Bestowed with five Jyotirlingas; two Shakti Peethas; one Panj Takht; beautiful churches; gigantic mosques; and a city that plays host to the grand Kumbh Mela- Nashik, Maharashtra is blessed by the presence of all the gods. It is a sacred land where people of different religion come to together to pray and seek blessings of God; be it Hindu, Parsi, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhists or Jains. A large number of pilgrimage places related to different cultures are knitted together here in a perfect manner, which makes Maharashtra look in a class by its self.
There are numberless Hindu temples in Maharashtra. Out of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, one can visit five on a spiritual tour to Maharashtra - Aundhya Nagnath, Parali Vaijnath, Bhimashankar, Trimbakeswar, and Grishneshwar. Ganpati temples like Shree Siddhivinayak Temple (Mumbai), Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple (Pune) and Ganpatipule Temple (Ratnagiri) adds more to the religious grandeur and are amongst the most popular holy places that deserve a special mention in pilgrimage circuit of Maharashtra. When it comes to the Hindu temples, Shirdi draws millions of devotees from across the world as it is the abode of the most revered saint, Sai Baba.
Many religious saints and saged have left their impressions in Maharashtra. Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of Sikhism, held his final congregation in Hazur Sahib in Nanded. Also, the Hazur Sahib Gurudwara is one of the Panj Takhts of Sikhism. Even one can see the impression of many Buddha in Maharashtra, and the spectacular Ajanta and Ellora caves are the testimony of the same. And to bring people closer to the philosophies and teachings of the great Buddha, Global Vipassana Pagoda is also made near Gorai. Art and religion have been closely entwined in the Global Vipassana Pagoda, and some of the most exquisite examples of art can be seen here, Maharashtra might be a Hindu dominated state, but it does carry the culture of secularism.
In Maharashtra, one can find a countless number of mosques as well. Shrines like Bibi-ka-Maqbara, Dargah of Baba Shah Muzaffar, Sayeed Burhan-ud-din and Sayeed Zain-ud-din in Aurangabad; Haji Ali mausoleum in the Mumbai; Gharib Nawaz Mosque in Nagpur, and Dwarakamayi Mosque (Shirdi) are amongst the spectacular Muslim shrines of Maharashtra.
People of Jain community also visit Maharashtra in big numbers to pay respect to famous Bahubali of the Jain Tirthas at the Bahubali Teerthakhstra Kumbhoj; particularly famous for its 28-feet high statue of Bahubali or Mahavira inspired after the great statue installed at Shravan-Belgola, Karnataka. The ancient Jain temple is one of the prime pilgrimages for Jains.
Thanks to colonial rulers, who have ruled in the state for a good number of years, many Roman Catholic churches can be found in the region. Afghan Memorial Church in Colaba, built in 1847, is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. Saint Thomas Cathedral (Mumbi), Mount Mary Church (Bandra) and Holy Christ Church (Mahabaleshwar) are other religious travel places that are must visit on a trip to Maharashtra. During the 18th and 19th century, many Bene Israel Jews relocated in Mumbai, Pune, and Gujarat and that is why here one can find many synagogues like Bene Israel synagogues and Gate of Mercy in Mumbai; and Ohel David Synagogue in Pune.
Pilgrims who are more inclined to spirituality rather religiously should visit the Osho Ashram, which is also one of the most popular spiritual retreats of the world. Moreover, Maharashtra is home to fire temples as Zoroastrian religion has prevailed with dignity in this part of India. All these celebrated shrines in Maharashtra are well protected and carrying forward the rich legacy of prayer and religious activities.