The state of Maharashtra is home to many different ethnicities, religions, and languages. It’s also the second most populous state in India with a population of 116 million! Let’s explore this fascinating region.
Maharashtra has been an important part of Indian culture for centuries. The people are hard-working and entrepreneurial, making it one of the wealthiest states in the country.
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 73 million people in India. It’s the official language of Maharashtra and one of India’s 22 official languages. Marathi is closely related to Gujarati & Konkani, and it’s written using the Devanagari script.
The people of Maharashtra have been influential in India’s history from ancient times right up until the present day! Some examples include: Shivaji Bhosale (Shivaji was a ruler of the Maratha Empire who was well known for his guerrilla warfare tactics) Bajirao I (known as Bajirao Ballal, he was a general of the Maratha Empire under Shivaji) Bal Gangadhar Tilak (often called Lokmanya, he was an Indian nationalist and freedom fighter – more people should know about him!)
Even though Maharashtra is not as well known as other regions like Rajasthan or Kerala, there are still lots of things to do here that don’t involve just visiting ancient temples or holy sites—and some that might surprise you! I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorites below:
Mumbai, Home to more than 18 million people, Mumbai is a world-class city and fast becoming a financial center. It’s a major port, so it has lots of luxury yachts lining up to dock here during the season.
Mumbai, also known as Bombay is now the financial capital of India. It is the fastest-growing city in the world and recently overtook Seoul to become the second-largest city in Asia. Mumbai is one of the most populous cities in the world with a population of about 20 million people. There are many important landmarks that can be found here, such as the Gateway of India, which was constructed to commemorate King George V’s visit to India in 1911. Another attraction area is called Marine Drive, where there are lots of shops, restaurants, and cafes lining up to offer their services.
The word “cave” usually conjures images of spelunkers wandering through dark tunnels, but these caves are different. They are located on the island called Gharapuri, which is part of an archipelago of seven islands that lie just off the coast.
The Elephanta Caves are located on an island called Gharapuri (also known as Elephanta Island) which is located in the Mumbai Harbour. The 5th century Caves are dedicated to Shiva and were very important for Hindu worship at one time. There are two main caves, but there may be more hidden underwater. Many of the carvings are simply amazing.
Ajanta Caves – Set in the gorge of the Waghora River, these caves are said to have been created some two millennia ago! The most impressive part about them is the intricate paintings on the walls that have managed to survive for so long. This is because they were sealed off from oxygen and water when the monsoon season came each year, so they remained well-preserved even though there was no maintenance for many years.
The Ajanta Caves are located close to Ellora. These caves date back to around the 2nd century BCE and were cut out of solid rock. They have unique paintings that have managed to survive very well thanks to a good system of ventilation and drainage. The paintings have been dated from the 3rd century BCE to the 6th century CE.
Kanheri Caves – These caves are located to the north of Mumbai and were built out of rock during the 1st century CE to serve as a Jain meditation center! The ceilings and walls have been beautifully carved and there’s even a “library” that served as a place to store texts that the monks used.
Located in Borivali National Park, Kanheri Caves are around 29 caves carved out of solid rock during the 1st century CE. These caves were built by Jain people and served as meditation chambers. The Jain sculptures are very famous all over the world. There is also a large “library” which used to store texts for the monks.
Nagpur is the second-largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai, with about 2 million residents, and is the 11th largest metropolitan area in IndiahouseMany important landmarks can. It’s a good place to visit if you’re looking for natural beauty along with your history and culture—there are lots of trails and parks as well as some UNESCO World Heritage sites here such as the Vindhya and Satpura National park.
Nagpur was formerly known as “the orange city” because it used to export oranges to Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. Currently, Nagpur is a major cotton-growing region of India, but exports have been on the decline since 2005 due to the high prices of cotton from other countries. The climate of Nagpur is classified as tropical wet and dry, so summers are hot while winters are mild.
Nagpur is also where you’ll find the CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd), which was established to build Navi Mumbai, a planned satellite city that has become one of the most popular cities in India. As of March 2014, it had an estimated population of 1.2 million.
Pandharpur must be the place to be if you’re in Maharashtra in June especially for Ashadi Ekadashi, a Hindu holiday that is celebrated all over India with processions and pilgrimages. No matter when or where you go, though, Pandharpur has lots of temples for visitors to experience.
Pandharpur is a pilgrimage site in Maharashtra, India. It is also the biggest town in the district of Solapur. Pandharpur has situated about 100 km southeast of Solapur city on the banks of the river Krishna. This place has numerous temples which are dedicated to Lord Vithal or Panduranga. It is believed that King Shivaji Maharaj had heard this deity’s name at the age of 16 and was influenced by his words to become a Hindu devotee, renounce worldly pleasures, and lead an ascetic life.
The inner walls of the temple are covered with verses from Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas written in the Marathi language which were commissioned by Peshwa (Prime Minister) Balaji Bajirao. The authorities have strictly prohibited the entry of cameras inside the temple premises.
Pandharpur is also known for its textile industry, especially traditional handloom weaving and tie-and-dye fabrics called Bati.
This town is probably one of the best places to visit for a taste of old India because it has a palace that dates back to the 5th century! This is one of my favorite places in the state because it has both a gorgeous coastline and an interesting history. It used to be called “Sri Sailam” and is most famous for the Kolhapur Diamonds, which were found in a village just outside of town!
Kolhapur is a historical city in Maharashtra, India. It lies 151 km from Pune by road and 179 km by rail. The city once known as the capital of the Maratha Empire was also known as ‘Shelter of Koli’s, Lord Kolhapur is famous for its richness in culture. The old city offers a fabulous view of past times, with ancient paintings and artistic carvings on the buildings that depict India’s cultural heritage.
Kolhapur is well known as a textile center and for its gold ornaments. It has been home to some of India’s prominent political leaders including the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai-the 4th Prime Minister of India from 1977-1979, and Yashwantrao Chavan- the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1960 – 1962.
Kolhapur is a great place to visit as you walk around wondering at the grandeur of the museums, the temples, and other historical monuments. It also houses a zoo that houses rare birds, animals, and reptiles. A visit to this museum shows you how life was lived in the golden era of India and is a must-visit for history lovers.
Kolhapur district comprises 1255 villages and it has a population of 2,30,000 (1998 census). The literacy rate is 77%. It houses two of Maharashtra’s colleges: New Arts, Commerce & Science College and Samarth Ramdas Arts, Commerce & Science College. New Arts, Commerce, and Science College also houses the Government College of Engineering.
Kolhapur is also famous for being home to maharanis or princesses who are still remembered today in songs and stories- one of them was Ahilyabai Holkar, who ruled Indore in the 18th century.
The city is both modern and historic! Modern skyscrapers bustle alongside old temples, while students from all over India flock to the many universities here. This city offers something for everyone!
Pune is a historic city in Maharashtra, India. It is known as “Oxford of the East”. It is situated on the Deccan Plateau about 100 km to the southeast of Mumbai. The city was ruled by many ancient dynasties including the Rashtrakutas, Vakataka, and the Western Chalukya before it became part of the Maratha Empire in 1749.
Pune has a variety of tourist attractions. These include a historic palace and a museum for the Prince of Wales. There are various places to visit that reflect its rich cultural heritage. The Osho International Meditation Resort is also one of the popular tourist attractions which house an international meditation center, the Osho Ashram, and, at Bamboo Village, the Chinmaya Mission Hospital & Research Center.
Osho International Meditation Resort
This is a complex which was built by the followers of Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and later as Osho. It is located in Koregaon Park, on the outskirts of Pune city in the Maharashtra state of India. The resort was built over 16 hectares and claims to have 300,000 visitors annually. The resort contains Osho’s “Old Rajneesh Ashram” where he lived for many years before his death in 1990. It also houses the central “Osho Auditorium” with a seating capacity of 1160 people.
Prince of Wales Museum
The Prince of Wales Museum is located in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It was designed by George Wittet who also designed the Gateway of India and High Court Building in Mumbai. The museum is built out of Malad stone. It has a rectangular plan with a high dome drum made from Portland cement concrete and timber roof trusses which are supported on cast-iron columns with Doric order bases.
Bamboo Forest, Chinmaya Mission Hospital
This is a forest of bamboo located at the entrance to the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune, India. It has more than 80 varieties of bamboo and covers an area of about 3 hectares alongside Koregaon Park. This forest provides shelter to many species of birds, insects, and animals. The world’s tallest bamboos are in this forest.
Bibi ka Maqbara
Bibi ka Maqbara is a marble mausoleum commemorating Akbar’s wife, Empress Bega Begum who died in 1631. It was built by Akbar in 1659 after she requested to be buried near her husband. The building has an octagonal design with the exterior covered in white marble and the interior decorated with traditional geometric designs.
Bibi Ka Maqbara is a beautiful replica of the Taj Mahal. It’s only a short train ride from the city of Aurangabad, which was an important part of India’s history during the time of many rulers and invaders.
In recent years, the mausoleum was used for a shoot in the climax of Shahrukh Khan’s 2008 film, “Jodhaa Akbar”.
Shirdi is a town in India. It’s located in the state of Maharashtra, with a population of about 73,000. It’s also known as a pilgrimage site for followers of Sai Baba whose samadhi – the shrine marking the location of his body after death – is at Shirdi. Other than Bhagwan Swami’s samadhi, the town also features the dargah (shrine) of Moulana Shah Jalaluddin Hasan Chishti and Akkalkot Durgah. The temple at this Durga houses an Islamic tradition called Jumma Masjid where thousands gather for worship every Friday.
The Pilgrims who visit Sai Baba’s Samadhi often stop at Shirdi to pay their respects to Sai Baba, who they believe helped them during times of distress.
Shirdi is a special place for Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims alike.
Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park is a unique rainforest enclave that houses rich biodiversity. It’s located in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India.
The name Nagarhole derives from two Kannada words “naga” which means snake and “hola” which translates to hole. The region was given this name because of the snake habitat found in the river valley during ancient times.
This park is about 160 miles southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, but it’s worth the trip. It’s home to many different kinds of animals and birds alike—you can pick up a brochure for ideas on where to find them before you go!
The forest has an area of about 430 km2 and its altitude ranges between 900 meters to 1,650 meters. It includes areas outside the core buffer zone, namely portions of the Moyar Valley, Kethiganahalli Valley, and Jogimatti Valley. The Moyar River rises near Yedakpadi in the Nilgiris and flows through the protected area of Nagarhole National Park. It then joins the Kabini River.
Lonar Crater Lake
Lonar Crater Lake in Maharashtra, Lonar Crater used to be a saltwater lake. Now, it’s about 2,000 feet across and 650 feet deep. There are no other similar craters anywhere else in the world! This is one of just three places on Earth where water has turned saline because of human impact.
The Lonar Crater Lake in Maharashtra is one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.
Maharashtra is full of interesting attractions including places to visit, things to do and see, foods to try out, and cultures worth experiencing. Whether you’re looking for a tourist destination or want to learn more about what life could be like if you were living in Maharashtra yourself, this article should give you plenty of ideas on where your next trip might take place!