There are many reasons why travelling has gained immense popularity in the last decade. Some people travel to get away from chaotic schedules, others travel for a dose of adventure and a few people travel to be amidst nature. Now, what if we told you that Maharashtra offers a unique bundle of experiences that satisfies the needs of all kinds of travellers? The third-largest state in India is as welcoming as it is charming and as beautiful as it is intriguing.
The state’s Maratha past is seen in majestic forts across the state, its culture shines boldly in the warm hospitality of the locals and the seven-hundred-kilometre coastline takes you on a magical journey. Maharashtra is home to urban cities, coastal villages, historic towns and abundant natural beauty. Whether you are exploring the magnetic financial capital of Mumbai, admiring the gorgeous sunset views in Alibaug or enjoying the laidback vibe of Pune – the state's grandeur and magic never leave you. Owing to its size, it's difficult to explore the state in one trip. It's best to map your interests and explore the most attractive places in the state by booking one of our Maharashtra tour packages. The packages can be customised according to your interests and budget and can include two to three places in one tour or a long fifteen-day trip.
On one side, Maharashtra is flanked by the Western Ghats and on the other side, the gorgeous coastline along the Arabian Sea envelops it. Maharashtra promises rich diversity and it is a fine example of myriad cultures coming together to create a vibrant and enthralling state.
Mumbai is the top destination in most itineraries that Maharashtra tour packages offer. Known as the 'City of Dreams', Mumbai was an integral part of the pre-independence era and has had a huge role to play in shaping the India of today. Marked by a gorgeous coastline, this wondrous city has the power to capture the hearts of travellers in an instant.
If you want to experience the comforts of an urban city while enjoying the joys of a touristy holiday, there isn't a better place than Mumbai. Ensure that you keep aside at least two days in the city when choosing one of our Maharashtra tour packages. Juhu Beach, Marine Drive, Haji Ali Dargah, Gateway of India, Chowpatty and Kala Ghoda Precinct are a few tourist attractions that all Maharashtra tour packages include and rightly so. Juhu Beach is popular for mesmerising sunsets and a wide variety of street food. This is where you can fulfil your bhel puri and pani puri cravings and complete the meal with a fruity chuski. Mumbai has recently come into the limelight owing to a bustling culinary scene. In the past decade, quirky cafes and global restaurants have made their way to this stunning city and locals couldn’t be happier. Masala Library, Queensline, Hoppumm and Maffy’s are a must-try when you are exploring Mumbai.
If you are a history lover or enjoy exploring ancient structures, then make sure you include a visit to Ajanta and Ellora caves when you choose one of our Maharashtra tour packages. Located close to Aurangabad, the rock-cut caves feature in most Maharashtra itineraries. It’s important to note that the caves are located almost 100 kilometres away from each other and your transportation should be taken care of when you are booking one of our Maharashtra tour packages.
Both Ajanta and Ellora caves are hand-cut caves and are considered to be the most beautiful in the country. They must be included in your itinerary when you are booking one of our Maharashtra tour packages. Ajanta comprises 29 rock-cut caves that depict various facets of Buddhism. Dating back to the 2nd century BC, the Ajanta Caves take us on a journey of Buddhism in India. The sculptures and paintings on the caves depict numerous popular stories including Jataka Tales. There is a guided tour of the caves and this should certainly be included in your itinerary if you are looking forward to an enlightening experience. On the other hand, the Ellora Caves see more visitors than Ajanta owing to their awe-inspiring architecture. It’s almost difficult to believe that the artists only had a hammer for carving. There are 34 Ellora Caves that are a mix of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu architectural styles. The Kailash Temple is the most popular site here and is considered to be the largest monolithic structure in the world. Both caves will take at least four to five hours to cover and we recommend exploring them on two different days.
Nature lovers can make their way to the land of strawberry farms – Mahabaleshwar. This should feature in your itinerary when you are choosing one of our Maharashtra tour packages owing to its surreal beauty. The hill station is situated amidst the cascading Western Ghats and offers spellbinding views. There is much to keep you busy in Mahabaleshwar and you can design an itinerary complete with forest treks, waterfall picnics, boating in serene lakes and a delectable culinary journey. We recommend spending three to five days in the hill station but you can choose Maharashtra tour packages that offer you more time in the city. Lingmala Falls, Venna Lake, Tapola and Mahabaleshwar Temple are a few places that you should include in your itinerary when booking one of our Maharashtra tour packages.
Lonavala and Khandala are two hill stations situated close to each other that are ideal for nature lovers. Both hill stations are popular choices for travellers looking to book Maharashtra tour packages. Known primarily for viewpoints such as Tiger’s Leap, Rajmachi Fort, Bushi Dam, Visapur Fort and Bedsa Caves, Lonavala and Khandala are sought-after weekend getaways from Mumbai. If you plan to include either of these destinations in your itinerary when choosing from Maharashtra tour packages, we recommend booking your accommodation in advance.
Maharashtra is a huge state which can lead to slight confusion when you are planning your trip and choosing from Maharashtra tour packages. The vast number of options, umpteen routes and the sheer diversity is enough to baffle even expert travellers. The ideal way to choose from numerous Maharashtra tour packages is by conducting cursory research. Take a look at what some of our experienced travel bloggers are suggesting before booking your package from Maharashtra tour packages.
“Tracing your steps back, take the bus from Murud ST and get off at Kashid. Kashid is an easy-going Konkan beach-town that is your stop for this afternoon. You can spend a couple of lazy hours on this clean stretch of sand, with a few shacks to avail snacks and soft drinks from, as you lay on a hammock or frolic in the clear water. Alternatively, you can also partake in activities like water sports and horse riding on the beach.” – Husein Haveliwala
“We started onto our 3 hour road drive from Nashik onto Aurangabad, looking forward to the historic monuments of Ellora caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara, Daulatabad fort and many more. Ellora caves were mesmerizing, the structure and carvings left us spellbound. The carvings were so well maintained after so many years as well and the caves were expansive.” – Nehali Garg
“The drive from Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. The three points worth visiting are: Elphinstone Point, Savitri Point and Tiger Spring Point commonly known as Arthur's Seat. While each one of them were "wallpaper" worthy, personally, Savitri Point was my favorite for one, and one reason only. The clouds. It's an experience you'll never forget and I just hope the skies are ever in your favor when you visit this magical place!” – Supriya Upadhyay
Maharashtra is a state of diverse cultures and offers travellers a variety of experiences. From natural beauty, adventure, history to urban cities, beach vacations and enthralling food tours – there is little that the state doesn’t offer. If you are planning a family vacation to the state, we suggest booking one of our Maharashtra tour packages for a hassle-free and smooth trip. All you need to do is design an itinerary according to your interests and then choose Maharashtra tour packages that suit your budget. Mumbai, Lonavala, Shirdi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves are a few places that feature on most family tour itineraries. If you are travelling with children, you should reserve a day for Imagica Theme Park near Mumbai when booking one of our Maharashtra holiday packages
If you are planning to explore the state with your partner, you will have a large number of Maharashtra tour packages to choose from. A road trip in the state is also a popular option and ideal for those who are up for an adventure. We also recommend choosing one of our Maharashtra holiday packages for travellers who are in the mood for a luxury holiday. Ganpatipule, Tadoba National Park, Kashid, and Tarkarli are some of the places that couples prefer when choosing from one of our Maharashtra tour packages.
Maharashtra's weather patterns are similar to the rest of the country with hot summer months, extreme monsoons and pleasant winters. Summer in the state is marked by April and lasts until June before monsoon arrives at the end of the month. July through September bring heavy rains in the region especially in Mumbai and surrounding areas. This isn't a great time to book Maharashtra tour packages but if you want to enjoy the glorious views of the Western Ghats, we suggest braving the rain.
Winter in Maharashtra starts around October and ends in January. Besides some hilly areas such as Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar, the rest of the state experiences pleasant winters. This is an ideal time to book one of our Maharashtra tour packages, especially if sightseeing is on your mind.
Maharashtrian cuisine is usually divided into two cooking styles owing to geographical differences. One part of the cuisine is influenced by coastal areas and includes Goan and Malvan flavours. On the other hand, Varadi cuisine stems from the Vidarbha area and is known for its extensive use of spices and jaggery.
The cuisine of a state is closely linked with its culture. You will see this tight relationship in every nook and corner of Maharashtra. Different cities serve similar dishes but the taste is vastly different. The ingredients used in all Maharashtrian dishes are fresh and a blend of spices such as jaggery and tamarind ensures that the taste is unique. Besides vada pav, misal pav, pav bhaji, kothimbir vada and sol kadhi, there is a wide range of local dishes that most tourists aren’t aware of. We recommend including visits to authentic, local restaurants when you are choosing one of our Maharashtra tour packages.
Bombay duck or bombil is a rare speciality that is cooked with a thin layer of peanut oil. Pomfret and bangda are other popular fish varieties that are a staple. Pamphlet triphal ambat is usually cooked during the festive season. A traditional dish, it’s cooked using ample coconut gravy and fresh herbs. Sungtachi-hinga kodi is a popular prawn dish that is made in coconut curry and is a favourite with seafood lovers. Vegetarians can try bharli vangi, a dish cooked using baby brinjals and patal bhaji that is prepared using groundnuts and usual Maharashtrian spices.
Which are the places that I should include in my itinerary when choosing Maharashtra tour packages?
Mumbai, Lonavala, Khandala, Mahabalipuram, Shirdi, Alibaugh and Murud are a few places that should feature in your itinerary when choosing one of our Maharashtra tour packages.
When is the best time to book Maharashtra tour packages?
Maharashtra experiences heavy rains in the monsoon months, that is June to September. The best time to book Maharashtra tour packages is between October and January when days are pleasant and nights are chilly. This will make sightseeing easier and will allow you to enjoy a few adventure activities.
Name the best hotels in Maharashtra.
The best hotels in Maharashtra are The Lalit in Mumbai, Atmantan Wellness Resort in Pune, Aamby Valley City in Lonavala, Verandah in the Forest in Matheran and Mango Farm House in Alibaug.
Which are the best adventure activities that can be included when booking Maharashtra tour packages?
If you are an adventure enthusiast and are looking for the best adventure Maharashtra tour packages, you will not be disappointed. There are a number of activities for adventure enthusiasts such as rafting in Kolad, trekking in Lonavala, exploring caves in Ajanta and Ellora, paragliding in Panchgani, gliding in Kamshet and scuba diving in Malvan.
Name a few nature reserves in Maharashtra that I can include when booking Maharashtra tour packages.
A tour of the wildlife sanctuaries in Maharashtra will satisfy the nature lover in you and will give you a chance to explore the local flora and fauna. Some of the nature reserves that deserve a visit are Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, Gugamal National Park, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary and Malvan Marine Sanctuary.
Which are the best markets in Mumbai and Pune?
Shopping enthusiasts should get their shopping lists ready since Mumbai and Pune are home to a large number of markets. When choosing one of our Maharashtra tour packages ensure that you keep aside sufficient time for souvenir shopping. Some of the best markets in Mumbai are Linking Road, Colaba Causeway, Chor Bazaar, Kala Ghoda Art Plaza Pavement Gallery and Book Street. Some of the notable markets in Pune are Fashion Street, Hong Kong Lane, Juna Bazaar and Fergusson College Road.
What should I pack if I am planning a trip to explore Maharashtra?
If you are planning to explore Maharashtra and are about to book one of our Maharashtra tour packages, here are a few packing essentials that will be helpful.
How much do Maharashtra tour packages cost?
Maharashtra tour packages can cost between Rs.10,000 and Rs.70,000. However, it’s important to note that this amount will depend on the places that you include in your itinerary and the number of days of your trip.
Share a few hidden gems that I should include when booking Maharashtra tour packages.
Murud, Chikhaldara, Karla and Bhaja Caves, Morachi Chincholi, Matheran and Amboli are a few offbeat destinations in the state that should feature in your itinerary when booking Maharashtra trip packages. If you are interested in exploring these hidden gems, you must choose from one of our offbeat Maharashtra tour packages.
How can I travel within Maharashtra?
Maharashtra has a solid network of roadways and railways. It's extremely easy to travel within the state and travellers usually don't face any trouble. Buses run on time, especially if you are travelling to popular tourist areas and trains offer connectivity to small villages and obscure towns. You can also book your transport in advance when choosing one of our Maharashtra tour packages.
Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.