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Maharashtra Tourism | How to Plan a Trip to Maharashtra

Maharashtra is blessed with the picturesque backdrop of mountains on one side and mesmerizing the Konkan Coast on the other side. This is a vast state and has an abundance of tourist attractions. To know better about the vast, multi-faceted, and sprawling state of Maharashtra; browse through this Maharashtra Travel Guide.


  • Gateway of India, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Maharashtra At a Glance
  • Capital City:- Mumbai
  • Average Climate:- 15°C to 39°C
  • Best Time to Visit:- Oct - March

Maharashtra Tourism | Maharashtra Travel Guide

Home to bustling cities like Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, and Nagpur, Maharashtra is also renowned for some of the most awe-inspiring hill-stations like Mahabaleshwar and Matheran, Maharashtra is an incredible amalgamation of everything. Located on the western coast of India, Maharashtra boasts of golden sand beaches as well as treasures like Marine Drive. The Bollywood film industry, which is gradually taking over the world of cinema, thrives here in Maharashtra.

This quintessential destination is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and pilgrims. With a remarkable collection of shrines and architectural marvels, Maharashtra is renowned for its rich culture and heritage. This is a state of historic and magnificent monuments. Boasting about ancient forts, pilgrimage sites, exquisite palaces, beautiful valleys, mesmerizing hill stations, and sacred monuments. There are palm-fringed beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, lofty mountains, and some of the most impressive national parks.

Beaches, heritage, history, spirituality, and festivals combine to cause a blooming scenario of tourism in Maharashtra. Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd. presents a detailed travel guide to Maharashtra so that you will have a trip.

How to Reach Maharashtra

Maharashtra is an ultimate destination to travel and is well-connected with the rest of the country by air, rail, and road.

By Air: The state has numerous domestic and international airports. Some of the major airports in Maharashtra are Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai), Aurangabad Airport (Aurangabad), Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (Nagpur), Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Airport (Nanded), and Shirdi International Airport (Shirdi). They offer good connectivity to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, and other major cities of the country as well as from the rest of the world.

By Rail: The state has a vast array of the rail network, which connects all cities of Maharashtra with the rest of the country. The major railway stations in Maharashtra are Mumbai, Pune Nashik, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Kolhapur, and Amravati that have great connectivity with the other states. Duronto Express, Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and other express trains connect the cities of Maharashtra from the rest of India. For a luxury train journey, tourists can hop onto the Deccan Odyssey to explore the popular places of Maharashtra and timeless traditions while enjoying gracious hospitality.

By Road: Maharashtra is one of the major states of India, which has a wide network of National and State Highways. It provides good connectivity to all the important cities of India such as Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Indore, Goa, Hyderabad, Karnataka, and Telangana. Maharashtra is connected with neighbouring cities via 18 National Highways. Interstate bus service is regularly available from the cities of Maharashtra and passengers can choose between government-owned or privately-owned buses.

Best Time to Visit Maharashtra

Maharashtra is located on the southwestern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Owing to its proximity to the Arabian Sea, Maharashtra experiences a tropical climate with three distinct seasons - Summer, Monsoon, and Winter season. Among them, the best time to visit Maharashtra is the winter season from October to March. It is the period when the torrential monsoon recedes, scorching heat passes, and the state experiences cool and pleasant weather. However, every season comes with a unique charm.

Summers in Maharashtra (March to May)

Temperature is relatively cool and comfortable in March and reaches up to 37 to 39 degrees Celsius in May. Places like Mahabaleshwar, Ganpatipule, Shrivardhan, and Kihim are the perfect escape from the scorching heat and humidity.

Strawberry Festival is a three-day event that is held in Mahabaleshwar in April every year. It is among the popular festivals for the fruit lovers, which one should not miss. Generous servings of desserts, jams, ice creams, and spreads in the events make it lovable for those with a sweet tooth.

Tip: It is advisable to carry light cotton clothes and a water bottle.

Monsoon in Maharashtra (June to September)

Planning a tour to Maharashtra during monsoon season is a great idea as the climate remains pleasant in this season. The temperature ranges between 19 to 25 degrees Celsius in monsoon. Panchgani, Lonavala, Khandala, Ajanta Ellora Caves, and Aurangabad are perfect monsoon destinations lush greenery and comfortable weather make the trip memorable.

Ganesh Chaturthi is the most awaited monsoon festival, which celebrates with great zeal and vigour in Maharashtra.

Tip: Carry a raincoat or umbrella.

Winter in Maharashtra (October to February)

Temperature ranges from 12 degrees Celsius in the hill stations to almost 22 degrees Celsius in the cities in Maharashtra, which makes it the best time to visit Maharashtra. The season brings cool and pleasant weather and it is a perfect time to enjoy outdoor experiences. Tourists can enjoy road trips and adventure activities, savour mouthwatering dishes, and admire the beauty of the scenic landscapes.

This season brings several festivals including Diwali, Dussehra, and Christmas. People celebrate them with great zeal and enthusiasm.

Tips: It is recommendable to carry light woollens while travelling to the hill stations.

Places to visit in Maharashtra

There is no dearth of popular places to visit in Maharashtra. There are palm-fringed beaches, iconic attractions, emerald hill stations, and various entertainment places. UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cave temples, ancient forts, pilgrimage sites, national parks, and various historical monuments are also dotted all over the state. With an incredible mashup of everything, Maharashtra is an amazing holiday destination.

Here are the categories of tourist places in Maharashtra:

  • Beaches

With an almost 720 km long affair with the Arabian Sea from Gujarat to Goa, Maharashtra owns some of the most beautiful beaches in India. From snorkeling to surfing and a relaxed evening to an adventurous time; the beaches here offer something for everyone. There are pristine beaches that have vibrant marine life, colorful coral colonies, spectacular sea caves, and eco-friendly shacks. Be it backpackers, honeymooners, solo travelers, family, or honeymooners; beaches are popular among all kinds of travelers.

The popular beaches in Maharashtra are:

  1. Mumbai - Juhu Beach, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, Madh Island Beach, Versova Beach
  2. Alibaug - Varsoli Beach, Akshi Beach, Alibaug Beach, Kihim Beach, Nagaon Beach
  3. Kashid - Revdanda Beach, Kashid Beach
  4. Dahanu - Bordi Beach, Dahanu Beach
  5. Ratnagiri - Ganpatipule Beach, Malgund Beach, Mandavi Beach
  6. Malvan -  Kolamb Beach, Malvan Beach, Tondavali Beach, Tarkarli Beach, Devbagh Sangman Beach
  7. Harihareshwar - Diveagar Beach, Shrivardhan Beach, Harihareshwar Beach, Aaravi Beach, Kondivali Beach
  8. Murud - Karde Beach, Murud Beach, Palande Beach, Harnai Beach
  • National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries

Home to numerous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, Maharashtra is a great option to spend a fun-filled vacation with family and friends. The national parks are habitats of exotic animals, birds, and plant species, and a paradise for wildlife lovers and adventure enthusiasts. There are some of the promising national parks where chances of spotting tigers and an impressive range of animals are high. Jeep safaris and jungle safaris are the best ways to spot the exotic species of animals in their natural habitat. Trekking, camping, and lakeside picnic in the national park are popular activities to take up.

Popular national parks of Maharashtra are:

  1. Mumbai - Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Karnala Bird Sanctuary
  2. Bhimashankar, Pune - Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Sangli, Pune - Chandoli National Park, Sahyadri Tiger Reserve
  4. Amravati - Gugamal National Park,
  5. Chandrapur, Nagpur - Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
  6. Gondia, Nagpur - Navegaon National Park
  7. Satara, Pune - Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
  8. Solapur, Pune - Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary
  • Pilgrimage Sites

Maharashtra is blessed with five Jyotirlingas, four Shakti Peethas, one Panj Takht, fascinating churches, and gigantic mosques. This sacred land is also home to a city - Nashik where Kumbh Mela is held. Its pilgrimage places and spiritual centres are related to different cultures and religions be it Hindu, Parsi, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhists, or Jains. Maharashtra is also popular among those who are more inclined towards spirituality than religion. Osho Ashram is a world-famous spiritual retreat. All the celebrated and revered shrines are well-protected and carry their legacy of religious activities.

Popular pilgrimage sites in Maharashtra:

  1. Mumbai - Shri Siddhivinayak Temple, Haji Ali Dargah, Mumba Devi Temple, Walkeshwar Temple, Mount Mary Church, Saint Thomas Cathedral
  2. Nashik - Saptashringi Temple (Shaktipeeth), Trimbakeshwar Temple (Jyotirlinga),
  3. Aurangabad - Grishneshwar Temple (Jyotirlinga), Aundha Nagnath Temple (Jyotirlinga), Parli Vaijnath Temple (Jyotirlinga), Ajanta Ellora Caves
  4. Nanded - Shri Hazur Sahib Gurudwara (Panj Takht), Renuka Ma Temple (Shaktipeeth)
  5. Solapur - Tulja Bhavani Temple (Shaktipeeth), Akkalkot, Pandhapur
  6. Kolhapur - Mahalaxmi Temple (Shaktipeeth), Maruti Temple
  7. Ratnagiri - Jai Vinayak Temple, Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, Ganpatipule
  8. Shirdi - Sai Baba Temple, Shani Shignapur Temple, Dwarkamai Mosque
  9. Pune - Lord Ganesha Temples of Ranjangaon, Theur, Morgaon and Siddhatek (Ashtavinayak Temple Circuit), Bhimashankar Temple (Jyotirlinga), Dagdusheth Temple, Osho Ashram
  • Famous Historical Places in Maharashtra

Home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites out of 38 in India, Maharashtra has the maximum number of heritage sites among other states. This shows that Maharashtra is blessed with rich culture and history. The forts, palaces, and historical monuments are reminiscent of the glorious past of Maharashtra. There are several historical places in Maharashtra that stand as the testimony of Maratha bravery and narrate their heroic tales. Also home to one of the oldest museums in India, Maharashtra is a paradise for history buffs. From ancient forts, art galleries, museums, and heritage centers, this state is a perfect place to get a sneak peek into the rich history, culture, and traditions.

Popular historical places in Maharashtra:

  1. Mumbai - Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus  (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Rajabai Clock Tower, Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mount Mary Church, Prince of Wales Museum, Mani Bhavan Museum, Elephanta Caves (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  2. Khandala - Lohagad Fort, Rajmachi Fort, Visapur Fort, Bhaja and Karla Caves, Shrivardhan Fort
  3. Pune - Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwar Wada, Sinhagad Fort, Lal Mahal, Shivneri Fort, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
  4. Satara - Wai Ghat and Temples, Pratapgad Fort, Ajinkyatara Fort
  5. Sindhudurg - Vijaydurg Fort, Sindhudurg Fortress
  6. Aurangabad - 52 Gates, Ajanta Caves  (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Ellora Caves  (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Bibi ka Maqbara, Zainuddin Shirjai’s Maqbara, Naukhanda Palace, Chand Minar, Devagiri Daulatabad Fort, Chini Mahal
  7. Raigad - Raigad Fort, Kondane Caves, Sagargad Fort, Queen’s Palace, Raigad Museum
  8. Ahmednagar - Harishchandragad Fort, Tomb of Salabat Khan, Cavalry Tank Museum
  9. Nagpur - Deekshabhoomi, Dhamma Chakra Stupa, Central Museum, Raman Science Centre, Narrow Gauge Rail Museum
  10. Ratnagiri - Jaigad Fort, Ratnadurg Fort, Tilak Ali Museum, Ratnagiri Marine Museum
  • Most Popular Hill Stations in Maharashtra

Sahyadri mountain ranges run along the western coast of Maharashtra. The ranges house many untouched hamlets and pristine hills stations. The abundance of natural beauty in every nook and corner of these hill towns makes Maharashtra an amazing tourist destination. With scenic views, grassy mountain slopes, and lush green meadows; Maharashtra is popular among nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Tourists can unwind in the lap of nature as well as indulge in adventure activities.

Popular hill stations of Maharashtra:

  1. Khandala-Lonavala
  2. Matheran
  3. Mahabaleshwar
  4. Panchgani
  5. Karjat
  6. Malshej Ghat
  7. Igatpuri
  8. Bhandardara
  9. Rajmachi
  10. Bhimashankar

Things to do in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is blessed with mighty mountains, glistening rivers, gushing waterfalls, palm-fringed coastlines, sandy beaches, and Sahyadri ridges. There are a plethora of things to do and tourism activities in Maharashtra in which tourists can indulge and make their vacation memorable. This majestic state is an unending treat to nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and history buffs.

Here are the categories of popular activities to do in Maharashtra:

  • Adventure Activities in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is a paradise for adventure lovers and there are a bucket-load of activities in which tourists can indulge during their tour. Boasting about breathtaking mountains, majestic forts, fascinating lakes, and renowned wildlife sanctuaries, Maharashtra is prevailing with the sense of adventure and thrilling activities.

Popular adventure activities in Maharashtra:

  1. Paragliding - Kamshet, Lonavala, Panvchgani, Kolad, Saputara, Nashik
  2. Trekking - Kalsubai trek, Lohagad Fort Trek, Andharban Trek, Tikona Fort, Rajmachi Fort, Harishchandragad Trek
  3. Camping - Pawna Lake, Bhandardara, Lavasa Road, Lonavala, Kashid Beach, Lohagad, Kurungwadi
  4. Hot Air Balloon Safari - Lonavala
  5. Bungee Jumping - Kolad, Mumbai
  6. Paramotoring - Mumbai, Pune
  7. Wildlife safari Tour - Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnala Bird Sanctuary
  8. Rock Climbing - Pune, Belapur, Tamhini Valley, Lingana
  9. Cave Exploration - Aurangabad Caves, Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves
  • Water Sports in Maharashtra

Boasting about vivacious rivers, placid beaches, pristine surroundings, and breathtaking views, Maharashtra is among the most amazing locations for elating water sports.The rivers and beaches of Maharashtra serve as a great treat to adventure junkies. Maharashtra offers great opportunities for amazing watersports. Tourists can experience utmost thrill and tons of excitement.

Places for water sports in Maharashtra are:

  1. Sailing - Mandawa, Mumbai
  2. White River Rafting - Kolad, Karjat
  3. Scuba Diving - Malvan, Alibaug, Tarkarli, Dandeshwar, Vengurla, Murud
  4. Speed Boat Rides - Alibaug, Ganpatipule
  5. Jet Skiing - Alibaug, Mandawa, Kundalika River, Mumbai
  6. Kayaking - Kolad, Alibaug, Mandawa, Malvan
  7. Parasailing - Mumbai, Tarkarli, Diveagar, Dapoli
  8. Waterfall Rappelling - Vihigaon
  • Kid-Friendly Activities in Maharashtra

Home to numerous waterparks, amusement parks, museums, aquariums, and art galleries; Maharashtra is an amazing destination for kids as well. Museums and galleries guarantee to entertain along with educating the kids.

Popular places to visit for kids:

  1. Waterpark Resorts - Royal Garden Resort, Shivganga Waterpark and Resort, Great Escape Waterpark, Panshet Water Park, Sentosa Water Park, Dolphin Water Park, Diamond Water Park, Water Kingdom, Rajgad Water Park, Imagica Water Park
  2. Theme Park - On Wheelz Amusement Park, Essel World, Dinosaur Park, Imagica, Visava Amusement Park, Della Adventure Park
  3. Galleries and Museums - Nehru Planetarium, RBI Monetary Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, New Palace Museum, Prince of Whale Museum, National Maritime Museum, Taraporewala Aquarium

Shopping

Maharashtra is a perfect amalgamation of best shopping malls and vibrant streets, which makes it a popular shopping destination. People can get great deals and each region of the state has something unique to offer to travelers. Maharashtra also offers an eclectic blend of traditional and modern when it comes to shopping.

Popular shopping places in Maharashtra:

Mumbai - Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, Crawford Market, Zaveri Bazaar, Hill Road, Fashion Street, Chor Bazaar
Pune - Laxmi Road, Hong Kong Lane, Koregaon Park, Fashion Street, Clover Centre
Nashik - Saraf Bazar, Deolali Camp Market, Tibetan Market, Nashik City Centre Mall, Pinnacle Mall
Aurangabad - Prozone Mall, Hypercity Mall, Paithani Silk Weaving Centre, Mughal Silk Bazaar, Himroo Factory
Nagpur - Eternity Mall, Sitabuldi Main Road, Sarafa Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar, , Empress City Mall


Cities of Maharashtra