When you hear the word “Maharashtra,” images of the kilometer-long Marine Drive promenade and the front view of the Gothic Victorian Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus immediately come to mind. In Mumbai, the most populated city in Maharashtra, both are well-known landmarks.
But the third-largest state in India has much more to offer. It has something for everyone, including pristine beaches, fantastical hill stations, challenging treks, strawberry farms, wildlife sanctuaries, pilgrimage sites, rich history, delectable cuisine, and a dynamic culture.
If you have never considered taking a holiday in Maharashtra, it is probably time to do so in order to appreciate the state’s beauty and return home with some of the priceless experiences it offers. For a complete and pleasant journey, check out this list of Maharashtra’s top attractions.
Mumbai has many names, and it lives up to each of them every day. Some of these labels include Mayanagri, the city of dreams, the never-sleeping metropolis, India’s financial hub, and Bollywood.
Mumbai provides admirers of Gothic architecture with a visual treat because to its abundance of well-preserved colonial-era architectural marvels. A simple ride on the Mumbai local at rush hour will be a tale to tell for those who want to feel the charm of a bustling city. Or simply board a 15-minute ferry from the Gateway of India pier to Elephanta Island to explore a long-lost world.
2. Pune, Maharashtra
Pune, the cultural centre of Maharashtra, is revered by all Marathi people. Pune was as the capital of the Maratha Empire’s Peshwas and served as the former political hub of the Indian subcontinent. The district alone has 17 forts, the most well-known of which are Shaniwar Wada, Singhagad Fort, and Purandar Fort.
The Aga Khan Palace, which has a strikingly distinct appearance, served as a prison for Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi shortly after the latter began the Quit India movement. For those who enjoy art, culture, and adventure, Pune is heaven.
3. Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
This well-liked hill station is located in the picturesque Western Ghats and is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, evergreen forests, waterfalls, and historic temples.
When visiting Mahabaleshwar, you may take a boat ride on Venna Lake, hike to the Pratapgarh Fort at dusk, explore Rajpuri Caves, indulge in freshly picked berries, and take stunning pictures with the hills and valleys in the background.
4. Lonavala, Maharashtra
This stunning hill station, halfway between Mumbai and Pune, provides a fast escape from the hectic city life. Lonavala, a picturesque drive from both cities, is known for its mouthwatering chikki (Indian sweet consisting of nuts coated in jaggery or sugar syrup).
The Pune-Mumbai Expressway’s gorgeous, winding roads and lengthy tunnels are sufficient cause to return to Lonavala time and time again. Even though Lonavala is a tiny hill town, it is surrounded by some of Maharashtra’s top tourist attractions, including Pawna Lake, Lohagarh Fort, Visapur Fort, Tiger’s Point, Bhaja Caves, Kune Falls, and Shree Narayani Dham Temple. In Lonavala, you can go camping and go hiking.
5. Khandala, Maharashtra
Khandala, a town in Maharashtra not far from Lonavala, has become well-known due to a well-known Bollywood song. The hill station experiences excellent weather all year long, and during the monsoons, it turns lush green.
The charming tiny hill station provides views of magnificent peaks and stunning valleys in addition to the clear lakes and lovely waterfalls. Karla and Bhanja Caves, Della Adventure Park, Sunil’s Celebrity Wax Museum, and Aadishakti Mata Temple are a few of Khandala’s well-known tourist destinations.
6. Matheran, Maharashtra
Matheran is the best option if you desire a non-touristy hill station away from the bustle of weekend visitors. The lack of buses and automobiles on the roads in Matheran makes it a unique experience. You did read that correctly.
Matheran does not permit automobiles, thus the pathways are open for leisurely strolls. The town provides several hiking routes that lead to numerous lookout locations with enticing views of the mountains, dawn, and sunset. Camping and picnics are perfect in the serene and lovely Charlotte Lake.
7. Lavasa, Maharashtra
Modelled on the Italian town of Portofino, Lavasa is a private hill city that was built from the scratch. This well-planned, clean city boasts of stunning infrastructure and a European experience. Spread over seven hills, Lavasa offers enthralling views of the lakes, hills and valleys, making it one of the most popular tourist places in Maharashtra. Adventure lovers can try their hand at hiking, biking, rappelling, camping and raft building. Lakeshore Watersports, a top attraction in Lavasa, is a wonderful place to enjoy different kinds of water sports.
8. Nashik, Maharashtra
One of Maharashtra’s most revered pilgrimage destinations is Nashik. According to Hindu legend, Lord Rama spent his 14-year exile at Nashik. For Rama enthusiasts, a trip to Nashik would not be complete without stopping at the renowned Kalaram Temple, which houses a revered black figure of Lord Rama.
Additionally, there are black sculptures of the goddess Sita and the deity Lakshmana inside the temple’s sanctum sanctorum. One of the four primary Kumbh Mela locations is Nashik. The event, which is held just once every 12 years, draws millions of followers from all around the world. In Nashik, you may enjoy in the city’s natural beauty and explore well-known sights like the Pandav Leni Caves, Sula Vineyards, and Dudhsagar Waterfalls.