Home to the financial capital of the Indian subcontinent, the state of Maharashtra is also the home of the famous Bollywood film industry. Being the 3rd largest state, it lies on the coast of Arabian Sea and is famous for both art and architecture in different forms. You will find cave temples intricately carved and also equally enticing street food to keep you sated throughout your trip. We have tried here to pick out top ten tourist spots in Maharashtra that has to be visited on your trip here.
Gateway of India
Built in the early years of 20th century, this historic monument overlooking the Arabian sea was built to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary to Mumbai. This is also fondly referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai and offers a panoramic view of the sea with boats dotted over it. This is also the point from where you can visit the Elephanta caves. This is also where the British left India post independence making it equally significant famous tourist spot in Maharashtra.
Elephanta is an island off the coast of Mumbai which has a network of caves with well carved sculptures known popularly as the Elephanta caves. As a world heritage site, it is bound to attract the attention of those who love history and art. The caves age back to 5th century and have undergone severe destruction in the hands of both man and nature. One of the famous tourist spots in Maharashtra, these caves attract a lot of tourists every year.
Yet another cave with wonderful sculptures and artistic beauty, these caves are in the district of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The Buddhist monuments in some of these caves date back to 2nd century. The caves are well known for their exceptional architecture, structural intelligence and of course the awe inspiring murals on their walls. The caves are carved into a rock in the Deccan plateau and have both artistic and historic significance making them one of the top ten tourist spots to visit in the state.
This is the famous shrine of Lord Ganesha visited by all famous celebrities and common men from all sects without any bias of religion. The idol of the lord in this temple is said to be carved out of a single black stone and is the only place where the trunk of this elephant God is to the right. A magnificent temple, this is definitely worth visiting when you are in Mumbai for its massive architecture.
Aga Khan Palace
Built by Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan, after whom it is named, this landmark palace is located in the Pune district. This is the place where Gandhiji along with his wife and secretary was interned after the Quit India movement and this is where Kasturba Gandhi and Gandhi’s secretary Mahadevbhai Desai passed away. You can still see their samadhis inside this monument. The palace is located on River Mula and is definitely among the most famous tourist spots.
Rajiv Gandhi zoological park
With more than 300 animals, the Rajiv Gandhi zoo in Pune is definitely one of the top ten tourist spots in Maharashtra in the state, especially if you are traveling with children. It has a snake park, a zoo and an animal orphanage with a wide variety of mammals, reptiles and birds in its collection. The Zoo also has the Katraj Lake in its midst which helps with the maintenance of crocodiles and other water animals. Apart from running a zoo, the place also takes in injured or stranded animals into its care. Animal lovers would love the place for sure.
Located in the hilly region of Lonavala, the Bhushi dam is built across the River Indrayani and has been developing into a major tourist attraction for last couple of years, thanks to the initiative taken by Indian Railways. When you are looking for a short respite in the state, then Lonavala is definitely a place to visit and at Bhushi Dam you have many things to do apart from looking at the gushing waters of River Indrayani. A definitive place to visit on the top ten tourist spots in Maharashtra list!
The name literally translates to “Iron fort”and is among the most famous of the forts in the state of Maharashtra. Located near Lonavala, the fort has a long history of rulers from various dynasties including the great Marathas, Mughals, Rashtrakutas, Nizams, etc. This fort was used as a treasury by the Shivaji Maharaj during his reign. There are quite a few caves with exquisite architecture surrounding the fort making it a famous tourist spot in Maharashtra.
Rajabai Clock tower
The clock tower was built to rival the Big Ben in London and it definitely stands up to its inspiration. A construction from the time of British empire, this clock tower is encased within the fort campus of the Mumbai University. At a height of 85m, it houses a clock that plays melodious tunes at regular intervals. As an attractive oriental architecture, this famous tourist spot in Maharashtra is a must visit whenever you are in Mumbai. The tower is visible over longer distances and also has the name for being the tallest structure when it was built.
Lonar Crater lake
A saline lake in the Buldhana district, this was the result of the meteor hitting the earth’s surface and is so far the largest of its kind in the world. The micro organisms in the lake are quite rare as the water is both alkaline and saline. The lake is surrounded by lush green forests on all sides housing a variety of insects and other animals, offering sanctuary to many wild animals as well. The green surroundings and the greenish blue water locked into land is a sight to behold.
What we saw here are only a few of the famous tourist spots in Maharashtra that the state of Maharashtra has on offer. There are quite a few other hills, mountains, temples and other historical/ artistic structures and places in the state that are bound to make you come back for more.