From heritage structures to adventures, you can find everything in Maharashtra! Known for its beautiful mountains, forts, temples, and hill stations, Maharashtra is one of the most traveled states in India, and for good reasons! So without any further ado, let's get into it, here are our picks for the top 7 things to do in Maharashtra.
If you're wondering where to start your journey from, these hill stations will surely be a great start to your journey.
Panhala is the smallest city and hill station in Maharashtra and you know what they say 'most precious gifts come in small packages. This adorable hill station is the perfect place for you if you want to experience the perfect blend of heritage, religion, delicious food, and adventures during your visit.
You can start your journey by visiting the mighty Panhala Fort then proceeding to various other places such as the Jyotiba temple Tabak Udyan, Bhairavnath Mandir, and various botanical gardens nearby. Don't forget to order the Unlimited Maharashtrian Thali while you're famished by all that roaming around.
Best time to visit: October to December
This quiet, humble hill station is famous for being home to one of the only 12 Jyotirlingas (cosmic light) of Lord Shiva in the world as well as the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. If you're into climbing lush green hills and exploring the unending magic of the forest that brightens your day, this is the place for you!
Best time to visit: October to March
This hauntingly beautiful place has an equally daunting past. Used as a prison by the British in the early 19th century, this hill station is today famous because of the beautiful picturesque views of lush green hills and beautiful lakes. This hill station is also famous for being home to many sacred ponds and a decades-old temple dedicated to Lord Kartikeya.
Best time to visit: October to February
Also read: Wild Ways To Celebrate New Year In India.
Pilgrimages are a big part of Maharashtra. No matter which district you visit, you can always find hundreds of temples that devotees regularly come to visit. Ambejogai, Vani, Narsobachi Wadi, Velneshwar, Kolhapur chi Mahalakshmi, Ganpatipule, Vyadeshwar are some of the most famous temples in Maharashtra.
One of the oldest temples in Maharashtra, the Harihareshwar temple is dedicated to the 'Kalabhairava' Avatar of Lord Shiva. The legend says that Lord Shiva created Kalabhairava and granted him with all his mantrastras. (chant-weapons)
Best time to visit: October to March
This mystical village in the district of Ahmednagar is famous for its centuries-old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The legend says that Lord Shani came to live in this village when he argued with his father, Surya Dev. Since then, everyone in this village is afraid of upsetting him, and to do so, there aren't any thefts done within the core village. You’d be amazed to know that the villagers don't even put locks on their doors while leaving their houses!
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
One of the only 12 Jyotirlingas in the world, this beautiful little town is known for its centuries-old Trimbakeshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
There are many beautiful things to see near Trimbakeshwar. If you have some time on your hand, you can even visit the beautiful Anjaneri, which is known as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. You can also visit beautiful hills nearby, the Brahmagiri Mountain to have an adventurous trek, or visit the 'Lagna Stambh' a secluded, not yet well-discovered hill in Nashik district where people who wish to be married but have not yet found any suitable groom or bride go to seek blessings of Lord Shiva.
Best time to visit: June to February
Also read: Orchha Travel Guide.
You can’t think of Maharashtra without being reminded of the valor of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After all, it was he who established Swaraj (self-government) in Maharashtra. In his reign, he captured almost 360 forts throughout Marathwada. Maharashtra is home to almost 400 forts, some of them located in impossibly impregnable locations. If exploring the many intimidating forts isn’t on your list of things to do in Maharashtra, we assure you that you’re doing it wrong!
Raigad is famous for being the second capital of the mighty Swaraj and known as a fort that used to be one of the most difficult forts to climb up to. It's also popular through the tale of Hirkani, a mother who climbed down one of the most difficult hill forts to feed the baby that waited for her.
This majestic fort is an excellent example of 16th-century architecture. Often called 'Gibraltar of the East’, this hill fort is located 820 meters above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain range. The fort is only accessible by a single pathway which consists of 1737 steps. Apart from this, the fort has many mesmerizing gateways such as Mena Darwaja, Nagarkhana Darwaja, Palkhi Darwaja, and the most beautiful of them all—The Maha Darwaja—the main entrance to the evergreen fort.
Best time to visit: November to March
Originating from the Arabic word 'Jazeera' which means island, this fort is a pristine example of the rich and clever architecture of the 15th century. This beautiful fort stands surrounded by the beautiful water of the Arabian Sea. It is located near Murud, 165 km south of Mumbai.
Apart from the fort itself, there are many beautiful places to explore such as Murud Beach, Garambi Falls, Ahmedganj Palace, Garambi Dam, Kasa Fort, and many more!
Best time to visit: October to March
This beautiful fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj himself. The main objective behind building this fort was to counter the rising influence of the foreign merchants including English, Dutch, French, and Portuguese; also to curb the rise of Siddis of Janjira (another opponent). The chief architect appointed to build this overwhelmingly beautiful Fort was Hirojee Indulkar.
The name Sindhudurg means 'Fort in the Sea', and is rightly named so. You’ll have to take a ferry from Malvan to the island not too far away from the mainland. Apart from admiring the sheer size of Sindhudurg, you can also explore the tiny Queen’s Beach. But if it’s the world beneath you that you wish to explore, there’s a scuba diving and snorkeling point just off the island too!
Best time to visit: October to March
Also read: Most Challenging Treks In India.
The reason why Konkan is a whole new section in this article is due to its vastness and richness. Konkan is blessed with so many places that are worth visiting again and again. Konkan has it all! Beaches, farmlands, mesmerizing temples, spellbinding hill stations, beautiful mountain passes, beautiful villages, and of course, delicious food!
Whenever you decide to visit, make sure you pick up a lot of snacks with you along your journey. You will find Amba Poli (a tortilla made of mango), Phanas Poli (a tortilla made of jackfruit), Konkan is well known for harvesting the juiciest, most delicious Alphonso mangoes you'll ever eat, so grab some if you're visiting in summers.
Whenever we think of beaches in India, we immediately think of Goa. Although Goa is a part of the Konkan region, it's not the only card that Konkan has up its sleeve. If you're all in to taste the local tasty food on the shores of the bright and beautiful Guhagar Beach or enjoy some tender coconuts while playing in the sand, collecting Shankh Shimple (shells and conches) with your kids or collect them for yourself, this is the right place for you. Because there are dozens of beaches in Konkan from small, secluded ones to big, crowded ones.
Packed with picturesque views and breathtaking beauty, it's not a surprise that Konkan is home to some of the most famous camping places in Maharashtra.
Alibaug: Alibaug Beach camping is perhaps the best way to spend your time in the beautiful region of never-ending sands and the deep blue water. You can spend a night camping on Revdanda Beach, and it costs about INR 1,000 per person.
Konkan Kada: Konkan Kada is a famous tourist spot in Harishchandragad. This beautiful cliff is a beautiful example of excellent earthen formations of nature. Spending a night surrounded by scenic greenery and soothing weather will be the perfect getaway for you! A two-day and one-night stay on the Konkan Kada will cost you around INR 2,000 per person.
Kolad: An exciting getaway to those of you who love to experience that adrenaline rush! This action-packed place is the perfect spot to spend your time kayaking, boating, water rappelling, water rafting, hiking, and much more! A two-day camp in Kolad will cost around INR 2,000- 2,500 per person.
Also read: River Rafting In Kolad!
There are 566 wildlife sanctuaries in India. Out of these, almost 40 are located in Maharashtra. Sitting in the lap of the Western Ghats, Maharashtra is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. The nature lover in you surely thinks of it as one of the things to do in Maharashtra that shouldn’t be missed.
Tadoba National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Maharashtra. Established in 1955, this park covers an area of almost 625.4 sq km. You will fall in love with the beautiful landscapes against the backdrop of the beautiful teak trees and bamboo. Sheltering almost 181 species of birds and various animals such as tigers, hyenas, leopards, gaur, sloth bears, wild dogs, jackals, barking deer, sambar, and many more, there are almost 115 tigers and 151 leopards living inside and in the buffer areas of the park.
Best time to visit: Summer, from March to May to see tigers, and from June to September to see the beautiful insects, greenery and for birdwatching.
Located almost at an average of 900 meters above sea level, this beautiful place is the perfect blend of lush greenery, ever refreshing waterfalls, and deep, dense forests. This will be the perfect getaway for each one of you. Bhimashankar has it all, from tranquil temples to exciting places for hiking, treks, and rappelling spots for those who seek adventure. This piece of heaven is located 138 km from Pune but it will surely remain 0km from your heart once you visit!
Best time to visit: October to March
The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District. Located around 10 km from Panvel, this sanctuary shelters around 134 species of birds including many migratory birds out of which, three are considered rare birds. Which are ashy minivet, three-toed kingfisher, and the Malabar trogon.
Best time to visit: October to April
Also read: Best Forts In Pune That You Must Visit.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ajanta has 30 caves, each of which is dedicated to the life of the Buddha and about Buddhist culture. Dating back to the 2nd century BCE, these rock-cut monuments are an architectural marvel, jam-packed with beautiful, ancient artistic and architectural designs. The caves are located around 99 km from Aurangabad. The basic designs of the caves are called 'chaityagrihas' and 'viharas'.
Best time to visit: June to September
The caves mainly feature Hinduism and Hindu culture along with some elements from Buddhism and Jain culture. The caves are located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra and are one of the world’s largest and most famous rock-cut Hindu temple cave complexes.
In 1682, Aurangzeb hired almost 1000 workers for three years only to destroy the prestigious temple; the caves are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although the idols have suffered heavy damage throughout history, the intricate carvings on the walls and the pillars are still beautiful and pretty much intact. Ellora was built in two phases, the 12 Buddist caves date back to approximately 200 BCE to 600 BCE and the 17 Hindu temples dating back to approximately 500 CE to 900 CE, and the Jain temples to 800 CE to 1000 CE.
Best time to visit: July to September
The Elephanta Caves consist of multiple cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. They are located on Elephanta Island (Gharapuri) off Mumbai. The caves were built around the mid 5th to 6th-century CE., The cave temples are attributed to the King Krishnaraj of the Kalachuri dynasty. In the 16th century, the island was ceded to the Portuguese by the kings of Ahmedabad and the Portuguese soldiers damaged many sculptures inside the caves during that time. Later the temples were restored and preserved in the 1970s. Today the Elephanta caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best time to visit: November to February
Also read: Zip Lining In Jodhpur.
The food in Maharashtra is the perfect blend of tastes from every other region of India. You can find everything from north Indian to South Indian food in Maharashtra. Mumbai may be known to be flooded with food diversity, but so are the other cities of Maharashtra!
We've all heard about the typical and classic Maharashtrian food, Puran Poli, Katachi Aamti, Pohe, Chivda, Pickles, Usal, Varan Bhat, misal pav, Koliwada (prawns), Kombdi Vaade, etc. But the three dishes you must have when you’re visiting Maharashtra are:
A spicy curry usually made of Matki (moth beans) served with some curd, Pohe (flattened rice flakes), Tar-ri (spicy red tadka), and Pav (a type of Indian bread). You will love this spicy-sour dish, the taste, as well as the recipe of Misal, changes from city to city. The best misal can be found in Nashik, Kolhapur, or Mumbai. So be sure to try this whenever you get a chance to!
This is a tasty, savory flatbread popular in western India for its simple recipe and delicious taste. It is made from multigrain atta called 'Bhajani' which is made by grinding roasted grains, legumes, and spices, such as rice, wheat, bajra, jowar, chana, urad, coriander, cumin seeds, etc. While preparing the dough, many other fresh vegetables such as green chilies, fresh coriander leaves, onions, etc. can be added. This is often served with either raw mango pickle or curd on the side.
This is a tasty snack that kind of looks like mini spring rolls. The dish consists of yellow, rolled, bite-sized pieces, which are commonly made of gram flour and yogurt. This is a perfect mix of spicy and sour tastes that makes the perfect go-to snack whenever you're craving something easy to eat and something that tastes yummy yet simple.
Also read: Exploring The Forts And Palaces In Jaipur.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Maharashtra?
The best time to visit Maharashtra is during the monsoon as you get to see much more biodiversity during that time. If you're interested in visiting hill stations and forts, the surroundings are often more beautiful during monsoons than any other time of the year.
Why Visit Maharashtra?
To explore the beautiful coastal region, experience its lush green hill stations, visit the exciting and intriguing wildlife sanctuaries, and get the thrill of adventurous activities such as trekking, paragliding, water rappelling, river rafting, rowing, and much more!
What Are The Famous Festivals Of Maharashtra?
Gudi Padwa, Ganeshotsav, Navratra, Manglagaur, Dipawali, Makar Sankrant, Janmashtami, Rakhi Purnima, Rangapanchami, and Holi are some famous festivals in Maharashtra.
Which Are The Main Tourist Centers In Maharashtra?
Mumbai, Ajanta, and Ellora Caves, Shirdi, Mahabaleshwar, Alibaug, Lonavala, Lavasa, and Khandala are the main tourist centers in Maharashtra.
Which Is The Coolest Place In Maharashtra?
Malvan, Amboli, Lonavala, and Khandala are a few places that are the coolest places and attractions for tourists.
Which Is The Most Beautiful City In Maharashtra?
The most beautiful cities in Maharashtra are Matheran, Diveagar, Rajmachi and Guhagar.
Which Is The Cleanest Village In Maharashtra?
Hiware Bazar is one of the cleanest villages in Maharashtra.
Who Is The Richest Man In Maharashtra?
The wealthiest businessman in Maharashtra is Mukesh Ambani owning a net worth of $89 billion.