Gateway of India, Mumbai
It is all about feeling good, feeling great. What brings smile to a traveller's face lies in the satisfaction in saying 'Ah! What a great holiday it was'. So why not plan a holiday on a great land that still pulsates with bygone Maratha glory and a culture that adorns itself in starry colours before the bubble bursts out to give the best of its heart. India's third largest and third most populous state, Maharashtra nestles on the west coast of India, in the arms of the Arabian Sea. Providing more than 20 percent of the value of India's industrial output, it is among the most commercially important states. Caressing an ancient history that goes back nearly 2,500 years, the cordial land of Maharashtra is trimmed with exquisite sculptures and world-renowned frescoes that line the forlorn rock-cut caves of this great state.
In more recent times, Maharashtra was the dominion of the valiant Marathas, whose legendary hero, Shivaji, challenged the prestige of the Mughals in the 17th century. To dilate the turmoil of his guerrilla warfare, Maratha women modified the 'sari' to nine yards from the traditional six, wearing it to look like 'dhoti'. You can still see the distinctive and unique style, cheerfully retained in its vibrant culture. Be a part of the extravagant 'Ganesh Chaturthi' festival, a 10 day celebration in respect of Elephant God, Ganesh. Another thing that you cannot forget after a vacation trip to this magical land is its magnificent fast food cuisine. Offering a multicultural medley of a multi-dimensional menu, the fast food joints, ubiquitous in Maharashtra, is a must visit for every tourist. Go for a memorable culinary voyage with 'Bhel-puri' (a spicy snack of puffed rice, crisp noodles, chutney and chillies) and 'Pao-bhaji' (bun eaten with spicy potato). Grab the enchantments sprawled all across the sea-side domain on a pendant called Maharashtra.
Solitary Amidst The Bustling Juhu Beach , Mumbai
Mumbai is a perfect place. It is a city of glamour, of
pretty people, of Bollywood, the model brigade, the Page 3 fashionistas,
and the upstarts. Registered as the political capital of Maharashtra and
financial capital of the nation, Mumbai pulsates with energy. As soon as
you will smell the Marathi aroma in Mumbai, you will be greeted by
one-of-its-kind Victoria Terminus, Mumbai's World Heritage Railhead, a
lavish Gothic structure with stained glass windows, turrets and spires.
Spend an evening at the magnificent 'Gateway of India', built in 1911 to
commemorate the visit of King George V. Stroll around amidst hoardes of
pigeons and tourists and couples with a packet of 'Bhelpuri' and spend an
evening like never before. Savour a cup of coffee at the Taj Mahal Hotel's
coffee shop while enjoying a splendid view of the brilliantly lit Bombay
Harbour. Walk a few steps to reach the majestic statue of Chhatrapati
Shivaji on horseback, a popular backdrop for family photographs.
Remember to visit the Prince of Wales Museum for an inspiring experience. Applauded as an art enthusiast's delight, the museum affords an excellent collection of Indian sculptures and Tibetan art. Ask your tour operator to take you to Haji Ali's Mosque. A cruise on the sea is indeed a delightful experience. Faith seems to thicken and reshape at this place of worship, the way that agglomerations around sand create pearls in oysters. At night, religious convocations called 'mehfils' are held in the mehfil khana, a voluminous hall meant for this purpose. The hall echoes with the resonance of the Holy name of Haji Ali, and you will be overwhelmed to behold the devotion augmenting with the rhythm of the Qawwalis.
Capitalising a vernacular culture, it is obvious that Maharashtra caresses history on every pages of time. The best part of the Marathi terrain is that it has something for everyone. One can visit numerous forts built on steep precipitous hills of the Deccan plateau - Purandhar, Raigarh, Pratapgarh - standing in mute testimony to Shivaji's valorous exploits. Drive 20 km from Sinhgarh Fort to reach Pune, the second largest city in the state. Don't miss an evening at the Osho Commune at Koregaon Park, the ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh, where you can savour divine euphoria and soothe your weary soul. Travel 195 km northeast of Mumbai to touch the sands of the holy city, Nashik. Embellished with pristine bathing ghats and sacred temples lining the Godavari river banks, Nashik is one of the four cities where the Kumbh Mela is held in every 12 years. Spend a day or two of your holiday vacation at the charming twin resorts of Lonavala and Khandala, a picturesque representation of bubbling Maharashtra. Perched 600 mt on the western slopes of the Sahyadri range, these resorts offer a cool, invigorating climate and a pleasant getaway, and are best to visit during the monsoons. Don't miss a chance to visit Aurangabad, nestling on the right banks of Kham River. Keeping pace with modernity, Aurangabad also caresses architectural wonders like Biwi ka Maqbara.
Walking Towards The Famous Pandava Caves At Ajanta
A magnificent example of poetry in stone, an anthology of exquisitely carved rock caves is what you would feel while visiting the world famous Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Nestling at about 30 km from Aurangabad, the Ellora caves are the epitome of ancient Indian art. The caves reflect the essence of three distinct religions - Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism - coexisting congrously in a stunning display of intellectual art forms. Drive around 100 km from Aurabgabad city centre to reach the eminent Ajanta Caves. Declared as a world heritage site, the cave is believed to be constructed somewhere between 200 BC and AD 650 by Buddhist monks. Wander around these ancient relics and you can witness how human emotions have been carved out of languid stones by impressive craftsmenship, each more dramatic than the other. Visit the Pandava Caves or the Mahishasurmardini Cave, each displaying excellent diversity in chiselling and of course, perfection.
In the great land of Maharashtra, where the land and the sea meet, breathtaking sights of sheer beauty mark the pristine coastline. Among the beaches of Mumbai, the most well known is Juhu, smiling with its unsurpassable attraction to bathe. On Maharashtra's beaches, you can tan your skin in the glory of the sun or bask in the splendour of the sunset. After a true madman show on the beach, refresh yourself with a sip of tender coconut water available at numerous sea side stalls. Tourists can also enjoy a horse ride or camel ride on the golden sands of Juhu, before walking ahead for the famous ISKCON temple at a stone's throw. The Chowpatty Beach throbs with colour and merriment and is a magic of fairground at night with pony rides, acrobat monkeys, fortune tellers, fishermen and holidayers. The broad and sandy stretches of the shore offer fascinating strolls for sightseers.
Mumbai is one of the busiest cities in India, always
bustling with enthusiasm. The international and domestic airports are
located to the north of the city, Sahar, at a distance of 30 km from
downtown. Mumbai handles flights from 37 airlines, which fly to the major
cities in asia, the far and the middle East, major destinations in Europe
- such as London and Paris - and New York and Chicago. Both the terminals
are furnished with world class facilities to satisfy an international
traveller. On arrival at Sahar International Airport, the immigration,
baggage retrival and customs counters precede the remaining of the
services. Exchange can be obtained at bank counters just outside the
customs area. Tourists will also get innumerable taxis and autorickshaws
just outside the airport premises.
Mumbai is well connected to the rest of the country by central and western railway lines. Trains to Mumbai for most central, southern and eastern regions arrive at CST which is located at the heart of the city. Trains from Northern India arrive at Bombay Central. Both stations are centrally located and taxis are readily available.
Across Mumbai Central Station is the terminus for interstate buses. Maharashtra State buses terminate at Asiad Bus Stand at Dadar. As an important junction on the National Highway network of India, it is limked to all major towns and cities of the country. NH 3 connects Mumbai to Indore and Gwalior, NH 4 to Pune, and NH 8 to Ahmedabad and Delhi. The port of Mumbai is located to the south of the city and handles around 1/6th of India's total inborne trade. A better route to Maharashtra may be to avail a ferry service. One can get ferry ships from the Ferry Wharf, near the Prince's Dock, as well as the Gateway of India. The Port of Mumbai operates its own railway, running between Ballard Pier and Wadala. This is linked to the Central and Western Railways at the interchange Railway Yard at Wadala.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Maharashtra
Maharashtra - Golden Glory of The Marathas
Mumbai - The City That Never Sleeps
Ajanta And Ellora Caves
The Festive Moments
Its Always Party Time
Caves and Beaches
Unique Rajasthan and Goa
Adventure Tour of India