Maharashtra

This powerful state on the western coastline holds claim to many superlatives in India. It is the third largest by area, second most populous and the richest state in the nation as well. These factors are no surprise being that it is home to Mumbai, the financial capital of the nation with all major headquarters situated here. Mumbai also hosts Bollywood, the largest film industry in the world known for its signature style of extravagant costumes, dynamic choreography and vibrant music accompaniment. Nearby Aurangabad is the central focal point for numerous cave sites such as Ellora and Ajanta, where massive rock walls were cut and carved over the course of centuries to form immense temples within the hillsides containing of ancient carvings and sacred sites. Maharashtra boasts over 40 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, making it a great attraction to nature lovers as well. Although many of its outlying regions can slow down to a relaxed pace, those wanting the thrill and excitement of the modern India should certainly make a few stops in Maharashtra.

Mumbai

Previously known by its British moniker of Bombay, Mumbai is the vivacious capital city of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India at over 20 million but don’t let that scare you away. It is the bustle of its people that gives Mumbai both its energy and its charm. Mumbai is the richest city in India and is also home to the ever popular Bollywood industry, the largest film market in the world. Mumbai sizzles both day and night and invites its visitors to share in that exciting energy. As one of the top ten centers of commerce worldwide, Mumbai offers a myriad of options on every front for both residents and visitors alike. Guests are invited to discover the dynamic culture of Mumbai and its surroundings before jumping off to explore the more relaxed pace of the surrounding region.

The Gateway of India:

This bold statement to British colonialism stands at the Mumbai Harbor as monument to commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary. At night, the entire waterfront surrounding the arch explodes with excitement as scores of vendors ply succulent cobs of freshly roasted corn, refreshing cone-shaped ice cream on a stick and jaunty rides on the elegantly decorated horse-drawn carriages, all making the scene reminiscent of a festive carnival. The gateway has also been referred to as the title Taj Mahal of Mumbai due to its claim as the city’s top tourist attraction.

The Prince of Wales Museum:

few year ago the prince of wales Museum renamed and now it is call Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, this is the main museum in Mumbai. a garden of palm trees inside the building and formal flower beds and houses more than fifty thousand of antique Indian history , also objects from foreign country, it is divide in three section Nature, Art and  Archaeology history.

Elephanta Caves:

Located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor, this site is known for its magnificent cave temples that have been carved out of solid basalt. The entire site consists of five Hindu caves and two Buddhist caves, all carved between the 5thand 8thcenturies. Although not caves in the traditional sense, these excavated areas are carved on rock wall faces and contain stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the god Shiva.

ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus:

Previously known as the Victoria Terminus, this historic railway station was built in 1887 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways of India. Guests are invited to marvel at the ornate decorative styling which includes turrets, pointed arches, statuary, bas-reliefs, friezes, wood carvings, ornamental iron and brass railings all of which overshadows the 2.5 million daily travelers, making it the busiest terminal in all of India. The backdrop of many major films, it was recently highlighted in Slumdog Millionaire where it served as the location for the dramatic Bollywood style finale featuring thousands of synchronized dancers.

The TajMahal Palace & Tower:

A five-star hotel located in the Colaba area next to the Gateway of India, this building is a swirling blend of Islamic and Renaissance styles and contains 565 sumptuous rooms. Having hosted scores of celebrities, leaders and glitterati from around the world, this extravagant 1903 palace is worth a peek inside even if your budget does not allow for an overnight stay.

St. John the Baptist Church:

it is vacant and broken church was constructed during the time of the Portuguese in the year of 1579 and it was allowed to enter for public worship for the feast of John the Baptist. The church was abandoned in 1840 and the church fell into decay when vegetation started to take over the ruins. Despite its abandoned state, the native Christians of India visit the church once every year, as is traditional worldwide. Those fascinated by old buildings will find this church a must-see stop.

St. Andrew’s Church:

it also Also the oldest Christian churches in Mumbai,  this was constructed during the Portuguese time by Jesuits in  year of 1575 and stands on the coast of the Bandra. Elaborate examples of 16th century wood carving techniques are evidenced in the pulpit, the altars and the panels depicting the resurrection of the Christ are among the other interests in the church.

Aurangabad

The name of the city means “built by the throne” and it was once capital of India, named after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangabad city rise trading hub four centuries ago .The city was a major silk and cotton textile production center, creating a fine blend of silk with locally grown cotton developed as Himroo textiles as well as Paithani silk saris. Some of the finer attractions to this area include the great number of cave temples, both within the local area and in outlying areas.

Bibi-Ka-Maqbara:

The burial place of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani, this regal structure is an imitation of the TajMahal at Agra. Due to same design, it is known as the “Mini Taj of the Deccan”.

Gates in Aurangabad:

Known as the “City of Gates”, Aurangabad stands out from the several other medieval cities in India by its 52 gates, large vaulted passageways that define sections of the older city. Each of the gates has a specific history, often connected to local individuals or events.

 

Aurangabad Caves:

Nestled amidst the nearby hills are 12 Buddhist caves, likely dating back to the 6thand 7thcenturies, carved from solid faces of basalt.

 

Kali Masjid and Jumma Masjid:

Among the mosques in Aurangabad, the Kali Masjid and the Jumma Masjid are the most intriguing. Malik Ambar is said to have built seven mosques in the 17thcentury which go by the general name of Kali Masjid. The Jumma Masjid has fifty polygonal pillars arranged in five rows, connected by a system of arches, which divide the building into twenty-seven domed compartments invited visitors to roam throughout.

Ellora

Ellow is world famous caves, it was listed in Unesco World Heritage Site and it is shown the embodiment of Indian rock cut architecture. The 34 “caves” are not traditional caves but are instead more structures excavated out of the jet black basalt face of the Charanandri hills. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples were built between the 5thcentury and 10thcenturies and their close proximity demonstrates the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.

The Kailasanatha:

Although each of the 34 caves at Ellora may be seen as a highlight in its own right, Cave 16, also known as the Kailasa or the Kailasanatha, is the unrivaled centerpiece of Ellora. it looks like a freestanding, multi-story temple complex. However, upon closer inspection, it is revealed that it was carved out of one single rock, measuring approximately 100 meters by 100 meters by 30 meters and encompasses an area twice the size of Parthenon in Athens. Holding the title of the largest monolithic structure in the world, the temple initially was covered with white plaster and thus even more increasing the similarity to snow covered Mount Kailash. A two-story gateway opens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard so immense that one must crane upwards to take it all in. The caves yard is bordered by columned galleries three story high, point by big sculpted panels and alcoves hold enormous sculptures of a variety of gods. Originally flying bridges of stone connected these galleries to central temple structures, but these have fallen in the ensuing centuries. Awe-inspiring by is presence alone, this temple begs disbelief given its single solid mass construction that took nearly 150 years to complete with the precise removal of over 200,000 tons of rock.

Ajanta

Home to a similar set of caves to Ellora, Ajanta dates back to an earlier historical period. Believed to have been cut from the 2ndcentury BCE to the 5th century CE, these 30 caves are located in a large horseshoe shaped escarpment above the sharply bending Waghore River to the northeast of Arangabad. This site was believed to be abandoned about 500 CE, just as the Ellora caves began to be constructed, allowing the dense jungle to reclaim the marvelous rock wall structures and shield them from harm over many centuries until their rediscovery in 1819.

Ajanta Caves:

Like those at Ellora, each of the Ajanta Caves may easily be considered noteworthy. However, the overall feature of these caves is the presence of beautiful wall paintings which have survived remarkably over the centuries. The paintings appear on almost every surface of the cave except for the floor. At many places the art work had been destroyed to blight and human interference and  many areas of the painted walls pillars and ceilings are incomplete. The caves include paintings and sculptures are considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art as well as the frescoes that are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka.

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