Tourism in Maharashtra

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Trimurti statue in Elephanta caves,a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Maharashtra attracts many tourists from different states and foreigners too.[1]It was the second most visited Indian state by foreigners and fourth most visited state by domestic tourists in the country in 2014.[2] Aurangabad is the tourism capital of Maharashtra.[3] Major urban cities include : Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nanded and Nagpur.

City tourism

Mumbai

The city is the eastern equivalent of New York City and Los Angeles, the financial capital and entertainment (Bollywood) capital of the country.[4] Places of interest include: Haji Ali Dargah situated about 500 yards from the shoreline in the middle of the Arabian Sea. Along with being a religious place, it is a great attraction for tourists, more than ten thousand people of all religions visit the place every day. Gateway of India, The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a humongous architectural stone structure built by the British more than 200 years ago, Downtown Mumbai - reminiscent of the 19th century British architecture. Girgaon chowpati beach, Madh island beach and other beaches towards the south of Mumbai. Elephanta Caves, carved out of a giant stone on an island are a short ferry away into the Arabian sea. Due to its cosmopolitan nature, Mumbai has proven a popular tourism destination most often visited by Indians.

Nashik

This city is famous for its Grapes and Vineyards. It is known as "The Wine Capital of India" owing to 22 wineries being located here out of a total of 46 throughout India. Several wine festivals and wine tasting tours are held in this region. Nashik is also surrounded by various forts and hills and has an abundance of hiking trails.

A 108 feet tall statue of the first Jain Tirthankar Rishabhdev was consecrated at Mangi Tungi in 2016, which is the tallest Jain statue in the world. The place has now become a major pilgrimage and tourist destination in the state.

The city also has a lot of religious and mythological significance. Lord Rama lived in Panchavati during his exile as mentioned in the epic Ramayana. It is famous for its numerous temples like Kalaram Mandir, Trimbakeshwar Temple - one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The river Godavari, also known as the Ganga of the South, originates from the Brahmagiri Hills in Trimbakeshwar. The Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha is one of the four Kumbh Melas held every 12 years in Nashik.

Kumbhoj

28-foot (8.5 m)-high monolith of Bahubali at Kumbhoj

Kumbhoj is the name of an ancient town located in Kolhapur district, Maharashtra. The town is about eight kilometers from Hatkanangale, about twenty seven kilometers from Kolhapur. The famous Jain pilgrimage centre where a 28-foot (8.5 m)-high statue of Bahubali is installed is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the Kumbhoj city.[5]

Pune

The cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra, is said to be the educational center of India. Pune has forts dating back to the seventeenth century such as Sinhagad, Purandar, Shaniwar Wada (a weekend residence of the Peshwas) and Lal Mahal (the red palace), the residence of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Pune also has educational institutes of repute such as Fergusson College, a 200-year-old college built by the British.

Ambajogai

This city lies in the central part of Maharashtra and cultural attraction of tourists for cultural heritage places. The Shivleni Caves and Ambajogai Temple, The town named Ambajogai by goddess Ambabai - Yogeshwari a heritage temple. There is an ancient cave called Shivleni Caves (Hattikhana) or Jogai Mandap declared as a heritage point (Archaeological sites in Maharashtra), where Lord Shankar, Nandi, and Elephants were carved in stone. The town has other heritage temples like [Sakleshwar] 12 khambhi, Kholeshwar, Mukundraj cave and Dasopant Swami Samadhi, Kashivishwanath, Amruteshwar Temple, etc. In the 13th century "Swami Mukundraj" wrote first Marathi poetry 'Viveksindhu' [Meaning: The Ocean Of Wisdom'] in Ambajogai. This work is widely acclaimed for its literary quality as well as the philosophical content. It remains not only the first but among the best literary works ever produced in Marathi. Ambajogai has good connectivity by road and railways. Ambajogai is widely considered the educational and cultural capital of Marathwada.

Aurangabad

This city lies in the central part of Maharashtra and attracts tourists for its natural beauty. The Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, that lie on the outskirts of Aurangabad are internationally renowned for man-made caves and intricate carvings in them. Ellora is notable for having a unique monolithic vertically excavated building known as Kailasa temple, Ellora and Ajanta Caves is notably for Lord Buddha in stone. Ancient Buddhist life has been depicted in the delicate stonework. While Ajanta is completely Buddhist caves, Ellora caves belong to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Summers are not advisable for touring as temperatures can reach up to and above 44 degrees C during the day. There are other famous places of interest like Bibi Ka Maqbara (The Taj Mahal of Deccan), Daulatabad Fort, Panchakki, Sunheri Mahal etc. Aurangabad has good connectivity by air, road, and railways. Maharashtra attracts many tourists from different states and the foreigner and was the fourth most visited state by domestic tourists in the country Aurangabad is the tourism capital of Maharashtra.

Major urban centers include : Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nanded and Nagpur.

Nagpur

With a tradition of producing the best Oranges, this city is known as the City of Oranges. Nagpur is also known as the second greenest city in India due to a number of trees in the city. The tourism in Nagpur is due to a large number of National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries surrounding Nagpur. All of these sanctuaries have Tiger as their major attractions. Two notable National Parks around Nagpur are Pench National Park around 60km north of Nagpur, and Tadoba National Park around 180  km south of Nagpur. In recent years, Tadoba National Park gained much importance among wildlife enthusiasts nationally and internationally due to the high probability of sighting Tigers. The other wildlife sanctuaries include Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary around 110 km east of Nagpur, Melghat Tiger Reserve around 260 km west of Nagpur, Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary 60 km southeast of Nagpur, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary 60 km southwest of Nagpur, Kanha National Park 260 km northeast of Nagpur, Satpura National Park 270 km northwest of Nagpur.

Beside these Nagpur has much historical significance. Deekshabhoomi - the place where Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and lakhs of the so-called lower caste who deemed as untouchables by Hindu caste system, embraced Buddhism. Another important place to visit is Tekadi Ganesh mandir on Sitabuildi fort complex. The city has other places of tourist importance such as Maharajbagh zoo, Futala lake chowpati, Raman science center and some premier research institutions such as NEERI, CICR, NBSSLUP. Nagpur is well connected with all major cities of India by roadways and railways, and also have an international airport. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (IATA: NAG, ICAO: VANP) is an international airport serving the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. In 2005, it was named after B. R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.

Nanded

Nanded is a place of religious importance for adherents of the Sikh faith; its best-known landmark is the Hazur Sahib Nanded Gurdwara, a former Sikh palace. Nanded is also the holy place for Hindus as it has Renukadevi shaktipeetha temple at Mahur. Nanded has many Sufi shrines as well.

Parbhani

Parbhani is well known for Sufi shrine of the great saint Hazarat Shah Turabul Haq. Annual 2 week fair between 2 February to 15 February attracts around half a million tourists and followers. Because of its popularity within Maharashtra, it is often called as Ajmer Sharif of Maharashtra.

Satara

This city lies on the western part of Maharashtra. It is known for tourist places like Mahabaleshwar, Wai, Panchgani and rivers such as Koyna and Krishna. Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are one of the famous tourist places in India. Krishna originates at Mahabaleswar near the Jor village in the extreme north of Wai district. The Kaas plateau is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Satara. This plateau falls under the Sahyadri Sub Cluster of Western Ghats which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nature tourism

Maharashtra has tremendous potential for Nature Tourism. Many private and public organizations have begun unique and innovative forms of nature tourism.

Hill stations

View from Sydney Point, Panchgani in monsoon.

During the colonial rule, the British developed many hill stations throughout India and in Maharashtra to escape the heat during the summer months.the colonial hill stations include

Lavasa is a very recently developed township and is under private control.

Religious Tourism

Hazur Sahib Nanded is the one of the holiest place in Sikhism.

Maharashtra boasts of a large number of popular and revered religious venues that are heavily frequented by locals as well as out-of-state visitors.Some of the poular places are:

In February 2016, The Statue of Ahimsa, a 108 ft idol of first Jain tirthankara Rishabhanatha carved in monolithic stone was consecrated at Mangi Tungi. It is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest Jain idol in the world.[6]It has become a major pilgrimage and tourist destination.

108 feet Rishabdev Bhagwan at Mangi Tungi

Gallery

References

  1. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/andhra-pradesh-top-tourist-destination-tourism-ministry/819071/0
  2. ^ http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-indias-top-10-tourist-destinations/20110719.htm
  3. ^ Mishra, Ashish K. (15 May 2011). "The Value Hunters of Aurangabad". Forbes India. Forbes. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Mumbai, a land of opportunities". The Times Of India. 20 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Sangave 1981, p. 91.
  6. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/Guinness-Book-to-certify-Mangi-Tungi-idol/articleshow/51275366.cms
  7. ^ "Haji ali". Mumbai Mirror. 2008-08-07. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 

External links

  • Official Website of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation
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