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Maharashtra Tourism- The Insider’s Travel Guide

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Maharashtra Tourism

Photo Courtesy: A. Kapasi

“Maharashtra: A State that Proffers a Rich Blend of Culture and History to the Inquisitive Souls”

Maharashtra is like a big canvas painted with distinct colours and patterns to offer a likable picture for the world to see. Enriched with multi-hued culture and glorious history, Maharashtra adds indelible charm in a country that is as diverse as India. From its jovial folk dances and music to its palatable cuisine, from its enchanting architecture to its resplendent art and craft, Maharashtra has a created a world full of opportunity for travel enthusiasts to explore. This incredible state that houses part of the Western Ghats; a district that makes famed Kolhapuri Chappals; a populace that welcomes Lord Ganesha like no other Indian state can; AND a land that is home to one of the largest film industries in the world, BOLLYWOOD, it has something for everyone! So without further ado, let us delve deeper into this land and find the elements that makes it such a magnetic place for explorers!

Maharashtra for Leisure Tourists:
Maharashtra for Leisure Tourists
The state of Maharashtra is an ideal place for leisure tourists. There are a number of exotic destinations in the state many of which are situated in serene and peaceful environments, offering travellers the perfect ambience to relax and unwind. Here are some places that a leisure seeker would love to visit:

Bhatye:

Bhatye is a rural area on the suburbs of Ratnagiri town. However, due to Bhatye’s serene location and its distance from the hustle and bustle of the city, several resorts have been established here for the leisure seekers. One can camp across the bridge in MTDC’s tent resort, amidst whispering casuarinas and enjoy water sports. Also, one can choose to go on an excursion to Pawas to see the famed Swaroopanand Swami Ashram from here.

Igatpuri:

Tucked in the Western Ghats, Igatpuri is a small village that is far from the bustling cities and managed to maintain its tranquility. Needless to say that Igatpuri is a beautiful place that is still untouched and this fact has instigated the leisure seekers to spend time here. There are dozens of resorts that come up here for providing travelers a comfortable and convenient stay. At Igatpuri, the tourists also have the opportunity to practice age-old form of meditation called Vipassana, which certainly has the potential to change your outlook towards life. Igatpuri is a perfect place to relax and submit to luxury.

Lonar:

On one’s leisure trip, it is highly likely that one may bump into something exclusive. Lonar, a small town on the outskirts is known for its large crater (world’s third largest crater), which was formed from the impact of a meteorite that fell here. Today, this crater is filled water and its surrounding area has developed into a rich forest that shelters several species of flora and fauna. Thus, Lonar is now a popular tourist destination and is perfect for those seeking an experience that has lasting impression. One can book in the MTDC resorts here; however, advance booking is mandatory.

Maharashtra for Wildlife Tourists:
Maharashtra for Wildlife Tourists
The rich topography of Maharashtra means that you will find many species of flora and fauna. The state offers wildlife enthusiasts the time of their life as they can explore its rich wildlife sanctuaries and forest areas. Here is Maharashtra that welcomes wildlife aficionados with open arms:

Tadoba National Park:

Often referred to as “The Jewel of Vidharba”, the Tadoba National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in Maharashtra. The park lies in the district of Chandrapur in the north-eastern part of Maharashtra and is spread over an area of 624 sq km.  Tadoba is the treasure trove of innumerable species of flora and fauna and is home to some endangered species like tigers, wild dogs, and sloth bear. Panther, hyena, jackal, bison, barking deer, sambar, and cheatal are some other animals found in Tadoba National Park.

Chikhaldara

Chikhaldara is a small village situated in the Amravati district of Maharashtra. Reckoned to be the place where Bheema (one of the Pandavas from the epic Maharashtra) killed Keechaka. Chikhaldara is a beautiful hill station and due to its proximity to Melghat Tiger Project, it abounds in wildlife as well. Along with several species of flora, a large number of animal species such as Tiger, Leopard, Sloth bear, Wild dog, Jackal, Sambar, Indian Bison, Barking Deer, Blue Bull, Spotted Deer, Chausingha, Ratel, Flying Squirrel, Wild Boar, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, Porcupine, Pangolin and Mouse deer can be found here.

Pench National Park:

Maharashtra shelters Pench National Park that extends over an area of 257 sq. km. in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges, along the northern boundary of Nagpur District. The park, which gets its name from the Pench River, has a rich biodiversity. It has a terrain that is defined by hills, valleys and a few precipitous slopes; Pench is a crucial ecosystem that supports abundance of flora and fauna. The national park has four different forest regions that shelter a large number of tree, herbs and shrubs along with 33 species of mammals, 164 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 10 species of amphibians, and 30 species of reptiles. Pench is an ideal place for naturalists, ornithologists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Bor Wildlife Sanctuary:

Located near Mangi in Wardha district of Maharashtra, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary is yet another placefor flora and fauna in the state.  The sanctuary is also famed for its dam, which is popularly known as Bor Dam. The area around the dam is a great picnic spot and, where one may also be able to spot a wide spectrum of wildlife. Bor Wildlife Sanctuary is home to species like sambhar, cheetal, barking deer, nilgai, tigers, leopards, and wild dogs. Also, the sanctuary is home to 160 species of avifauna and is indeed the birdwatchers paradise.

Dajipur

The jungle resort of Dajipur is situated on the border of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts in Maharashtra. The resort is nestled amidst rugged mountains and dense forests; this secluded little place is completely cut-off from human habitat.  Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the Indian bison, deer, chital, gawa and couple of more species of wild animals and birds. At a short distance from the resort is the Gagangiri Maharaj’s Math which makes for a pleasant outing. This scenic resort is near the backwaters of the Radhanagari Dam and is a perfect place for wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts.

Nawegaon Badh:

Nawegaon is Vidarbha’s most popular forest resort. There is a picturesque lake in the midst of hill ranges with watchtowers that enable visitors to view wildlife.  Also, Nawegaon has about 60% of the bird species found in Maharashtra. Every winter, large flocks of migratory ducks visit the lake. One can also enjoy jungle safaris and get an opportunity to sight leopard, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, chital or langoor. The unique tree-top retreat and power or sail boating are the added assets of this place.

Maharashtra for Adventure Lovers
Maharashtra for Adventure Tourists
We can by no means forget that Maharashtra is the land of Shivaji Maharaj, so adventure is not a new term for this state. Of course, with changing time, the meaning of adventure has changed as we no longer challenge enemies with swords and cannon balls. Today adventure is mostly about fighting one’s own fears and challenging one’s caliber for which Maharashtra offers ample of opportunities. Here is the list of places where you also can challenge your strength and enjoy some great adventure sports:

Panshet:

Panshet is the best place for adventure that Maharashtra has to offer to you. Located about 50kms from Pune, Panshet offers a plethora of water sports like Kayaking, windsurfing, speedboat rides and water scooter rides to adventure lovers. Apart from that, you can visit Sinhagad fort and Sinhagad National park, Khadakvasla and the forts of Torna and Raigad.

Kolad:

Kolad is to Maharashtra what Rishikesh is to Uttarakhand and Coorg is to Karnataka. Kolad is among the top five places for white water river rafting in India. Kolad is also known for its waterfalls and is situated on the Sahyadri mountain range in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Kolad came into prominence after it was discovered by trekkers, rafting was yet another  factor that brought it to limelightTrekking in Kolad during the monsoon season adds to the charm as the landscape remains covered under a green carpet. The Kundalika River is the main attraction of Kolad on which one can enjoy white water rafting.

Trekking Destinations:

Other than water sports, the state of Maharashtra offers trekking opportunities to adventure aficionados as well. There are four major locations in Maharashtra namely, Rajmachi Fort, Waki Woods, The Sahyadris and Karla Caves that appeal almost all trekkers. Here is a brief about these thrilling destinations:

Rajmachi Fort:

Rajmachi Fort is a historic site that can be reached via the town of Lonavla and Khandala plateau. One has the opportunity to view the breathtaking natural beauty of the surrounding area through which the trekking trail passes through. There are a number of waterfalls that one cross and many vantage points that offer wide vistas. Near the famed Kalbhairavnath Temple is a campsite that offers relaxation after a day long walk. Trekkers who want to explore the area can go the base of Manranjan where there are some simple rock-cut caves. The return route is easier to follow; still trekkers need to be careful while getting down from the steep slopes.

Waki Woods:

Waki Woods is at a distance of about 30 km from Nagpur on Saoner Road near Warki Dargha. It is a resort that offers activities like bird watching, boating, archery and riding along with trekking. Facilities like furnished-tents, electricity, water, and telephone make the stay convenient here.

The Sahyadris:

The Western Ghats or Sahyadris, as they are popularly called in Maharashtra, with their lush green hills, pristine lakes and verdant forests all around are reckoned to be a trekker’s paradise. The region is also famed for its forts and ancient Buddhist caves. Sahyadris are not very high yet they can offer some challengespinnacles to the avid rock climbers. While trekking in the Sahyadri, the trekkers pass through many medieval forts. The treks are classified according to region such as – Nasik region, Pune region, Koyna-Satara region and Warna-Amboli region.

Karla Caves:

Karla caves are 2000-year old caves that are replete with Buddhist architecture. These caves are the best-known examples of the rock cut caves in Maharashtra. The mountain in which these caves had been carved out is appropriate for rock climbers; however, trekking is still by far a better way to explore this place. The trek begins from Bedsa village, which is near Kamshet. A steep trail, taking about 45 minutes, leads to the top of Bedsa hill from Bedsa village. Then one has to move towards Visapur fort and Lohagad fort. Bhaja fort is the next destination that the trail passes through; it’s an easy 10-minute walk to Bhaja village. A twenty-minute walk from here leads one to Malavali station and after crossing the railway track and the Bombay-Pune highway, one eventually reaches the Karla caves.

Maharashtra for Historic Lovers:
Maharashtra for History-Lovers
Inspiring tales come from Maharashtra, the land that has bred bravehearts. The colossal forts are the identifier of the chivalry of the state, whereas the rock-cut caves are the example of phenomenal artistry of the populace that inhabited the land. The rich history of Maharashtra offers hair-raising experience to history lovers. Here are some of the fantastic works of architecture that one must see in the state:

 Caves

The rock-cut caves are the identifier of ancient architecture in Maharashtra. The state has a large number of caves that date back to the 1st century BC. Most of these caves are the viharas (hall) and chaityas (pillared religious caves) of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain priests and showcased art skill. Amongst the most famous caves in Maharashtra are Ellora and Ajanta at Aurangabad and Elephanta. While on the one side Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta caves are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, on the other side, Karla and Bhaja caves remain popular amongst the tourists. However, the caves those are less popular also showcase equally wonderful skill of architecture. Here is the detailed list of the most popular caves in Maharashtra for you:

Ajanta Caves:

Ajanta caves are at a distance of about 99 km Aurangabad district. The caves are believed to date back from the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD.  At Ajanta caves one can see the entire course of the evolution of Buddhist architecture. There are 30 rock-cut Buddhist caves that are adorned with paintings and sculptures that are depicted from the Jataka tales.

Ellora Caves:

Ellora caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra showcases the architectural experiments that were carried out by the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain monks some 600 to 300 years back. It is believed that the fascinating sculptures in the 34 caves were carved between 350 AD and 700 AD. The caves symbolize the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.

Elephanta Caves:

Elephanta caves are located on the magnificent Elephanta Island, the caves are  easily accessible by ferry from Mumbai, being about 10 kilometres from the south east coast of the island city. The caves have beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. The Maheshamurti panel in which Shiva is shown as a creator, protector and destroyer, is a sight that should be enjoyed at least once in a lifetime. Regular excursions to Elephanta start every day from the Gateway of India.

Aurangabad Caves:

Aurangabad caves are situated the city and are at a short distance of about 2kms from the famed Bibi ka Maqbara. These caves were once the Viharas and there are total of twelve caves; out of which cave number 3 and 7 are the most fascinating ones. The caves are categorized in two categories namely, western group and eastern group. Cave number 1 to 5 is in the western group and caves from 6 to 10 are in the eastern group.

Kanheri Caves:

Kanheri caves are situated at a distance of 42kms from Mumbai. The cave is located amidst wooded hills. The architecture of this cave is regarded to be one of the finest in India. The sculptural carvings belong to highest achievements of Indian classical art and can be compared to the best paintings of Ajanta.

Karla and Bhaja Caves:

Karla and Bhaja Caves are located near Lonavala in Maharashtra. The Bhaja caves are regarded to be from the period of Hinayana phase of Buddhism, which is between the 2nd and the 1st century BC. These rock-cut caves are among the better examples of Buddhist cave architecture in India. They receive lesscommercial tourism, which make them ideal places for a quiet excursion. Karla has the most impressive single cave but Bhaja is a quieter site to explore.

Pandavleni Caves:

Pandavleni caves are located at a distance of 8kms from Nasik and are about 2000-year-old. The caves are believed to be built by the Jain Kings and are a group of 24 Hinayana Buddhist Caves. Most of the caves are Viharas except for the 18th cave which is a Chaitya. The caves are adorned with idols of Buddha and Bodhisattva. Some caves are intricately connected by stone-cut ladders that join them to the other caves. The peak of the Pandavleni is also accessible by trekking for about 20 minutes but the path is well built with steps.

Pitalkhora Caves:

Pitalkhora Caves are situated about 40kms away from Ellora Caves in Aurangabad district. There are 14 rock cut caves, which date back to the 2nd century BC and include several unusual sculptures like Yaksa figures. Out of the 14 caves, four caves are chaityas and the rest are viharas. Although all the caves belong to the Hinyana period, the paintings are of the Mahayana period.

Forts
Maharashtra Forts
Well, if we conclude that Rajasthan is the only state where we could see a plethora of forts, then we are mistaken as the state of Maharashtra has as many as 350 forts. Most of these forts are associated with the great Maratha ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Here is a glance at the forts in Maharashtra:

Vijaydurg Fort

Located in Devgad taluka, Vijaydurg Fort remains one of the oldest forts in Maharashtra. The fort is also known as Eastern Gibraltar and remains impregnable because of its location on the Sindhudurg coast. The fort was constructed during the rule of Raja Bhoja II. According to several historical documents, Shivaji Maharaj personally hoisted the saffron flag here. It was in the year 1653 that Shivaji captured this fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur and extended the fort area by constructing three new walls on the eastern side; each wall of the fort is 36 meters high. Locally this fort is also known as Gheria.

Pratapgad Fort

Pratapgad Fort stands tall in the Satara district and is reminiscent of the Battle of Pratapgad. The fort is at a short distance from the top tourist destination in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar. The fort also stands witness to the epic battle between Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan in 1659 which tested the valour and strength of the Maratha Empire. The fort was built to protect and defend the Par pass and was completed in 1656. You can take a bus from Panvel to Poladpur to reach here.

Raigad Fort

Raigad Fort is around 187 kilometers from Mumbai and is near Mahad in  Raigad district.  The fort was originally built by Chandrarao More in 1030 but played an important role in the development of Maratha Empire as Shivaji made Raigad Fort the capital of his kingdom in 1674 when he was crowned the Maratha King. Today, Raigad Fort is a popular tourist attraction and lets one take a peek into the history of Maratha Empire. You can also make use of the ropeway that can help you visit this grand fort.

Rajgad Fort

Rajgad Fort is located in Pune district and is 1318 meters above sea level. This fort was the capital of the Maratha Empire for 26 years before it became the capital of the Maratha Kingdom. Rajgad Fort is the fort where Shivaji Maharaj spent more time than any other fort. The fort also stands witness to many historic and personal events in the life of Shivaji Maharaj including the death of Shivaji’s Queen Saibai. One can also view Saibai’s tomb in the fort. This fort is a great tourist destination for trekkers and climbers.

Purandar Fort

Purandhar Fort stands 1387 meters above sea level and is just 40 kilometers south-east of Pune. The fort was witness to the fight of Maratha Kingdom against the Bijapur Kingdom and the Mughals. There are in fact two forts here, the main one being called Purandar and the second smaller fort called Vajragad or Rudramal. One can see the the statue of Murar Baji Prabhi Deshpande, the fort commander who laid down his life while fighting against the Mughals in the fort. Trekkers and paragliders and even travelers can reach Pune and take the Saswad road and then towards Narayanpur that will take you to the Purandar Fort.

Maharshtra for Nature Lovers:
Maharashtra for Nature-Lovers
Sprawling across hundreds of acres of land, Maharashtra is no less than a fairytale land. Lofty mountains, pristine extensive coastline and places that are tucked amidst unparalleled beauty, Maharashtra is a perfect holiday destination in India.  Here is a glance of what this beautiful state has in store for you:

Hill Stations

Matheran:

Located in the Western Ghats, Matheran is at a short distance from Karjat. This hill station is amongst the best places for a great weekend experience in Maharashtra. Matheran is just 100kms from Mumbai and 120kms from Pune. The hill station offers spectacular view of lush green hills and natural landscapes that come alive during the monsoons. While Matheran is more popular during the summers, it can also be visited during the monsoons as it offers complete peace of mind. Matheran is the only hill station in India, which does not allow any cars or automobiles. Visitors need to park their cars down the hill near Neral, or they can drive up to Dasturi car point and then move further up on a horseback, take a walk, hire a man-pulled rickshaw or take a mini-bus.

Amboli:

Amboli is reckoned to be the wettest destination in Maharashtra as it records nearly 750 centimeters of rainfall every year. Located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Amboil offers a spectacular view of the Konkan Coast. One will find breathtaking views of waterfalls and local fauna and flora as well. The migratory birds are the main attractions in Amboli. This place is around 496 kilometers from Mumbai and 346 kilometers from Pune, one has to board train till Sawantwadi railway station first and then from there one has to take MSRTC bus to reach Amboli.

Bhandardara:

Bhandardara is a picturesque town that certainly deserves to be among the top hill stations in Maharashtra for weekend getaways. It is situated in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and is just 185 kilometers from Mumbai. A paradise for nature lovers, Bhandardara is replete with fauna and flora and the main attraction here are the Wilson Dam, Umbrella Falls and Randhaa Falls. This hill station is ideal for trekkers as they can enjoy trekking adventure over Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra. Shutterbugs can keep their cameras ready for some great pictures at Arthur Lake.  To reach Bhandardara, one can get down at Igatpuri railway station and hire taxis or take local state bus to reach here.

Chikaldhara:

One of the best hill stations in Maharashtra, Chikaldhara is located in Amravati district of Maharashtra and offers exemplary experience for nature lovers and couples. Chikaldhara is the only coffee growing area in Maharashtra. The hill station is 1,118 meters above sea level and offers great natural landscape to the visitors. If you wish to see some great scenery, wildlife and milky white waterfalls, this is the place to be. One can also visit Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park, Hurricane Point, Devi Point and Prospect Point along with Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens. To reach Chikaldhara, one has to take a train till Badnera Station and hire a taxi from there.

Panhala:

Panhala is at a short distance from Kolhapur and reckoned to be a place that played a significant role during the Maratha Empire. Panhala was the capital city of the Maratha Empire from 1782 to 1827 and the Panhala Fort was of importance to Shivaji Maharaj. However, today Panhala is seen as a great hill station, where visitors come to enjoy their monsoons. One can view some great waterfalls and many lush green mountains here. Visitors can also visit the Parashar Caves that takes one back into history. Panhala is 20 kilometers from Kolhapur and 55 kilometers from Sangli and it is well connected through state highways and roads.

Other than these, everyone is acquainted with Khandala and Lonavala, which are amongst the most popular hill stations in Maharashtra. Mahabaleshwar, Sawantwadi, Panchgani, Malshejghat, Toranmal and Jawhar are other incredible hill stations in the state of Maharashtra.

Beaches
Maharashtra Beaches
Having a coastline of 330 miles along the Arabian Sea, Maharashtra owns variety of beaches. One can find not only crowded and posh beaches like Juhu and Marine Drive Chowpatty beaches but also rusty and languid beaches like Harnai and Bassein, which are perfect for a recreational holiday. There are beaches for adventure lovers as well like Velneshwar and Shriwardhan-Harihareshwar. Here are some prominent beaches in Maharashtra:

Juhu Beach:

Juhu is one of the most popular beaches in Maharashtra. This beach on the shores of the Arabian Sea is the place where one can find the bungalows of many Bollywood stars. Tourists can enjoy horse and donkey rides, the dancing monkeys’ show, acrobats andcricket matches here. Also, Versova the home of Mumbai’s largest Koli fishing community is in the north of Juhu.

Bassein:

Bassein is a peaceful beach located about 77 km away from Mumbai. It is similar to the beaches of India’s sultry beach state, Goa. But here the crowd is a bit less and one can enjoy some peaceful moments. The nearest airport is in Mumbai, while the nearest railway station is at Bassein Road. It is well connected by road as well.

Dahanu Bordi:

Not only for its extensive and pristine beach, but Dahanu is also known for its vast chikoo fruit orchids. Dahanu is 145 km away from Mumbai and comes under Thane district of Maharashtra. The nearest airport is at Mumbai, while the nearest railway station is on Dahanu Road, which is around a three hours drive from Mumbai. Apart from the private and government hotels, locals also let rooms for accommodation.

Ganapatipule:

This beach is known for its crystal clear waters. The entire stretch of the beach is covered with fresh greeneries. The roadside sceneries on the way to Ganapatipule are captivating with the narrow roads, red soil, roofed houses, clean courtyards, and innumerable fruit bearing trees and casuarinas keeping travelers glued. It is 375 km south of Mumbai and the best way to reach here is from Ratnagiri; the nearest railway station is at Kolhapur. Ganapatipule is also well connected by road with all the places in Maharashtra.  MTDCoffers a wide range of facilities including dormitories and A.C suites, also tents and water sport facilities are available over here.

Harnai:

Despite its quietness, it is emerging fast as a tourist destination as visitors from Pune and Mumbai visit here on weekends. It is about 200 km away from Mumbai and is frequently visited by people looking to celebrate the weekends. Harnai fort is also a major tourist attraction in the area. South of Harnai fort is the palm-fringed beach of Murud, which is famous for its clean white sands. The nearest airport is at Mumbai, which is 200 km away from Harnai, while the nearest railway station is at Satara, which is 154 km away. State buses of Maharashtra ply from Mumbai, Pune and Mahad to Murud-Harnai. Accommodation is available at the beach resorts in Harnai.

The long coastline of Maharashtra has many gleaming beaches that are far from the bustles of the crowd and city happenings. These are perfect for spending lazy vacations. Mandwa Kihim, Madh Island Beach, Marine Drive (Mumbai), Marve Manori Gorai, Murud Janjira (Alibagh), Shriwardhan, Tarkali, Velneshwar, Vengurla Malvan and Vijaydurg Sindhudurg are some of the fascinating beaches that one must see in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra for Spiritual Tourists:
Maharashtra for Spiritual-Tourists
The diverse culture has also brought along number of religious faiths to Maharashtra. Therefore, along with offering tourists leisure, wildlife and adventure holidays, Maharashtra also offers a wonderful opportunity to perform pilgrimage in the state. Amongst the most popular pilgrimage centres in the state are Nashik, where the famed Kumbh Mela takes place every three years. Shirdi is another much visited religious site in Maharashtra; here people throng to seek the blessing of one of the highly revered saint Sai Baba. Other than these religious sites, there are number of temple, churches and mosque that are quite popular for one reason or the other. In Mumbai, Mumbadevi temple, Haji Ali Tomb, Mount Mary Church and Afghan Memorial Church are some of the important religious edifices. On the other side, Kailash Temple in Aurangabad, Bahubali Temple, Pandharpur Temple, Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib of Nanded and Osho Ashram in Pune have also gained great popularity amongst the devotees.

Maharashtra as a Cultural Tourism Hub:
Maharashtra Cultural-tourism
As Maharashtra is a vast state, it is common to find people of different communities and walks of life wearing different types of costumes, making different cuisines and performing vivid forms of dances and music. Generally, men wore dhoti and pheta in the olden days, while the women wore choli and saree. But with the changing time, young Maharashtrians too are attracted to the latest fashions imported from the western countries. However, they never forgot their culture and traditions. Therefore, every now and then, Marathis celebrate their legacy with much pomp and show.

Be it their dance forms like Povada, Lavani and Koli or their mouth watering Konkan and Varadi cuisines or their folk dances like Dhangri Gaja, Dindi, Kala and Tamasha, the people in Maharashtra take pride in every bit of their cultural inheritance. Also, due to the presence of every religion, all the festivals are observed in Maharashtra. The Ganesh Chathurthi takes festivities to another level. Diwali, like in the rest of the nation, is celebrated with much zeal in Maharashtra. All the other major festivals of the Hindus are duly observed. The Muslims in the state celebrate their Eids and Muharram with as much enthusiasm.

Maharashtra for Arts and Crafts:
Maharashtra for Art and Craft Lovers
Maharashtra is skilled and holds expertise in art and craft. The fine fabrics of mashru and himroo are examples of their great expertise in weaving. Bidriware is another well-appreciated craft of this state and how can one forget the widely acclaimed Kolhapuri Chappals, which has its centre in Kolhapur district. The Warli painting that are sometimes compared to the Madhubani paintings of Bihar are also a fine example of the art  skill in Maharashtra and all one has to do to witness these amazing paintings is to go to the northern suburban area of Mumbai city. The Narayan Peth sarees is yet another attraction in Maharashtra; these hand-woven sarees can be found in Sholapur district. Other than these, one might also like to check out Paithani Sarees, made in Paithan and the Kolhapuri jewellery exclusive of Kolhapur district. Maharashtra is indeed a state of creativity and skill.

WOW! That’s a pretty exhaustive list, right! But believe me there is still much to explore in Maharashtra beyond the places and categories mentioned in this list. Follow your travel instincts and head out for this mesmeric land, not because I say so but because it is truly worth it!

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About

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a well traveled writer whose love for nature can be seen in her writings. She loves to trek and enjoy nature and portrait photography. Nidhi has covered most of the valleys along the foaming streams of Jammu & Kashmir and aspire to cover all major trekking routes of Ladakh and Uttarakhand. She also takes keen interest in different cultures and traditions of the world and enjoys collecting mementos. With her flair for writing and personal travelling experiences, she offers vividly descriptive write ups.


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