Located in the beautiful western peninsular region of India, Maharashtra is known for its rich culture and heritage. This third-largest state of the country is home to several religious sightseeing locations that are frequented by both domestic and international travellers every year.
If you are planning a religious road trip to Maharashtra, here is a curated list of places you must include in your itinerary:
A melting pot of cultures, Mumbai is home to several religious places of worship across all religions. A perfect example of unity in diversity! Some of the popular religious spots you can visit are:
2. Dagdusheth Ganpati (Pune)
The gold and jewel-studded idol of Lord Ganesha is a crowd puller around the year. During the famous Ganpati festival, the entire temple is decorated with different themes in which replicas of ancient temples and royal places are created.
3. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (Ahmednagar District)
A popular pilgrimage attraction among the ardent devotees of Sai Baba, one of the greatest saints of India, this place is home to his ‘Samadhi’. He spent the final years of his life here. The temple is made of white marble stone and exquisite ornamental decorations.
4. Mahalakshmi Temple (Kolhapur)
Dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, Mahalakshmi Temple, the idol is built of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms. The locals worship her as ‘Ambabai’. The architecture of this temple dates back to 700 A.D. during the reign of the Chalukya Empire. This temple is also one of the ‘Shakti Peethas’, the shrines associated with the Goddess of power.
One of the most significant mythological places, Nashik is believed to be the home of Lord Rama for 14 years during his exile. This was also the place where his brother Lord Laxman cut the nose of Ravana’s sister Shurpankha. The most famous religious spots connected with that time are:
The World UNESCO heritage sites Ajanta and Ellora Caves are the highlights of Aurangabad. The temples and sculptures built on these two sites are the finest examples of three faiths – Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. You can also visit Grishneshwar Temple, which is among the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in India.
7. Jejuri (Near Pune)
This is situated on a hillock. People worship Khandoba, also known as Malhari Martanda, here. It is also famous for Bhandara Festival which is usually celebrated three times a year. During this festival, people throw turmeric at each other, enveloping the surroundings in a golden hue. Hence, the temple is also referred to as ‘Sonyachi Jejuri’ or ‘The Golden Jejuri’.
8. Bhimashankar (Near Pune)
The Lord Shiva temple at Bhimashankar is famous for one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Located at an altitude of 3250 feet, you have to climb around 250 steps up and down to do the ‘darshan’. The temple is also known for its Nagara architectural style.
You can drive to these places in your car. However, if you are travelling with a large group, then you should consider mini bus hire from SimplyTrip. You can also avail of 20 seater tempo traveller on rent if the group size is between 15-20 people. A luxury bus is recommended when you want to travel in the utmost comfort and enjoy the best amenities.
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