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Maharashtra Tourism And Travel Guide
26° C / 78.8° F
October to February
5 to 6 Days
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (30 kms)
Mumbai Central Railway Station (14 kms)
Maharashtra, one of the most major states of India and its capital city of Mumbai which is the leading cosmopolitan city of the country, made quite popular through its entertainment industry, is an important tourist destination.
The mighty Western Ghats or Sahyadri mountain ranges, coastal regions of the Konkan, ancient forts built on the hills by the Deccan Sultanate and the Marathas, UNESCO Heritage monuments like Ajantha and Ellora Caves, amazing hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Matheran, Nature Parks and renowned pilgrimage centres like Shirdi and Pandharpur draw tourists to Maharashtra through the year.
With an efficient transport system and a number of airports and rail heads within the state that make it simple for travellers, a pilgrimage or sightseeing tour of Maharashtra should be a memorable one. If you are planning a trip to Maharashtra, our travel and tourism guide should help you plan an ideal trip.
How to Reach
Maharashtra is easily accessible by air, rail or road and by ship as well. The easiest way to reach the state would be by train.
Mumbai’s Chhatrapathi Shivaji Airport and Pune’s International Airport serve domestic and international flights. There are a number of smaller domestic airports scattered around the state like in Nashik, Aurangabad, Shirdi, Solapur and Kolhapur.
Maharashtra has a broad railway system with trains chugging in to major railway stations in the cities and to the smaller towns as well. There are several rail stations, so travel across the state on rails becomes trouble-free. Added to it, travelling by train to Mumbai lets you get a chance to be in awe of the Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus (CST), one of the heritage structures of the capital city. Formerly known as the Victoria Terminus, CST was built in 1888 by British architect F. W. Stevens in the Victorian Gothic style of architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are government as well as private buses that run from the neighbouring states to Maharashtra. You could also drive to the region from Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat or Madhya Pradesh.
You could treat yourself to a romantic holiday getaway, sailing to the port city of Mumbai on a cruise liner from Singapore or Dubai.
There are plenty of local buses, suburban trains as well as auto rickshaws and cabs for getting around the towns and for intracity travel.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The seasons are by and large tropical. But the landscape is vast and varied, interspaced with mountainous regions with a cool climate and plains that bear the brunt of the seasons. The perfect time to visit Maharashtra would be from October to February.
Summer (March – May):
Summers are very hot in the plains, but cool and real pleasant up in the hill stations of Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala and Matheran. If you are planning a trip to Maharashtra in summer, chill up in the hills.
Monsoon (June – September):
Monsoons are very rainy in the state, with heavy downpours that is technically going to make travel a bother. Monsoon is an off season for tourism in Maharashtra.
Winter (October – February):
Winters are dry, cool and pleasant. You can visit the sights, go on pilgrimages or photo shoots or on wild adventure tours on the hills.
Things to Do
A marvel of modern architectural skills, the Golden Vipassana Pagoda which contains the bone relics of Gautama Buddha, is a must visit. Check out the central dome of the Pagoda which is the world’s biggest stone dome built without supporting columns.
The Kaas Plateau is a landcape of flowers, fringed by a thick forest. What seems a marvel is the interchanging pattern of colours as the flowering cycle of the plants change.
Lonar Temples and a Lake:
Away from Aurangabad is the little town of Lonar which has a number of small ancient temples and a ruined one too, along with an enchanting lake that was created after a meteor’s collision.
What more to throw off the heat of summer than a great day spent on the lakes and streams of Maharashtra? There are several boating clubs in cities like Mumbai and Pune that offer offbeat boating and watersport adventures. There are some most enchanting waterfalls in Maharashtra, that are just lovely for a soak!
Treat yourself to a great day at the wild life sanctuaries and parks, photographing wild birds of different kinds. Go on a trip along the Gugamal National Park in Amaravathi district to watch Jungle Babblers, White checked Barbets, Crested Bunting and Green Bee Eaters.
Go off on a tiger and lion Safari at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, jeep safari at the wild Chandoli National Park in the west of Maharashtra. Used as an open jail for the prisoners of war during the rule of Chhatrapathi Shivaji, Chandoli National park has the ruins of old forts, temples and beautiful waterfalls.
Hike up the hills:
A favourite trail of trekking enthusiasts is the night trek up the Everest of Maharashtra, Mt. Kalsubai to watch the glimmering stars up on the night sky. Mt. Kalsubai sits inside the Kalsubai Harischandragad Sanctuary.
Cruise on the Arabian Sea:
Get off on a luxurious cruise with family and friends, across the Arabian Sea on a yacht. Experience the offbeat adventure on the wild seas.
Festivals and Fairs
Every state of India has its own particular festivity and Maharashtra which is the fusion of different cultures and ethnicities celebrates a number of festivals that are particular to the state. Some of Maharashtra’s classic festivities include the Nag Panchami, Narali Pournami that marks the onset of fishing season, Banganga Festival at Malabar Hills, Vat Pournima that women celebrate for the longevity of their spouses, Kojagiri Pournima that celebrates the beginning of the harvest season, Shivaji Jayanthi that glorifies Chhatrapathi Shivaji, the greatest ruler of Maharashtra, Dahi Handi Mahotsav during Krishna Janmastami, the harvest festival of Pola and the Ellora – Ajanta International Festival (October) which is an amalgam of dance and music festivals along with a celebration of performing arts, food and crafts!
Don’t miss the International Kite Festival (January), the Ganeshotsav festival in August-September and the annual Flamingo Festival in March.