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Location: Maharashtra

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  Maharashtra

Maharashtra (MH) is a state in the western region of India and is India’s second-most populous state and third-largest state by area. Spread over 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi), it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian states of Karnataka, Telangana, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It is also the world’s second-most populous sub-national entity. It has over 112 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population of approximately 18 million. Nagpur is Maharashtra’s second capital and hosts the winter session of the state legislature.[8] Pune is its cultural capital. Pune is known as “Oxford of the East” due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions.

Maharashtra map

Climate
Maharashtra has typical monsoon climate, with hot, rainy and cold weather seasons. Tropical conditions prevail all over the state, and even the hill stations are not that cold. Dew, frost, hail can also be happened sometimes according to the seasonal weather. … Temperature varies between 12°C-34°C during this season.
History
Maharashtra, the state of India, occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan plateau in the western peninsular part of the subcontinent. Its shape roughly resembles a triangle, with the 450-mile (725-km) western coastline forming the base and its interior narrowing to a blunt apex some 500 miles (800 km) to the east. Maharashtra is bounded by the Indian states of Gujarat to the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Telangana to the southeast, Karnataka to the south, and Goa to the southwest and by the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and the Arabian Sea to the west.
Maharashtra’s capital, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), is an island city on the western coast, connected to the mainland by roads and railways. Aptly called the gateway of India, Maharashtra is one of India’s biggest commercial and industrial centers, and it has played a significant role in the country’s social and political life.
Maharashtra is a leader among Indian states in terms of agricultural and industrial production, trade and transport, and education. Its ancient culture, at one stage, considerably obscured by British dominance, survives largely through the medium of a strong literary heritage. A common literature in Marathi, the predominant language of the state, has, in fact, played an important role in nurturing a sense of unity among the Maharashtrians. Area 118,800 square miles (307,690 square km). Pop. (2011) 112,372,972.
Transportation
Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India. It is the second most populous state and third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Gujarat and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the north and northeast, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south, Telangana to the southeast and Goa to the southwest. The state covers an area of 307,731 km2 (118,816 sq mi) or 9.84% of the total geographical area of India.
Road
Maharashtra has the largest road network in India at 267,452 kilometers. 17 National Highways connect Maharashtra to six neighboring states. The length of National Highways in Maharashtra is 4688 kilometers. Maharashtra has a large state highway network. 99.5 percent of the villages in the state were connected by all-weather roads as of March 2018. The Yeshwantrao Chavan Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the first access controlled toll road project in India was made fully operational in April 2002.
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has been providing passenger road transport service in the public sector since 1948, linking most of the towns and villages in and around the state with a large network of operation. These buses, popularly called ST (State Transport), are the preferred mode of transport for much of the populace. In addition to the government-run buses, privately run luxury buses also ply between major towns. Other modes of public transport, such as a seven-seater tempo have gained popularity in semi-urban areas.
Railway
The state is well-connected to other parts of the country with a railway network spanning 5,983 km between four Railways.
• The Central Railway and the Western Railway zones of the Indian Railways that are headquartered in Mumbai, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Churchgate respectively,
• The Nagpur Junction has the division, Nagpur (Central) & Nagpur (South East Central) of Central Railway & South East Central Railway respectively.
• The Nanded division of the South Central Railway that caters to the Marathwada region of Maharashtra and
• The Konkan Railway, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways based in CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai that serves the Konkan coastal region south of Mumbai and continues down the west coast of India.
Maharashtra also has suburban railway networks in Mumbai and Pune that carry around 6.4 million passengers every day.
Airport
Maharashtra has three international airports:
• Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (among the busiest airports in India);
• Pune Airport with flights to Dubai, Frankfurt, and Sharjah;
• Nagpur’s Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport.
• Nashik Airport serves domestic flights.

Maharashtra – The land of the Marathas

Maharashtra day

Maharashtra, the Great Land. As the name itself suggests Maharashtra has a great diversity of riches to offer to the tourist. Since ancient times, Maharashtra has been known for its hard rock of the Sahyadrian belt and equally rugged people with a long history of valour and artistic skill. Historically, Maharashtra figures in history during the Mauryan period and thereafter under the domination of a number of Hindu dynasties. Yadavas, the last of the Hindu dynasty ended in 1294. Thereafter the state came under a succession of Muslim rulers. With the rise of Shivaji, Maharashtra entered a new phase in history. Shivaji welded the Marathas into a powerful nation. The Peshwas who succeeded Shivaji built up a Maratha Empire which extended from Gwalior in the north to Tanjore in the south. The Maratha power received a setback at Panipat, in 1761, when the Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdali routed the Maratha forces. They recovered only to confront the British power and to be decisively defeated in 1818. After this Maharashtra settled down as part of the Bombay Presidency under the British administration. In independent India, Bombay (now Mumbai) continued as one state consisting of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Under the Bombay Re-organisation Act, 1960 Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed into separate states on May 1, 1960, Maharashtra’s capital city, Mumbai, is the commercial capital of the country.

Maharashtra is a happy land of colourful cities and thriving villages settled by people of all faiths. And it is the fervent faith of these people in religion and tradition that contributes to some of the most exuberant festivals in India.

Ganesh Chaturthi, the festival of Lord Ganesh, the patron deity of Maharashtra, is the most popular festival in the state. The ten day celebration falls during August-October and ends with the immersion of beautiful idols of the deity.

Gokul Ashtami, celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, is a day of boisterous fun. Pots of curds and money are strung up high above the streets and roving bands of youths form human pyramids to break the pots and get the riches within.

the successful winter harvest and the birth of spring. There is revelry unconfined as celebrants with gay abandon splash everyone in sight with coloured water. Dussehra, commemorating the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, is a festival specially dear to the hearts of Maharashtrians proud of their ancient martial traditions.

Diwali, the national Festival of Light is the end of one commercial year and the beginning of another. Clay lamps light up every household and make the country a fairyland of light as the thunder of crackers and blaze of fire-works make the long Diwali night an occasion of joy unrestrained.

Pola, is when the bullocks of Maharashtra are appreciated for their contribution to the economy. Farmers lavishly decorate their animals and exhibit them in a procession to the accompaniment of drumbeats and ‘lezhim’ (a musical instrument made of wooden rod and iron chain full of metallic pieces). Narali

Purnima : The full moon day of the month of Shravana (August) is celebrated by the local sea-faring Koli community when the seas are propitiated with offerings of coconuts. Fishing recommences after this appeasement of the seas. This day is also celebrated as Raksha Bandhan all over the country.

Holi, marks

Naga Panchami, the Festival of Snakes, is celebrated in several parts of Maharashtra in August. But the grandest celebration is at Battis Shirale, 25 km. from Kolhapur, where villagers, including children, catch hundreds of snakes, and poisonous cobras and exhibit them to the worshippers.

Maha Kumbh Mela, is celebrated in Nashik once in every 12 years. Nashik, on the banks of the holy river Godavari, is one of the twelve places on which the holy nectar of the gods fell.

Ashadhi Ekadashi (July/August) and Kartik Ekadashi (September/October). Devotees walk from all parts of Maharashtra Christmas, and the Christian

to Pandharpur carrying triangular och re-coloured flags and singing devotional songs. Gudi Padwa, in March-April is the Maharashtrian New Year’s Day and is considered as the most auspicious day. Maharashtrians erect Gudhis (a bamboo staff with a coloured silk cloth and a garlanded goblet on top of it) as a symbol of victory or achievement. People worship the Gudhi and distribute prasada comprising tender neem leaves, gram pulse and jaggery.

New Year are great celebrations in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, especially in the coastal villages.

Muharram, commemorating the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet, is observed during the first month of the Muslim calendar. Replicas of the martyr’s tomb and his standards are taken out in procession. Khordad Sal, a Parsi festival, is the celebration of the birth anniversary of prophet Zoroaster.

Jamshed Navroj is the first day of the new year according to Zoroastrian calender of the Parsis. Kalidas Festival : Kalidas was a great poet who wrote immortal classics like the Meghdootam. The Kalidas Festival is held in November at the picturesque hill station of Ramtek every year. It brings together some of the greatest exponents of music, dance and drama, over two exciting days and nights.

Ellora Festival : The World Heritage Site of Ellora provides an inspiring backdrop for a festival of music and dance. Surrounded by 1400-year old caves and rock carvings, world famous Indian artists perform to enchant the Gods, Goddesses and human lovers of the arts during the month of October-November. Elephanta Festival: Every year during the month of February, renowned dancers and musicians perform outside these World Heritage caves.

Pune Festival: Pune celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with a series of cultural programmes of song, dance, custom and tradition. The week-long Pune Festival provides a variety of entertainment for tourists who can participate in traditional and modern sports, shop for handicrafts and relish the traditional cuisine. Banganga Festival: A cultural extravaganza is organised at Banganga, an ancient temple in Mumbai, in January every year. Top artists perform live classical music concerts amidst the spectacular backdrop of the ancient temple that dates back to the era of Lord Rama.

Maharashtra map

Art and Culture

Discover the multi-faceted, multi-layered cultural heritage of Maharashtra. From pre-Buddhist to present times. Caves and citadels, mosques and mausoleums to temples and monuments. The troika of Buddhist caves at Karla-Bhaja-Bedsa house the largest collections of Chaitya (Buddhist prayer hall) caves in India. Ajanta, a world heritage site, where in the scarp of a hill, monks have painted frescoes of unrivaled hues and emotions. Ellora, where Kailas Temple is the largest monolithic rock-cut temple in the world. Pandav Leni, Panhale Kazi, Pitalkhora and many other rock-cut temples dating back to the 3rd century BC lie in Maharashtra.

Sample the Islamic heritage of Aurangabad: Panchakki, a water mill; Bibi-ka-Maqbara, mausoleum to the wife of the mughal emperor Aurangzeb; Chand Minar at Daulatabad, once the capital of India. Drape yourself in rich Himroo Shawls woven by muslim craftsmen. Or go ethnic in silk sarees bordered with opulent zari (known as Paithani) from Paithan, or the traditional nine-yard silk saree from Kolhapur, also famous for its chappals. Round playing cards called Ganjifa are made by the craftsmen from the Chitari community of Aswantwadi in Ratnagiri district. A set consists of 120 round cards with ten suits, each having 12 cards. Also the much-prized Warli art form of today was originally used to decorate the mud walls of the village houses by the Warli tribal women. Hupri near Kolhapur is famous for its silver jewellery, especially the payal or anklet adorned with seamless silver balls known as gujrav which are combined with solid ones known as rawa to create the tiny cacophony that accompanies every step. There are other popular designs which are called paijan, kamarpattas, koyali, etc.

Be entertained by the mesmeric beat of Maharashtra’s traditional dance forms like lavanis, povadas, gondhals and bharuds. India’s greatest treatise on classical music of medieval times, the Sangitratnakara, was written by Sharangadeva at the Devagiri court in the 13th century. And it was a Devagiri singer, Gopal Nayak who taught and inspired Amir Khusro to create the Khayal style. Maharashtra also has a flourishing theatre tradition. And of course the film industry (Bollywood) here is a mega-million industry.

The habitat for wildlife in Maharashtra is varied. The state boasts of having more than one-fourth of India’s 2000 or so bird species, a majority of which can be found around Mumbai. The state has 29 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 4 National Parks. The main ones are:

Radhanagari Bison Sanctuary: 70 km from Kolhapur, Radhanagari is endowed with dense jungle and healthy climate. The main wildlife include bison, panther, cheetal, sambar, etc. Bor Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary lies in the Hingni Range in Wardha district. The construction of dam on river Bor has helped the development of forest and shelter for the wildlife. The main wildlife include cheetal, sambhar, bison and a variety of avian fauna.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park: 40 km from Mumbai in Thane district the national park has several attractions, chief among them the Kanheri Caves of the 3rd century AD. The Lion Safari and the lake-side picnic spots are all part of the charm of this park.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary : Occupying an area of 4.48 sq. km. this small sanctuary lies in Raigarh district, 60 km from Mumbai. It was established in 1971. The sanctuary has two distinct seasons for bird watching. At the beginning of Monsoon one can see flamingoes, golden oriole, paradise flycatcher, shama, whistling thrushes etc. While during the winters many migratory birds can be seen.

Kinwat Wildlife Sanctuary : 372 km from Nagpur, the sanctuary lies in the Kinwat forest reserve of Yavatmal and Nanded forest divisions. It extends over an area of 138 sq. km. and was established in 1971. The river Penganga flows through the sanctuary, providing a perennial sources of water to the wildlife and enhances the beauty of the sanctuary. The main wildlife include panther, cheetal, bison, sambar, sloth bear and variety of bird life.

Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary lies in Tirora range of Bhandara Forest Division, extending over 136.14 sq. km. in Gondia district. Nagzira was declared a reserve forest as far back as 1879. The forests of Nagzira have the advantage of two perennial tanks, both being ideal habitat for wildlife. Ambling around in these environs is the sloth bear, tiger, four horned antelope, nilgai, chital, barking deer, bison and the panther, besides the colourful and varied birds.

Dhakna-Kolkaz Wildlife Sanctuary : Situated amidst the forest-clad valleys of the river Sipna and Dolar and the verdant mountain slopes on the Gaurilagarh hills, it is a unique sanctuary in Amravati district. Dhakna is 29 km. ahead of Kolkaz. This is the Melghat Tiger Reserve, the prime habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Other wildlife to be found are the panther, bison, sambar, cheetal and the flying squirrel. The rocky Doh at Kolkaz is a delightful spot for fishing.

Nawegaon National Park: Situated resident ducks.

amidst the beautiful forests around the Nawegaon Lake in Gondia district, the national park is spread over an area of 133.88 sq. km. The lake is believed to have been built by Kolu Patel Koli in the 18th century. He is now deified as Kolasur Dev and his shrine is on one of the peaks surrounding the lake. The lake attracts water birds, such as migrating ducks, the whistling teals, storks and egrets. The wildlife consists of tiger, panther, sloth bear, bison, sambar, cheetal, barking deer and nilgai. Pal and Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary: The tropical dry deciduous forest of Pal and Yawal of Jalgaon district encircled by Suki river of the east, constitute this sanctuary. The sanctuary covers an area of 177.52 sq. km. The wildlife found are panther, nilgai, langur, sambar, hyena, tiger, chinkara. The birdlife include peafowl, grey junglefowl, red spurfowl, sandgrouse, grey partridge and four species of

With a coastline that runs for 720 km, there are many virgin beaches waiting to be explored. Alibagh was developed by Kanhoji Angre, the Naval Chief of the Maratha kingdom during the 17th centur The historic Kulaba fort is a stone’s throw from here. There is a beautiful beach in the city and nine other in th vicinity. Alibagh (1 km), Akshi (5 km), Nagaon (7 km), Kihim (12 km), Awas (16 km), Saswane (18 km Mandawa (20 km), Rewas (24 km), Chaul Rewdanda (25 km) and Kashid (30 km). Ganpatipule: The beach is named after its most famous attraction, the 400-year old temple dedicated t

Lord Ganesh. The temple is right on the beach, at the base of a hillock. Guhaghar Beach is particularly beautiful on a full moon night or early evening. With no artificial lights t dazzle your vision, the sky seems ablaze with stars. The regular sweep of the lighthouse at Tolkeshwar fror the north adds to the mystery of the night.

Harihareshwar is known for its splendid beach and the Harihareshwar temple that’s said to have bee blessed by Lord Vishnu. The village is surrounded by four hills, which have been named after the Lords. Th river Savitri drains into the sea at Harihareshwar.

Devgad Beach : Reaching the beach here takes a bit of effort, but its beauty more than makes up for it. On full moon night, a particular phenomenon of phosphorescence in the water makes the surf glow in the dark When you kick the sand as the wave recedes, sparklers seem to emanate from the sand and water, lik stardust on the beach. Other attractions include the beaches at Padavne, Mumbri, Mithbhav and the Kunkeshwar temple.

Jaigad : The Jaigad fort is situated atop a cliff at the entrance of the Sangameshwar river. Apart from the amazing beach, the lighthouse here is truly unique as there is no electric supply to the source of the ligh in the tower.

Vengurla : All those who love beaches away from the hustle and bustle of city life, would do well to head fo the exotic and virgin beaches of Vengurla.

Tarkali is talcum powder sand, clear water, lazing on hammocks, millions of stars in the clear night sky, boa rides on the creek, dolphins and dirt roads that lead to even more private beaches. The MTDC resort offers backwater tours which take you along the Karli river as it meets the sea and the spectacular Walaval creek.

Hill Stations

The hills of Maharashtra in the Western Ghats come alive especially during the monsoons as life dawns

anew in the forested environs of the hills with ample monsoonal waterfalls and lakes. Amboli is located at an altitude of 690 m (2264 ft) in the western ghats. It has the dubious distinction of being the wettest place in Maharashtra, with an average rainfall of nearly 750 cms. Amboli is wrapped in mists during much of the rainy season (June-September). The rest of the time, it offers fantastic views of the surrounding land, right up to the Konkan coast. Amboli is very pleasant during the winter months (November-February) when a thousand waterfalls gush down the hills. Besides spending a pleasant afternoon meandering through scenic hill-scapes and misty forests one can also go for fishing at Hiranya Keshi or visit Nagatta Falls, Mahadev Gad and Narayan Gad.

Chikhaldara in Amravati is the only hill station in Maharashtra where you can still hear the roar of the tiger. This area is famous in mythology as Kichak Bara, after Keechaka, a fearsome demon who was killed by Bheema, one of the Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata, in this valley. During the monsoon (July-September), the valley is cloaked in thick fog and waterfalls tumble wildly down the hillsides. The forests sparkle in the winter season (November-February) and is ideal time for spotting wildlife.

Jawhar is located at a height of 1900 ft and is best visited during the monsoons (June-September) when fluorescent greens replace browns, silver waterfalls punctuate olive green mountains and calls of the wild resonate in the deep valley. Besides the wonderful weather, Jawhar has a lot to offer. Jai Vilas, the palace of the tribal kings, the ancient relics of Bhupatgad, the natural beauty of Dadar Kopra falls, spell binding views from the Hanuman and Sunset points and Shirapmal, where Shivaji camped for a brief while. Jawhar is also known for the world famous Warli art.

Khandala-Lonavala: The names of these quaint little hill stations are usually taken together in the same breath (being just 5 km apart). Khandala is located on the western slopes of the Sahyadri mountains at a height of 625 mts. The British administration is credited with developing these hill stations around 1811. The best time to visit these hill stations are the monsoons (June-September) when they transform themselves into a fairy land full of green hills, deep valleys, historic forts, lakes and waterfalls. The surrounding hills provided ideal locations for several forts of the Maratha kingdom. While all that remains of their once indomitable strength are ruins, they still make for interesting hikes. The ancient Karla-Bhaja-Bhedsa caves are located at a convenient distance from these hill stations.

Malshej Ghat is a small wonderland of flora and fauna nestled in the higher reaches (700 m) of the Sahyadri range. From June to September, Malshej Ghat’s monsoon magic is on ample display in its forested environs, sparkling falls and monsoon lakes. Pink-legged European flamingoes arrive, in droves to breed in the lake of the Pimpalgaon-Joga Dam. Ornithologists have sighted several rare species of birds in and around Malshej Ghat. Besides these winged visitors, the hills offer many peaks to scale, like Harishchandragad, Shivneri fort, the famous Lenyadri temple perched atop a hill dotted with ancient Buddhist caves.

Ramtek: The natural beauty of Ramtek has inspired many people. Eons back, Lord Rama was so taken in by the climate and scenic surroundings that he stayed back and took a vow to destroy the demons. The same natural splendour inspired the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa to write his immortal epic, Meghdootam way back in 400 AD. The great Buddhist philosopher and Indian alchemist, Acharya Nagarjuna lived here. As did Chakradharaswamy of the Mahanobhava school of thought who found the place perfect for meditation.

Places of Pilgrimage – श्चिव नमः

Maharashtra….. where religion is as old as man. And has been practiced by seers and saints, sages and sadhus. Maharashtra is the melting pot of religions….. where the fragrance of myth mingles with that of marigolds….. and a cosmopolitan culture. The main pilgrim centres are: Asht Vinayaks: There are eight places in Maharashtra, where ‘Swayambhu’, that is, self-created idols of Lord Ganesha are installed. These sites are at Theur, Ranjangaon, Margaon, Ojhar, Madh, Pali, Lenyadri and Siddhatek, all lying near Pune.

Jyotirlingas: Five jyotirlingas out of twelve, are located in the Maharashtra. These are great Shaivite pilgrim centres, namely: Aundha-Nagnath (210 km from Aurangabad): It is supposed to be the first (adya) jyotirlinga. Bhimashanker (95 km from Pune): A fair is held on Mahashivratri. Ghrishneshwar : The temple is situated 1 km from Ellora. Parali Vaijnath : Situated in the Bid district, 230 km from Aurangabad. Trimbakeshwar (39 km from Nashik): The river Godavari has its source near the town.

Alandi (31 km from Pune): Situated on the banks of river Indrayani the samadhi of saint Dnyaneshwar lies in the village. Two fairs are held annually; one on Ashadhi Ekadashi and the other on Kartik Ekadashi. Ambarnath (70 km from Mumbai): An ancient Chalukyan Shiva temple and a picnic spot, located in the Thane district. Buses ply from Kalyan and Ulhasnagar to Ambarnath.

Ambejogai (223 km from Aurangabad): Birthplace of Maratha saint poets, Mukundraj and Dasopant.

Amravati (145 km from Nagpur): It has several temples.

Ajanta (108 km from Aurangabad) : India’s most famous Buddhist caves, 30 in number, contain a wealth of art and architecture. The frescoes in 5 caves and some of the sculpture are considered among the greatest achievements of Indian artists. A World Heritage site.

Shree Kshetra Audumbar (399 km from Mumbai): Audumbar is an important pilgrim centre in Sangli district. There is a famous temple of Shree Dattatraya, situated on the banks of river Krishna. The place is endowed with idyllic surroundings. There is also the famous ‘Brahmanand Swami Math’. The temple of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari on the other bank of the river is beautiful.

Bahubali (11 km from Hatkanangale in Kolhapur district): An important pilgrim centre of Jains. There is a temple of Shwetambar Jains atop a hill. The temples of Digambar Jain on the foot of the hill has a giant idol of Shri Bahubali, the son of Bhagwan Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara.

Battis Shirale (25 km from Kolhapur): The village comes to life on Nag Panchmi festival. The villagers, including children, catch hundreds of snakes, and poisonous cobras and exhibit them to the worshipers. Dehu (34 km from Pune): Pilgrim centre on the bank of river Indrayani. Birthplace of poet-saint Tukaram. Elephanta Island (11 nautical miles by sea from Mumbai): Hindu cave temples cut into the mountain-side feature splendid sculpture.

Ellora (30 km from Aurangabad): The 34 rock-cut temples here represent the Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanic faiths. Splendid sculpture everywhere but nowhere more spectacular than in the fabulous Kailas Temple. Ganpatipule (144 km from Kolhapur): The sacred shrine of Lord Ganpati has an idol believed to be ‘swayambhu’. It has a beautiful beach of white sand.

Pune: Pilgrim centre with a famous annual fair. Khandoba, the deity of Jejuri, is a family deity of many Maharashtrian families.

Kolhapur : It is the erstwhile capital of a former principality and, befittingly, has some splendid palaces and considered as holy as Varanasi and is often called Dakshin Kashi. Another important place of pilgrim is the royal homes. Its temples are considered amongst the most important in Maharashtra, for the city i Temple of Mahalaxmi built in 7th century. This imposing temple is a good piece of architecture. Maheshmal (40 km from Aurangabad): A beautiful hill station known for the Girija Bhavani temple. Nearby are the Goraknath caves.

Shree Kshetra Mahuli (6 km from Satara) : The pilgrim centre is near the confluence of and Venna. There are temples of Yavateshwar, Mangalai Devi and other deities. Shree Kshetra Mahur (225 km from Nagpur): Asmall village in Nanded district, the pilgrim centre is believed to be the birth place of Shree Dattatraya.

the rivers Krishna

Nanded: A major Sikh pilgrim centre on the banks of the river Godavari. The Sach Khand Shri Huzur Sahib Gurudwara, is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru of the Sikhs, who lived here in his last days. Nanded also has many Hindu temples.

Narsobachi Wadi: It is situated near the confluence of Krishna and Panchganga rivers. Devotees from distant parts of the state come here to seek the blessings of Shree Dattatraya. The deity is believed to be “jagrut”, meaning, fulfilling the wishes of the devotees.

Nashik : Nashik is the holy city of Maharashtra. This ancient city on the banks of the sacred Godavari has 2000 temples and bathing ghats lining the banks of the river. The Kumbh Mela held once every 12 years is the high point of pilgrimage to this sacred city.

Paithan (50 km from Aurangabad): The sacred pilgrim centre is situated on the bank of river Godavari, Birthplace of saint Eknath. Several temples dot this pilgrim centre.

Pandharpur (204 km from Pune): One of the most important pilgrim centre of the state. The presiding deities, Vithoba and Rukmini are worshipped by large majority of Hindus in this region. Annual festival in July-August is very popular.

Ramtek (48 km from Nagpur): A pilgrim centre with temples dedicated to Rama, Sita and Laxmana who tarried awhile here. Kalidasa too, it is said, stayed in this hill station and wrote his masterpieces. A major fair is held in November.

Shani Shingnapur: A unique sacred town in the Ahmadnagar district. The town has a famous Shani temple. The deity is believed to be ‘jagruť. No one uses locks in the town, as it is believed that anyone who steals will become blind.

Shegaon (287 km from Nagpur): Pilgrims flock to the samadhi here of saint Gajanan Maharaj. Shirdi (112 km from Nashik): This is where the great teacher and saint Sri Saibaba lived and died. His followers from all parts of India and abroad flock here all round the year. The main temple has a life like marble statue of the saint installed on a high

pedestal. Thursdays however, have special importance as it is on this day that Saibaba attained ‘Nirvana’. Fairs are held on Ramnavami, Guru Purnima and Dussehra.

Ter (235 km from Aurangabad) : The village lies on both the banks of Godavari. Great saint Gora Kumbhar resided and also attained Samadhi here. His disciples have constructed a temple in his honour. Big fairs are held in the months of Chaitra and Kartika.

Kolhapur : It is the erstwhile capital of a former principality and, befittingly, has some splendid palaces and considered as holy as Varanasi and is often called Dakshin Kashi. Another important place of pilgrim is the royal homes. Its temples are considered amongst the most important in Maharashtra, for the city i Temple of Mahalaxmi built in 7th century. This imposing temple is a good piece of architecture. Maheshmal (40 km from Aurangabad): A beautiful hill station known for the Girija Bhavani temple. Nearby are the Goraknath caves.

Shree Kshetra Mahuli (6 km from Satara) : The pilgrim centre is near the confluence of and Venna. There are temples of Yavateshwar, Mangalai Devi and other deities. Shree Kshetra Mahur (225 km from Nagpur): Asmall village in Nanded district, the pilgrim centre is believed to be the birth place of Shree Dattatraya.

the rivers Krishna

Nanded: A major Sikh pilgrim centre on the banks of the river Godavari. The Sach Khand Shri Huzur Sahib Gurudwara, is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru of the Sikhs, who lived here in his last days. Nanded also has many Hindu temples.

Narsobachi Wadi: It is situated near the confluence of Krishna and Panchganga rivers. Devotees from distant parts of the state come here to seek the blessings of Shree Dattatraya. The deity is believed to be “jagrut”, meaning, fulfilling the wishes of the devotees.

Nashik : Nashik is the holy city of Maharashtra. This ancient city on the banks of the sacred Godavari has 2000 temples and bathing ghats lining the banks of the river. The Kumbh Mela held once every 12 years is the high point of pilgrimage to this sacred city.

Paithan (50 km from Aurangabad): The sacred pilgrim centre is situated on the bank of river Godavari, Birthplace of saint Eknath. Several temples dot this pilgrim centre.

Pandharpur (204 km from Pune): One of the most important pilgrim centre of the state. The presiding deities, Vithoba and Rukmini are worshipped by large majority of Hindus in this region. Annual festival in July-August is very popular.

Ramtek (48 km from Nagpur): A pilgrim centre with temples dedicated to Rama, Sita and Laxmana who tarried awhile here. Kalidasa too, it is said, stayed in this hill station and wrote his masterpieces. A major fair is held in November.

Shani Shingnapur: A unique sacred town in the Ahmadnagar district. The town has a famous Shani temple. The deity is believed to be ‘jagruť. No one uses locks in the town, as it is believed that anyone who steals will become blind.

Shegaon (287 km from Nagpur): Pilgrims flock to the samadhi here of saint Gajanan Maharaj. Shirdi (112 km from Nashik): This is where the great teacher and saint Sri Saibaba lived and died. His followers from all parts of India and abroad flock here all round the year. The main temple has a life like marble statue of the saint installed on a high

pedestal. Thursdays however, have special importance as it is on this day that Saibaba attained ‘Nirvana’. Fairs are held on Ramnavami, Guru Purnima and Dussehra.

Ter (235 km from Aurangabad) : The village lies on both the banks of Godavari. Great saint Gora Kumbhar resided and also attained Samadhi here. His disciples have constructed a temple in his honour. Big fairs are held in the months of Chaitra and Kartika.

Titwala (75 km from Mumbai): The ancient temple of Lord Ganesha is visited by hundreds of devotees every day. Nearby is another temple of Shree Vithoba.

Tuljapur (257 km from Aurangabad): A famous pilgrim centre, where the goddess Bhavani (Durga), a family deity of Chhatrapati Shivaji and the Marathas, is worshipped.

Wai (74 km from Pune): Small holy town on the banks of river Krishna. The Ganapati temple is very important and famous. There are many other old temples on the banks of Krishna. Buddhist caves of Lonara are about 7 km from Wai.

Wardha (77 km from Nagpur): A lighting point for the two most famous centre of modern pilgrimage, Gandhiji’s Sewagram and Vinobha Bhave’s Paunar. Sewagram is the model village which symbolises all that Gandhiji taught.

(75 km from Mumbai): The ancient temple of Lord Ganesha is visited by hundreds of devotees every day. Nearby is another temple of Shree Vithoba.

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