Maharashtra

There are some beautiful and fascinating sites in Maharashtra. The earliest of the world-famous frescoes and carvings at Ajanta and Ellora caves date from the second century BC. Wonderful ruined forts built by the Marathas and the Portuguese are scattered along the 500 km of coastline while others are perched precariously on the hilltops of the Western Ghats. From these fastnesses, the 17th-century Marathas, masters in the art of guerrilla warfare, carved out a territory that stretched the width of India. Today Maharashtra boasts not only India's most vibrant city, Mumbai, and a diverse and rapidly growing industrial economy, but also a rich agricultural hinterland.

Small beaches offer an escape from the busy city while train buffs can enjoy a ride up the scenic narrow-gauge railway to Matheran in the hills. The thriving 'modern' city of Pune, across the Ghats, attracts the visitors to the lavish Osho Commune, which has drawn large numbers of Westerners in search of an alternative spiritual answer.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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