Maharashtra Tourism Information
A 192 km. journey from Bombay to Punc (Poona) through the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats, is really a rewarding experience. Although Bombay is the Capital of Maharashtra, Pune can boast of being the cradle of Marathi culture. It is a big educational centre. Many institutions of national importance like the NDA, College of Military Engineering, etc.. are located here. Pune has many tourist attractions. It has a temple dedicated to Goddess Paravati atop a hill on the south edge of the town. 24 km. away is Singhgadh having the Samadhi of Tanaji and of Rajaram, Shivaji’s second son. Purander, another famous fort of Peshwa domain in 27 km. east of Pune. Raja Kelkar Museum and Aga Khan Palace the place where Kasturba Gandhi breathed her last are two other attractions of Pune. There are daily flights between Poona and Bombay and both are very well connected by the road and rail routes.
This popular hill resort on the Western Ghats is situated at the altitude of 1.370 meters. This hill resort takes its name after the colossal and legendary Mahabali who is supposed to have lived here. Mahabaleshwar has lovely parks, meadows, a fascinating lake, water falls and some vantage points from where you can enjoy panoramic view of hills and sylvan valleys all around. Pune is the nearest railhead for this station which is 120 km. away. The best season to visit this hill station is between October & June. There are many Western and Indian style hotels, a Holiday Camp and a Rest House. Panchagani is nearby which also has salubrious climate and good hotels for stay.
This historic city, named so because of its association with the Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb, is also the most convenient starting point for visiting the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Aurangabad, a big modern city, in its own right has also some tourist attractions. The Bihi-ka Maqbara. a mousoleum was built by tht austere ruler Aurangzeb for is beloved Begum Durrani. Nearby is Daulatabad, also known as ‘Devgiri’ in the past, as has many historical monuments of the medieval period. It was to this town that Mohd. Tughlak, the ‘mad king’ who moved his capital from Delhi. It has a massive for atop a flight to 600 steps. Closely are the Aurangabad caves, carved out some time in the 7th century Ad. which reflect the predominant Mahayan Buddhist influence. Aurangahad is well-linked by regular air service with Bombay. Though not at convenient, rail route, it is well-linked by bus service with Bombay and Puna. It has many excellent hotels also.
The Ellora Caves
The Ellora caves carved out in a sickle shaped hill are about 30 km. from Aurangabad. These were begun by the Buddhist from 450 to 650 A.D. but they are not exclusively Buddhists’ caves and there are cave temples of the Jam and Hindu faith as well. These are about 34 in all and of these 12, to the south are Buddhist. The next 17 caves are Hindu and last 5 are Jain. In cave 16, Kailash Temple is not worthy for its design and elegance.
The Ajanta Caves
105 km. away from Aurangabad, these, too, run in a sickle shaped curve along the face of the cliff for over a mile. They tower over a steep gorge where the waters of a beautiful torrential stream of Waghora Cascade through a ravine below. Here are 29 cave temples and Viharas, varying in their size and number in order from west to east. These caves are noted for their mural frescoes which are survived—some of them—intact. Thase paintings tell the story of Buddha as well as the contemporary life, culture and traditions.
This great pilgrim centre on the way to Aurangahad from Bombay (187 km.) is an excellent stopover situated on the banks of river Godavari. It is also a sight for the Kumhha Mela, held here after every 12 years.
This erstwhile capital of Central Provinces is centrally situated. Famous for oranges and the textiles, this is now a big city connected by air, road and rail with all the major cities of the country.
Founded by Gandhiji in 1933, this is 80 km. south of Nagpur near Wardha railhead. For 15 years from 1933 to 1947 it remained the centre of much 01 India’s social and political activities. Nearby is Paunar Ashram’ hallowed by being the dwelling place of Vinohha Bhave, the arch-follower of Bapu.
Called the Dakshin Kashi on the river Panchaganga, it was once the Capital of Maratha State. The Mahalakshmi Temple, Panhala Fort and the royal palaces are its main tourist attractions.
About 120 km. north-east of Poona or Pune, Ahmednagar is an important city from historic considerations. It can be reached either by road or rail. It has a fort built about four centuries back. Chand Bibi, the famous Queen, was a great figure and the tales of her heroic defense of Ahmednagar against the Mughal aggression are still recounted with interest. It was in this fort that Nehru ji and other national leader’s were interned during the ‘Quit India Movements. Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor died here in 1707 at the ripe old age of 97 years.
Pandharpur has been a great centre of Bhakti Cult. Situated on the river Bhima, it has great cultural and spiritual importance and devotees in large numbers throng here at the shrine of Vithoba.
About fifty six km. south •of Aurangabad, Paithan is a charming small town on the banks of sacred Godavari. Once it was a weaving centre of costly Kimbhak silk, specially used for bridal costumes, it is still renowned for its heavy and costly saris. It was also the place of dwelling of the Sant Eknath, a renowned poet-hermit of the medieval period.
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