In front of the port of Mumbai are the Hindu temples of the island of Elephanta. Elephanta cave temples, dating back to 7th century AD, have been engraved and etched in the rock. Elephanta is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kanheri cave temples in the south-east of Mumbai are one of the oldest examples of Buddhist architecture. The theme of Ajanta Buddhist frescoes (200 BC to 600 AD) focuses on the life of Lord Buddha and on tales of his earlier experiences on earth. Through the paintings we can get an idea of the whole range of traditions, customs, dresses, ornaments, etc., that are presented to us. In Ellora (500 to 1111 AD), there are huge stone sculptures carved into the rock with great perfection. The most intricately and beautifully carved temple in Ellora is Kailasha Temple. This fantastic & mammoth temple is monolithic, that is, it is carved out of a single rock and consists of portico, pavilion, patio, nave, vestibule and sacred enclosure. The temples dug in the rock of Ajanta and Ellora represent the most refined examples of architecture, sculpture and painting of all times and places. To visit Ajanta and Ellora, you should leave from Aurangabad, a city that is also full of history. Mumbai and Ajanta-Ellora are the most visited places by the foreign tourists.
While in Aurangabad on Maharashtra tour, don’t miss a visit to Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a monument built in imitation of the celebrated Taj Mahal, as well as the Panchakki, a water mill of the 17th century. Near Aurangabad is Daulatabad, the city that boasts of defensive strategy. Due to this factor, a Muslim sovereign, Mohammed Tughlak, changed the capital of Delhi to Daulatabad, forcing to all the population to walk until the new capital. It is worth making an excursion to Paithan, a city that was the capital of the Satavahanas (II century BC). Paithan, located on the banks of the great Godavari River, has been the centre of Maratha education and culture, being seat of many saints. It is now famous because it has the largest water reservoir in Asia, Jayakwadi with an unparalleled garden design.
Sevagram in the center of Maharashtra is a different experience. It was for many years the refuge of Mahatma Gandhi and, today, it remains a symbol of the Gandhian lifestyle. Pune, near Mumbai, is an orthodox and cosmopolitan metropolis with a rich Maratha culture & tradition. Nasik, Shirdi, Tuljapur and Nanded are some of the religious centers, while Tadoba is characterized by rich flora and fauna. Along the extended coast, a traveler can practice surfing. The rocky hills of Maharashtra are studded with several mountain resorts, such as Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani and Matheran, as well as proudly towering fortresses - Pratapgadh, Sinhagadh, Raigad, Shivneri ... which resound in silence the stories of the courage and heroism of the Marathas. During the struggle for independence, Maharashtra played a significant role once again.