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India is a diverse country with different cultures, languages, and traditions peacefully coexisting. And if there’s one state that captures this diversity, it is Maharashtra. Although famous for the glamorous city of Mumbai, Maharashtra is so much more than Bollywood and Marine Drive. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
If you haven’t seen the beaches of Maharashtra, you haven’t seen beaches at all. Being situated on the west coast of India, Maharashtra not only enjoys a favorable climate but also some of the best beaches in the country. Bathe in the sea or sunbathe on the sand, you just can’t have enough of Maharashtra’s beaches. Some of the beaches you must visit on a trip to Pune are Dapoli, Alibaug, Sindhdurg, Tarkarli, Kashid, and Dahanu.
Maharashtra is a cosmopolitan state with all kinds of cuisines easily available in every city. But the local food is what Maharashtra is famous for. From misal pav to pithla bhakri, from vada pav to puran poli to pandhra and tambda rassa, there are loads of dishes that make the local cuisine of Maharashtra so delectable.
The Ajanta Caves are a World Heritage site and draw millions of visitors every year. While five of these caves are chaityas, the others are viharas. Some of the caves date back to the early Buddhist period, when the Buddha wasn’t represented directly, but with signs and symbols. Visiting these caves are a must if you want to witness some remarkable ancient architecture.
Located 30 kilometers from Aurangabad, the Ellora Caves are just like the Ajanta Caves, the first rock-cut temples in India. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ellora Caves were sculpted over five centuries by generations of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain monks. The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are famous all over the world, and a trip to Maharashtra isn’t complete without a visit to these ancient temples.
India is producing some world-class wine these days, and most of the vineyards are in Maharashtra because of the favorable climate. If you are a wine connoisseur, your trip to Maharashtra will be incomplete without a visit to some of the famous Indian vineyards. If you have time to spare be sure to visit the best-known vineyards, Sula vineyard, located in Nashik, as is the Chateau d’Ori vineyard, while The Fratelli Wines vineyard is in Motewadi.
Lord Ganesha holds a very important place in Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most prominent festival in the state. To experience the state in all its color and glory, visit during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated for over four days. The pomp and show make the whole state come alive and draws hundreds of devotees and travelers to be a part of the celebrations. You can witness these festivities first-hand when on a trip to Pune or Mumbai.
Mumbai is home to some of the top Indian designers, from Manish Malhotra to Tarun Tahiliani. Needless to say, Maharashtra is where you are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping. From the Paithani saris to the Kolhapuri sandals to the latest trends in fashion, there is nothing you cannot find here, sometimes at huge discounts. The best place to go shopping in Maharashtra is Lal Bahadur Shastri road, where you can get just about anything under the sun! Be sure to wear comfortable footwear so you can spend hour after hour exploring the market without your feet going sore.
The rains make Maharashtra a thing of beauty. To experience the rainy season at its best, a long drive down the Pune-Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar-Kaas Plateau all the way to the Western Ghats is a must. You will want to keep coming back to enjoy the lush beauty of the place. Be sure to spend some time at Kaas Plateau of Flowers where you can see miles of flowers in full bloom, especially during monsoon.
Some of the most famous historical monuments are in Maharashtra. From the Gateway of India to the Aga Khan Palace to over 60 forts, Maharashtra is one of those few Indian states that can take you back in time with its charming monuments.
Love it or hate it, but you simply cannot escape Bollywood when in Maharashtra. From checking out some of the most famous movie locales to even catching a live movie being shot, you can’t help feeling all filmy and melodramatic at the home of Bollywood. While in Mumbai be sure to visit Jalsa, the palatial abode of none other than Big B.
Maharashtra offers ample fun and joy to travelers. Come visit for yourself to find out what this Indian state has to offer.