Probably the biggest plus point of Gowalkot Fort is that it is easily accessible and the fact that it is built on only 2 acres of land. It is best seen on foot and photographers can have a gala time capturing this well-preserved architecture from history dating back to the year 1670.
The Kondeshwar temple is the one that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is an all-rock construction that dates back to around 400 years. Around the temple, one can witness beautiful dense forests and a natural waterfall. Beware though, the waterfall isn’t very safe, especially around the monsoons when the temple floor becomes very slippery. Around the main temple, one can also visit a lot of smaller shrines. The Hindu festival of Mahashivratri is very popular here.
The Nagnath Jyotirlinga is a religious place of worship and is highly significant in the Hindu Religion. The Nagnath Temple is adorned with stupefying carvings that add to the beauty of the place. The temple is made of stones and the walls that form the pillars and the surrounding area of the temple are sturdy and robust.
One queer observation of this temple is that the holy Ox – Nandi, that is generally located at the entrance of any Shiva Temple, is located in a completely separate structure in the temple’s backyard.
Nanded, a small village near Aundha, is about 65 km away and is known for the Sach Khand Huzur Sahib Gurudwara - the holy place where Guru Gobind Singh’s ashes were buried. Pay a visit to this site as well while you’re in Aundha.
The Sevagram Ashram is the reason behind the destination of Sevagram being renowned – the place where Gandhiji resided for a period of thirteen years from 1936 to 1948.
It is believed that when Gandhiji commenced his Pad Yatra from the Sabarmati Ashram in 1930 to Dandi he has vowed to not step foot in Sabarmati before India attained independence. India did not gain independence then and he was instead imprisoned.
Upon his release Gandhiji decided to reside in Sevagram. That’s how the institution was set.
The ashram has many components to it. The Adi Nivas and prayer ground, the Ba Kuti, the Bapu Kuti and the Akhri Nivas were one of the many rooms that were used by Gandhiji and his wife Kasturba. Other rooms included Bapu’s kitchen, Adya Adi Nivas, Parchure Kuti, Mahadev Kuti, Kishore Nivas, Rustam Bhavan and the Yatri Nivas.
The Yatri Nivas was especially built as a visitor’s residence in 1982 by the government for the sake of the visitors.
The Ahmednagar Fort is a major attraction in Ahmednagar. The founder of the city of Ahmednagar, Ahmed Nizam Shah, built the Ahmednagar Fort sometime during the 15th and 16th Century. The fort has tall walls, 18 m high, which are supported by 22 bastions. It has 24 citadels, 30 m wide.
It served as a prison to accommodate captured enemy soldiers. It was also used to imprison several leaders of the Indian National Congress during the Quit India Movement. The famous book authored by Jawaharlal Nehru – The Discovery of India – was written here.
The Ahmednagar Fort underwent plenty of renovations under the Nizami King’s reign during the period of 1559 to 1562. It is presently under the maintenance of the Military Command of India.
The Ajinkyatara Fort – located on top of the Ajinkyatara Mountain - stands tall at an altitude of 1006 m above sea level. Placed in the district of Sangli, this fort is also known as the Fort of Sapta Rishi.The Fort was built under Raja Bhoj who belonged to the Shilar Dynasty.
It was constructed in the memory of the Martyrs of the 1857 Independence Movement. One can see this fort from the Yateshwar Hill, which is about 5 km away. The view from atop the fort is mesmerizing, offering you a panoramic scene of the entire horizon of Satara City.
The Ambadevi Temple is devoted to Goddess Ambadevi and is located in the heart of the city of Amravati at Gandhi Square. This ancient, spiritual temple finds its mention in ancient gazetteers and it is believed that Rukmini, daughter of King Bhishmak's, a day before her marriage to Shishupal, visited this temple. Lord Krishna is said to have abducted her from here and married her thereafter.
Goddess Amba attracts innumerable devotees from all over the state who throng the temple during the festivals of Navratri and Dussehra. Along with the festive celebrations, a huge fair is organised on the temple grounds.
The Amboli Falls is a fantastic tourist spot located in the city of Amboli. It attracts a lot of tourists annually. The spot is especially captivating during the monsoons when the water gushes in abundance and the surrounding greenery is in full bloom. The rains make the area around the waterfall misty and surreal. The period from June to October is a great time to visit this place.
The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is sprawled over an area of 100 sq km and is situated at a lofty height ranging from 2,100 ft to 3,800 ft within the village of Bhimashankar. It lies nestled in the verdant Sahayadri Ranges and covered by lush greenery on all sides.
Few of the most endangered species can be found in this sanctuary like the Shekru and the Giant Indian Squirrel. Hyenas, Flying squirrels, Barking Deer, Leopards, Porcupines and Wild Boars are amongst other animals that are found here.
The Malabar Whistling Thrush, the Green Pigeon, the Quaker Babbler, the Malabar Grey Hornbill and the Grey Jungle Fowl are a few of the many birds that can be found here that are sure to delight bird watchers and nature lovers.
The sanctuary is especially worth visiting during the monsoon rains. There is a vast variety of flora found here, ranging from magical herbs to plants and trees.
The Bibi Ka Maqbara is a famous monument found near Aurangabad. Situated 5 km from Aurangabad, the Bibi Ka Maqbara was built in 1678 by Aurangzeb’s son, Prince Azam Shah in the memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani.
Attaullah was the architect of this mausoleum and he intended to replicate the famous Taj Mahal. However, despite the layout that comes close to Taj Mahal, the architecture fails to reproduce the aura of Taj. Hence, it is considered to be a poor imitation of the same.
Standing spectacularly on the lawns of the landscaped garden with ponds, fountains and water channels, the memorial is built of sandstone with plastered walls and has a marble dome. The enclosure of the tomb is made of marble and is octagonal.
Visiting hours for the monument are from 8 am to 6 pm, the entry fee for which is Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 100 for foreigners.
The Bordi Beach, most often referred to as the Dahanu-Bordi Beach, lies in the village of Bordi and is adored for its pristine and tranquil panoramic beauty. Spanning over a 17 km stretch, the sea line extends from Dahanu all the way to Bordi and makes for a beautiful, breathtaking sight.
The Bordi Beach is extremely safe for visitors. Swimming in the beach is permitted and devoid of any danger since up to almost half a kilometre, the water does not rise above waist level. It constitutes of sticky, black sand and chikoo orchard that lines the shore.
The cause behind the beach’s popularity is its natural calm. It has not been artificially beautified, and its inherent natural beauty keeps making the visitors come back for more. The Maharashtra Woods Preservation Group is concerned with the maintenance and management of the beach.
This is the first cave ever to be carved out; it is a Buddhist monastery built towards the south. It only consists of four cells and has no sculptures of any kind.
Another shrine built in Lord Buddha’s memory, it is at the end of a long flight of stairs. It consists of a mandap that has Buddha’s unfinished images segregated into a gallery. The sculptures found here are grand and huge with many deities being depicted including—the God of Wealth, Panchika, and the Goddess of Prosperity, Hariti.
Nowhere close to the other caves’ historical charm, this cave has an incomplete image of Buddha in a seated position along with other small motifs and symbols that decorate the place.
Once as big as two storeys, Cave 4 is presently in ruins. This cave too has the image of a seated Buddha.
Spanning across a depth of an astonishing 117 feet and 59 feet in width, this cave is essentially a vihara (monastery) and goes by the name Maharvada. It houses 20 rooms for Buddhist monks alongside a beautiful shrine for Lord Buddha. There are two long and narrow benches that must not be missed while here.
This cave accommodates a hall in a rectangle shape. Images of Bodhisattva and goddesses Mahamayuri and Tara adorn this place.
This cave isn’t as significant as the other ones. It comprises of a plain hall with pillars.
A monastery once upon a time, this cave holds precious Buddha sculptures. One can go around the entire cave and explore the different features.
This cave houses a beautiful capture of Goddess Tara rescuing her worshippers from an elephant, a snake, a fire and a shipwreck. One can find an open terrace here alongside a shrine.
This cave is named after the famous architect, Vishwakarma. It also goes by the name of Sutar Ka Jhonpra—a carpenter’s hut. Carpenters visit this cave to pay homage to Vishwakarma. A chaityagriha—Lord Buddha’s chapel—can also be seen.
As you enter from the entrance door, be assured that the idol of Lord Buddha is sitting in a dharmachakra pravartana mudra—its height touching at least 11 feet.
This cave is extremely significant as an important juncture in the Chaitya dynasty in India.
Cave 11 (Do Thal)
Do Thal literally translates to two storeys; however, the cave actually has three storeys. The name was given as Do Thal and not Teen Thal as the ground floor has actually crumpled and given way. This cave, too, sees the Buddha in a seated, teaching position. Idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga can be seen here.
Cave 12 (Teen Thal)
This is the largest monastery in the entire state of Maharashtra. It is three storeys long. A wide entrance leads you to a huge courtyard. There are individual stairs that lead one to the respective storeys. This hall has numerous pillars and images and sculptures of a seated Buddha and other deities.
The Camel Valley is placed close to the Bhatsa River Valley in Igatpuri. It houses a scenic waterfall that is a source of wonder and delight to tourists here. The water falls from a dizzying height of 1,000 ft. The monsoons pose as the best time of the year to withhold this place’s true beauty.
The lush greenery that surrounds you on all sides is captivating, to say the least. River rafting and river crossing are a few sporting activities that adventurous travellers can engage in on their visit here.
Along the state highway, connecting Latur to Nanded is a place called Chakur famous for a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This locality in general is also very famous for its various medicinal plants and herbs. Chakus is around 35 km from Latur and on a good day takes just around 30 min to get to by road. For travellers with kids in tow, an amusement park is also located close to Chakur.
The Chaul Kadu Lighthouse is situated close to the Korlai Port, and can be reached by a machine boat. The journey takes about 1 to 1.5 h. In the 17th Century, the lighthouse served as a landmark to enter the fort of Revdanda.
It is about 6 km away. The Chaul Kadu reefs that surround the lighthouse are beautiful to watch, but a lot of submerged rocks lie there. For the sake of sailing, the lighthouse, marking a radius was constructed. Back in the 1860s, a refuge chamber was created near the reef.