Maharashtra Tourism

Tips :Marathi ,Hindi


Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states of Tourism in India . Besides Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur complete the urban sprawl of the state. Marathi is the mother tongue of the people of the state, who are known as Marathis or Maharashtrians. English and Hindi are also widely spoken and understood.

Maharashtra is the most visited state by foreign tourists in India and 4th most visited state by domestic tourists in country in 2010.Recently, Aurangabad was declared as Tourism Capital of Maharashtra.

Mumbai

The eastern equivalent of New York City and Los Angeles and the financial capital and entertainment(Bollywood) capital of the country,is constantly abuzz with activities. It has a very active nightlife for those inclined towards urban modes of entertainment. Some places of interest to include on the must-watch list are: Gateway of India, The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a humongous architectural stone structure built by the British more than 200 years ago, Girgaon chowpati (beach), Downtown Mumbai - reminiscent of the 19th century British architecture. Some pristine beaches can be found towards the south of Mumbai, for e.g. Madh island beach. Elephanta Caves, carved out of a giant stone on an island are a short ferry away into the Arabian sea. Ferries can be rented from The Gateway of India. There is no dearth of luxury hotels that dot the city near all important tourist places. The city has one of the most active public transport system rivaling the best in the world in terms of density and reach....

Pune

Undoubtedly the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra, is said to be the educational center of India. Pune has forts dating back to the seventeenth century such as Sinhagad, Purandar, Shaniwar Wada (a weekend residence of the Peshwas) and Lal Mahal (the red palace), residence of Chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj. Pune also has educational institutes of repute such as Fergusson College, a 200-year old college built by the British.

Pune has many beautiful temples which are visited by thousand of devotees. Amongst them are Parvati temples, Chaturshringi Temple, Pataleshwar and many temples of Lord Ganesh in the cross roads of the peths.

Lakshmi Road, the avenue for buying all things Maharashtrian. These are just some of the places that register high on the tourist's agenda.

Aurangabad

This city lies in the central parts of Maharashtra and is one of the most popular cities that figure on the international tourist map. On the outskirts lie the caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Both are internationally renowned for their intricate carvings of Lord Buddha in stone. Ancient Buddhist life has been depicted in delicate stonework. Guided tours are readily available. Summers are not advisable for touring as temperatures can reach up to and above 44 degrees C during the day.
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Bibi Ka Maqbara

Aurangabad is a historic city in Maharashtra state of India. The city is a tourist hub, surrounded with many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as Bibi Ka Maqbara and Panchakki. The administrative headquarters of the Aurangabad Division or Marathwada region, Aurangabad is said to be a City of Gates and the strong presence of these can be felt as one drives through the city. Recently Aurangabad has been declared as Tourism Capital of Maharashtra.The city is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
The city was founded in 1610 A, D. by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza. Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar on the site of a village called Khadki. He made it his capital and the men of his army raised their dwellings around it. Within a decade Khadki grew into a populous and imposing city. Malik Ambar died in 1626. He was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan who changed the name of Khadki to Fatehnagar. With the capture of Daulatabad in 1633, the Nizam Shahi dominions including Fatehnagar came under the possession of the Moghals. In 1653 when Prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan for the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and called it Aurangabad.
Tourist attractions in the City
Bibi Ka Maqbara inside view
Bhadkal Gate built by Malik Ambar in commemoration of his victory against the Mughals.

    Bibi Ka Maqbara: Situated about 3 km from the city is Bibi Ka Maqbara, the burial place of Aurangzeb's wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani. It is an imitation of the Taj at Agra and due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the Mini Taj of the Deccan. The Maqbara stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned Mughal garden with axial ponds, fountains, water channels, broad pathways and pavilions. Behind the mausoleum is located a small archaeological museum.

Panchakki, Baba Shah Mosafar Dargah 1880s

    Panchakki (water mill): Housed in the Dargah complex of Baba Shah Musafir, it is a 17th century water mill situated at a distance of 1 km from the city. An intriguing water mill, the Panchakki is famous for its underground water channel, which traverses more than 8 km to its source away in the mountains. The channel culminates in a mesmerising 'artificial' waterfall that powers the mill. The beauty of the mosque housed in the inner enclosure is enhanced by a series of 'dancing' water fountains.

    Gates in Aurangabad: One of the things that makes Aurangabad stand out from the several other medieval cities in India are its 52 'gates' each of which have a local history or had individuals linked with them. Not many people are aware of the fact that Aurangabad is also known as the 'City of Gates'.

    Naukhanda palace: The Naukhanda palace was built by Malik Ambar in 1616 upon the summit of a rising ground at Aurangabad, India. The massive portal gateway leading to this, over which the Naubatkhana sounded, was called Barkal. The palace had nine apartments, the interior buildings consisted of five zananas, a Divan i Aam, a Divan i Khas, a masjid and a kacheri, each provided with a garden and a cistern.


    Himayat Baugh Aurangabad: THE Himayat Bagh is 17th century garden that now houses the Fruit Research Station & Nursery, which is a part of the Marathwada Agricultural University. It is located near Delhi Gate in Rauza Bagh area of Aurangabad. It is a sprawling complex spread over 300 acres (1.2 km2), naturally green and in the olden days it was known as the Mughal garden.[3]


    Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary: Salim Ali Sarovar (lake) popularly known as Salim Ali Talab is located near Delhi Gate, opposite Himayat Bagh, Aurangabad. It is located in the northern part of the city. During the Mughal period it was known as Khiziri Talab. It has been renamed after the great ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali. It also has a bird Sanctuary and a garden maintained by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.

    Aurangabad Caves: Situated at a distance of 5 km, nestled amidst the hills are 12 Buddhist caves probably dating back to 3 A.D. Of particular interest are the Tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves. One is also treated to a panoramic view of the city as well as the imposing Maqbara from this point.

    Quila-E-Ark: In 1692, Aurangzeb ordered a palace to be built and named it as the Killa Arrak. The space enclosed by the Killa Arrak or citadel covered nearly the whole ground between the Mecca and Delhi gates of the city. It had four or five gateways and a nagarkhana for the musicians. The walls were battle-mented and loop-holed and had semi-circular towers at the angles, on which guns were once mounted. The inner portion was occupied by recesses similar to those in the city walls. To the right of the entrance was a high terrace extending the whole length of the ground enclosed.

    Kali Masjid, Jama Masjid: Among the mosques, the Jumma masjid and the Kali masjid built by Malik Ambar, and the Shah Ganj mosque are the most conspicuous. Malik Ambar is said to have built seven mosques which go by the general name of Kali masjid. The Kali masjid is in Juna Bazar area and was erected in 1600 A. D. It is a six-pillared stone-building standing on a high plinth. The Jumma masjid of Malik Ambar is near the Killa Arrak. It has fifty polygonal pillars arranged in five rows, and connected by a system of arches, which divide the building into twenty-seven equal compartments, each covered by a domical vault of simple but elegant design. There are nine pointed arches in front. Of these, five were erected by Malik Ambar in 1612 A. D. and the remaining four were added by Aurangzeb.

    Shahganj Masjid: Occupying the great market square of Aurangabad is the large Shah Ganj mosque, one of the finest edifices of its class to be found in any put of India. It was built in about 1720 A.D. Khafi Khan, the author of Muntakhabu-1-Lubab, referring to Sayyad Husain Khan’s viceroyalty of the Deccan (1714–1719) says "the reservoir at Shah Ganj was begun by Sayyad Husain Ali, and although Aazu-d Daula Iraz Khan enlarged and made higher the buildings and mosques still Sayyad Husain Ali was the originator of that extensive reservoir, which in summer, when water is scarce relieves the sufferings of the inhabitants".
    The mosque is on a raised platform, and has shops on three of the outer sides; while the fourth or the north side is open and is ascended by a flight of steps the facade represents an arcade of five scalloped arches, constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, and supported on stone pillars. This portion projects a little; and the interior contains twenty four pillars, which with six pilasters in the back wall, are arranged in the form of a square. The central portion is covered with a graceful bulbous dome, having the base adorned with crisp crinkled lotus leave tied in a neat narrow band; and the apex bears an elegant spire. Arcaded monasteries called Kham Khas, form the east and the west wings, and consist of five arches on either side, constructed like the arches of the main building, but of horizontal structure. The interior is connected by horizontal arches; and the roof is formed of a series of little domes, each supported on four pillars. There are minarets at the corners of the main building, and at the end angels of the Kham Khas. The courtyard in front contains two large cisterns. The entrance is in the form of a little mosque, with a pointed arch and two minarets.

    Chowk Masjid: In 1655 was built the Chauk Masjid by Shayista Khan, the maternal uncle of Aurangzeb. Its front has five pointed arches, and is two arches in depth. These are connected with one another by eight pillars and corresponding pilasters, and support five domes. The central dome, with a metallic spire is lofty, while the others are concealed in the roof. The corners are decorated with minarets. The whole structure has a high basement containing chambers used for shop, which open out on the roadside. The gate has two minarets. There is a cistern in the courtyard in front of the mosque.

    Pir Ismail Mausoleum: Outside the Delhi gate along the Harsul road, in a garden, is a mausoleum to Pir Ismail. Though principally in the Moghal style of architecture, it shows some features common to Pathan architecture. It is said to have been erected in memory of Pir Ismail, a tutor to Prince Aurangzeb. The garden also contains several ruined cisterns and fountains. The gate is rather imposing and has a large pointed archway, forming a sort of portico. The actual entrance is through a small arch at the further extremity. The parapet is nearly ornamented, so is the facade, which has three small windows with pointed arches, besides recesses. Each corner of the terrace has a little tower surmounted with a bulbous dome and a spire. The mausoleum is square in plan, has five pointed arches on each side and similar domed towers at the corners. The interior is connected by a system of arches, corresponding with those on the sides and carrying a series of little domes.

    Sunehri Mahal: The Sunehri Mahal in Paharsingpura was erected by a Bundelkhand Chief who accompanied Aurangzeb into the Deccan. The building is in stone and lime, and has a high plinth. It is said to have derived its name from the paintings of gold which at one time decorated it.

Tourist Attractions in Aurangabad District
Painting from the Ajanta caves

    Ajanta Caves: The Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, India are 31 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jataka tales)[4] as well as frescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka.[5]

Kailasha temple at Ellora

    Ellora Caves: Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km (19 mi) from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta rulers. Well known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site.[6] Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock cut temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century.[7]

Daulatabad Fort

    Daulatabad: Daulatabad ؛ meaning “City of Prosperity”, is a 14th century fort city in Maharashtra, India, about 16 kilometers northwest of Aurangabad. The place, was once as known as Deogiri. Starting 1327, it famously remained the capital of Tughlaq dynasty, under Muhammad bin Tughluq (r. 1325-1351), who also changed its name, and forcibily moved the entire population of Delhi here, for two years, before it was abandoned due to lack of water.

Zainuddin Shirzai Dargah Khuldabad

    Khuldabad: Khuldabad also Kuldabad or Khultabad) is a city (municipal council) and a Taluka of Aurangabad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Initially it was known as Rauza meaning garden of paradise. It is known as the Valley of Saints, or the Abode of Eternity, because in the 14th century, several Sufi saints chose to reside here. The dargah of Zar Zari Zar Baksh, Shaikh Burhan ud-din Gharib Chisti & Shaikh Zain-ud-din Shirazi along with the tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and his trusted general Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I the first Nizam of Hyderabad are located in this town.

    Grishneshwar: Grishneshwar, also known as Ghushmeshwar, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the sacred abodes of Shiva. The temple is located eleven km from Daulatabad, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra India. The temple is located near Ellora Caves.

    Jayakwadi Dam: The Jayakwadi project is one of the largest irrigation projects in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a multipurpose project. Its water is used mainly to irrigate agricultural land in the drought-prone Marathwada region of Maharashtra. It also provides water for drinking and industrial usage to nearby towns and villages and to the municipalities and industrial areas of Aurangabad and Jalna. The surrounding area of the dam has a garden and a bird sanctuary.

    Dnyneshwar Udyan: Dnyaneshwar Udyan is the largest garden in Maharashtra resembling the Vrindavan Gardens of Mysore, situated on the banks of Nathsagar Lake formed due to Jayakwadi Dam. It is located in the ancient town of Paithan which is 40 km south of Aurangabad. Out of the 125 hectares, orchids cover 26 hectares, 28 hectares are laid out as parks and 15 hectares beautified with floriculture.

    Pitalkhora Caves: Pitalkhora in the Satamala range of the Sahyadri hills are of great interest. There are thirteen caves, set high up on the hill, overlooking picturesque ravines. Many of the caves have crumbled and are badly damaged. Because of its remoteness Pitalkhora has few visitors.
    Pitalkhora Caves, which dates back to 2nd century BC are only 40 km away from Ellora caves at Aurangabad. One can see here many unusual sculptures like Yaksa figures. The main gate has a wide terrace, with the naga and guardians flanking the door, and a row of elephants decorate the complex. A stair directly connects the entrance to the chaitya. A group of viharas, a chaitya hall, and two smaller caves across the gorge with stupas consist the complex.

    Gautala Sanctuary: Gautala sanctuary located at a distance of 65 km from Aurangabad. It was declared a protected area in 1986, has an area of over 250 km2 and is located at a height of 700 feet. Spread in the hill ranges of Sahyadri the diversified vegetation scattered intermittently support rich faunal and floral diversity. Particularly it is good for sloth bear habitat and excellent for resident and migratory birds.
    Wildlife population includes chinkara, sloth bears, bats, wild boar, jungle cat, monkey, civet cat, barking deer, fox, jackal, langur, leopard, nilgai and wolf. Cranes, spoonbills, storks, ibis, pochards, peafowl, quail, partridges, and various species of waders are some of the bird species found here.

    Kaghzipura: A place situated near Daulatabad made first handmade paper in India after the technology was brought here by Mongol invaders - it is a landmark even today. Interestingly this paper has been used to print the holy Quran.

    Mhaismal: Mhaismal, is a small hill station in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra. Located at an altitude of 1067 m, is about 12 km from Khuldabad and about 40 km from Aurangabad.
    Places of tourist interest are an ancient temple of Girijamata, a beautiful lake and a 300 ft TV tower which can broadcast for 150 km range. An exact copy of the Balaji Temple at Tirupati is located at the top of the hill station. The hill station attracts visitors during monsoons when it is covered in greenery. One gets to see a fantastic view of the surrounding valleys.
Nagpur

The winter capital of the state senate is a wonderful city. With a tradition of producing the best Oranges, this city would be a great place to visit during the winter. Summer along with Aurangabad, would not be a good time to visit with temperatures hovering in the low-to-mid 40s. Nagpur being in the heart of the country has a Zero Mile monument which is a milestone from which the distances of major cities were calculated. The city also has a beautiful stupa at Deekshabhoomi-the place where under the leadership of Dalit leader Dr B R Ambedkar thousands of dalits embraced Buddhism. Another important place to visit is Tekadi Ganesh mandir on Sitabuildi fort complex. The Orange city has other places of tourist importance such as Maharajbagh zoo, Futala lake chowpati, Raman science center, RSS headquarters and some premier research institutions such as NEERI, CICR, NBSSLUP.
Nashik

This city is a holy pilgrim city. It is the place where Lord Rama spent 14 years of his exile. It is also a city of temples. It is known for its picturesque surrounding and a pleasant climate. It can be visited any time except in rainy season. Trimbakeshwar near Nashik is a jyotirling. Godavari river originates from here. In recent times, this city has developed a lot and is rapidly developing into a metro.The "Wine Capital of India", or the "Grape City", as it is popularly known in recent times, is located in the Western Ghats, on the western edge of the Deccan peninsula on the banks of the Godavari River. The city is known for its picturesque surroundings and pleasant climate. The Godavari River flows through Nashik from its source, which lies to the southwest of the city, in Trimbakeshwar. It is a rapidly developing city with a population close to 1.4 million
Satara

This city lies on western Maharashtra. City is well known for tourist places like Mahabaleshwar, Wai, Panchgani and rivers such as Koyna and Krishna. Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are one of the famous tourist places of India. River Krishna rises at Mahabaleswar near the Jor village in the extreme north of Wai district. From here on it flows into Karnataka and joins the Bay of Bengal after traveling distance of 1400 km.
Adventure tourism

Maharashtra offers the adventure lovers, over 45 adventures to choose from across its length and breadth. It has over 550 forts to visit including over 20 Sea Forts, 720 km of coastline, the incredible vistas of its western ghats that has superb wildlife and camping possibilities. From water to land to aero, there is a host of adventures to choose from

    Paragliding
    Gliding
    Rock climbing
    Scuba diving
    Snorkeling
    Kayaking
    Canoeing
    Trekking
    Wildlife Safari

Hill stations

    Amboli
    Chikhaldara
    Igatpuri
    Jawhar
    Karjat
    Khandala
    Lavasa
    Lonavala
    Mahabaleshwar
    Matheran
    Panchgani
    Panhala
    Toranmal

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