Mumbai, India’s commercial capital is the capital of Maharashtra. In fact, Mumbai not only makes Maharashtra one of the important states economically, but it is also a major arrival point for overseas visitors. From Mumbai, you can head off into Indian subcontinent in a number of directions. In addition to Mumbai, Maharashtra has several other tourist destinations like Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad. While you visit Maharashtra, massive temples, magnificent forts and monuments, rich art & culture, delectable cuisine, colourful fairs and festivals, picturesque hill stations, shimmering lakes and rivers, mystic caves, beautiful beaches, varied wildlife and exciting shopping, mesmerize you.
Tourist Destinations of Maharashtra
Maharashtra, one of the largest industrialized states of India, attracts thousands of tourists from across the globe every year. Situated in the western and central parts of the country, Maharashtra extends over the Sahayadri mountain ranges and a vast coastline of 720 kms of the Arabian Sea. A land of rich art & culture and traditions, Maharashtra is known for its outstanding architecture, serene beaches, imposing forts and monuments, museums and picturesque temples. With its wildlife sanctuaries and parks, Maharashtra attracts large number of nature lovers as well as wildlife enthusiasts. Mumbai, the state capital city is the foremost tourist destination, other popular destinations are Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad.
Maharashtra - Adventure
With cool blue Arabian Sea, serene beaches, shimmering lakes and rivers, the mighty western ghats, thick forests and rich wildlife, Maharashtra offers suitable conditions for undertaking a variety of adventure sports. An exciting adventure sport, Para Gliding takes you above the ancient forts, caves, hills and several other unexplored region of Maharashtra. Trekking is another popular sport of Maharashtra which provides you a good chance to conquer the mighty peaks of Maharashtra and experience the nature at its best. Other famous adventure sports are rock climbing, mountaineering, windsurfing, speed boating, kayaking, water scooters, sailing and wildlife safari.
Maharashtra - Hills
Blessed with natural beauty, Maharashtra also shows evidence of a divine hand in its mountains and hills. The Western Ghats range running parallel to its coast from north to south at an average height of 1,200 metres. With its foothills sometimes approaching the sea-coast and sometimes moving 50 to 60 kms away, Maharashtra Hills seem to be playing the hide and seek game with the beautiful Arabian Sea. Within these mountains, likes the hill stations of Maharashtra. Popular hill stations of Maharashtra include Mahabaleshwar, Khandala, Panchgani, Amboli, Bhandardara, Chikhaldara Hills, Jawahar, Lonavala and Karla, Malshej Ghat Matheran, Panhala and Toranmal.
Maharashtra - Wildlife
Maharashtra, the land rich in natural beauty, is a paradise for nature loving people. Boasting of a varied topography, Maharashtra is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and parks, with a wide variety of vegetation. In these wildlife sanctuaries and parks, you can see domestic as well as rare migratory birds and wild animals like Tiger, Wild Deer, Sambar Crocodile, Bisons, Neelgai etc. Most famous wildlife sanctuaries and parks include the Borivili Wildlife Park, Mahim Nature Park, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Melghat Tiger Reserve and Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
Maharashtra has a moderate climate, typically monsoonal in character, with hot and humid rainy season and cold winter season. Maximum heat is experienced during the months of March and May, when the temperature raises to a high of 40°C. The south-west monsoon arrives in the state in June and lashes some parts of the state with good rainfall, whereas a large part of inner Maharashtra remains dry. By the end of September the south-west monsoonal current weakens and the winter arrives by the end of October. Winters are moderate and temperature drops to a minimum of 16°C.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit the coastal areas is September to April, while for the hilly areas the best season is September to June.
How to Reach
By Air: Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra has one international (Sahara International Airport) and one domestic (Santa Cruz Airport) airport. From Sahara International Airport, flights are available for important cities of the world, while from the Santa Cruz Airport flights ply to all the major cities of the country. A number of airlines such as Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, Spice Jet, Air Deccan, operate regularly flights to and from Mumbai. Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad also have their own airports.
By Railways: Mumbai is the main railhead of Maharashtra. A number of express and super fast trains connect the city with other cities of the state and India. Other cities like Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad also have their own railway stations.
Roadways: An exceptionally good network of National Highways and State Highways criss-cross the state and link it with rest of the country. Intra and Intercity bus services make it convenient to travel to any part of Maharashtra and nearby states.
By Ship: Mumbai has an international naval port, so one can reach Maharashtra by ship too. Damania Shipping Private Ltd. operates a catamaran service between Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Goa. The catamaran service remains suspended during the monsoon season.
Maharashtra at Shopping
Although Maharashtra has several place for shopping, but Mumbai is the ultimate shopper’s paradise. Mumbai offers exciting shopping opportunities under the sun as well as under the moon. In Mumbai, Chor Bazaar, Zaveri Bazaar, Breach Candy, Kemps Corner, Colaba Causeway, Fashion Street are the famous shopping areas. In these bustling markets, you can shop a wide range of products. Maharashtra has also a rich heritage of handicrafts, while shopping you can buy handicraft items in the shopping centres of the state. Apart from Mumbai, Aurangabad is also a good destination for doing some shopping. Aurangabad region is renowned for 2000-year-old craft of weaving Paithani Sarees. Popular items which you can check out in Maharashtra are Paithani and Himroo Sarees, Narayan Pethsaris sarees, Lacquer ware, Bidri Ware, Warli Tribal Paintings and Kolhapuri Chappals.