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Maharashtra " Gateway To the Heart of India "
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 Aurangabad MaharashtraTowns & cities

Aurangabad : Auerangabad is one of the important cities of Maharashtra and Central India. Aurangabad is a historic city that traces its origins to the early Buddhist era of 200 BC. The City is the gateway to the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves and the temple town of Shirdi. Besides these important places of tourist interest, Maharashtra, that's covered by SCR, also has some beautiful hill resorts and famous temples.

Amaravati : Amravati city is situated in the Amravati district of Maharashtra and serves as its administrative center. The exact location of the city is 20.93 North and 77.75 East, with its average elevation being 343 meters (1125 feet). As per the mythological stories, Amaravati once served as the abode of Lord Indra, the King of all Gods. This fact, combined with the presence of the Ambadevi Temple and Shri Bhakti Dham Temple, seems to associate a lot of religious significance with the city, boosting its travel & tourism industry.

Amravati District was given to the East Indian Company in the year 1853, by the Nizam, along with the rest of the Berar. After being assigned so, it was divided into two separate districts. One of the districts was South Berar, which has its headquarters at Hingoli. This district, along with the neighboring region, was later restored to the Nizam. The second district to be formed was East Berar, which was nothing but the reconstituted North Berar, which had its headquarters at Akola.

Buldhana : Pilgrimage sites like Balaji Temple at Deulgaon and Raja Sailana Shah Miya Dargha at Pimpalgaon, Sari village are the main attractions of Buldhana. Lakhuji Jadhav's palace is important place in Shinkhed. Sarkarwada, Rameshwar Mandir, Nilakanteshwar Mandir, Samadhi of Jadhav's family, Renuka Temple, Bal Samudra and Lonar Lake, Palasi Siddha Math are other places of interest.

Chandrapur : Chandrapur city is located on south central region of India in Maharashtra state. Chandrapur has a population of approx 3.75 lakhs. It is about 150 km from Nagpur, which is two and a half hours' journey by rail on Delhi-Madras route via Nagpur. Nearest airport is at Sonegaon (140 km) from the city. Having Super Thermal Power Station, the largest one in India, Chandrapur city is enriched with different minerals. Coal, Timbers, Tendu Leaves and other forest produces are main resources of this region. Summers are very hot and winters are chilly.

Mumbai MaharashtraMumbai : It is the capital of Maharashtra state, and its official language is Marathi although English and Hindi are widely spoken and understood. The fast-paced life has given rise to hordes of "fast-food outlets" on almost every road, offering lip-smacking choices of Mumbai's very own pau bhaji, bhel puri and kababs. There is no dearth, though, of multi-culinary delicacies dished out in posh restaurants by expert chefs. Mumbai is a shopper's delight with bargain buys, exclusive boutiques, ethnic markets and mini bazaars. This busy city is also the hub of a thriving cultural life, with a constant stream of performances in music, dance and drama. The seat of the Hindi film industry, known locally as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. Mumbai caters to the adventurous and the romantic through its sporting activities, nightclubs, pubs, theatres, beaches and restaurants. Old and new, rich and poor, classical and modern -- its all here for you to savour and enjoy!

Mahabaleshwar : If you are looking for the specialty of Mahabaleshwar then it is worth to be noted that this is the largest hill station of Maharashtra and has served as a summer capital for erstwhile British Presidency. Located on the height of 1438 meters (4710 feet) above sea level in Sahayadri Hills of District Satara, Mahabaleshwar is gaining popularity for its scenic splendor and serene atmosphere, quite away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The lush green forests, exhilarating hills, splendid lakes and frothily vivacious waterfalls captivates the tourists from far and wide. The bungalows, mansions, cottages and churches of the colonial era lend it a charming composure.

Nashik : Nashik is one of the main cities of Maharashtra and serves as the administrative headquarters of the district of the same name. The exact geographical location of the city is between 18.33 deg and 20.53 deg North Latitude and between 73.16 deg and 75.16 deg East Longitude. It lies in the northwest part of the state and stands perched at an altitude of around 565 meters above the sea level. Nasik is situated on the banks of the holy Godavari River and has been home to a large number of mythological incidents.

Pune : Pune is now a center for Marathi theatre, education, crafts, culture and art. The city has one of the India's oldest universities that attract students both from India and abroad. In coarse of time, Pune is becoming a commercial hub for Maharashtra state next to Mumbai with the investors and MNCs showing interest to this city. Here, one can enjoy the narrow but historic lanes of the walled city as well as the spacious and dazzling streets of the new city. Pune offers both traditional Maharashtra as well as the up-to-date and lively new look Maharashtra. Enjoy!

Monumental Heritage

 Ajanta Caves MaharashtraAjanta Caves : Ajanta caves are at a distance of 99 km from Maharashtra's Aurangabad district. It is believed that Ajanta caves started carving from 2nd century BC and ended at 6th century AD. The entire course of the evolution of Buddhist architecture can be traced in Ajanta. Images interpreting the life stories of Buddha and animal figures were carved out from the huge rocks. Everything including the contemporary people, kings, slaves, women, men and children are seen in the Ajanta wall paintings interlaced with flowers, plants, fruits, birds and beasts. There are also the figures of yakshas, kinneras (half human and half bird) gandharvas (divine musicians), apsaras (heavenly dancers), which were of concern to the people of that time.

 Elephanta Caves MaharashtraElephanta Caves : The Elephanta caves also known as the city of rocks is an island just 10 kilometers away from the Apollo Bunder near Gateway of India where from you can get a boat to this World heritage site. These caves are famous for their rock cut carvings, Creating columns, internal spaces and most of all its colossal images. The caves are thought to date as back as 9th through 13th century. The imposing image of three headed Shiva most akin to trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar adds to its religious tint of these caves. The other sculptures are the idols of Natraja, Sadashiva and splendid sculptures of Ardhanarishwara.

Bibi Ka Maqbara : Bibi Ka Maqbara is situated 5 km away from Aurangabad. Aurangazeb's son, Prince Azam Shah built it in 1678 in the memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani. This mausoleum is a replica of the famous Taj Mahal. Despite the layout and surrounding of the tomb is very much similar to Taj Mahal, somehow the architecture fails to produce the magic of the Taj. Hence, it is considered to be a poor imitation of the Taj Mahal.

The chief architect of the monument is a Persian called Ustad - Ata - Ullah. The inscription on the walls of the tomb reveals that it cost precisely Rs. 665,283 and 7 Annas to build this monument.

 Gateway of India Mumbai Maharashtra Gateway of India : Visit the Mumbai's most popular monument, the Gateway of India that marks the visit of King George and Queen Mary in 1919 and you will be spellbound by its majestic charm. Built on the Yellow basalt with four turrets and intricate latticework, the structure stand 26 meter high. This monument presents a panoramic view of Arabian Sea and offers you an opportunity to cruise around its pristine blue waters. And at the other end there stands the Taj Mahal Palace and Taj Intercontinental, statue of Swami Vivekananda and Shivaji on astride horse that adds beauty to the monument.

Ellora Caves : Ellora caves are in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. Ellora showcases the experiments that had carried out by Hindu, Buddhist and Jain monks some 600 to 300 years back. It is believed that the structures were carved between 350 AD to 700 AD. There are 34 temples in total carved out of stone at Ellora caves, which can be divided into three eras - Buddhist, Hindu and Jain. It took over five centuries in scooping out these monasteries, temples and chapels. The Hindu caves are a bit different from the Jain and Buddhist temples in creative vision and execution skills. Cave number 14 is a Shiva temple, depicting Him as a destroyer.

Pilgrimages

Sai Baba at Shirdi MaharashtraSai Baba at Shirdi :The radiance and mysterious power of Sai Baba, the saint who has changed the lives of countless people all over India, can be encountered in a distinguished village 296 km from Mumbai. The idol of the mystic saint Sai Baba at Shirdi is greatly revered by both the Hindus and Muslims. People of both the communities pay their respects and seek the blessings of the deity, especially on Thursdays and during Ram Navami, Guru Poornima and Dussehra. He was a saint of all religions. He prayed before idols in temples and said namaaz in the masjid, making Shirdi a meeting point for Hindus and Muslims. He possessed miraculous power to heal and could predict the future of people. He could fulfil wishes and punish those who broke the laws of morality. Sai Baba became an enigma and the crowds began pouring into Shirdi long before his death on October 15, 1918.

 Haji Ali Mosque MaharashtraHaji Ali Mosque : The Muslim Sufi Saint Haji Ali has its shrine amidst the sea connected to the shore only by a pathway which is said to remain submerged under water at night. This beautiful tomb is thronged by the people of all faiths to pay there homage to the hallowed saint and spent some time in the divine company of the sage. The beautiful tomb with the attractive glass work and its courtyard are to be watched very keenly. The Urs (Fair) is the appropriate time to visit the shrine when you can listen the qawwali (songs in the praises of saint) and indulge in the Zikr (prayers) with the holy people at the shrine. The mass gathering of the people visiting the shrine and paying their offerings at the shrine is the most attractive feature of the urs.

Pandharpur : Pandharpur in Sholapur district is referred to as the spiritual capital of Maharashtra. It draws the largest number of pilgrims. The Temple of Lord Vithoba, the titular deity of Maharashtra, draws people from all the communities-Varkaris, Jains, Buddhists and others. Devotees believe in reaching Pandharpur on foot, as they aspire to attain salvation through devotion to Lord Vithoba. Saint Namdev spent a major part of his life at Pandharpur. He was responsible for building up the Varakari Sampradays school of thought. The dominant note of his thoughts is the earnest and whole-hearted devotion to God. He wrote a number of abhangas (lyrical poems) to show people the path to God.

Osho Ashram : Osho Ashram, also known as the Osho Communal Centre is located at the greenery area of 17 Koregoan Park of Pune, Maharashtra. The Ashram offers a variety of expensive courses on meditation. Osho Ashram attracts a number of devotees each year including a large number of them from the western countries since early 70s even though Osho expired in 1990.

Walkeshwar Temple : Walkeshwar Temple is a revered Hindu temple, situated on the Malabar Hill neighborhood, in South Mumbai. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity of Gods. The temple, as well as the fresh water Banganga Tank situated near it, dates back to the year 1127. The credit for its construction goes to Lakshman Prabhu, a minister in the court of Silhara dynasty Kings who used to rule over Thane, along with the islands of Bombay. However, during the rule of Portuguese over the city, Walkeshwar Temple underwent great ruination.

Beaches

 Beaches in  MaharashtraBassein : In the early 17th century, this beach used to be a place for shipbuilding. It was here that the Marathas besieged the Portuguese in 1739. The ruins of the Portuguese Fort still stand obscured by brushwood and heavy palm groves. Many Buddhist relics were discovered here and Nalasopara a nearby place is believed to have been Gautama Buddha's birthplace in a previous life. Bassein is renowned for the several beautiful churches presenting Portuguese architectural style.

Dahanu Bordi : Dahanu beach is located in Thane district and is a fresh and windy beach. This 17 km long beach, Dahanu is famous for fruit orchards and chickoos. Udwada, the 'Mecca of the Zoroastrians' with a large, beautiful temple, which houses the holy fire is set close to this beach.

Marve, Manori, Gorai : This beach is situated towards the North of Mumbai, and are popular among Mumbai's private fun lovers. Marve low hills along the beach offer enchanting views of sunrise and sunset. Gorai and Manori, a little further away, are more crowded with revelers and are famous for all night beach parties.

Murud Janjira : It is favourite beach of swaying casuarinas, coconut and betel palms, and 300-years old fort of Janjira. The shrine of Lord Dattatraya, the three heads representing the trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara is located in a nearby hillock. The palace of the Nawab and the Janjira caves are worth seeing.

Mandwa Kihim : This is a charming beach located 18 km north of Alibag on the north coast. A clear atmosphere here gives a mind blowing view right up to the Gateway of India. Dr. Salim Ali's favourite hunt, which has abundant woods teeming with wild flowers, rare butterflies and birds is situate close to the beach. Kolaba Fort is a must see for the tourists here.

Shriwardhan Harihareshwar : Shriwardhan Bay is absolutely amazing for the beach lovers with its gentle winds, soft sands and inviting waters. 'Peshwa Smarak' located nearby is a must visit for the tourist. Harihareshwar is known for its peaceful and picture perfect beach sights.

Ganapatipule : It is known for its undisturbed sedate beach. It is as natural and pristine as ever. The water is blue & soothing and the sands, soft & white. It is an important pilgrimage centre. 'Swayambhu Ganapati' temple is known for its unique idol of Lord Ganapati.

Velneshwar : It is located north of the Shastri river. This quite coconut-lined beach is ideal for swimmers or holidayers. Velneshwar is famous for the Maha Shivaratri fair, which is held in honour of the God Shiva every year.

Vengurla - Malvan : The long stretch of white sands, and hills covered with cashew, coconut, jackfruit and mango groves are something by which the beach is identified. It is famous for Shri Devi Sateri temple and the Rameshwar Mandir. Sindhudurg and Padmagad are two famous forts of Malvan.
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