Stay there, work with the villagers and eat with them.
Click to explore the village experience in Walvanda, Purushwadi and Dehna.
Apart from these there are other notable places to visit in Maharashtra such as Kashid (Beach town), Alibaug (beautiful getaway town), Malshej Ghat (Nature’s bounty), Nashik (known for temples, ghats), Karnala, Koroli, Toranmal, Jawhar, and many more.
- Airport transfers.
- Transport (Innova AC or similar car) for the specified duration of the trip.
- Fuel costs, driver’s allowance and stay, parking & toll charges.
- Hotel accommodation in hotels and resorts with breakfast.
- Other inclusions as per the experience/trip and/or specifically requested.
- Entry tickets (incl. camera charges) to monuments, temples, parks etc.
- Meals, water and beverages unless specified.
- Guide Services.
- Personal expenses.
- Any Airfare.
- Any item that is not mentioned in inclusions.
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