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Maharashtra Travel Guide

ABOUT MAHARASHRA

Maharashtra is the state situated In the western coast of the country famous for its historical places, caves and pilgrim places. Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra. It is known as financial capital of India. Mumbai is one of the metropolitans cities of India. There are many different tourist destinations in the state to visit them directly. All most all famous destinations are linked by roads and railway. The general languages to speak are Maharashtrian ( Marathi ), Hindi, Urdu & English.

Surrounded by the Arabian Sea in the west, it is one of the biggest states of India. It occupies a considerable portion of the Deccan Plateau in the western coast of the country. Not unlike like triangle the state is delimited by Maharashtraa in the northwest, Madhya Pradesh in the north, Andhra Pradesh in the southeast and Karnataka and Goa in the south.

 

PHYSIOGRAPHY

The Western Ghats (a mountain range at the western edge of the Deccan plateau; ghat means "pass" in Marathi) run almost incessantly for 400 miles (640 km) north-south, with the foothills getting to within 4 miles (6.4 km) of the Arabian Sea. The Sahyadri Range is the bring to light of the landscape of Maharashtra. This range is the bodily stamina of Maharashtra. The normal height of the range is about 1000m. Near the Konkan, the range falls to a steep cliff, on the west. There is a intermediary area towards the east, where the hill country falls in steps. This area is known as Mawal to the plateau level.

 

BEST TIME VISIT

The best time to tour this state is from October to February. Maharashtra is counted amongst those states in India that are visited by tourists in huge numbers. Be it the beaches of the state or its respected temple and shrines or its splendid historical monuments, travelers enjoy here and spending their holidays. It is quite obvious that they would like to come at a time when the weather conditions are at their best. From this point of view, the best time to visit Maharashtra comes out to be the time between October and February.

 

FAIRS & FESTIVALS

The state of Maharashtra is the core of many religious and cultural civilization. The fairs and festivals in Maharashtrian villages are a part of life. Every festival has its own importance. People embellish their houses and festivities overcome all around. Though Maharashtra celebrates many festivals, but the most accepted festival is the Ganesh Chaturthi. It is famous due to the large processions and the colorful icons of Lord Ganesha.

  • Ganesh Chaturthi : Lord Ganesh, the benefactor deity of Maharashtra, is the God of perception. In August, planning to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi - the favorable day when Lord Ganesh was born - start with great eagerness curtains the state. The 11-day festival begins with the fitting of delightfully sculpted Ganesh idols in homes and mandaps (large tents), colourfully bedecked, depicting spiritual themes or present proceedings. The Ganesh idols are worshipped with families and friends. Many civilizing events are organised and people contribute in them with keen attention. After ten stirring days comes the time to bid goodbye to the adored God. People take Ganesh idols in march to the complement of music and dance for immersion in the sea or nearby river or lake.
  • Diwali : Diwali or Deepawali means a string of lights. The most gorgeous of all Indian festivals, Diwali is a celebraton of light. Streets are decorated with rows of clay lamps and homes are decorated with rangoli (coloured powder designs) and aakash kandils (decorative lanterns of different shapes and sizes). People rise at dawn, massage their bodies and hair with scented oil and perfumed powders-uttana and take a holy bath. Diwali is celebrated with new clothes, stunning firecrackers and a range of sweets in the company of family and friends.
  • Makar Sankrant : Sankrant means the transient of the sun from one Zodiac sign (i.e. Dhanu)to the other(i.e.Makar). -People substitute greeting and good wishes on this day. Sweet and crunchy ladoos made of sesame and jaggery called "TilGul"are the favourite sweets.
  • Nag Panchami : It is a carnival in the honour of the Snake God Shesha Nag . Snake devotion is an vital ceremony of the Maharashtrians, and on the festival of Nag Panchami, clay icons of cobras are adored in homes. People tender sweets and milk to the snake deity . Snake charmers carry cobras in baskets and collect contributions from the public in the streets. Women apply mehendi on their hands and the day is celebrated with dances and songs.
  • Gudhi Padwa : Gudhi' – is a triumph symbol-characterized by a bamboo stick with a coloured silk cloth and ornamented with flowers and sweets atop .Maharashtrians upright gudhis on Padwa, the first day of the Hindu new year. People greet the new year by worshipping the gudhi and deal out prasad comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. Gudhi Padwa signifies the commencement of a wealthy new year and is measured as a shubh muhurat - one of the most promising days - by Hindus.
  • Pola : The crop event is celebrated by farmers all over Maharashtra. It is an significant festival of bucolic Maharashtra. On this day bullocks, which are an basic part of the farming operations are worshipped. They are bathed, colourfully ornamented and taken out in processions across the village, accompanied by the music of drumbeats and lezhim (a musical instrument made of a wooden rod and an iron chain full of metallic pieces).
  • Narali Pournima : The full moon day of the month of Shravan is celebrated in diverse parts of Maharashtra and is recognized variously as Narali Pournima, Shravani Pournima, Rakhi Pournima or Raksha Bandhan. 'Naral' means 'coconut', and Narali Pournmia is thus called because gifts of coconuts are made by people to the sea-god on this day. Narali Pournima also marks the arrival of the new fishing season and fishermen conciliate the sea-god before sailing out in their gaily-decorated boats. The festival is a day of singing and dancing. Raksha Bandhan is also pragmatic on this day. Sisters knot 'rakhis' or beautifully decorated threads on their brothers' wrists. The ritual renews the bond of love between siblings and signifies the brother's conscientiousness of protecting his sister all her life.
  • Gokul Ashtami : The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated on Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami. Most devotees fast till midnight till the birth of Lord Krishna is announced. Gopal Kala-a preparation made of compressed rice and curds is arranged on this day. Another fun-filled ceremony performed on this day is dahi-handi - clay pots filled with curd, puffed rice and milk are strung high up above the streets and groups of passionate young men (and even women) form human pyramids to reach these and break them open, the way Lord Krishna and his friends would, after niggling into the houses of gopis (milkmaids) to steal and eat butter.
  • Dussehra : As per the grand Hindu epic Ramayan, Dussehra is the day on which Lord Ram killed Ravan, the evil king of Lanka. It is considered as a shubh-muharat - a very propitious day - to start a new venture. It is a symbol of the triumph of good over immorality. People decorate the entrances of their homes with torans, marigold flower studded strings, and worship the tools of business, vehicles, machinery, weapons and books.The villagers cross the border, a ritual known as Simollanghan, and worship the Shami tree. The leaves of the Apta tree are composed and exchanged among friends and relatives as gold.
  • Holi / Vasant Panchami : Holi/Vasant Panchami each year, after a victorious winter produce, people get ready to greet the spring with Holi - the festival of colours. Holi or bonfires are lit in the night and to worship the fire-god, who is thought to drive away all evil. On the next day, people of all ages come outside and play with each other with coloured water. Brightly coloured powders are applied on faces, and there is plenty of music, dance and sweets to fill the rest of the day.
  • The Ellora Festival : The peoples of Maharashtra organises the Ellora Festival here in December, alluring in prominent artistes who present their genius in music and dance. Surrounded by 1,400-year old caves and rock carvings, artists execute in this brilliant ambience to captivate the gods, goddesses and human lovers of art. The Kailash temple, sculptured out of one enormous rock, is one of the most striking backdrops for an event such as this.

 

FLORA & FAUNA

The flora and fauna of Maharashtra is quite varied. The varied climate and topography has resulted in rich plant life and a high-quality animal population. The land of Maharashtra has parched desert, tropical rain forest and mountain range with an height of 4000 feet. 17 % of Maharashtra's land is enclosed with thick virgin forests. The forests found here are mainly evergreen deciduous type. Mass of the forests are in the eastern and Sahyadri regions of the state. Maharashtra has five national parks, three game reserves, and 24 wildlife/bird sanctuaries. Here many different kinds of animals are found like tigers, panthers, bison, deer and antelopes, wild boars, bears and blue bull.

 

HOW TO REACH
  • By Air : Maharashtra has five domestic airports and one international airport at Mumbai. Many of these airports have regular connections through the Indian Airlines and other domestic airlines. Mumbai is the best connected international airport in India and is connected with most of the important international destinations.
  • By Rail : Mumbai is the center of the railway network in Maharashtra owning three major railway stations and the headquarters of two Railway Zones in India. Mumbai is connected to most of the important cities in India by rail. Many important tourist spots in the state are directly connected to Mumbai by regular trains.
  • By Road : Maharashtra is said to have one of the beat road ways in India. All the important places within Maharashtra are conveniently connected to each other. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation as well as private operators provide good services connecting all the tourist centers in the state.

 

THE MAJOR PLACES IN MAHARASHRA
  • Ajanta Ellora (A World Heritage Site) : The Ajanta caves are situated to the northeast of Aurangabad and are a little way off the main road. There are about 29 caves, built in a horseshoe fashioned curve of the steep rocky ravine that emerges above the river Waghore. These caves date back to about 200 BC to 650 AD. Just after the Ellora caves were built, the site of Ajanta caves was deserted and were slowly forgotten. In 1819 soldiers from a British hunting party re-discovered these caves, which remained unknown for centuries.
  • Mumbai (The Capital City of Maharashtra) : The capital of Mahahrashtra, Mumbai is the largest metropolis in India and also its financial capital. It is one of the most vibrant cities, with an alive nightlife. The city is also the center of allure and glitz due to the attendance of Indian film industry. Mumbai is also a chronological city having many attractions to offer to a visitor. Major travel attractions of this appealing city include the Gateway of India, Prince of Wales Museum, Haji Ali's Tomb, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus, Mumbadevi Temple and the famed Marine Drive. Apart from these, the Chowpaty and the Juhu beach are major highlights of the city, where tourists and local people get together to enjoy themselves.
  • Pune : The second largest city of Maharashtra, Pune, is the place which was home to the Maratha leader, Shivaji for a long time. This calm city was also resided by the self-proclaimed guru, Bhagwan Rajneesh, also known as Osho. Pune has many tourist spots, including, Shanwarawada Palace, Raja Kelkar Museum, Gandhi National Memorial, Samadhi, and Pataleshwar Temple.
  • Aurangabad (The City of World Heritage Site) : Known for its medieval monuments and enriching heritage, the city of Aurangabad was the seat of the Mughal territory for a short span. The Bibi-ka-Makbara, a tomb that has some semblance to the Taj Mahal is the underscore of the city. Auranagbad is world famed city due to the attendance of the Ajanta and Ellora caves regarded as the world heritage sites. These sites have Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples. Aurangabad is also famous for it's silk and cotton textiles.
  • Dulatabad Fort : The inspiring Daultabad fort is located about 15 kms from Aurangabad. At this place Mohammed Bin Tughlak built his capital, but soon returned back to Delhi. It was lastly conquered by Allauddin Khilji. The scenic views, located to the right of the Daulatabad fort are thrilling. Today, the fort is not in a very good stipulation. But some of the parts of the fort like the scary "Bhool Bhulaiya" is still in a better condition.
  • Mahabaleshwar (A Pristine Hill Resort) : Mahabaleshwar, the compelling hill station, overlooks the Krishna and Koyna valleys. It is placed at an altitude of 1372 meters and presents many picture prefect views. This undamaged natural glory is loved by people who esteem nature and want to discover it. specifically, the filmmakers adore this place because it provides plenty of beautiful scenes for their films. Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency.
  • Lonavala Hill Station : Lonavala is an additional famous hill station, given that an enjoyable getaway from the cities of Mumbai and Pune. The area of expertise of this place is a special candy made of peanut and jaggery which is accepted all over the country.
  • Shirdi : Shirdi is positioned in Ahmedanagar district. Shirdi, has acquired a lot of renown & supporters Samadhisthan of Sri Saibaba. A spiritual saint worshipped with immense admiration in India & abroad. SaIbaba attained samadhi on Dassera day in 1918.preached at Shirdi all his life & renewned people's assurance in God.Devotees from each faith horde here all year round to pay their respects to his memory.Thursdays have special implication. Fairs are held on Ramnavami, Guru Pournima & Dassera.
  • Trimbakeshwar : Trimbakeshwar is located in Nashik District. The holiest place having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of the country. The idiosyncrasy of this Jyotirling is that it has three faces embodying Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh.

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