Maharashtra is most famous for its capital – Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. Mumbai is also one of the main entry points to India and so a stay of two or three nights is essential.
An exciting contrast between old and modern India, the city has progressed and grown at a rapid pace over the last decade or so, is the most populous city in India and is showing no signs of slowing down in fact quite the opposite! One exciting prospect of this forward thinking city is the cuisine and a generation who have discovered a love for dining out and are fuelling the momentum for a buzzing restaurant scene serving everything from Asian fusion to superb Mediterranean, fabulous cafes and bars and outstanding street food outlets.
Of course, Mumbai is the home of Bollywood and it is worth doing a bit of research on who’s who before heading to Mumbai as you may well find yourself having coffee or a cocktail next to them if you choose to dine or drink in one of the city’s cool spots. The heart of the city contains wonderful Victorian architecture, but explore a little deeper and you’ll uncover unique bazaars and hidden temples as well as the largest tropical forest in an urban zone.
Mumbai is of course famous for the Dharavi slums, which although well-known previously, were catapulted into the limelight by the film Slumdog Millionaire, and nowadays visitors have the opportunity to be shown around the slums and in fact this is inspiring and crucially, the majority of the profits are handed over to local charities. A short boat ride away from the city, the Elephanta Cave Temples, containing ancient rock art dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, are well worth a visit.
Outside Mumbai, the incredible UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, which are hand carved into the hillside rock, are accessed from Aurangabad and are certainly worth the side trip from Mumbai. Within driving distance from Mumbai, near Pune is also a fabulous wellness retreat overlooking a lake in a peaceful location. Overall, Maharashtra is a fascinating inclusion on any Indian adventure.
Please contact your Destination Specialist for more information on +44 (0) 1993 824198
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