The Indian state of Maharashtra lies along the west coast of India and is the third largest in the country. The state of Maharashtra’s indented coastline, enormous natural resources, fertile black loamy soil and an entrepreneurial inclination make it the most industrialised Indian state, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s industrial output. Mumbai, the port capital of Maharashtra, is a vibrant, cosmopolitan metropolis, as well as the country’s commercial capital, generating around 50% of the national foreign exchange earnings.
Maharashtra has an enviable cultural heritage with folk arts, literature, fine arts and performing arts tracing their history back to ancient times and artistes are greatly respected, enjoying cult status. The history of the land is replete with stories of great battles, legendary warriors, poets, writers and literary heroes; an inherent resistance to domination, good business sense and great artistic sensibilities characterizes its people.
Best Time of Visit:
- The best time to visit Maharashtra is between September and April, specific to the coastal areas where it rains like the devil from June to September.
- The period between September and June is perfect for a trip to the hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Lonavla.
- The winter months between November and February are pleasant months weather wise, as the humidity levels are the lowest and evenings are cool to cold.
- Average summer temperatures through the state hover between 22°C-39°C and winter temperatures average 12°C-34°C.
Min Days Required: 5 days
Places of Interest:
- Mumbai – Gateway of India, Prince of Whales Museum, Nehru Planetarium, Queens Necklace, Chowpatty
- Pune - Sinhagad, Shaniwar Wada, Mulshi Dam,Aga Khan Palace, Khadakwasla Dam
- The geographical diversity of Maharashtra ensures it has different climatic zones in different parts of the state.
- The eastern region experiences extremes of climate, becoming rather hot in summer.
- The coastal areas, though relatively cooler, are generally humid except during the winter months.
- The state receives maximum rain mainly during the southwest monsoon from June to September.
- The rains are the heaviest in the coastal belt (200cm) and almost negligible in the central part of the state that falls in the rain shadow region (50 cm).
- The winter months between November and February are the pleasantest, although evenings can be cold. Average summer temperatures through the state hover between 22°C-39°C and winter temperatures average 12°C-34°C.
Things to carry:
- In case you are going to Maharashtra in summers, remember that the mercury touches 40 deg C quite easily. Therefore, you are required to carry light cotton clothing with you. Synthetic and clingy fabrics are a strict no-no. By any chance if you happen to visit the state in monsoons, remember that most of the cities here experience high levels of humidity during this time. Thus, it is advisable to avoid figure hugging clothes and better to stick to loose cottons.
- Winters in Maharashtra are chilly, but not freezing cold. However, you must carry light woolen clothing with you, including sweaters, shawls, socks, etc. Now, let's come to the place you are visiting. In bigger cities, like Mumbai and Pune, women can easily wear figure hugging and short, revealing clothes, especially while visiting pubs and discothèques. However, in small cities like Amravati, they should stick to a bit loose and completely covering clothes.
- This is because too tight or too revealing clothes might hurt the sensibilities of the people who live there. Care should be taken while dressing up for places like temples, gurdwaras, etc. If you can wear Indian suits to such places, nothing like it! Otherwise, stick to jeans and t-shirts. You can also wear ankle length skirts, but no shorts please (even guys). Just keep these small points in mind and we can assure you that your trip will be as smooth as possible.
How to get there:
- Maharashtra has well maintained state and national highways that link it to the different towns and cities of the state as well as of India.
- Good motorable roads with service stations and motels connect Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Kohlapur and Aurangabad to the neighboring states of Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
- Traffic is fairly heavy but disciplined. Interstate roadways buses and private operators run every kind of bus from luxury coaches to ramshackle rattletraps.
- Car rental companies will provide chauffeur driven/ self driven vehicles; traffic drives on the right hand side and while ideally you should have an international driving license, your local license will do for stays under six months.
- If you are visiting India from overseas, there is a very good chance that Maharashtra will be your first introduction to this beautiful ancient land, since a majority of the international flights to India land in Mumbai, the state capital. The International Airport is at Sahar, 30 kms from the city centre of Nariman Point and 4km from the domestic terminus at Santa Cruz.
- Within the state, many of the larger cities like Aurangabad, Nasik, Nagpur and Pune have airports facilitated by the national domestic airlines and private commercial companies.
- Mumbai is the headquarters for both Western & Central Railways sectors of the behemoth Indian Railways. An enormous network of regular train services connects all cities and villages of Maharashtra with the rest of India, so you can train into the state from just about anywhere else in the country.