The state of Maharashtra is an all-rounder. Keeping aside its well-known name for shopping and food, it is not only great for traveling to beaches or hill stations, but one can also find several prominent historical and archaeological sites in the state. There is everything, ranging from forts to palaces, monuments to temples. All these sites are a reflection of its glorious and fascinating past. The architectural excellence of its Maratha architecture is worth admiring and visiting for its enchanting looks and fabulous designs. This article will help you with the popular archaeological sites in Maharashtra that one should definitely visit.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
There is none who does not know about these famous twin caves in India. These caves are well known for absorbing and captivating tourists in their every visit. There are 32 caves within the World Heritage Site of Ajanta which shows the prominent Buddhist architecture and legacy. The art and architecture surrounding ‘chaityas’ and ‘viharas’ (prayer halls and cells) are quite famous. Further, the 34 caves at the Ellora site can be dated back to be 1500 years old. They are carved into rocks with a combination of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain architecture. Both these caves are declared as World Heritage Sites.
Vijaydurg Fort, Sindhudurg
Vijaydurg fort is famously known as “Gibraltar of the East” as it is seen as indestructible. It depicts the strong Maratha stronghold on the empire. The fort has 27 famous bastions in which three of them are three storied. There are still remains of the fort which visitors still witness in present day including prison, water tanks, and cannons and storage areas. It is also prominently known for the underground routes.
Daultabad Fort near Aurangabad
Daultabad Fort is well known for its architectural glory and excellence in India. It represents the glorious past of Medieval Deccan which is spread around 234 acres. The main attractions in the fort include court buildings, a temple for Bharat Mata, stepped walls and moat. Its Hathi Haud, which is the gigantic water tank is also quite interesting and prominent along with the royal bath constructed during the Tughlaq period. It is also considered one of the most visited Archaeological sites in Maharashtra.
Pratapgarh Fort near Mahabaleshwar
Pratapgarh fort is immensely known for its historical prominence. It is a fascinating place to visit and watch for its architectural excellence. There are two parts in the fort, a lower and upper fort which is well known as fort within the fort. The upper fort consists of important buildings such as the Mahadev Temple. What is most interesting here in the story is that the fort is still inhabited with families who are direct descendants from the Maratha soldiers. So there are some areas in the fort which cannot be accessed.
Pandavleni Caves in Nasik
These caves are one of the oldest historical sites in the state of Maharashtra which can be traced back to almost 2000 years old. There are 24 Hinanya Buddhist caves in here which can be traced back to 1st and 2nd century BC. Tourists are enchanted with the beauty of various shines, water tanks, pillars and monasteries inside the caves.
Kanheri Caves in Mumbai
Kanheri Caves are also well known and prominent as oldest historical caves in the state. They are located in Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali area. These caves can be dated back to around 1st century BC and are well-known for natural basalt formations and their Indian style of architecture. It has 109 special entrances to the caves which are beautifully formed. Several stupas over here imply to the note that they are Buddhist shrines.
Rajgad Fort in Pune
Rajgad fort is the capital of Maratha Empire up to the 1672 CE. Because of its glorious history and architecture, it is worth visiting. The Sanjivani Machi is quite famous here which the two-layered fortification is. There are also curved fortifications in here at this fort. It is considered to be one of the most famous Archaeological sites in Maharashtra.
The Karla Caves are one of the eminent Buddhist rock-cut cave site in India. Despite just around 15 caves at Karla, they are popular for the ‘chaityagriha’ which is prayer hall in here. This is considered to be the largest in India and is quite famous for its architectural marvel. There are various pillars inside the hall which has inscriptions in Brahmi script and Prakrit language with historical prominence. The paintings from the 5 th and 6 th centuries CE can also be located over here.
The fort in Rajmanchi is located between Mumbai and Pune. It is strategic fort near Borghat, a historical trade route in the state. There are fortified structures in here, Rajmanchi, Shrivardhan, and Manaranjan. They are worth exploring due to the remains of secret tunnels after many historical battles. Further, they are also well known for the simple rock-cut caves in the fort.
Given the historical and popular archaeological sites in Maharashtra, it can be well established that these are worth visiting for every history and architectural enthusiast. It can be rest assured that one won’t be disappointed.