Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau.
It is the second-most populous state and third-largest area. Spread over 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi).
Aptly called the gateway of India, Maharashtra is one of India’s biggest commercial and industrial centres, and it has played a significant role in the country’s social and political life.
Maharashtra is a leader among Indian states in terms of agricultural and industrial production, trade and transport, and education.
It’s an ancient culture, at one stage, considerably obscured by British dominance, survives largely through the medium of a strong literary heritage.
More than half of the population is rural and lives in villages. The urban-rural ratio has been changing, however, especially since the late 20th century, when some two-thirds were rural dwellers.
Mumbai, the largest city in the state, is also the most populous metropolis in India.
Nagpur, Pune, and Solapur are other major cities. Of particular historical interest is the Mughal city of Aurangabad, in the northwest-central part of the state, which contains several monuments and other historic buildings.
The beautiful state of Maharashtra is situated in the north centre of the Indian peninsula is bordered by the states of Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh. The western coast of the state is splashed by the vast Arabian Sea. Maharashtra means the “Great State” or “Great Nation”.
The name is believed to have been originated perhaps from the word Rathi, which means “Chariot driver” and “builders of the chariot” who were called as “Maharathis” or “Fighting Force”.
Known for its amazing natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states of India. Some of the prime cities of Maharashtra include Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Shirdi, and Kolhapur.
History of Maharashtra
The name Maharashtra is believed to have originated from Marathi, which means chariot driver.
Maharashtra entered the recorded history in the 2nd century BC, with the construction of its first Buddhist caves.
The name Maharashtra first appeared in the 7th century in the account of a contemporary Chinese traveller, Huan Tsang.
According to the recorded history, the first Hindu King ruled the state during the 6th century, based in Badami.
Shivaji Bhosle, the founder of the Maratha Empire, did a lifelong struggle against the Mughals. By 1680, the year of Shivaji’s death, nearly the whole of Deccan belonged to his empire.
Shivaji was a great warrior and one of the finest rulers of India, so he holds the highest place in Maratha history.
Sambhaji succeeded Shivaji, but he is not as great as his father Shivaji. 1680 to 1707 is known as the period of instability in the history of Maharashtra.
Balaji Vishwanath (1712-1721), Bajirao Peshwa (1721-1740), Nanasaheb Peshwa (1740-1761), ‘Thorale’ Madhaorao Peshwa (1761-1772, Narayanrao Peshwa (1772-1773), ‘Sawai’ Madhaorao Peshwa (1774-1795) and ‘Second’ Bajirao Peshwa – 1795 to 1802 were the other important rulers of Maharashtra.
The fall of Ahmednagar fort in 1803 marked the end of Indian rule and supremacy of British in Deccan.
In 1804, General Wellesly proclaimed the Deccan in a state of chaos, established military rule, and the Peshwas remained rulers for namesake.
The present state was formed in 1960 with Bombay as the capital when the Marathi and Gujarati linguistic areas of the former Bombay state were separated.
Maharashtra became the main channel of cultural exchange between southern to northern India.
Popular Languages of Maharashtra
The people of Maharashtra speak many different languages. The official language is Marathi. Another most popular language is used are Hindi and English. Other languages used are Konkani, Varhadii, and Dangii.
Capital of Maharashtra
The capital of Maharashtra is Mumbai.
Chief Minister (CM) of Maharashtra
Uddhav Bal Thackeray is the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Governor of Maharashtra
Bhagat Singh Koshyari is the new governor of Maharashtra.
High Court of Maharashtra
The High court of Maharashtra is located in Mumbai.
Maharashtra on Map:
Maharashtra tourism is also developing infrastructure like hotels and transport at major tourist destinations and has identified several new Maharashtra tourism circuits and special tourism areas, which would be given priority in tourism-related infrastructure development.
Maharashtra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
Pune Maharashtra India tourism offers almost everything from pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, to imposing forts, colourful festivals, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums, and historical monuments that draw a large number of travellers.
Tourism in Maharashtra is one of the fastest-growing industries, which brings in a lot of foreign exchange and has led to the generation of employment in the state.
Best 50 Tourist Places To Visit In Maharashtra:
Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra is one of the popular Maharashtra tourism destinations.
2. Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Caves are ancient Buddhist caves situated near Ajanta village in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
This pretty hill station is often referred to as the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra. It offers a panoramic view of the plains with the imposing sloppy peaks and surrounding woods.
At a distance of 67 km from Pune, 95 km from Mumbai, and 282 km from Aurangabad, Lonavala is a beautiful hill station in the Pune district of Maharashtra.
Shirdi is a small town located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. This is one of the holiest places in India and also one of the popular pilgrimage places.
Alibaugh is surrounded by sea on three sides, it is very commonly known as the ‘Goa’ of Maharashtra.
Panchgani is nestled in the middle of five hills in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, also there are five villages around the Panchgani which are Dandeghar, Khingar, Godwali, Amral & Taighat.
Ellora caves are ancient historical caves locally known as ‘Verul Leni’. The caves are located near Verul on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road to the northwest of Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Popularly known as the City of Gates, Aurangabad city was founded in 1610 AD by Malik Ambar. The areas around Aurangabad were under the control of Delhi Sultanates, Bahamani Sultans, Nizam Shahis, Mughals.
Nasik is a religious city located in the northwest region of Maharashtra in India is the third-largest city by population.
11.Randha Falls (Near Bhandardara)
The waterfall is formed over the Pravara River and cascades down from a height of 170 feet into a beautiful gorge. The jaw-dropping Randha Falls is a must-visit place during monsoon and also one of the popular places to visit in Bhandardara.
12. Shani Shingnapur (Near Shirdi)
The village is known for its popular temple of Shani Mahadev, the Hindu god associated with the planet (graha) Saturn.
13. Devagiri /Daulatabad Fort (Near Aurangabad)
The city was then called ‘Deogiri’, meaning the hill of gods. Daulatabad or ‘the abode of wealth’ was the name given by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq.
14. Lingmala Waterfall (Near Mahabaleshwar)
Situated at an altitude of 1278 m, Lingmala Waterfall is formed by the Vienna River. There are two waterfalls, one mini waterfall and the main waterfall which falls from a height of 500 feet.
15. Lohagad Fort (Near Lonavala)
At a distance of 11 km from Lonavala, 66 km from Pune & 114 km from Mumbai, the Lohagad Fort (Iron Fort) is a historical fort situated along the Sahyadri hills in Lonavala region of Maharashtra.
16. Umbrella Falls (Near Bhandardara)
There is a bridge right below the waterfall, tourists can get a full view of the waterfalls standing on the bridge.
The waterfalls can be enjoyed only during the monsoon season when the dam reaches full capacity.
17. Aurangabad Caves (Near Aurangabad)
The Aurangabad Caves are 12 artificial rock-cut Buddhist Caves located on a hill running roughly east to west in Aurangabad.
Sculptural carvings of Aurangabad Caves can be compared to the best paintings of Ajanta.
18. Elephanta Caves (Near Mumbai)
At a distance of 17 km from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island or Gharapuri in Mumbai Harbour.
19. Aare and Ware beaches (Near Ganpatipule) – At a distance of 9 km from Ganpatipule Bus Stand and 14 km from Ratnagiri, Aare Ware Beach is a beautiful secluded beach situated near Nevare village in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
20. Murud Janjira Fort (Near Alibaugh)
Janjira Fort is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on all sides and is one of the strongest marine forts of India. The name Janjira is derived from the Arabic word Jazeera which means island.
21. Kalsubai Peak/ Mount Kalsubai (Near Bhandardara)
The Kalsubai Peak lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. The peak is a small plateau and offers a commanding view of nearby forts and Bhandardara Dam.
22. Juhu Beach (Near Mumbai)
At a distance of 20 km from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Juhu Beach is situated in the western suburb of Mumbai. Juhu Beach is one of the largest and most popular beaches in Mumbai.
23. Sinhagad Fort (Near Pune)
At a distance of 32 km from Pune Junction, Sinhagad or Sinhagarh means the Lion Fort, is a fortress located southwest of Pune City. Sinhagad Fort is one of the popular places of trekking in Pune and also one of the top places to visit near Pune City.
24. Bhaja Caves (Near Lonavala)
At a distance of 5 km from Lohagad Fort, 15 km from Lonavala, 71 km from Pune & 119 km from Mumbai, Bhaja Caves are one of the popular Buddhist caves of Hinayana faith in Maharashtra.
25. Kashid Beach (Near Alibaugh)
Kashid Beach is tucked between two hillocks and is known for its clear waters, white sand, and casuarina groves that line the shore. Kashid Beach is a quiet and soothing place and a perfect getaway from the busy city life.
26. Ratangad Fort (Near Bhandardara)
The Ratangad Fort is one of the most popular places to visit in Bhandardara and the place leaves visitors spellbound with its rich heritage. The fort is located at a height of 4250 feet.
27. Trimbakeshwar/Tryambakeshwar (Near Nashik)
Trimbakeshwar Temple Nashik Maharashtra was built by Sri Nana Saheb Peshwa in 1755-1786 AD. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva as Trimbakeshwar.
The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra.
28. Pratapgad Fort/ Pratapgarh Fort (Near Mahabaleshwar)
At a distance of 20 km from Mahabaleshwar, 140 km from Pune & 221 km from Mumbai, Pratapgad, also known as Pratapgarh, is a large hill fort located in Satara district of Maharashtra.
29. Ganeshghule Beach and Temple (Near Ratnagiri)
Ganeshghule Beach is popular among nature lovers and is known for its clear sunset view. The beach is 1.5 km long and is flanked by mountains on both sides.
30. Revdanda Fort & Beach (Near Alibaugh)
At a distance of 5 km from Korlai, 18 km from Alibaug, and 15 km from Kashid, Revdanda Fort is an ancient Portuguese fort located at Revdanda in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
31. Harishchandragad Fort (Near Bhandardara)
At a distance of 8 km from Khireshwar, 50 km from Bhandardara 166 km from Pune & 218 km from Mumbai, Harishchandragad is a historical hill fort situated in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
32. Someshwar Waterfalls/ Dudhsagar Waterfalls (Near Nashik)
Dudhsagar Waterfalls, popularly known as Someshwar Waterfalls, is one of the most favorite hangout places of Nasik. This small and beautiful waterfall is formed over the holy River Godavari.
33. Bhimashankar Temple (Near Pune)
Bhimashankar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered as one of the 12 holy Jyotirlinga shrines in India and five in Maharashtra.
34. Pandavleni Caves (Near Nashik)
Pandavleni Caves or Trirashmi Caves are the ancient rock-cut caves situated on Trirashmi Hills to the south of Nashik. The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site in Maharashtra and also one of the popular places to visit in Nashik.
35. Kune Falls (Near Lonavala)
Kune Falls lies at an altitude of 622 m set against the stunning backdrop of the famous Sahyadri Mountains. It is a three-tiered waterfall cascading down from a height of 200 m.
36. Garbett Point/ Garbut Point (Near Matheran)
Garbut Point, situated about a 5 km walk from Matheran Railway Station, is a comparatively secluded and less visited vantage point. The huge plateau gives a view of various waterfalls on the neighboring mountains.
37. Rajmachi fort (Near Lonavala)
Rajmachi Fort is an ancient fort situated in the Pune district of Maharashtra. It is one of the popular tourist places near Mumbai for trekking.
38. Raigad Fort (Near Mahabaleshwar)
Raigad was initially under the control of Chandrarao More of Jawali and was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s in 1656 CE.
39. Mandwa Beach (Near Alibaugh)
Mandwa Beach is a scenic beach situated at Mandwa village in Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is a popular weekend beach destination from Mumbai city.
40. Kelshi Beach (Near Alibaugh)
Kelshi Beach is a beautiful beach on the Western Coast of India which is situated near Dapoli. The beach stretches for about 2.5 km just outside the Kelshi village across the Bankot creek. Kelshi is a calm and peaceful beach.
41. Vikatgad/ Peb Fort (Near Matheran)
The fort derives its name from the Goddess Pebi at the base of the fort. The fort is also named as Vikatgad for its supposed shape of the Elephant Headed God, Ganesh.
42. Karnala Bird Sanctuary (Near Lonavala)
At a distance of 13 km from Panvel, 53 km from Matheran, 56 km from Lonavala, 66 km from Mumbai Central, and 112 km from Pune, The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is situated in the Panvel Taluka of Raigad district in Maharashtra.
43. Grishneshwar/Ghrushneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple (Near Ellora Caves)
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Grishneshwar Temple is believed to be the last or 12th Jyotirlinga on the earth. The presiding deity, in the form of Jyotirlinga, is known by several names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Ghrushmeswara, and Grishneswara.
44. Anjarle Beach & Ganesh Temple (Near Alibaugh)
Anjarle is famous for its white sandy beach and endless rows of coconut palms. The beach is located near the lagoon of the river Jog, which is about 2 km long and the coastline of the beach is also smooth.
45. Velas Beach (Near Alibaugh)
At a distance of 12 km from Harihareshwar, 29 km from Kelshi, 55 km from Dapoli, and 124 km from Alibaug, Velas Beach is a small secluded beach situated at Velas, a small fishing village on the western coast of Maharashtra.
46. Prabalgad Fort (Near Matheran)
Prabalgad Fort was built during Bahmani Sultanate to keep an eye on Panvel Fort and Kalyan Fort in North Konkan. It was known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Shivaji’s rule.
47. Ambarnath Shiv Temple (Near Matheran)
At a distance of 5 km from Ulhasnagar Railway Station, 37 km from Matheran and 59 km from Mumbai Central, Ambarnath Shiv Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of Waldhuni River in Ambarnath.
48. Irshalgad (Near Matheran)
Irshalgad pinnacle is accessible by an easy to moderate 3 km trek and it takes about 1.5 hours. The trek starts from Karja village which is about 11 km from Karjat Railway Station.
49. Thoseghar (Near Satara)
At a distance of 26 km from Satara, 73 km from Panchgani, 77 km from Mahabaleshwar, 141 km from Pune & 294 km from Mumbai, Thoseghar Falls is a popular waterfall located at Thoseghar village in Satara district of Maharashtra.
50. Vajra Falls (Near Satara)
Vajra Falls is a picturesque waterfall located near Kas Flower Valley in the Satara district of Maharashtra. This is one the most spectacular waterfalls in Maharashtra
Famous National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries In Maharashtra:
1.Chandoli National Park
Chandoli National Park got the status of a national park in 2004. It is one of the newly established national parks in India still it managed to make a big name in such a short period.
2.Gugumal National Parks
Gugumal National Park is nestled in the rugged hills of Melghat. The deciduous forests of Gugumal National Parks are the shelter to the more than 750 species of plants and around 60 species of wild animals.
3.Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve covered with stupendous natural beauty, this national park is an ideal place for wildlife and nature lovers.
4.Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Previously known as ‘Borivali National Park’, Sanjay Gandhi National Park is stretched in an area of 104km2 and considered to be the world’s largest national park within the premises of a city. Enticing millions of people annually, it is a major tourist destination in Maharashtra.
5.Navegaon National Park
Navegaon National Park is also evenly distributed with the dry deciduous forests. These forests offer a panoramic view and make Navegaon National Park an ideal place to get soaked in the vibrancy of nature.
6.Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary is stretched in an area of 104 km2. It is known for its wildlife richness and natural beauty. Covered with dry deciduous forests, this sanctuary consists of 245 species of vegetation and a wide species of wild animals.
Maharashtra Is Famous for:
The Business of Bollywood – Bollywood is a lot more than entertainment that involves running around the trees. nd this massive and largely popular enterprise largely functions from the bustling city of Mumbai.
The Land of Ganesha – Maharashtra adores the benevolent god known to remove obstacles and bless you with happiness and success. We are referring to Lord Ganesha, though he is much loved in all of the countries, he is especially pampered in Maharashtra.
Cave Exploration- As a traveller, you are sure to hear three names on the very mention of Maharashtra; and they are Ajanta, Ellora, and Elephanta Caves.
Stunning Beaches- Maharashtra is popular as a beach destination with its many towns and cities located close to the coast. The 720 km long coastline of Maharashtra means more beaches than we can mention here.
Festival Glory – Festivals are celebrated with much pomp and show in the state of Maharashtra. Various festivals and we are not just referring to religious festivals but also others are celebrated with much grandeur.
Art and Culture – Ranging from the Paithani sarees that is a traditional weaving process handed down over 2,000 years to the colorful Kolhapuri chappals, Maharashtra has plenty to offer in terms of shopping.
Dance – The most famous dance of Maharashtra is Lavani which is performed on folk music.
Dress- As per the traditional dressing norms the dress of the women in the traditional nine-yard saree called ‘Navwadi’ also adds to the colorful culture here.
Food – Variety of foods that are available in the state from the spicy snacks in Mumbai to the mutton gravy of Kolhapur and the orange barfi of Nagpur, Maharashtra indeed loves to pamper its visitors with food.
Simple dishes that have received recognition across the world and you shouldn’t miss are; pohe, misal pav, sabudana khichdi, Puran poli, shrikhand, and the symbolic vada pav!
Fairs and Festivals Of Maharashtra:
Nag Panchali is celebrated in the honor of the Snake God Sheshnag on the fifth day of the holy month of Shravan. Snake worship is an important ritual in India, and on this festival, cobras made of clay are venerated in homes.
The Harvest Festival of Maharashtra – Gudhi is a symbol of victory, characterized by a bamboo stick with a silk cloth. It is garlanded with flowers and has sweets offered to it.
Narali Pournima also coincides with the festival of Raksha Bandhan, when brothers vow to protect their sisters and the sisters tie a thread on their brother’s wrist as a sign of respect and affection.
Most Famous Festival of Maharashtra. In August, preparations for the auspicious day when Lord Ganesh was born, to begin with, great enthusiasm.
It is an 11-day festival, beginning with the installation of beautifully sculpted Ganesh idols in homes and large pandals, colorfully decorated, depicting religious and cultural themes.
Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Devotees fast till midnight on the eve of the birth of Lord Krishna.
Krishna-Janam is celebrated at midnight at temples and in homes amidst bhajans (devotional songs), marking the birth of Lord Krishna.
It is the celebration of the advent of spring, the day when the sun leaves the southern hemisphere and begins its journey in the northern hemisphere.
Following the glorious tradition of kite-flying, there can be plenty of kites seen dotting the sky on this day.
Celebrated on the fifth and final day of Diwali, it is a special celebration of all the revelry and rivalry of this everlasting bond. Brothers are traditionally considered to be the protectors of the sisters.
Ellora festival is the celebration of culture, classical music, and dance, organized on the backdrop of the majestic Ellora caves.
Celebrated in honor of the great Hindu god Vishnu, Ashadhi Ekadashi is the culmination of the great Pandharpur chi Vari (Journey to Pandharpur).
Mangala Gauri is a celebration for newly-married brides, within the first 1-5 years of marriage. This Festival of Maharashtra is celebrated on a Tuesday in the month of Shravan.
Chandego in Maharashtra is regarded to be a holy place because of Purna and Tapi rivers. People gather here once a year to take a holy dip.
12.Kala Ghoda Festival
It is held on Sundays between November and January months near Jehangir Art Gallery at Mumbai.
It is a place situated at a distance of 5 km from the Ellora caves and twenty-two km from Aurangabad on the Aurangabad-Ellora route.
It is celebrated for 10 days from Ashvina Sud.1 to Ashvina Sud.10 at Navratri Mahalaxmi Temple of Jalgaon District in Maharashtra.
It is held between August and September during Ganesh Mahotsav. It is the biggest festival in Pune.
It is celebrated for 8-10 days at the small town of Battis Shirala, Maharashtra which is 50 km from Kolhapur. The festival is celebrated on the onsets of the monsoon.
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