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Things To Do In Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a region of pure virgin nature, beyond its hustle and bustle of commercialization. Experience the charm of the state with a number of offbeat adventures like trekking up the wildest mountain peaks of the Western Ghats or imbibing the heady fragrance of the Valley Of Flowers or sailing through the pristine streams and lakes.
Nestled down the hill sides are forested regions, home to endemic flora and fauna. Visit the Wildlife Sanctuaries on safaris or go shopping for all those keep sakes and knick knacks that are particular to Maharashtra. Indulge in tasting the delicious cuisine that is so essentially Maharashtrian!
We will tell you of some of the best things you can do in Maharashtra.
Global Vipassana Pagoda
A meditation hall that was built in 2009, Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai is built in a distinctive Burmese style with glittering Thai golden paint. You could go to the Pagoda by road or cross the Gorai creek by ferry, which would be quite a lovely adventure by itself. Explore the Pagoda and learn Vipassana meditation at the centre.
If you love flowers, carpets of them literally, spend a morning at Kaas Plateau at Satara near Pune, which has about 850 species of endemic flowering plants.
Kaas Pleateau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site has several endangered species of flowers along with hordes of butterflies, bees, birds, amphibians and reptiles. When you are there, please do follow the guidelines issued by the authorities to preserve the floral species of the country.
Go butterfly and bird watching at the Lonar Lake. The lake by itself is not a mere water body, but a rain filled saucer like crater that was formed about 50,000 years ago when a meteor zapped into the basalt rocks. Check out the temples near the Lake. Don't try for getting into the waters in the Nat-Geo Heritage Monument, for the saline soda lake wouldn't appreciate a swim!
You could hire a taxi from Aurangabad to reach Lonar.
There are a number of lakes and brooks dotted around the state of Maharashtra. The proximity of the Western Ghats and the cascading waterfalls add charm to the streams. There are great riverside camping and boating trips in places like Wai in Satara and Matoba Lake near Pune. There are boating clubs that offer an array of water based sporting activities in most of the cities.
If you are an avid bird fan, grab your camera and visit the Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary near Pune to watch the flamingos, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Sindhugarh for some great water birds and the Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary near Aurangabad for cranes, ducks and Glossy Ibis. Maharashtra has several Wild life Sanctuaries and National Parks and you'd be spoilt for choice, trying to pick the right one for a bird watching trip.
Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary in Chandrapur is probably Maharashtra’s oldest and biggest national parks. Called the Jewel of Vidharba, the region that nestles between densely forested hill ranges is home to a number of fauna including tigers, leopards, and smaller mammals, large species of birds and butterflies and crocodiles. The Park offers safaris to the tourists to explore the forest.
Lying on the foothills of mountain ranges, what more would one ask for than wild trekking trips up the hills? One of the best trekking trails is the hike to Mt. Kalsubai (1,646 m) in Ahmednagar. Said to be the highest peak of the Sahyadri, the peak offers a great vision of the sky. Dhodap which is the third highest peak promises a hard level trekking experience along with Pune’s highest Torna Fort, Rajgad Fort and Purandar Fort near Saswadh village, a favourite haunt of trekkers and paragliders.
Each city of Maharashtra has its own special shopper’s stuff you could buy. Buy Persian designs of silk and cotton Mashru and Himroo Shawls and handwoven Paithani silk saris at Aurangabad. Solapur is renowned for bedsheets (chadar) and towels and Narayan Peth saris with rudraksha motifs, while a trip to Mahabaleshwar could tempt you with fresh strawberries, carrots and mulberries.
Kolhapur is known for its handmade slippers and unique jewellery, while Sindhudurg has beautiful Sawantwadi craft made of lacquer. Maharashtra’s Bidriware plates, ashtrays, jewel boxes and bangles and Warli paintings created by the Warli tribes are more collectibles.
Maharashtra’s cuisine is varied with the bordering towns influenced by the food of the neighbouring states, too! As you travel along the state, you get to experience the rich and wide ranging delicacies so related to each area.
Staple and local cuisine include roti, sheera, pohe, missal, bhakri with raw onions, baaji, pickle and curd. The food includes a rich variety of stews, gravies and vegetables that accompany the roti or rice. If you would like spicy seafood, take a tour to the coastal areas for stuffed pomfret, Malwani fish curries, Bombay Duck or Fish Koliwada. Meals are finished off with puran poli, basundi or Dudhi Halwa.