Interesting Places to see around Maharashtra
Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is a densely populated city on India’s west coast. A financial center, it’s India’s largest city. On the Mumbai Harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924. Offshore, nearby Elephanta Island holds ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The city’s also famous as the heart of the Bollywood film industry.
Mumbai, the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra, is a spectacular paradox of chaos and hope, glamour and squalor, modernity and tradition. Famously known as the City of Dreams, Mumbai – formerly known as Bombay – Mumbai is a beautifully blended melting pot of cultures and lifestyles.
Standing proud on the banks of the Arabian Sea at the Apollo Bunder waterfront area, the Gateway of India is one of Mumbai’s most popular and treasured landmarks. The 26-meter basalt archway, which combines the architectural styles of Roman triumphal arches with traditional Hindu and Muslim designs, was built as a gesture of welcoming for King George V and Queen Mary when they visited British India in 1911. Ironically, it was under this very archway that the last British troops exited India in 1948, after the country declared its independence from Great Britain.
No trip to Mumbai would be complete without a cruise down Marine Drive. The 3.6-kilometer-long, C-shaped boulevard offers epic views of the coast. However, just as amazing are the sightseeing opportunities on the other side of Marine Drive. The street is lined with stunning Art Deco buildings that have earned status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
One of Mumbai’s most iconic sites is a cable-stayed bridge known as the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Opened in 2009, the eight-lane bridge connects the central business district with the western suburbs over the open sea, offering some much-needed relief from the congestion on the Mahim Causeway. It has become the Mumbai equivalent of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge or Sydney’s Opera House.
While Mumbai may look like a shiny, modern city at first glance, it also has some ancient sites that will leave you in awe. Spend a day at Sanjay Gandhi National Park exploring the Kanheri Caves, a complex of monuments that were carved out of the basalt formations around 2,000 years ago. Inside the 109 cave entrances, you’ll see large stupas (a hint that this was once a sacred place for Buddhists), congregation areas, and prayer halls. Look for the incomplete paintings of the Buddha on the ceiling of cave 34.
Visiting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum is also high on the list of the top things to do for tourists in Mumbai. Previously known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, this is one of India’s most important art and history attractions.
Discover Mumbai’s peaceful, quiet side at the Global Vipassana Pagoda. Inspired by Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda, the colossal 96-meter-high stupa is covered in real gold that gleams in the sun. The hollow pagoda features a massive hall with room for 8,000 people to meditate in tranquility together.
Many Hindus have their favorites of the religion’s 33 million gods. Devotees who favor Ganesha (the potbellied deity with the elephant head who is known as the “remover of obstacles”) make pilgrimages to the Shree Siddhivinayak Temple.
Mahalakshmi Temple is one of Mumbai’s oldest and most famous temples. Dedicated to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, this temple draws crowds through its ornate gate and into the shrine with the idol. Visitors will also spot idols of other deities, including Tridevi (the patron deity of music and education) and Kali (the goddess of destruction), adorned with gold ornaments. For another spiritual attraction, take a trip to the Haji Ali Dargah, a floating Muslim shrine just a 15-minute walk from the Mahalakshmi Temple.
A popular day trip from the main city of Mumbai is a visit to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mumbai Harbor. The attraction is home to rock-cut cave temples honoring the Hindu god Shiva. Roughly 1,600 years old, the archeological marvel lays out a series of temples in a maze-like mandala pattern.
The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and dargah (tomb) or the monument of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari located on an islet off the coast of Worli in the southern part of Mumbai. Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was a Sufi saint and a wealthy merchant from Uzbekistan. Near the heart of the city proper, the dargah is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Mumbai.
The Shiv Mandir of Ambarnath is a historic 11th-century Hindu temple, still in use, at Ambarnath near Mumbai, in Maharashtra, India. It is also known as the Ambreshwar Shiva Temple, and known locally as Puratana Shivalaya. It is situated on the bank of Vadavan river, 2 km away from Ambarnath railway station.
Ashtavinayaka or eight Ganeshas is located in Maharashtra state of India, The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight holy temples of Ganesha .All the Eight Ashtavinayak Templs are Swayambhu (self-originated) and Jagrut.There are various names of Lord Ganesh for various places. The various names of Lord Ganesh are Moreshwar, Mahaganpati, Chintamani, Girijatmak, Vighneshwar, Siddhivinayak, Ballaleshwar and Varad Vinayak . These Temples are situated at Morgaon, Ranjangaon, Theur, Lenyadri, Ojhar, Siddhatek, Pali and Mahad. These places are at Pune, Ahamadnagar and Raigad district. Of the 8 vinayakas, 6 are in Pune district area and 2 in Raigad district but still comparatively nearer to the Pune areas.
Surrounded by beautiful hills of Sahyadri ranges, Ratnagiri is amongst the top Maharashtra places to visit and also one of the popular attraction not to miss in a Maharashtra tour Packages. Ratnagiri was once the administrative capital of Bijapur rulers. It came under the control of Satara kings in 1731 CE, but later the British Empire took over in 1818 CE. A fort was built during the Bijapur dynasty and strengthened in 1670 CE by the Maratha king Shivaji, which is located on a headland near the harbour. Ratnagiri is one of the important ports on Konkan coast.
At a distance of 3 km from Ratnagiri Bus Stand, Bhatye Beach is marvelous beach situated at Bhatye in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. This is one of the popular beaches in Ratnagiri region on the Konkan Coast. Bhatye Beach is a wonderful beach in the background of the jagged Sahyadri mountain ranges provides a panoramic view of the surroundings. The length of the beach is approximately 1.5 km and is very flat and straight. Bhatye Beach and Mandvi Beach are next to each other separated by a creek.
A little coastal town tucked away in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Alibaug is a very popular weekend getaway holiday destination and has earned itself the name of ‘mini-Goa’, owing to the high tourist footfall all year round. Steeped in colonial history, Alibaug is a quaint little town located about 110 kilometres from Mumbai, and is replete with sandy beaches, clean unpolluted air and plenty of forts and temples, ensuring that despite being a small town, you never run out of activities to do.
Situated amidst the sea and surrounded by waters of Arabian sea from all sides, Kolaba fort or Alibag fort is one of the most important tourist attraction in Alibag. It is a 300-year old fort which was once chief naval stations during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra. This isolated military fortification located amidst the Arabian sea is a spectacular sight. Located not more than 2 kilometres from the Alibaug beach, it can be reached by foot during low tides, but during high tides, a boat must be hired. The walk is quiet and scenic as the area is scarcely populated with only a few beachgoers here and there.
Located along the coast of the Arabian Sea, the Alibaug Beach is a picturesque stretch of sand situated in Maharashtra. Alibaug is a black-sand beach which offers the panoramic sight of the Kolaba fort from the shores. Amber sand lies underneath its coarser black counterpart, and its unique sight is further accentuated by the rocks that lazily lie around the entire landscape. The ruins of the fort are clearly visible from the Alibaug beach which can be easily accessed by waddling through the waters in low tides and a short boat ride during high tides. The beach is famous for its picturesque sceneries of sunrise and sunset that one must marvel when in Alibag. It is a great place to spend time in leisure while you marvel at the Arabian sea and landscapes of sunrise, sunset and the silhouette of the Kolaba Fort.
Located on the shores of the Arabian sea, Nagaon beach is 9 km away from the Alibaug’s city centre. Lined palms, betel, and Suru trees, this beach is most famous for its cleanliness and for hosting water-based adventure activities available at a reasonable price. Experience the life of the locals at the many homestays and resorts here, which make Nagaon Beach the perfect weekend getaway.
Murud Janjira Fort is a mighty fortification located on an island off of the coastal village of Murud, 55 km from Alibag in Maharashtra. Towering up from a massive rock amidst the stretching azure of the Arabian Sea, this fort has stood the test of time as well as the test of resilience in the past. This fort is a must visit if you are travelling along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra.
Guhagar is a census city in Ratnagiri district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Guhagar is known for its virgin beach, coir items, coconuts, betel nuts and mainly Haapus Alphonso mangoes. The nearest city and railhead is Chiplun, about 44 kilometres (27 mi) away. The economy of Guhagar boomed after the Dabhol Power Company, a few kilometres north was commissioned in the early 1990s. Hotels sprung up and residents were given well-paid jobs. Guhagar is famous for Durga Devi temple, Guhagar, Vyadeshwar temple, velneshwar beach and dabhol khadi. Coconuts and kaju of guhagar are very famous in maharashtra.
In the quiet, far away from the city port district of Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, lies Chiplun, the city that offers you time among mango groves next to the beautiful lake, Vashishti. This town is most known for its white sand beaches and beautiful mango and cashew groves by the Vashishti river.
Chiplun, meaning ‘The abode of Lord Parashurama’ got its name because of the famous temple it houses. Chiplun also happens to be an industrial town and most people coming to this side tend to go to the River view resort, a popular getaway on weekends. The sunsets that can be seen from both the Vashishti river and Koyna Dam are so attractive that people book rooms to wake up to the sight of the brilliant scenery.
25km from Chiplun is a museum dedicated to the life and works of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The museum had taken 15 years and about a crore rupees to build and was built by a social worker, Sitrambuva Walawalkar. The museum depicts the great Maratha ruler’s life in the form of pictures and statues, which makes it easier to understand. The emotions painted on the sculptures in this particular museum are applauded. It is a great spot for learning about historical happenings for both adults and children alike. It is possible to only visit the museum and not the rest of Chiplun as it is just a few turns away from the Mumbai Goa highway.
Beach town on the Konkan coastline, Ganpatipule has temples of Lord Ganesha as major attractions apart from the beautiful virgin beaches. Ganpatipule is a small town in the Ratnagiri district in Konkan region with a long stretch of pristine beaches, Ganpatipule is a perfect idyllic getaway in the slip of nature. Confluence of beach with river could be witnessed along with a hill shaped like Ganpati, the Hindu God of worship. The village of Ganapatipule is famous for its 400-year-old Ganesha temple.
Jaigad Fort, also known as the Fort of Victory, is a 16th-century fort that extends over an area of 13 acres in the coastal region of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Located near Jaigad Village and approximately 20 kms to the north-west of Ganpatipule, the remains of the fort stand steady on a cliff overlooking the Jaigad creek where River Shastri enters the vast and mesmerising Arabian Sea. Jaigad Fort is an engineering marvel for the purpose it was built. A glance at the magnificent structure before you enter will surely amaze you. A visit to the Jaigad lighthouse which was built in close vicinity to the Jaigad fort is a must.
The fort is of great pride for the Marathas and is a reminder of the bravery and audacity. The Raigad fort is not just a tourist spot; it is a sacred place of pilgrimage which holds the imprints of the grand vision of Hindavi Swarajya as cherished by Chhatrapati Shivaji. While most of its parts are in ruins now, the fort still boasts of the brave history of Marathas. After capturing the Raigad Fort, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj renovated and named it as the capital of Maratha kingdom.
20 km away from the town of Ratnagiri is Pawas, a place where Swarupanand Swami took his samadhi. Affectionately known as “Appa” or “Rambhau”, Swami’s original name was Ramchandra. Born on 15th December 1903, Swami undertook self-immolation at Pawas and also resided here for for 40 years before that. Born to the couple Vishnupant and Rakhmabai Godbole in Pawas, Swamiji has a neatly maintained memorial. Guru Purnima and the day of Swami’s Samadhi are regarded as significant days in Pawas.
Located in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, Velneshwar is a village south of the Guhagar town. Velneshwar is well known for the temple of Lord Shiva and also has a beautiful crescent-shaped beach that is clean, unspoilt and ideal for swimming. Velneshwar gets much of its limelight during the month of March, when the Maha Shivratri Festival is held here, as a tribute to Lord Shiva. If you are seeking an ideal water point where you can relish the beauty of nature while swimming and sunbathing, then the Velneshwar beach in Maharashtra is the perfect place for you.
A walk along the beach and a spiritual journey within the premises of an ancient Shiva Temple can be beautifully savoured in Kunkeshwar. A 5km-long stretch of seashore with white sand, picturesque views and pious surroundings make for an ideal day-out in the Kunkeshwar Beach.
Leisure walks, sitting idly on the sand, watching coconut and mango trees sway on one side of the beach or swimming in the clear waters freshen the soul and leaves one enchanted. Lucky souls could see dolphins dive in the deep sea from a distance.
Tarkarli is a serene beach located 8 km from Malvan. It has a resort around the beach which has been developed by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation(MTDC). Further north by another 6–7 km, is the Tarkarli creek and a lovely estuary.
No trip to Mumbai would be complete without a cruise down Marine Drive. The 3.6-kilometer-long, C-shaped boulevard offers epic views of the coast. However, just as amazing are the sightseeing opportunities on the other side of Marine Drive. The street is lined with stunning Art Deco buildings that have earned status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Amboli Falls is an eye-catching and spectacular tourist attraction of Amboli. The waterfalls are in full grandeur during the monsoon season which starts from June and lasts till October. The rains fill Amboli with mist and during this time the attractive water fall is a wonder to behold. It is like a balm to travelers and the locals during the boiling summers. Visitors coming to this place bathe in the waterfalls to rinse away all the ill effects of the heat. It also forms a perfect picnic spot for all who come here as tourists.
The walls and the structures of this fort are still unharmed and are in good condition. This fortified monument looks appealing and excellent and makes one feel proud about the rich cultural heritage of this area. It is a very nice place to visit.
It is also known as the Victory Fort which is situated on the western coast of India. It is considered that Shivaji added major towers and 3 rows of large walls to the structure. The fort is accumulated amongst the strongest marine forts. It is believed to have been raised by the Bijapur rulers.
Malwan, situated in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra is well-known for its Malvani Sea-Food, variety of Alphonso Mangoes, beaches and historical Sindhudurg Fort. The historically rich city is popular among the adventure-lovers too for a number of water-sport activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, parasailing and banana boat rides. Trying water activies at Tarkali Beach and Tsunami Island are the best to-do things here. Other than Tarkali Beach and Sindhudurg Fort, one can visit Malvan Marine Sanctuary, Rock Garden and Jai Ganesh Mandir. Dabolim Airport is the nearest airport to Malvan. January to April is the best time to visit Malvan. If sea-food is on your list, then Ocean’s Paradise, Atithi Bamboo and Chaitanya are some of the must-visit restaurants here for Surmai Fish and Prawns.
Pune is an amazing city and one of the top choices for many people to live in. There are various reasons for which this beautiful city is known for such as temples, food in Pune and weekend gateways to nearby places. There are few historical places for those who love to explore the history of the city, and those who love doing adventurous activities can also find many suitable destinations for their activities. From sightseeing to picnic spots there are much more in the city for your holiday time. Here is the complete list of top places to visit in Pune with all the necessary information.
Located in Pune district, this place is known for the birth of Maratha King Chattrapati Shivaji. It was one of the most important forts during the Maratha rule. With seven huge doors and strong walls, the fort was constructed in such a way that it can protect Shivaji. From the top of this fort, tourists can see the stunning view of the nearby landscape. The destination attracts the number of tourists because of the rich history of the fort and the association with king Shivaji who wanted to create a Hindu Swarajya.
One of the finest historical creations of the country, The Aga Khan Palace is one of the top places to visit in Pune. It was established in the year 1892 by Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III. The primary reason for its establishment was to help the needy people in the nearby places of the palace during the famine. In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, and his secretary Mahadev Desai along with the Sarojini Naidu was imprisoned at Aga Khan Palace following the Quit India movement.
There are very few ancient temples in India and Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple is one of them. This temple is also one of the famous tourist places in Pune which attract a lot of people traveling to this city. Devotees from the different part of the country visit this holy place on different occasions. This temple is also well known for its charitable activities. The 10-day Ganesh festival is also celebrated at this temple in a very grand way, which is joined by different celebrities and politicians. This place will surely give a religious touch to your holidays.
Located in Wanawadi, Shinde Chhatri is an old memorial which was established in 18th-century. This memorial was built in the memory of Maratha leader Mahadji Shinde. One of the oldest in the city, the recent renovated Anglo-Rajasthani architectural design of this building attracts many tourists to Pune which makes it a popular destination of the city. This place can also be added to your must-see places in Pune.
Located about 25KM away from the city of Pune, this hill fortress is 2000 years old as per the information available at this fort. Sinhagad which means ‘the fort of Lion’ has witnessed a number of battles including the battle of Sinhagad in the year 1671. Sinhagad is situated on the top of the cliff from where you can also see the great view of the beautiful Sahyadri. History says that earlier known as Kondhana, the fort was under the region of Mohammad bin Tughlaq before Shivaji rebelled against Adilshahi and took the charge of this fort in 1647. This glorious history made it another attraction for the travelers.
At National Defence Academy (NDA), cadets get the training for all the major services of India which includes the Army, Air Force, and the Navy. NDA has a huge reputation for producing some of the finest mountaineers, sportsmen and Olympic champions who are making the nation proud. Other than that, this place is also a fine example of a stunning architectural design which attracts many eyes. For the motivational purpose, educational institutes and organized groups can visit this academy. Apart from these groups, anyone who wants to visit NDA can ask for the permission by writing to the academy through post or email.
Dedicated to the independence war martyrs, the National War Museum is a must-visit place for all the patriots of the nation. The museum in Pune has a Mig 23 BN for display purpose which was used in Kargil War. Other than that, a replica of INS Trishul can also be seen at this place which was used in Pakistan War of 1971 and Portuguese-Indian War. This place gives the motivational vibes to the Indian visitors as well as attracts many foreign tourists who are curious about Indian history.
Built in 1732, Shaniwar Wada Palace is another historical building which attracts many Pune sightseeing travelers. Earlier it was under the control of Peshwas of Maratha Empire till 1818 and later lost it to the Britishers. The most highlighted part of this place is its Mughal architectural design which also features the Maratha artistic styles. There is a famous door of this palace which is 21 feet tall and known as Delhi Darwaza. Due to an unexplained fire, the palace was destroyed in 1827, but the remaining part of the palace was maintained for sightseeing for the tourists. Despite the myth that this Palace is haunted, it remains one of the famous places of Pune.
This very famous visiting place in Pune was constructed in the 8th century and till now is one of the major attractions of the city. This temple has been carved from a single piece of basalt rock which gives its shape a unique touch. This temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva catches a lot of attraction of the tourists and visitors. The architecture of the temple includes a Nandi bull, massive pillars and an amazing idol of Lord Shiva.
This is one of the best places that you can visit with your family and loved ones in the evening for a relaxing time. You can enjoy the beauty and peace of the sunset at this location and thus can get over your stress within no time. This park is one of the favorite locations of the people who are looking for something where they can have a lazy holiday and picnic with their loved ones. It is usually crowded in the evening.
This zoo makes the perfect destination to be visited with kids. It offers a wide variety of animals like deer, tiger, elephants, white tigers, etc. The zoo is extremely large and thus you need an entire day to thoroughly visit the zoo and to witness the huge variety of animals. This place is actually divided into 3 main attractions like the animal orphanage, zoo and the snake park. Each of the places has its own attractions and in total this place becomes one of the major attractions in Pune.
This place is a treat for all the history lovers. This museum has got all the right flavors that one needs to explore the rich history and culture of Pune. There are a total of 36 parts in the museums which signify different sections of the museums. You can find some great stuff while your visit to the place, therefore you must plan an entire day to visit the museum. Some of the major attractions of the place are that of Mughal period.
This fort is the evidence of the significant rule of Peshwa in Pune. The place will keep your interest with a number of things that you can find belonging to the several kings of that time. Although the place is mostly ruined from most of the places, it is still a charm with its beauty and architecture. Visiting the fort should definitely on your list when visiting Pune as it will enrich you with the deep culture of the place.
This is one of the favorite places in Pune which is visited by people who are looking for a peaceful and relaxing place to spend their time. The wide collection of flowers and plants including various landscapes, beautiful ambiance, etc. makes the place simply beautiful to visit. Most of the people prefer visiting the place in the evening to get rid of all the tiredness of the entire day. you would surely love the ambiance of the place.
This famous and popular monument in Pune was constructed in the year 1630 and till date is one of the most attractive places in Pune. The place is famous amongst the locals of Pune and tourists for the fact that Shivaji Maharaj once lived at this place. Although the original structure of the place had undergone a lot of modifications, still the modified and present structure of the place attracts many tourists with its beauty and charm.
Jejuri is a city and a municipal council in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is famous for the main temple of Lord Khandoba. It is a famous temple town being the family deity of many houses in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Its economy is centered on businesses catering to the numerous devotees coming to worship the Khandoba Temple there. Recently the increase in property rates and the planning of an international airport near the town has seen a spurt of development happening there.
Lonavala is among the top hill stations in Maharashtra and also one of the famous Tourist places in Maharashtra. This is also among the best tourist places to visit near Pune & Mumbai.
Lohagad Fort, Karla Caves and Rajmachi Point are some of the best places to include in Lonavala packages. Lonavala and Khandala are twin hill stations near Pune to Mumbai hightway and are very popular monsoon getaways in India. The hill station is spread over an area of 38 square km. The name of the city is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lonavali’, which refers to a ‘group of caves’. The name was given to the place due to the presence of many caves in and around the city.
At a distance of 11 km from Lonavala, 59 km from Pune & 107 km from Mumbai, the Karla Caves or Karle Caves are a complex of ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut cave temples located at Karli near Lonavala, Maharashtra. It is one of the best Lonavala tourist places and also among well known historical Places to visit near Mumbai & Pune protected by Archaeological Survey of India.
Karla is one of the most famous centers of early rock-cut architecture in India. The caves are excavated nearly 100 m on a high spur of the chain of hills on the north flank of the Indrayani valley. These caves were developed over two periods – from 2nd century BC to 2nd Century AD and in 5th – 10th Century AD. The oldest of the cave shrines is believed to date back to 160 BC, having arisen near a major ancient trade route, running eastward from the Arabian Sea into the Deccan.
At a distance of 12 km from Lonavala Railway Station, Lion’s Point is a vantage point located midway between Bhushi Dam and Aamby valley in Lonavala. It is one of the popular viewpoints in Lonavala and also among the must visit places in Lonavala. The view from the Lions Point is majestic and panoramic. One would see dozens of small waterfalls, lush green hills and lakes around during monsoon season. The sunrise and sunset views from here are mesmerizing. The wind is extremely strong at this place and it was quite thrilling to see many adventurous people get close to the edge to get ‘that’ living-on-the-edge photograph. The drive to the point is also equally scenic.
The Shiv-ling peak is a conical peak can be seen towards the left side of Lion’s Point.
At a distance of 6 km from Lonavala Railway Station, Bhushi Dam is a masonry dam on the Indrayani River in Lonavala, Maharashtra. Bhushi Dam is one of the top Lonavala tourist places and a very popular weekend getaway from Pune and Mumbai. The Dam is located in the backdrop of scenic hilly terrains between Lonavala and INS Shivaji. The dam was built in late 1860s for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway as a source of water for their steam engines. Water from the dam was carried to Lonavala, Khandala and the reversing station of the railways by cast-iron pipes. In the rainy season, when the Bhushi dam overflows, the water flows over a series of steps and then over some easily accessible rocky terrain. The terrain and the water make for a fun combination and this is why Bhushi dam gets crowded on weekends as well as during the holidays.
At a distance of 15 km from Lonavala, 15 km from Khandala, 82 km from Mumbai & 82 km from Pune, Rajmachi Fort is an ancient fort situated in Pune district of Maharashtra. It is one of the popular tourist places near Mumbai for trekking and also among the best places to visit in Lonavala. This famous fort in Maharashtra lies at an altitude of 2710 feet. This is a protected monument and is among the most popular attraction not to miss in a Lonavala tour packages. Historically, Rajmachi fort was a strategic fort to control Bor Ghat (between Khopoli and Khandala on Mumbai-Pune route) which was a historical trade route. It is one of the ideal one day trip near Mumbai. The fort complex was originally constructed by the Satavahanas.
Lonavala hosts numerous wax museums and a visit to Wax museum is one of the prime attractions in Lonavala. Most of the wax museums are spread close to the entrance of Lonavala from Pune – Mumbai express highway while there are few museums setup inside the town. Most of the wax museums cover the wax statues of noted personalities from many walks of life – religion, social service, history, art, literature, pop music, etc. There are wax statues of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, M S Subbulakshmi, Kapil Dev, Charlie Chaplin, Narendra Modi, Saddam Hussein etc. Almost all museums host a large image of Chhatrapati Shivaji. In addition to these, the museums also display images of Shirdi Sai Baba, and Jawahar Lal Nehru, along with wax models of many famous musicians, politicians and social workers.
At a distance of 5 km from Lonavala Railway Station, 93 km from Mumbai & 71 km from Pune, Khandala is a hill station situated in Western Ghats of Pune district in Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 625 m at one end of the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. Khandala is among popular weekend getaways from Mumbai & Pune and also one of the best hill stations near Pune & Mumbai. Lonavala and Khandala are the twin hill stations located near to each other and are very popular monsoon getaways in India. Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of the Bombay Presidency, developed Khandala along with Lonavala in 1871.There is no reliable historical evidence to suggest the origin of this place and the founding fathers. However, it is well known that Khandala was ruled by Chatrapathi Shivaji and subsequently by the Peshwa rulers, until it was taken over by the British.
Known as India’s newest hill station, the Lavasa Corporation is constructing this private city. The city is a beautiful project, stylistically based on the Italian town Portofino. Spreading across 7 hills, covering an area of 25000 acres, Lavasa is a perfect blend of beauty and infrastructure. Lavasa is a privately planned hill city located near Pune in Maharashtra. This modern day hill station is an enjoyable retreat for all its visitors and has a lot to offer to its tourists from picturesque sceneries to an extremely well-developed infrastructure including hotels, resorts, educational institutes, malls, residential property, IT companies etc. Lavasa is turning out to be a new hangout for people looking for a small trip away from the hustle and bustle of hectic city life.
Satara is a town and district headquarters in Maharashtra. Located near the confluence of the River Krishna,a tributary River Venna, Satara is one of the famous Places to visit in Maharashtra in monsoon and among the top places to visit near Pune. Situated at an altitude of 2320 feet, it is a base station to several tourist destinations like Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani. The name of this town has been derived from the seven mountains surrounding the place implying Sat (seven) and Tara (hills). It is surrounded by Pune district in the north, Solapur district in the east, Sangli district in the south and Ratnagiri in the west. Satara is another popular attraction not to miss in a Mahabaleshwar packages.
At a distance of 24 km from Satara, 37 km from Mahabaleshwar and 50 km from Panchgani, the Kaas Plateau, also known as the Kas Pathar, is a vast volcanic lateritic plateau situated in Satara district of Maharashtra. It falls under the Sahyadri Sub Cluster and is among the top places to visit near Satara.
Popularly known as the Plateau of Flowers, Kaas Plateau is one of the famous tourist attractions in Maharashtra and also a popular picnic spot among nature lovers during late monsoons. The plateau is situated at an altitude of 1200 m and is approximately 1,000 hectares in area. The name ‘Kaas’ originates from the Kaasa tree.
Vajrai Falls is a picturesque waterfall located near Kas Flower Valley in Satara district of Maharashtra. This is one the most spectacular waterfalls in Maharashtra and also one of the top monsoon tourist places near Pune. Vajrai Falls is a three tier waterfalls cascading down from a height of around 853 feet (260 m). This is a perennial waterfall but is very spectacular during monsoons. People from different parts of Maharashtra flock to this falls during the monsoons to watch the beautiful flow of the stream. The birthplace of Urmodi River is believed to start from the Vajrai Waterfalls. There are many small caves near Vajrai Falls which can be visited along with the falls.
The waterfall is situated near Bhambavali village in Satara district. One can reach the falls by using personal vehicle.
Sajjangad is an ancient hill fort and a pilgrimage place located near Satara in Maharashtra. It is one of the top places to visit in Satara and is a protected monument. Sajjangarh Fort was earlier known as Aashwalayangad and was built by the Bahamani Emperors in between 1347-1527 AD. It was later conquered by Adil Sha in 16th century AD. In the same year the Mughals attacked the Sha rulers and brought this fort under their control. The fort then came under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Previously known as Parali Fort, it was renamed to Sajjangad after Shivaji Maharaj requested Sri Ramdas to set up his permanent abode here. Sajjangad Fort is the final resting place of Samarth Ramdas, he was the spiritual Guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji. His teachings and works written in books such as Dasbodh are read and followed by many people even today in the state of Maharashtra.
Mahabaleshwar is a popular tourist places in India and a town in Satara district of Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 1,353 m in the Western Ghats range of India. It is one of the best places to visit near Pune & Mumbai and among the top Places to visit in Maharashtra. This pretty hill station is often referred as the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra. It offers panoramic view of the plains with the imposing sloppy peaks and surrounding woods. Mahabaleshwar constitutes three villages – Malcolm Peth, Old Mahabaleshwar and some part of the Shindola village. Arthur’s Seat, Lingmala Waterfall and Pratapgad Fort are among the must include places in your Mahabaleshwar tour packages.
Panchgani also called Paachgani is a famous hill station and municipal council in Satara district of Maharashtra. It is one of the top hill resorts near Pune & among the best places to visit near Mumbai. Panchgani is one of the popular Tourist places in Maharashtra and among the must include places in your Maharashtra tour packages.
Koyna Dam is one of the largest dams in the state of Maharashtra and is located at Koyna Nagar in Satara district. It is a rubble-concrete dam constructed on Koyna River, a major tributary of Krishna River, and is one of the top places to visit in Satara. The construction of this dam was completed in 1963 and is amongst the chief civil engineering projects built after the independence of India. The catchment area of the Koyna Dam blocks up the Koyna River and creates the Shivsagar Lake, which is roughly 50 km long. The spillway of the dam is located at the center and it has 6 radial gates. The dam plays a vital role of flood controlling in monsoon season. This dam is situated between Chiplun and Karad and is the main water source to the Western Maharashtra region. The main purpose of dam is hydroelectricity with some irrigation in neighboring areas. Today the Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the largest.
At a distance of 26 km from Mahad, 83 km from Mahabaleshwar, 105 km from Alibaug, 118 km from Lonavala, 136 km from Mumbai, 138 km from Pune and 196 km from Ratnagiri, Raigad is a hill fort situated at Pachad near Mahad in Raigad district of Maharashtra. This is one of the most popular forts in Maharashtra and popular places for trekking near Mumbai. This fort is one of the prime places to visit on a Maharashtra tour and also one of the must include historical forts in Mahabaleshwar Tour Packages as well as in Lonavala Tour Packages. Earlier called as Rairi, Raigad was initially under the control of Chandrarao More of Jawali and was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s in 1656 CE. After taking over the Rairi Fort, Shivaji Maharaj got it completely renovated and renamed it as Raigad (the King’s Fort).
A popular temple town with a lot of mythical significance, Wai is a great getaway spot in Mumbai. Soak in the scenic beauty of the sheer greenery all around or just stop here for a few hours before you head to other weekend getaways of Maharashtra like Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. Wai is also home to more than 100 temples thus earning the title – ‘Dakshin Kashi’ of the state. If you are still having second thoughts about visiting this place, take Bollywood’s word for it as many blockbuster movies like Dabangg, Mangal Pandey and Swades have been shot here.
Kolhapur, situated on the banks of the Panchganga River, is a beautiful destination in Maharashtra famed for its religious and historical sites. The ancient city finds mention as a place of Kollamma worship in the holy Devi Bhagavat Purana and is home to many revered religious sites, including Mahalakshmi Temple that is dedicated to the guardian deity of the city – Mahalakshmi or Ambabai, who killed demon Kolhasura. Along with a number of temples, the city is dotted with heritage sites, museums, a water park, lake, etc. Here is a list of the popular places to visit in Kolhapur to make the best of your time in the city.
Jyotiba Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas that was built in 1730 on a hill at a height of 3124 feet above sea level. As per legends, the three gods (Trinity) – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh – reincarnated as Jyotiba to kill demons Ratnasur and Raktabhoj that were terrorising locals. Prior to the construction of the present-day temple by Maharaja Ranoji Shinde, the original shrine – known as Kedareshwar Temple – was erected at the site by a devotee Navji Saya. There are two more shrines within the premises – one built by Malji Nilam Panhalkar in 1780 and other by Daulat Rao Shinde in 1808. Although scores of devotees visit the temple throughout the year, the footfall increases manifold during the annual fairs celebrated on Chaitra Poornima and Vaisakha Poornima.
Surrounded by the Sahyadri Range, Panhala Fort was strategically built at a height of 3177 feet above sea level. The 7-kilometre fortified monument was built between 1178 and 1209 by Raja Bhoja with alterations made by Marathas, Bahamanis, Mughals and others who ruled here, including Shivaji and Tarabai. As per folklore, during the attack on the fort by Bijapur General Siddi Johar, Shivaji escaped while Shiva Kashid fought with the former disguised as Shivaji. This Indo-Islamic style fort impresses you at the very first glimpse with its three double gateways – Teen Darwaza – that reflect intricate craftsmanship. Besides, Sajja Kothi – where Shivaji imprisoned his son Sambhaji – is a must-visit.
Shri Mahalakshmi Temple, also known as Dakshin Kashi, is one of the Shakti Peethas dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi – the guardian deity of Kolhapur who killed demon Kolhasura. It is one of the six Shaktipeeth’s where devotees come to fulfil their wishes or attain salvation. The shrine is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Kannada Chalukya around 700 AD. The 3-feet tall black stone idol of the goddess is adorned with precious gemstones and weighs around 40 kg. A unique feature of this temple is that it faces west and not north or east as is generally adopted in Hindu religion.
Vishalgad, also known as Khelna or Khilna, is a heritage site located at a height of over 3500 feet above sea level. This fort was initially built by Shilahara King Marsinh in 1058 and was called Khilgil. Over the years, it came under the rule of various kings, before being annexed from Adil Shah of Bijapur by Shivaji in 1659, and was thereafter renamed Vishalgad, which means grand fort in Marathi. Apart from its main entrance, it is almost impossible to reach the fort as it surrounded by steep cliffs and mountainous terrain of the Sahyadri Range, and thus, conquering it was a great thing achieved by Shivaji. Although in ruins, this site of historical significance is worth a visit.
One of the magnificent landmarks in Kolhapur is the Shalini Palace on the banks of the picturesque Rankala Lake. The heritage structure is named after Princess Shrimant Shalini Raje – daughter of Chhatrapati Shahaji II Puar Maharaj and Queen Pramila Raje. Spread over 12 acres, this opulent building with beautiful gardens was constructed between 1931 and 1934 at a cost of 8 lakhs. The black stone and Italian marble edifice is adorned with stained glass arches, wooden doors and windows, huge tower clock, Belgian glass, etc. It became Maharashtra’s first and only heritage luxury hotel, after being converted into a 3-star hotel in 1987.
Saptashrungi temple is dedicated to goddess Saptashrungi, located within the seven mountain peaks in Nanduri village near Nashik. The temple is one among the 51 Shakti Peethas in the Indian subcontinent and also three and half Shakti Peethas of Maharashtra.
Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, situated in the Nashik district. The temple complex is the source of the Godavari river and one of the must visit religious center in Maharashtra.
Panchavati is a pilgrimage site and the place where the Kumbh Mela held near the Godavari river in Nashik. The complex has many tourist attractions such as Tapovan,Ramkund,Naroshankar Temple and Sundarnarayan Temple.
Sita Gumpha Caves is one of the popular tourist destination in Nasik and the place has religious significance and a pilgrimage spot. This place is located in Panchavati near Kalaram temple where Sita have stayed for some time.
Kalaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and the most important Hindu shrine in the city of Nashik. The temple has the black statue of Lord Rama and known to be one of the most famous temple of Lord Rama in India.
Pandavleni Caves are group of 24 rock cut caves, located about 8 km south of Nashik in Maharashtra. The caves are known as Trirashmi Buddhist Caves situated high in the mountains of Trirashmi and a popular attraction in Nasik.
Kapaleshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the oldest temple in Nashik and the only temple of Lord Shiva without Nandi idol. Shree Kapaleshwar Mandir along with Gayatri Devi Mandir and Maruti Mandir are among the most important place in Nashik city.
Sula Vineyard is the most popular vineyards of Nashik and the valley produced premium grapes wines. Nasik is home to India’s best Vineyards with tasting rooms and listed as best weekend getaways near Mumbai and Pune.
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grishneshwara Temple is known as one of the 12 sacred Jyotirlingas. Grishneshwar Temple is a 13th Century Shiva Temple located in Ellora. It has been mentioned in the Shiva Purana, which forms an integral part of the Shaivism Literature, as the 12th place of worship in the country. The original temple was a prehistoric monument which was later destroyed by the Mughals. What is seen now is a structure which was rebuilt twice after the Mughals were defeated. So, apart from having religious importance, Grishneshwar Temple also has a historical significance. The temple architecture also draws several tourists to the site. At present, it is recognized as an active place of worship for followers of Lord Shiva and a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Having a striking resemblance to Taj Mahal, the Bibi ka Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum of Rabia- Ul – Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Bibi ka Maqbara was constructed by Aurangzeb in the year 1661 in the memory of his wife. Aurangzeb attributed this magnificent edifice in the name of his son Azam Shah who was born in the year 1653, so as to commemorate Rabia – Ul – Daurani, who left for her heavenly abode in the year 1657.
Located around 99 km from the town of Aurangabad, lie the Ajanta Caves now included in the list of UNESCO World heritage Sites. Ajanta caves depict the Buddhist culture and their stories through various sculptures and paintings. It also takes you to the world of Jatakas. The Ajanta caves is a set of 3rock-cutut Buddhist caves that date back to the period between 2nd century BC and 650 CE. The Ajanta caves are considered one of the most prestigious monuments of India as they house many beautiful paintings and sculptures depicting the rich cultural heritage of India.
Another World Heritage Site that the town boasts of, are the Ellora caves, that one must not miss while in Aurangabad. The sculptures here, represent elements of three religions and do so grandly and beautifully.
Shri Yogeshwari is a Bhushan of Ambanagari. In the first place, untouchables have embraced literary and culturally respectable Maharashtrian minds. Two of them are remarkable about the poet’s composition Shri Mukundraj and the mausoleum of Navkot Narayan Sant poet Dasopant of Marathi literature. The importance of Ambanagari has increased due to this reason, and in ancient times, this city was sitting in other cities like Bushan ghost (Nagar Bhushan Bhav). Because Yogeshwari had Shaktipeeth, she had attained the form of holy pilgrimage and it is still today.
Located 15 km away from the main city of Aurangabad, Daulatabad Fort is an ancient fortification that rises formidably from the midst of verdant greenery. Often hailed as one of the ‘seven wonders of Maharashtra’, this architectural marvel is believed to have been built in the 12th century. Also known as Devgiri fort, perhaps the most enchanting qualities is its location, from the zenith of which you can capture a mesmerising view of the entire city. You need to hike some 750 odd steps up to the top, but the view down below is a wonderful thing to behold.
If one is to draw a line between Kanyakumari and Ujjain, Parali village can be clearly seen on that line. This village is located on the slopes of Meru or Naganarayana Mountain. Parali is an ancient village located near three rivers, Brahma, Venu and Saraswati, because of the presence of one of the twelve JyotirLingas of Shankara, it has become famous. This village is also known as Kantipur, Madhyarekha Vaijayanti or Jayanti. It is 26 kilometers from Ambejogai in the Beed district.
Formerly known as Pratishthana, Paithan is an ancient town located 56 km south of Aurangabad, on the banks of the sacred river Godavari. It was the capital of the Satvahana dynasty from 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD. This pilgrim center has the shrine of ‘Sant Eknath’ dedicated to saint Eknath Maharaj and the ‘Paithan fair’ celebrated here attracts large crowds. Paithan is also famous for its beautiful 6-yard Paithani silk saris with elaborate zari borders, which are woven with pure silk yarn and gold thread (drawn from pure gold). One can visit the Paithani saree kendra also known as ‘Saat Bungalow’ which is run by the Maharashtra State Small Scale Industries Corporation (MSSSIC). Other attractions of the place are Paithan garden or Saint Dnyaneshwar garden with dancing fountains; Paithan dam alias Jayakwadi dam constructed over the river godavari and the rock carved pillar named Tirthkhamb or Vijaystambh.
The twelve jyotirlingas are the most significant places of pilgrimage for Hindus in India. Five of them happen to be in Maharashtra. Shiva has been worshipped in these places for centuries. Aundha-Nagnath is one of them. Anudha Nagnath is in the Hingoli District This pilgrim center is of great significance, since it is considered to be the Eighth (adya), of the 12 jyotirlingas. It is believed that Dharmraj (eldest of Pandav) has constructed this beautiful temple while they were expelled for 14 years from Hastinapur. The temple of Nagnath has exquisite carvings. The temple is of Hemadpanthi architecture and is situated in about 60,000 sq. ft area. Large number of pilgrims visit this temple on shivratri and Vijayadashmi.
The Kailasha or Kailashanatha temple is the largest monolithic rock-cut structure in the world located in cave 16 of Ellora Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Carved out of single basalt rock from Charanandri Hills, it is one of the exceptional temples of India owing to its massive size, amazing architecture and mind-boggling carvings. With its intricate designs on panels, monolithic pillars and statues of animals and deities, Kailasa Temple is an engineering marvel perfect for history and architecture lovers.
Established in the honour of the great Maratha ruler, Shivaji Maharaj, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, located near Nehru Bal Udyan, has a marvellous collection of artefacts belonging to Maratha Empire. The main highlight of the museum is the 500-year-old armour, an equally old traditional Paithani Saree and a copy of the Holy Quran that was written by Aurangzeb. Housing 6 exhibition halls, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Aurangabad is a rich source of knowledge of the Maratha valour.
Lonar lake is a lake of lagoon in Buldhana district of Maharashtra state. It was created due to a meteorite. It is the only major hoverback in the basalt rock. Its water is alkaline. Lonar Lake has been declared as Wildlife Sanctuary for the conservation and conservation of Lonar lake. There are temples around 1250 years ago. Of these, 15 temples are in reversal. The formation of the lake is believed to have been 52,000 ± 6,000 years ago. But in a research paper published in 2010, the age of the lake is estimated at 570,000 ± 47,000 years.Organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, United States Geographic Survey in America and the Geological Society of India, Physical Research Laboratory of India have done a lot of research on this lake.