Aurangabad

The rapidly growing city of Aurangabad, more famously known as the ‘Tourism Capital’ of Maharashtra stands today as the gateway to world heritage sites like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves as well as mausoleums such as Bibi ka Maqbara. The city name translates to ‘Built by the Throne’ and is named after Mughal ruler, Aurangzeb, who at one time had conquered a large part of the country.

Throughout time, Aurangabad has been a major silk and cotton textile production centre with the famous, Paithani silk sarees originating from here. Industry aside, the city is famous for its 52 gates. It is these very gates that gave Aurangabad the name of ‘City of Gates’. There are multiple tourist attractions in the city apart from the Buddhist caves dating back to 3 A.D., there are mosques, a lake named after bird watcher, Salim Ali and a bird sanctuary.

Aurangabadi food is much like Mughlai or Hyderabadi cuisine with its fragrant pulao and Biryani. Meat cooked in fresh spices and herbs is a speciality, as are the delectable sweets. The local cuisine is a blend of Mughlai and Hyderabadi cuisine, with an influence of the spices and herbs of the Marathwada region.

At the end of every Aurangabad visit, one mustn’t forget to take back Mashroo and Himru fabrics that are made out of an age old weaving craft and is unique to that place.

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    • We are back home from our trip to India…what an adventure! It is not an easy country in which to travel, but your detailed plan made the trip relaxing and very interesting. From Delhi to Aurangabad everyone associated with Indebo was great. Lilly and Monika in Delhi were always available to address any concerns or questions we had. We were fortunate to have excellent guides who were punctual, courteous and very knowledgeable – Alice Martin, USA
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Matheran

Matheran was discovered in 1850 by Hugh Poyntz Malet the then collector of Thane district. The hill station grew more accessible and popular under the patronage of Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay. He introduced roadway and in 1907 opened a mountain railway (toy train) for the first time.

The 20 kms toy train journey takes you through spectacular grassy hill slides, plains, sheer cliffs, plateaux and thick forest cover from Neral.

Mahableshwar

Mahableshwar is the largest and one of the most spectacular & most popular hill station in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats. It is at a height of 1372 meters above sea level. It is only accessible by road from Mumbai either via Pune or Mahad. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year. In summer temperatures range between 16 degree and 20 degree Celsius and in winter it falls even further.

Mahableshwar has two ancient temples, a church and a treasure trove of 30 exotic sites or points from where one can get a good view of the dense forest and hush green valley below, with an exquisite mix of crystal clear water of lake Venna, coupled with tranquil surroundings make boating an unforgettable experience. Add to it the entralling Lingmala Falls & the tempting array of jams and jellies, Mahabaleshwar promises to be every holiday’s dream come true.

Pune

Pune’s history is also closely associated with Shivaji and the Maratha Empire. Pune passed into English hands in 1818 who developed it into an army town with a distinct English air in the cantonment of the city.

Old Pune is a crowded, bustling commercial city with narrow lanes and close-set houses while the cantonment area is spacious, spread with old-set bungalows.

Daulatabad

The famous fort of Daulatabad was once considered invincible. In the 8th century AD, this site was the capital of the Yadhava rulers of the Deccan and was known as Devagiri.

Mohammed bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi in the 14th century, was so impressed by this fort that he decided to shift his capital to this site and renamed it Daulatabad. Situated on a pyramid-shaped hill, the fort with its slippery gravel pathways, spiked gates, spiral staircases and dungeons is a sight to behold.

Paithan

Paithan is particularly well known for its Paithani silk sarees. Once a centre of trade, it was also the capital of the Satavahanas. Today it is an important excavation site. Jayakwadi dam close by is an ideal observation point for bird watchers. Paithani sarees are the famous sarees of Paithan. A heavily brocaded Paithani takes anywhere from six months to one and a half years to weave.

Ellora

Extending in a linear arragement, the 34 caves and monasteries of Ellora comprise Buddhist Chaityas (shrines),and Viharas(monasteries), together with some of the finest Hindu and Jain temples from the 5th to the 11th century AD.

Ellora, unlike the Ajanta caves, was never ‘rediscovered’ . Known as Verul in ancient times , it has continuously attracted pilgrims since early times to the present day. The earliest excavation here is of the Dhumar Lena (cave29), while the most imposing excavation is that of the Kailasa Temple (cave16), which is the largest monolithic structure in the world. The Jains caves are dedicated to Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism and the Tirthankaras, or teachers, worshipped by the Jains.

Ajanta

Ajanta has some magnificent rock-cut caves, 30 in number, date from 2nd Century BC to 7th Century AD. They are exclusively Buddhist and are unique in that they combine three Art forms ‑ architecture, sculpture and painting. Superb frescoes and paintings depicting episodes from the Jataka stories and the life of Lord Buddha are world famous.

Mumbai

The capital of the state of Maharashtra since 1960, and former capital of the old Mumbai state, Mumbai has long been referred to as Gateway of India. In fact, a large ceremonial gateway was erected in 1911 to commemorate the first visit ever made to India by a British king and queen. Through this gateway the last British viceroy departed in 1947, marking the termination of almost 350 years of official British presence in India.

Mumbai is the leading financial center of India and a major national commercial, transportation, and manufacturing hub. Mumbai Harbor, a broad, sheltered bay located between the city and the mainland, is one of the world’s greatest natural harbors. The port receives a large portion of the nation’s total imports and is a shipping point for goods produced in western India. Two major railroads terminate in Mumbai, providing service to all parts of India, and the city is served by a major international airport.

Mumbai has imposing multi-storeyed buildings, crowded thoroughfares, busy markets, shopping centres and beautiful tourist spots. Places worth visiting are the 19th century Jain Temple with its silver doors, the Kamala Nehru Park and the Ferozshah Mehta Gardens known as the Hanging Gardens of Bombay and the Towers of Silence where the Parsis dispose their dead. Visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi spent 17 years of his life working for the freedom of India. Also visit the Prince of Wales Museum, which has an excellent collection of miniatures.