Top Historical & Heritage Places in Maharashtra

Historical & Heritage

Ajanta Caves are one of the oldest UNESCO World heritage sites in Maharashtra, and among the most prominent Maharashtra tourist places. One of the most visited ancient monuments in India, these caves are situated about 98 km from Aurangabad, 326 km from Pune, and 443 km from Mumbai.

Carved between 2nd Century BC and 6th Century AD, Ajanta Caves are excavated in a horseshoe-shaped bend of rock surface nearly 76 m in height overlooking the Waghur River. The complex consists of 29 rock-cut cave monuments built during the Satavahana period and the Vakataka period. The caves at Ajanta are famous for beautiful mural paintings and sculptures that depict tales of Jatakas. The world-famous paintings at Ajanta also fall into two broad phases. The earliest is noticed in the form of fragmentary specimens in Cave 9 & 10, which are among the must-visit places as part of Ajanta holiday packages. The second phase of paintings started around the 5th - 6th centuries and the specimen of these exemplary paintings could be noticed in Cave 1, 2, 16, and 17.

Various incidents from the life of Gautama Buddha and the Jataka Tales are represented and recreated on the walls of these caves. It can be visited along with Aurangabad tour packages.

Distance from Aurangabad: 98 Kms

Historical & Heritage

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ellora Caves are the most visited places of heritage in Maharashtra, and among the must include places in Maharashtra tour packages. Situated about 28 km from Aurangabad, 253 km from Pune, and 344 km from Mumbai.

Ellora Caves is an impressive complex of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain Cave temples carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries AD. Ellora is one of the prominent heritage places to visit near Mumbai. The caves have a slightly less dramatic setting than those at Ajanta, but more exquisite sculptures. The cave complex comprises 34 caves includes 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu, and 5 Jain Caves. The central attraction at Ellora is Kailash Temple (Cave 16), which is the most remarkable.

Every year Ajanta-Ellora Festival is organized in Aurangabad to pay tribute to the legendary caves of Ellora, Ajanta, and other historical monuments in the region. Earlier the venue for this festival was Kailasa Temple of Ellora Caves but it has now been shifted to Soneri Mahal, among the must include places in Aurangabad tour packages.

Distance from Aurangabad: 28 Kms

Historical & Heritage | City

Situated at the confluence of Mula and Mutha Rivers, Pune is one of the most popular cities in India and the second-largest city in Maharashtra. About 161 km from Mumbai, Pune is one of the must include places in Maharashtra tour packages.

Pune boasts of several historical monuments from the Maratha period and many places of tourist interest. Shaniwar Wada, Osho Ashram, Dagdusheth Ganapathi, Pataleshwar Cave Temple, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Shinde Chhatri, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, National War Museum, Bund Garden, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, Aga Khan Palace, Rajgad Fort, and Darshan Museum are the some of the prominent attractions one must visit as part of Pune tour packages.

Also, Pune is considered as the cultural capital of Maharashtra and is renowned for its cultural activities such as classical music, spirituality, theater, sports, and literature. The city is also known for its IT, manufacturing and automobile industries, and prestigious educational institutions. Pune is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region. The 'Mercer 2015 Quality of Living' rankings evaluated local living conditions in more than 440 cities around the world where Pune ranked at 145, second in India after Hyderabad (138).

Distance from Aurangabad: 232 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 16 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Daulatabad is an ancient hill fort situated on the way to Ellora Caves from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. It is one of the best-preserved places of heritage in Maharashtra, and also one of the best Aurangabad tourist places.

The historical triangular fort of Daulatabad was built by Yadava king Bhillama V in 1187 AD. It is one of the best historical places near Pune. The city was then called 'Deogiri', meaning the hill of gods. Daulatabad or 'the abode of wealth' was the name given by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq when he made his capital here in 1327 AD. The region and the fort passed on into the hands of Bahamani rulers under Hasan Gangu in 1347 AD and Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar in 1499 AD. Daulatabad became the capital of the Nizam Shahi dynasty in 1607 AD. The fort passed several hands, captured and re-captured by the Mughals, Marathas, Peshwas, and finally placed under the control of the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 AD till independence. It is one of the most visited places as part of Aurangabad tour packages.

Daulatabad Fort was one of the most powerful forts during the medieval period. Built on a 200 m high conical hill, the fort was defended by a moat and a glacis. The fortifications ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 17 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 8 km from Nashik Central Bus Station, Pandavleni Caves or Trirashmi Caves are the ancient rock cut caves situated on Trirashmi Hills to the south of Nashik. The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site in Maharashtra and also one of the popular places to visit in Nashik.

Pandavleni Caves are a group of 24 caves carved between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD, representing the Hinayana Buddhism and has nothing to do with the characters of Mahabharata (the Pandavas).These caves were built by the rulers of that time like Satavahanas and Kshaharatas for Hinayana Buddhist monks. More ancient name of caves is Trirashmi Caves where the root 'Trirashmi' means 'triple royal'.

Most of the caves are Viharas except for the 18th cave which is a Chaitya. Caves 3, 10, 18 and 20 are the most significant and fascinating caves among the 24 caves which are noted for their magnificent sculptures. Cave 3 has a large Vihara with fascinating sculptures. Cave 10 is also a Vihara but it is much older and finer than Cave 3. It is believed to be as old as the Karla Caves near Lonavala. These caves houses shrines, cisterns, rare inscription, carved figures of Buddha and Bodhisattva, along with icons of some of the Jain Teerthankaras like Vrishabhdeo, Ambikadevi, Veer Manibhadraji etc. The Chaitya (Cave 18) is well sculptured with an elaborate facade.

There are several inscriptions found in these caves. Inscriptions in caves 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19 and ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 197 Kms

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 94 km from Pune Junction, Shivneri Fort is an ancient fort situated near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra. Shivneri Fort is one of the most magnificent as well as historically rich forts of India. It is a famous trekking destination and also a popular weekend picnic destination near Pune. It is also one of the top tourist places in Pune visiting.

The Shivneri Fort was built during the time of Satavahanas. After the Satavahanas, the Shivneri Fort was occupied by the Shilaharas, the Yadavas, and the Bahamanis. In 1599 AD the hill fort was granted to Shivaji's grandfather, Maloji Bhosale and passed down to Shahaji. Jijabai (Shivaji's mother) spent the days of her pregnancy here and this was the birth place of Shivaji, the famous Maratha warrior who was born in 1630 AD. Shivaji spent his childhood in Shivneri Fort and also undertook his military training here.

Shivneri is a triangular shape hill fort and has its entrance from the South-West side of the hill. Apart from the main gate there is an entrance to the fort from Eastern side called locally as the chain gate, where in one has to hold chains to climb up to the fort gate. The fort extends up to 1 mi with seven spiral well-defended gates. There are mud walls all around the fort. The fort also exhibits a small water pond named Badami Talav, located in the center of the fort. Close to the pond lies the idol of Jijabai along with her son Shivaji. Shiv Janmasthan, Ambarkhana, Kadelot Point, Ganga ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 230 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 30 km from Nashik, Sinnar is a town and a municipal council in Sinnar taluka of Nashik district in Maharashtra. Sinnar is mainly famous for Sri Gondeshwar Temple and Gargoti Museum. It is one of the famous places to visit near Aurangabad.

Gondeshwar Temple is situated about 2 km from Sinnar Bus Station and it represents the best example of the Hemadpanti style of architecture. The structure was constructed using the locally available black basalt stone and lime. The temple's origin dates back to 12 - 13th century during the Yadava dynasty. Some sources claim that Raj Govinda of the Yadava dynasty built this great temple. Yet another tradition assigns the building to Govindaraja, another Yadava king who ruled about the beginning of the twelfth century AD.

It is a Shaiva Panchayatan or a group of five temples within a large enclosure. The central shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the remaining four temples are dedicated to goddess Parvati, Sri Ganapathi, Surya Bhagwan, and Lord Vishnu. This is the largest, most complete, and best-preserved example of the medieval temples of the Deccan of the Indo-Aryan style.

The temple is an astonishing display of stone carvings and sculptures portraying the stories from the Puranas, Mahabharata & Ramayana. Sculptures of Gods, Goddesses, Apsaras, Yakshas, Kinnaras, and Gandharvas adorn the entire complex. The temple of Lord Shiva is beautifully proportioned ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 166 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 18 km from Kannad and 77 km from Aurangabad, the Pitalkhora Caves are an ancient rock cut caves located on Chandora hill near Ambala village in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.

Pitalkhora consisting of 14 Buddhist Caves and are believed to be one of the earliest of the rock cut cave structures in the vicinity. It is believed that Pitalkhora Caves belongs to 2nd century BC. They are cut in a variety of basalt rock which weathers faster in contrast to other parts in Maharashtra. All the caves belong to the Hinayana period but the painting executed in the caves are of Mahayana period. The caves boast paintings, many sculptures, animal motifs, miniature chaitya windows, wonderful Yaksha figures, the elephants, dwarapalas and mithuna figures. The sculptural representations here are similar to that of found in the stupas of Sanchi, Karla, Nasik, of the same period.

The caves are in two groups, one is a cluster of 10 caves and the second of 4 caves. Out of the 14, four are chaityas (one housing votive stupas, one apsidal and single-cell) and the rest are viharas. The 1st cave, which has been damaged, was used as a monastery or vihara. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th caves have similar courtyards and seem to belong to the same period.

The Cave 3 has the best paintings and there are 37 pillars that separate the aisle from the hall. The inscriptions on each pillar indicate that they were added individually ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 80 Kms

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 52 km from Pune and 11 km from Yavat, Bhuleshwar is an ancient Hindu temple situated on a hill near Malshiras in Pune district of Maharashtra. It has been declared as a protected monument and is maintained by Archeological Survey of India.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built in 13th century during Yadava Rulers. It is believed that the temple was ruined by Muslim invaders and reconstructed later because the entrance of the temple is hidden like Gaimukhi Buruj construction of Shivaji's time. The fort on which the temple is situated is called as Daulat Mangalgad Fort.

The temple is unique because of its architecture. Black basalt rock was brought to construct this temple which is different as compared to surrounding brownish color basalt rock. From outside it appears to more as a mosque than a temple due to its resemblance to Islamic architecture like circular domes and minarets. There are classical carvings on the walls.

The temple contains five Shivlingas in its sanctum. Owing to their being hidden in a trench, these Shiva Lingams can be seen in light. Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahadev are also housed in this temple. The temple also has an idol of Ganesh in female attire and is popularly called as Ganeshwari or Lambodari or Ganeshyani.

This temple gets huge crowds during Mahashivratri. There is a local belief, when a bowl of sweet is offered to Lord Shiva, one or more of the sweets disappear. A little further ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 235 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 96 km from Pune, Junnar Caves are ancient rock cut caves situated at Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra. Junnar has the largest and longest cave excavations in India. These are the ASI protected monuments and also one of the popular Pune tourist places.

Junnar has over 200 independent excavations spread over four hills. All the excavations belong to the Hinayana phase and are datable from mid-3rd century BC to late 3rd century AD. The presence of largest number of rock cut excavations and a large number of inscriptions enabling a paleographical study makes Junnar a prominent site for the study of rock cut architecture. Here there are 24 inscriptions, which provide useful paleographical data for the relative dating of the caves.

Junnar Caves are classified into various groups depending upon the location of these excavations. They are Tulja Caves, Manmodi Group of Caves, Shivneri Group of Caves and Lenyadri or Ganesh Lena Caves. The Lenyadri or Ganesh Lena Group is the main group and located 6 km north of Junnar across the River Kukdi. The hill is variously known as Sulaiman Pahar and Ganesh Pahar. There are nearly 40 caves in this group of which the main group of 30 caves are located in a line and stretch from east to west, all facing south and overlooking the Valley of Kukdi River. Among them Cave 6 and 14 are chaityagrihas and the remaining are viharas. Of which Cave 7 is the largest and also houses the image of Ganesh. It is one of the Ashtavinayak ...

Distance from Aurangabad: 226 Kms

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