The valiant Marathas have made their mark in the golden annals of history. Their birthplace - Maharashtra has been a silent spectator of their gallantry as well as rich culture and tradition. No wonder, many historical places in Maharashtra are considered an asset to Indian heritage. Mughals, Marathas, or British rulers, almost every ruler of this state has left their mark behind in the form of Gateway of India, Elephanta caves, Ajanta Ellora caves, Aurangabad fort, and more.
These historical sites of Maharashtra are a testimony of erstwhile architectural intellect like Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Bombay High Court. Even though some forts like Raigad Fort and Madh Fort have fallen into ruins, you may not be able to stop at these structures. However, they still exude the centuries-old charm.
List of Famous Historical Places in Maharashtra
Ajanta & Ellora Caves
One of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Ajanta and Ellora caves are known for the remarkable architecture they represent. The Ajanta Caves have 29 Buddhist cave temples and represent both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions through paintings and sculptures. The Ellora caves have 34 caves that include Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain cave temples and are among the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world.
Location of Ajanta Caves: Near Ajanta village, north-central Maharashtra
Location of Ellora Caves: Ellora Cave Rd, Ellora, Maharashtra
Gateway of India
Facing the vast Arabian Sea, the Gateway of India is the most famous monument of India. This 24-meter high monument is built in Indo-Saracenic style and resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It is the starting point for tourists who wish to explore Mumbai city. Marine Drive parallel to the monument is a huge attraction for people and is visited by millions of people across the world every year.
Location of Gateway of India: Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Formerly called Victoria Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Maharashtra. It is one of the historical landmarks in Maharashtra and was built in 1888. It reminds us of the British Raj in India and has witnessed the transition from Bombay to Mumbai. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture and now serves as a major railway station in India.
Location of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Dhobi Talao, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Aga Khan Palace
Built-in 1892 by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III, this palace is one of the significant historical places in Maharashtra. Aga Khan Palace was once the place where Mahatma Gandhi along with his wife Kasturba and also Sarojini Naidu and Mahadev Desai were kept as prisoners. Now, the palace is the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society and a must-visit place for history buffs.
Location of Aga Khan Palace: Nagar Road, Samrat Ashok Road, Pune, Maharashtra.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is the perfect example of rock-cut architecture from ancient India. The caves have two parts - one has five Hindu caves and the second has two Buddhist caves. The caves you see today are the remains of what was once designed artworks. They date back to the 5th and 7th centuries and mostly are dedicated to Hindu God Shiva.
Location of Elephanta Caves: Gharapuri, Maharashtra
The “Gibraltar of the East” called by the Europeans, the Raigad Fort is a majestic hill fort. At a height of 820 meters the fort can be reached using a single pathway with 1737 steps. Get mesmerized by its architecture and design built centuries ago. This glorious fort of the Marathas, has pathways named the Mena Darwaja, Nagarkhana Darwaja, Palkhi Darwaja, and the entrance Maha Darwaja.
Location of Raigad Fort: Raigad, Maharashtra
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lohagarh Fort is the perfect blend of ancient architecture and beauty. It is said that Chhaptrapati used this fort to keep his treasure. For people who love to trek, this is a great place to see the greenery, panoramic views, and know its glorious past. Once under the Maratha Empire, Lohagarh fort is a must visit attraction in Maharashtra.
Location of Lohagad Fort: Pune District, Maharashtra
One of the most powerful fortresses of ancient times, Daulatabad fort is one of the most visited historical monuments in Maharashtra. For a time, it served as the capital of the Yadava Dynasty and the Delhi Sultanate, and the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. Visit and see its strategic location, intricate architecture, and three-layer defense system. On your trip to Daulatabad Fort, admire the panoramic view of the surroundings.
Location of Daulatabad Fort: MH SH 22, Daulatabad, Maharashtra
Murud Janjira Fort
Murud Janjira Fort is a great depiction of the royal history of Maharashtra. The water surrounding the fort is a sight to behold. Attacked by the Portuguese, British, and the Marathas, this majestic fort still stands strong. Undefeated and undestroyed, Murud Janjira Fort is a lesser-known historical attraction in Maharashtra that every tourist must visit.
Location of Murud Janjira Fort: Murud, Raigad district
Bibi ka Maqbara
An exceptional architectural beauty, Bibi ka Maqbara is a well-known historical place in Maharashtra. This spellbinding monument was built as a memorial for Rabia-Ul-Daurani also called Dilras Banu Begum, the first wife of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. The scenic backdrop of Sihaychal Ranges adds to the site and makes it a prominent landmark in Aurangabad.
Location of Bibi ka Maqbara: Begumpura, Aurangabad
The only cave in India, which has Ganesha Shrine carved into a cave. People say that the Mahabharata brothers, Pandavad, in the 13th year of exile built this cave (in one night!!). The cave is rubbed with sindoor and is one of the eight ganesha of Maharashtra. You have to climb 338 steps to reach Lenyadri Caves. The rock-cut cave with eight beautifully carved pillars at the entrance will leave you spellbound.
Location of Lenyadri Caves: Lenyadri Tal, Lenyadri Ganpati Road, Junnar Maharashtra
Dating back to 1205, Vijaydurg Fort is the oldest fort on the Sindhudurg coast. Earlier called Gheria, Chatrapati Shivaji conquered this fort in 1653 and renamed it as Vijaydurg Fort. The fort’s architecture is amazing and houses a 200 meters long underwater man made tunnel. A 10 meters deep wall in this complex served as a barrier for the enemy warships.
Location of Vijaydurg Fort: MSH 4, Vijaydurg Fort, Vijaydurg, Maharashtra
Also called Shahu Palace, this was constructed back in 1877-1884. The black polish stone used in this palace has been captivating tourists' attention for many years. The garden, fountain, and wrestling ground are major attractions here. It is an eight-angled structure that has a tower in the middle with a clock from 1877. The ground floor has a museum built to commemorate Kolhapur rulers.
Location of New Palace: Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Ambernath meaning Lord of the sky, this temple dates back to the 10th century. It has three porches and is intricately carved in Hemadpanthi architectural style. You can see a bull called Nandi on the central porch of Ambernath Shivalaya. On the outside, there are pillars with apsaras, hindu gods, animals sculptures, etc. designed. During Shivratri, many pilgrims visit here to worship the Shivling places in underground sanctorum open to the sky.
Location of Ambernath Shivalaya: New bhendi pada, Bhaskar Nagar (East, Deepak Nagar, Ambernath, Maharashtra