Maharashtra is a state renowned for its rich historical and cultural heritage. With a history that stretches back thousands of years, it’s no surprise that Maharashtra boasts a plethora of historical monuments that attract tourists worldwide. Each monument is recognized for its heritage value, architectural splendor and worldwide popularity.
This article lists the five historical monuments in Maharashtra that you must visit.
Famous Monuments in Maharashtra
1. The Gateway of India, Mumbai
The Gateway of India is situated on the waterfront in Mumbai. It is an iconic architectural marvel that symbolises the city’s historical and cultural significance. It’s one of the top monuments in Maharashtra that you must visit. Built during the British Raj, this grand archway was completed in 1924. It has since become one of Mumbai’s most visited landmarks.
The Gateway of India’s design is a stunning fusion of Indo-Saracenic and Muslim architectural styles. It features intricate latticework, ornate bas-reliefs, and a central dome. It holds historical significance as it served as the ceremonial entrance point for British viceroys and dignitaries during the colonial era. Today, it is not only a testament to Mumbai’s colonial past but also a bustling place for locals and tourists. You can stroll along the promenade, enjoy panoramic views, and embark on boat trips to nearby Elephanta Island. The Gateway of India is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Mumbai’s vibrant culture and history. Make sure to add the Gateway of India to your list of the top monuments in Maharashtra to visit on your trip.
Places to visit near Gateway of India: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Elephanta Caves, Colaba Causeway, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum), Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda Art Precinct, Flora Fountain, Mumbai University, Oval Maidan, Rajabai Clock Tower.
2. Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Aurangabad
Bibi-Ka-Maqbara is another famous monument to visit. Famous as the Taj of the Deccan, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s son Azam Shah built it in the 17th century. It was constructed in memory of Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of Aurangzeb. It showcases stunning Mughal architecture with its beautiful white marble, intricate latticework, and ornate minarets. As you explore the complex, you’ll find a peaceful garden, making it a serene spot to appreciate the blend of Persian and Indian architectural elements.
Bibi-Ka-Maqbara holds a special place in history. It offers a glimpse into the Mughal era’s architectural splendour. The structure provides a tranquil atmosphere for reflection and admiration.
Places to visit near Bibi-Ka-Maqbara: Aurangabad Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar Temple, Ajanta Caves, Panchakki, Aurangabad City Center, Jayakwadi Dam, Siddharth Garden and Zoo.
3. Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
These UNESCO World Heritage Sites are a testament to India’s architectural brilliance. The Ajanta Caves is a cluster of rock-cut caves. It dates back to the 2nd century BCE. As you step into these caves, you’ll notice a mesmerising display of Buddhist cave paintings and sculptures. These intricate artworks depict the life of Buddha and stories from Jataka tales. The atmosphere inside these caves exudes an air of serenity. The caves invite you to immerse yourself in ancient India’s spiritual and artistic heritage.
The Ellora Caves offer a captivating experience. These caves span five from the 5th to the 10th centuries. They present a remarkable fusion of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist rock-cut temples and monasteries. You’ll marvel at the intricately carved sculptures as you explore the Ellora complex. The Kailash Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most impressive. These caves are not merely historical sites; they are living testaments to ancient India’s devotion, artistry, and craftsmanship. One of the top historical places in Maharashtra, these caves are a must-visit!
Places to visit near Ajanta and Ellora Caves: Daulatabad Fort, Grishneshwar Temple, Aurangabad Caves, Bhadra Maruti Temple, Khuldabad, Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Shivleni Caves, Siddharth Garden and Zoo, Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary.
4. Shaniwar Wada, Pune
Shaniwar Wada is a must-see historical gem in Pune . This magnificent fort was constructed in 1732 by the Peshwa dynasty. It stands as a testament to the grandeur and power of the Maratha Empire. One of the popular monuments in Maharashtra, Shaniwar Wada has a lot to offer history buffs or tourists. As you explore the place, you’ll be transported back to an era of luxury and intrigue.
The fort was once the seat of the Peshwa rulers. The highlight of your visit will likely be the grand hall, the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Hall. This was the place where important meetings and events were held. Most of the fort was destroyed by a fire in the 19th century. However, the surviving structures offer a glimpse into Pune’s history. The story of Shaniwar Wada is a blend of architectural brilliance and historical significance. You don’t want to miss a captivating chapter in India’s past. If you’re planning a trip to Shaniwar Wada, make sure to add Shaniwar Wada to your list.
Places to visit near Shaniwar Wada: Aga Khan Palace, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Lal Mahal, Parvati Hill, Saras Baug, Vishrambaug Wada, Pataleshwar Cave Temple, Darshan Museum, Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple.
5. Sindhudurg Fort, Sindhudurg
One of the famous historical monuments in Maharashtra, Sindhudurg Fort, never fails to impress. Nestled along the Konkan coast, Sindhudurg Fort is a historical gem that promises an enriching and picturesque experience. It was constructed under the leadership of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj during the 17th century. This fort represents a significant chapter in India’s history. Exploring Sindhudurg will lead you through the fort’s imposing stone walls. These walls were designed to withstand the battering of the waves and the challenges of foreign invasions.
As you delve deeper into the fort’s interior, you’ll uncover a world of historical wonders. Ancient temples dedicated to various deities, including the grand Shri Shivaji Temple, stand as a testament to the spiritual significance of this fortress. The engineering marvels of Sindhudurg become evident when you encounter its freshwater reservoirs. These reservoirs ensured a reliable water supply even during extended sieges. One of the most intriguing aspects of Sindhudurg Fort lies beneath its surface. A network of secret tunnels beneath the fort was used for defensive and strategic purposes. So, whether you’re a history enthusiast, an admirer of architecture, or a nature lover, a visit to Sindhudurg Fort promises a captivating journey. It takes you through time and gives you a deeper understanding of India’s history.
Places to visit near Sindhudurg Fort: Vijaydurg Fort, Tarkarli Beach, Malvan, Devbag Beach, Sargeshwar Beach, Rameshwar Temple, Bhogwe Beach, Vayangani Beach, Nivati Beach.
Other Famous Historical Places in Maharashtra
6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai
One of the most iconic landmarks that will capture your attention is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this majestic railway station was formerly known as Victoria Terminus. This landmark is not just a transportation hub but a symbol of Mumbai’s rich history and architectural splendour. Built during the British colonial era, CST is a splendid blend of Victorian Gothic and traditional Indian architectural styles.
As you explore its grand façade, intricate carvings, and soaring dome, you’ll be transported to a time when craftsmanship and attention to detail were paramount. The bustling station is a testament to Mumbai’s vibrant spirit, with thousands of commuters passing daily. Whether you’re an admirer of magnificent architecture or a history buff, visiting Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a must. It promises an immersive journey into the heart of Mumbai’s cultural heritage.
Places to visit near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Gateway of India, Colaba Causeway, Marine Drive, Elephanta Caves, Jehangir Art Gallery, Charni Road Beach, Mumbai University, Flora Fountain, Kala Ghoda Art Precinct, Crawford Market.
7. Aga Khan Palace, Pune
Aga Khan Palace is a must to glimpse India’s historical and architectural treasures. This majestic palace was built in 1892. It holds a deep significance in India’s fight for freedom. Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III commissioned it. This palace made a philanthropic effort during the famine, employing the local population. However, it is most renowned as a place where several prominent freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, stayed during the struggle for India’s independence.
You’ll find elegant Italian arches, intricate craftsmanship, and serene gardens as you step inside. The palace now houses a museum dedicated to Gandhi. It showcases his life and work. You can admire this through the photographs, personal belongings, and other exhibits. A visit to the Aga Khan Palace is not only a journey through history. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made in pursuing India’s freedom.
Places to visit near Aga Khan Palace: Shaniwar Wada, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Darshan Museum, Empress Garden, Bund Garden, Pune Tribal Museum, Lal Mahal, Saras Baug, Pune Okayama Friendship Garden.
8. Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
A visit to the Elephanta Caves is an absolute must. Here, you can explore a fascinating piece of India’s history and artistry. These UNESCO World Heritage caves are located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai. They are a testament to India’s sculptural genius. Carved out of solid basalt rock, these caves date back to the 5th to 7th centuries. These caves showcase stunning sculptures, intricate detailing, and beautifully designed rock-cut temples. The centrepiece of this site is the three-headed sculpture of Lord Shiva, known as Maheshmurti. It’s an awe-inspiring masterpiece that will amaze you.
As you wander through the dimly lit caves, you’ll be transported into a world of mythological stories. The journey to the Elephanta Caves is not just a historical exploration. It’s a captivating immersion into India’s rich cultural heritage that will inspire you.
Places to visit near Elephanta Caves: Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Colaba Causeway, Jehangir Art Gallery, Marine Drive, Flora Fountain, Kala Ghoda Art Precinct, Crawford Market, Charni Road Beach.
9. Raigad Fort, Raigad
You’re in for an inspiring journey when you embark on an adventure to Raigad Fort. It’s an exploration through history and breathtaking natural beauty. This hill fort is situated in the Sahyadri mountain range. It was a stronghold during the reign of the Marathas. Your exploration begins with a steep ascent. You can reach the fort either by trekking or the thrilling ropeway ride. As you reach the top, the panoramic views of the lush Western Ghats and the surrounding countryside will take your breath away.
The fort itself is a treasure trove of history. It consists of grand gates, impressive stone walls, and remnants of palaces and chambers. You can’t help but be impressed by the rich heritage of this place. This historical significance and its natural splendour make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Your visit to Raigad Fort will not only be a journey through time. It’s also an opportunity to connect with the enduring legacy of one of India’s greatest rulers.
Places to visit near Raigad Fort: Jagadishwar Temple, Takmok Tok, Queen’s Palace, Raigad Museum, ShivtharGhal, Gangasagar Lake, Sagargad Fort, Varsoli Beach, Kihim Beach, Kondana Caves.
The journey through Maharashtra’s historical treasures is a testament to the region’s rich and diverse heritage. Whether you’re drawn to history, seeking adventure or simply looking for a serene escape, these sites offer something for every traveller. To book your Maharashtra tour packages, check Thomas Cook for the best deals and discounts. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure to witness these historical places in Maharashtra.
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