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MAHARASHTRA TOURISM

  Monuments in Maharashtra
 
 

Monuments/ Fort & Palace/ Historical Palace in Maharashtra

  Gateway of India

Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing droves of local tourists and citizens. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai's splendid natural harbour.

Victoria Terminus

A major landmark of Mumbai city is the Victoria Terminus, designed in Italian Gothic style by Architect F. W. Stevens. Recently renamed as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, it is one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. The building construction commenced in 1878 and was completed in 1885. With a frontage of over 15,00 feet, The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden and the entrance gate is guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant dome is a statue of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolise progress.

Agakhan Palace

On Nagar Road, this Palace is also known as Kasturba Gandhi Memorial or Kasturba Samadhi.

This palace was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III and was donated to India in 1969 by Aga Khan IV.

It was here itself where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi's long time aide Mahadeobhai Desai passed away. This palace that once belonged to the Agha Khan, served as quarters for imprisonment of Gandhi and his wife Kasturba towards the tail end of the British rule in India. Situated near the River Mula the palace is a simple memorial to Gandhi and his life and times.

A special cenotaph honours Kasturba who died here. A shop attached sells khadi or cotton handloomed garments and textiles.

Khuldabad

22 Kms. From Aurangabad. Khuldabad is called the "Valley of the Saints" because of a large-scale Sufi migration to this spot several hundred years ago. It is a holy shrine for the Muslims and contains the tomb of the last Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The Urs celebrated here for five days is a very famous fair and gathers a large number of Muslims.

Mumbai Fort

The old British fort was located in the area north of Colaba, which is known as Mumbai Fort. There are a lot of monumental buildings from Mumbai's golden period here. St. John's church, dedicated to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Sind campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also located in this area.

Flora Fountain

This fountain, situated in the heart of the city, was built in 1869 in honour of Sir Bartle Frere, who was governor of Mumbai from 1862-67. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and is referred as the 'Piccadilly Circus' of Mumbai. Decorated with mythological figures, the fountain is a stone structure with a sculpture of the Roman Goddess of abundance, at the top. Many of the major banks and offices are located in Flora Fountain. Close to the fountain is the Cathedral of St. Thomas. The construction of the chapel began in 1672 and completed in 1718.

Vijaydurg & Sindhudurg Fort

Once naval bases, Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg bear testimony to Maharashtra's martial supremacy during Shivaji's reign. Vijaydurg or Victory Fort was strengthened around the seventeenth century by Shivaji, to whom it owes its finest features -- the triple line of walls, the numerous towers and the massive interior buildings. Once seized by the British and renamed Fort Augustus, Sindhudurg or the Ocean Fort at Malvan port has history etched all over.

Constructed by Shivaji in 1664, at a site personally selected by him. The construction of a sea fort is a stupendous task, and at Sindhudurg no efforts were spared. Over 2000 khandis (4000 mounds) of iron were used for casting and the foundation stones were laid down firmly in lead.

Even today, as one approaches the fort past a rocky reef, navigable through a narrow channel, one marvels at the transportation of such heavy material through such choppy waters. Within its precincts are temples holding the shrines of Maruti, Bhavani, Mahadeo, Jarimai, Mahapurush and also of Shivaji -- the only such shrine in the country. As for Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg beaches, they offer the visitor one of the most serene and beautiful coastal views in India.

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad -- where valour is etched on every stone and the soil has turned red seeped by the blood of martyrs! From the time when a Koli chieftain, Nag Naik stoutly defended this fort (AD 1328) against the might of the Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq for nine months to Jaswant Singh, Aurangzeb's commander, who dragged his guns up the fort's steep shoulders to avenge the insult to Shaista Khan, who was rebuffed by Shivaji, this fort has been infused by tales of bravery. It was here that Shivaji's general, Tanaji Malusare launched an attack to recapture the fort. In the ensuing battle, Tanaji valiantly laid down his life, but captured the fort. A grieving Shivaji is known to have said,"Gad ala pan sinh gela" (The fort is won but the lion has gone). And this is how the fort got its name: sinh (lion's) gad (fort).

Raigad Fort

This is the very heart of Maratha country -- Raigad, the capital of Shivaji's kingdom. Strategically perched atop a wedge-shaped block of hill, split off from the Western Ghats and inaccessible from three sides. Stories of incredible valour and heroic deeds are etched on every pebble at Raigad. It was here that Shivaji built his capital city in the 14th century, and here that he crowned himself Chhatrapati. For six years upto his death, Raigad remained the capital of the Marathas with its broad gates and magnificent monuments. There was only one pathway leading to the top, and prizes were offered to those who scaled the fort through unconventional methods. Though parts of Raigad are in ruins, yet they inspire an aura of grandeur.

Daulatabad Fort

Rising dramatically over 600 ft above the Deccan plain is the arresting sight of Daulatabad. Once known as Devgiri, this fort served as the head quarters of the powerful Yadava rulers. In the 13th century, Mohammed bin Tughlak, the Sultan of Delhi, made it his capital and renamed it Daulatabad, or City of Fortune.
One of the world's best preserved forts of medieval times, surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad still displays many of the internal contrivances that made it invincible. A series of secret, quizzical subterranean passages lie amidst the fort. Its defense systems comprised fortifications of double and even triple rows of massive walls. A fortress conquered only by treachery!

The most notable structures at Daulatabad are the Chand Minar, Jami Masjid and royal palaces. The tapering 30-metre high tower of the Chand Minar is divided into four storeys, and was faced with glazed tiles and carved motifs. The Minar probably served as a prayer hall or a victory monument in its time. The Jami Masjid was a mosque built by the Khilji ruler of Delhi, Qutubuddin Mubarak. The palaces consist of spacious halls, pavilions and courtyards. The fort is open till 6 pm

 

 
 Tourist Attractions of Maharashtra
 
Mumbai
Mumbai, India's economic powerhouse, pulses with power and energy. This great city of more than ten million people is the capital of the state of of Maharashtra and also the commercial capital of the whole country. Center of industry, transportation, and communication, its fine harbor on the Arabian Sea makes its one of the world's busiest ports. Main places to visit are :- Gateway of India, Marine Drive , Victoria Terminus.

Aurangabad
The city of Aurangabad is known for its medieval monuments and cultural heritage. It was the seat of the Mughal Empire for a short period. The city boasts of Bibi-ka-Makbara, a tomb that has some resemblance to the Taj Mahal. The importance of Aurangabad is great, owing to its proximity with world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora. These sites have Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples. Aurangabad is also famous for its silk and cotton textiles.

Khandala
Khandala is one of the important hill stations in the state of Maharashtra and is the pride of the Sahyadri Mountains. Khandala is endowed with abundant natural beauty and like Lonavala, it is also provides a popular gateway from the hustle and bustle of cities of Mumbai and Pune. The picturesque green surroundings of this pretty hill station attract the travelers towards it

Other Tourist Destination in Maharashtra

Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Amravati,Nagpur, Nasik, Pune , Kolhapur, Jalogaon, Raigad .
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