» »Historical Monuments of Maharashtra: Part I

Historical Monuments of Maharashtra: Part I

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Maharashtra has witnessed innumerable historical changes since ages. It has remained evidence to the ups and downs of various dynasties as well as their renowned rulers. From the tribal community of Nags, Munds and Bhils to the age of Shivaji and finally to the present day, historical monuments in Maharashtra has remained a testament to every revolution that went through the state.

Monuments in India are of huge significance to the tourists in the nation as well as round the globe. Not only do they bear archaeological value but have grown up to become a favourite hub of photographers. Various forts, caves, statues and buildings portray the period, architecture and the then society during which it was constructed. Oldest Marathi inscriptions found at Shravanbelgola in Karnataka dates back to 10th century.

Travel with us to some of the most famous and historical monuments of Maharashtra. These archival monuments will draw you back to the bygone ages of this vibrant state.

Rajgad Fort, Pune

Rajgad Fort, Pune

Earlier known as Murumdev, Rajgad Fort was once the capital of Maratha Dynasty reigned by Chhatrapati Shivaji. The fort is situated at an elevation of 1318 m. It is situated at a distance of 54 km from Pune and is a significant place on the Sahyadri range. "Murumba Devicha Dongar" is the hill on which the fort is situated. Ruins of palaces, cisterns and caves can be found here.

Elephanta Caves, Elephanta

Elephanta Caves, Elephanta

Situated on Elephanta Islands by the Arabian Sea, Elephanta Caves houses two groups of caves - Buddhist Caves and Hindu Caves. Stone sculptures which are cut from rocks are the main attraction of this historical monument in Maharashtra. It was earlier known as Gharapuri when the Portuguese started ruling in 1534. The Hindu caves are mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Lenyadri Caves, Junnar

Lenyadri Caves, Junnar

30 rock-cut Buddhist caves is what adorns this historical monument of Maharashtra. The 7th cave is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one of the important Ganesha shrines of the eight prominent ones in the state. Rock-cut water cisterns with inscriptions on them narrate ancient legends. Lenyadri means mountain caves which has Marathi and Sanskrit origin. Lenyadri is easily accessible from Pune and Mumbai.

Aga Khan Palace, Pune

Aga Khan Palace, Pune

Built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in 1892, the palace was constructed to provide shelter to the famine struck people in the neighbouring regions of Pune. One of the greatest historical monuments of India, the palace also aquired huge importance during freedom movement as Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi was imprisoned here. Located on Pune-Nagar Road it is easily accessible from the heart of the city.

Bombay High Court, Mumbai

Bombay High Court, Mumbai

Bombay High Court is one of the oldest High Courts in India. Inaugurated in the year 1862, the building was designed by a British engineer. Architecturally this masterpiece has gothic structure which resembles early English design. Presently the building has been extended with north and south wings. The monument is adorned by statues of Justice and Mercy on top of the building.

Janjira Fort, Murud Janjira

Janjira Fort, Murud Janjira

Janjira Fort is one of the strongest sea forts in India. Situated on an oval shaped rock by the Arabian Sea, the fort harbours 19 rounded bastions. Tourists here can view ruined European canons, two big fresh water tanks, palaces, mosques, quarters for officers and many more historical evidences. Sculptures of elephants, tiger claws and Ashok Chakras are found on the outer wall of the gate.

Bhaja Caves, Pune

Bhaja Caves, Pune

These are a group of 22 rock cut caves which date back to 200 BC. The inscriptions along with the temple are now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is a renowned pilgrimage centre for Hinayana Buddhists. Wooden architecture of the temple is amazing. Chaityagriha is the most outstanding aspect of the cave which has some Buddha images and sculptures with theheaddress, garlands, and jewellery of that age.

Churchgate, Mumbai

Churchgate, Mumbai

A terminus station in South Mumbai, it was the first station of Western Railway line of suburban Mumbai. Churchgate was one of the gates apart from the Apollo Gate and the Bazaar Gate, to the walled city of Mumbai before mid 19th century. It was named after St. Thomas Cathedral and was raised exactly where the Flora Fountain is presently located.

Aurangabad Caves, Aurangabad

Aurangabad Caves, Aurangabad

These caves house 12 rock-cut Buddhist shrines which are artificial and are located on a hilly terrain. Theses caves were dug out during 6th -7th century. Though the caves house magnificent sculptures, they are partially disregarded due to the overwhelming sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora. There are three separate caves which are differentiated according to their location.

Karla Caves, Pune

Karla Caves, Pune

Located 58 km from the heart of the city, Karla Caves or cells are Buddhist rock cut shrines belonging to 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD. The oldest shrine bears the evidence of dating back to 160 BC. It was one of ancient routes for trade and is now protected under Archaeological Survey of India. The cave has a large prayer hall which harbours sculptures of males, females and animals like elephants and lions.

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