Many dynasties, rulers had ruled the State Maharashtra in various epochs. So, different traditional, social practices, art, and architectures are reflected here. Over 350 forts are situated in Maharashtra which is considered as a special feature. The celebrated Maharashtra heritage sites are the testimonies of how glorious and grand were the dynasties. Some of the striking diversities showcase a splendid stretch of beaches on India’s west coast, the most beautiful hill stations, forts, national parks, temples, wildlife sanctuaries. Forts, caves, palaces honor the grand events that held in the history. Here some of the top heritage sites in Maharashtra are briefed.
Photo by www.zoqy.net
These are the ancient historical caves otherwise known as “Verul Leni”. Near Verul on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road to the northwest of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, the Ellora caves are situated. These caves were listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1983. This ancient monument is being one of the top tourist places in the state. Ellora caves were built during the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. The caves showcase a blend of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
A series of monasteries, temples are extended over more than two kilometers. Ellora caves are a group of twelve Buddhist caves, seventeen Hindu caves and five Jain caves demonstrate the religious harmony. The caves were built in the 10th century and it was the time when the rulers converted from Shaivism to the Jainism. Kailasanatha Temple is the core attraction of Ellora caves. This largest rock-cut cave was made from a monolithic stone. In the U-shaped courtyard, the deities were sculpted on the panels. A Nandi bull is also placed in front of Lord Shiva.
The tourists can visit Ellora Caves from June to February without striking in overcrowd. October to January is the peak season in Ellora caves.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Photo by Francisco Antunes
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a momentous railway station in Mumbai. Currently, it serves the Central Railway’s Headquarters. Victoria Terminus was its former name to honor the empress and Queen Victoria. By 1878 the CST construction was started and completed after 10 years. Frederick William Stevens designed CST and was opened in the year 1887. It was listed in the heritage sites of Maharashtra in 2004. More than 3 million travelers access this busiest railway station.
There are figures of lion and tiger can be seen at the CST entrance gate which represents the Britain and India. Italian marble and Indian blue stones adorn the Star Chamber. These wonderful designs, architectural works make Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus a stunning example of 19th-century Railway Architecture. CST contains seven sub-urban and eleven out station tracks. It was attacked by the terrorist in November 2008. The CST can be visited at any time around the year. Gateway of India, Nariman Point, and Wankhede Stadium are the nearest tourist attractions to CST.
Bajirao I built Masthani Mahal for his beautiful second wife Mastani. The name of the mahal was derived from the name of the beautiful and skilled queen. The king built the Mahal at Kothrud. After a long time, the place fell in ruins. While dismantling the palace, Dr. Dinakar G.Kelkar preserved some of its reminiscences. As Dinakar was an ardent artist, he transplanted the wall paintings and wooden pillars to his Pune Museum. Though it is not very famous, still the tourists should not miss visiting the Masthani Mahal to capture the beauty of the mahal.
Photo by 陈霆, Ting Chen, Wing
The Elephanta cave is another key heritage site in Maharashtra. Gharapuri or the network of sculpted caves is located on the Elephanta Island. It is being a familiar tourist spot and the Island is located on the wing of the Arabian Sea. There are two groups of Elephanta caves. Five Hindu caves are covered in the first group whereas two Buddhist caves come under the second group. This was recognized by the UNESCO and listed under “World Heritage Sites” in 1987.
“The heritage sites reflect our culture, history, and architecture. So, preserving them is everyone’s duty.”