Maharashtra

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Introduction

Maharashtra is located on the western part of the Indian peninsula with states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, and Gujarat on its borders. The vast Arabian Sea is located on its western side.

In India it is the 3rd largest state. It is also the second largest city in the world to produce films. In India it is one of the most industrialized states. The state has declared Aurangabad as the ‘Tourism Capital of the State’, recently.

The belief is that the name Maharashtra originated from the word rathi, which means one who drives chariots. The chariot builders were accordingly termed as Maharathis. The name Maharashtra has been derived from two Sanskrit words, out of which one is Maha which means Great and the other is Rashtra which means Nation. It was in the 2nd century that the history of Maharashtra was recorded when Buddhist caves were first constructed. Then Huan Tsang, a Chinese traveler gave an account of this state in the 7th century. A Hindu king based in Badami ruled Maharashtra during the 6th century. The Maratha Empire was founded by Shivaji Bhosale, a fine ruler and great warrior in Maharashtra. Maharashtra state was officially formed, with Bombay as its capital in the year 1960 after Gujarati and Marathi linguistic areas were separated.

 

Best Time To Visit

Maharashtra can be accessed by tourists any time of the year. However, winter time, which is from October to February, is the best time to enjoy a fulfilling holiday. The hill stations are best visited in summer. During spring the weather is ideal and pleasant for enjoying different activities and sightseeing.

 

How To Reach

By Road

The national highway and state road transport is maintained well in Maharashtra to connect to different cities and towns in India. The roads are motorable with excellent service stations connecting Aurangabad, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Nashik, Pune and other states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa. The traffic is disciplined even if it is heavy. Whether it is car rental services, ramshackle rattletraps, luxury coaches, self driven or chauffeur driven vehicles, private operators and interstate roadway buses, all kinds of road transport is available. Having an international driving license helps and the traffic drives always on the right hand side

By Rail

Indian Railways have the headquarters of both the Central and Western Railways in Mumbai. All the villages and cities of Maharashtra are connected by regular train services in an enormous network. Tourists can reach almost anywhere in Maharashtra by train.

By Air

Mumbai, the state capital is the place where many international flights land. The international airport is located in Mumbai at Sahar, from where the popular commercial area Nariman Point can be accessed. There are also airports at Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nashik which are facilitated well by private and national domestic airlines.

 

Availability Of Hotels And Restaurants

During the peak seasons, hotels in Maharashtra are generally fully booked. Comfortable accommodation is available coupled with traditional hospitality at the heritage hotels for holidaymakers and business travelers. Some of the best heritage hotels are available in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Mahableshwar. During their stay at the heritage hotels, tourists are sure to relive the state’s glorious history. In fact the hotels make a perfect getaway to the rich heritage and culture of the state. After India gained independence in 1947, many of the forts, abodes of royal families and summer palaces have been converted into luxurious heritage hotels. Beautiful wall paintings in classic style, antiques, chandeliers and royal décor gracefully adorn the hotels. At the restaurants, scrumptious delicacies are served to give taste buds a workout! The Varadi and Konkani cuisine of Maharashtra is very famous wherein a lot of coconut and seafood is used. Besides this the sol kadhi, a digestive and appetizer, the Ukadiche Modak a sweet dish served during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the popular bombil fry fish, bhakris made from rice flour, bharli vangi or stuffed brinjals, puran poli a sweet roti made during festivals are many of exotic food items served at restaurants in Maharashtra.

Also hotels and resorts in a good number are provided by MTDC at every possible destination. All the hotels and resorts are built well, keeping in mind the comfort of the holiday maker as top priority. Amenities in a wide range are offered at all the accommodation facilities. International and Indian cuisine, especially fresh seafood and local delicacies are offered at the restaurants in Maharashtra.

 

Best Places, Locations, Monuments Etc

Maharashtra has a sea face that stretches to 720 km. right from Bordi and Dahanu towards the north and up to Goa, on the south. It has a long shoreline which tourists who love enjoying surf, sea and sand will find attractive. On the golden sands, one can relax and also have adventurous water based sports activities.

The state is home to numerous ancient caves, museums, secluded islands, forts, pilgrimage sites, palaces, exotic hill stations, dense forests and scenic landscape and beautiful beaches. As far as crafts and arts is concerned a number of things like the Bidriware, Warli paintings, Sawantwadi crafts, Mashroo and Himaroo, Kolhapuri chappals, Paithani sarees and Narayan Peth are very famous in Maharashtra.

Proof of the art of ancient India can be seen near Aurangabad at Verul and Ajanta. Maharashtra festivals are a tribute to the rich legacy and culture of the state. Interaction of people from all walks of life is seen when festivals like Padwa, Ganesh Pooja, Dussehra, Diwali, Gokul Ashtami etc are celebrated on a common platform. Some of the most beautiful caves can be seen at Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta and Aurangabad. Panchgani, Amboli, Matheran, Chikaldara, Matheran, Jawahar, Karla, Khandala, Mahabaleshwar and Lonawala are the popular hill stations to visit in Maharashtra.

The state has a rich martial history and a number of majestic forts like Panhala, Raigad, Vishalgad, Pratapgad and Rajgad built by erstwhile kings can be seen. Other sea forts like Sindhudurg and Murud are also worth visiting. Devgiri, Torna, Vijaydurg, Shivneri, Panhala Sinhgad are other important forts in Maharashtra.

Popular destinations for pilgrimages are Ashtavinayak Yatra, Bhimashankar, Trimbakeshwar, Kunkeshwar, Alandi, Jyotiba, Siddhivinayak Temple, Tuljapur, Pandharpur, Shirdi and Nashik.

Popular bird sanctuaries and national parks are located at Harishchandragad, Bhimashankar, Kalsubai, Mahim, Tadoba, Melghat, Dajipur, Navegaon, Nagzira, Karnala and Borivli. Along the coastline are numerous beaches at Kashid, Bassein, Kondura, Dahanu, Tarkarlim Ganpatipule, Velneshwar, Mandwa-Kihim, Murud-Janjira, Vijaydurg-Sindhudurg, Dhamapur and Vengurla-Malvan.