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President:Rtr.Ankush Rasane. Secretary:-Rtr.Neeta Wagle. Joint secretary:-Rtr.

Mayank Agarwal

PRESENTS
Land Of MarathasLand of Forts

Maharashtra
Welcome to Maharashtra. A land whose sheer size and diversity will stun you. Enjoy her mountains that stretch out into the mists as far as the eye can see. Her innumerous forts that stand proud and strong. Her scores of temples, sculpted into and out of basalt rock. Her diverse and colorful cultures, woven into one gigantic quilt. Her festivals that galvanize the sleepy thousands into fervent motion. And her miles of silver, white beaches, stretched taut and inviting over the entire coast. Welcome aboard a travel package that gives you a glimpse into this vibrant and beautiful land

Introduction
To start with what could be better than the History of Maharashtra, which holds the roots of the culture, dignity and pride of this land. The name Maharashtra is believed to be originated from rathi, which means chariot driver. Maharashtra entered the recorded history in the 2nd century BC, with the construction of its first Buddhist caves. The name, Maharashtra first appeared in a 7th century in the account of a contemporary Chinese traveler, Huan Tsang. According to the recorded History, the first Hindu King ruled the state during 6th century, based in Badami. Shivaji Raje Bhosle, the founder of the Maratha Empire, did a lifelong struggle against the Mughals. By 1680, the year of Shivaji's death, nearly the whole of Deccan belonged to his empire. Shivaji was a great warrior and one of the finest rulers of India, so he holds the highest place in Maratha history. Shivaji was an able administrator and established a government that included such modern concepts as cabinet (Ashtapradhan mandal), foreign affairs (Dabir) and internal intelligence. Shivaji established an effective civil and military administration. He also built a powerful navy and erected new forts like Sindhudurg and strengthened old ones like Vijayadurg on the west coast. The Maratha navy held its own against the British, Portuguese and Dutch till Maratha internal conflict brought their downfall in 1756. Maharshtra played an important role in the freedom movement of India. The ultimatum to the British to "Quit India" was given in Mumbai, and culminated in the transfer of power and the independence of India in 1947.

The more we talk about Maharashtra and its history would be less, the more you know the lesser you feel.

Forts
Since Maharashtras history talks more about Shivaji Maharaj & Maratha dynasty, which eventually leads us to the Forts. Forts are one of most fascinating monuments in Maharashtra. Be a six year old kid or a sixty year old, visiting these forts will always be an experience. There are more than 300 forts Maharashtra. If visiting Maharashtra, one should always take a visit to these forts. Specifically, the Raigad fort where the very popular event in the Indian history, the Coronation ceremony of Shivaji Maharaj took. As mentioned earlier there are more than 300 forts in Maharashtra, so it would be very difficult to list out some important. Still to get best out of these forts, we have suggested the below forts the tourists must visit if they visit Maharashtra. Visiting these forts in any season will never lessens their glory. However, if visited in a specific season the scenic beauty attched with them will increase your wants to know them more. Because each and every fort of Maharashtra, holds some important story behind it. Raigad : Raigad Fort is an Architecture marvel and a grand fort which was Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Capital during the 17th Century Holi (February-March) and Diwali (October) are celebrated here with much attractive celebrations. Best period to visit Raigad is from October to March, having good pleasant climate and also coinciding with grand festival celebrations Rajgad: 'Rajgad' - the name describes the place itself. The king of all the forts. The fort of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He spent almost 25/30 yrs here. Best time to visit All seasons except Summer Season Torna: Once regarded as the cradle of the Maratha Empire, the Torna fort is a historical landmark in the state of Maharashtra. It was captured by Shivaji Maharaj when he was just 16 years of age and was renamed as Prachandgad, which literally means a huge fort.

Rock climbing is best done during winter and early summers. Avoid the journey during monsoons when the path becomes dangerous due to mud and slippery rocks. Panhala: One among the protected monuments, Panhala Fort, is considered as the largest of all the forts of Deccan. Situated in Kolhapur District of Maharashtra, this historically important site is constructed by King Raja Bhoj. The best time to visit Raigad fort is from October to December. Shivneri: Shivneri Fort is a historic military fortification located nearJunnar. It is the birthplace of Shivaji. One of the finest trekking site. Winter and rainy seasons are the best time to visit Shivneri fort. Sindhudurga: Sindhudurg is a fortress which occupies an islet in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Maharashtra in western India. The best time to visit Raigad fort is from October to March. Vijaydurga: Vijaydurg Fort, also known as Victory Fort, is one of the many historically important sites in Sindhudurg District. Vijaydurg is in really good condition and gives a good idea of its glory 300 years back. Any season except monsoon (June to Sept) Pratapgad: Pratapgad (also transcribedPratapgarh or Pratapgadh) is a large fort located in Satara district, in the state of Maharashtra in India. Significant as the site of the Battle of Pratapgad, the fort is now a popular tourist destination Monsoon is the best time to travel here. Devgiri: Once known as 'Devgiri', this magnificent 12th century fortress stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, the 'city of fortune', by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi the most comfortable time to visit in the winter - October to February. Sinhgad: Simhagad meaning Lion's den (Marathi: ), Previously called Kondana fort. It is located in the south of Pune city, Maharashtra, India, situated on a hill which rises 800 meters above the surroundings. The ideal time to visit Sinhagad would be during the monsoon season or winter

Raigad fort (Rairi/Shivtirth)420 Murud-Janjira (Near Alibaug)393 Deogiri (Daulatabad)272 Pratapgad255 Sindhudurg223 Rajgad210 Shaniwar Wada198 Lohagad192 Ratangad (Ratanwadi, Akole, Ahmednagar )155 Torna (Prachandagad/Khutublai)151 Purandar fort144 Harishchandragad111 Worli Fort100 Gawilgad100 Dahanu83 Mahim Fort80 Vishalgad (Satkarlana/Khelna/Jinkhed)78 Ahmednagar Fort72 Mulher (Auranggad/Hargad/Mayurgad/Morgad)64 Vengurla63 Malhargad (Soneri)63 Sajjangad (Navarastara/Parali)63 Arnala Fort58 Korigad55 Sudhagad (Bhorap)54 Sadashivgad52 Malanggad48 Riwa Fort47 Belapur Fort43 Kulaba (Alibag)43 Sewri Fort42 Tung Fort(Khatingad)42 Sitabuldi Fort42 Suvarnadurg (Harnai)41 Padamgad (Padmagad/Padmadurg)40 Ajinkyatara38 Mahuli36 Bankot (Fort Victoria / Himmatgad)34 Patta (aka Vishramgad)32 Revdanda31 Narnala (Shahanur) near Akot ( Akola )31 Ghodbunder fort31 Versova Fort(also called Madh Fort)30 Khanderi28 Mazagon Fort26

Maharashtra is not all about Forts only. The Beaches, Caves, Pilgrimages, Hillstations, Sanctuaries and even the prominent Cities over here has a lot to say, show an share. The Konkan region is the best example of being a combination of above in some or the other way. The Konkan (Marathi/Konkani: ;) also called the Konkan Coast or Karavali is a rugged section of the western coastline of India from Raigad toMangalore. The sapta-Konkan is a slightly larger region described in the Skanda-purana. Konkan is mainly popular for its scenic beauty during Monsoon and the beautiful beaches and sea-shore. Residents of Konkan and their descendants are called Konkanis. The word Konkan and in turn Konkani is derived from Kuka or Kukau.Different authorities explain etymology of this word differently. Some include: Ko meaning top of the mountain. Name of aboriginal mother goddess,which is sometimes sanskritised to mean goddess Renuka. Thus the nameKonkane,comes from the word Konka,which means the people of Konkan. Some of the must-visit places in Konkan Konkan being on the coastal line, the number of beaches and ports you find will be numerous, beautiful, and unexplored. Below are some highlights of Konakna which one must visit, when visiting maharashtra. It being a religious state, youll find plenty of temples and shrines of deep religious importance.

Shri Varadvinayak - Mahad


The Ganpati temple is on the way to Alibag from Pune, at Mahad, 20 Kms. from Khandala, and is known as Shri Varad Vinayak, the bestower of blessings. One can easily fit a visit to the temple on the way to Alibag. The Ganpati idol is from one of the eight main Ganpati temples or 'Ashtavinayak's'. The Lamp (Nandadeep) in the temple has been continuously glowing for past 100 years.

Alibag
The city of Alibag gained prominence under the rule of Darya Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre in the 17th century who was Chatrapati Shivaji Maharajs famous naval chief. The city became important after the fort of Kulaba was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The places you can see in and around Alibag are Kulaba Fort, magnetic Observatory, Kanhoji Angre's residence, his samadhi and the Hirakot fort. Alibag also has a beautiful beach where you can enjoy the sunset with Kulaba Fort in the background.

Kulaba Fort
The fort of Kulaba was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1652 to keep a check on the activities of the foreign naval powers of English, Portuguese and the Siddhi of Janjira. It is a testimony to the foresight of the great maratha king. The Kulaba fort is still in good condition and one can go to visit the fort by walking across the seashore at low tide or by taking a buggy ride @ 25 / 30 Rs. Per person. However be sure to check the proper timings to visit the fort as it is dangerous to try to go to the fort at high tide. You get approximately 3 to 4 hours to see the fort and come back. The fort has two main entrances, one at the sea side and other towards Alibag. The average height of the fort walls is 25 feet. The fort has sweet water wells and some buildings inside its premises. The Siddhivinayak temple inside the fort was built by Raghoji Angre in 1759. The Ganpati Idol in the temple is very beautiful and many people worship it.

The beaches of Akshi and Nagaon


Located on Alibag - Revdanda road at 8/9 kms. From Alibag, the beach at Akshi is a beautiful White sand beach with suru trees dotting the coast. The water is clean and safe for swimming. You can see the Kulaba fort and Alibag at a distance from the beach. The beach further extends to Nagaon. The Nagaon beach is also very beautiful. Both the beaches are a favorite of the tourists. You can also visit the nearby Satad Bunder a small fishing hamlet.

Kashid Beach
Kashid beach is located approximately 20/25 kms from Alibag on the road to Murud. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Konkan coast with pristine white sands and stretches for 3 kms.. there are quiet a few good Resorts along the Beach.

Mandwa, Rewas and Kihim


Mandwa is a natural port located at 20 Kms. from Alibag. Launches and Catamarans come here from Gateway of India, Mumbai. Rewas is also an important port near Mandwa located at 23 Kms. from Alibag. There is a considerable traffic of passengers, with Launches and Catamarans coming here from Mumbai and ferries coming from Uran.

Kihim
Located at 12 kms. From Alibag, on the Mandwa-Alibag road Kihim is a very beautiful place to stay, it has a long beach which is excellent and clean. To come to Kihim from Alibag you have to turn left at Chondhi And if you come by Launch from Mumbai to Mandwa it is on Mandwa Alibag road. It is a favorite weekend getaway of mumbaikars as it is quiet convenient for them to come to Kihim on a Saturday, stay there and go back on Sunday. MTDC has also a resort at Kihim with tents for staying on the beach.

Chaul
Chaul on the way to Revdanda is an ancient city which was capital of the Shilahar kings. You can visit the Rameshwar and Datta temple here, both the temples are worth your visit.

Revdanda
located at 17 Kms. From Alibag Revdanda is an important port. The Salav bridge at Revdanda which joins Murud and Alibag gives a cool view of the surroundings, You can see a beautiful sight of Revdanda port, beach and The Vikram Ispat factory from the bridge. A walk to the adjoining beach will give you a breathtaking view of the Revdanda Fort. The fort was built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Soj in 1558. A visit to the fort is a must as it is a very beautiful ancient fort, though in ruins it is worth your visit. The view of the fort from Revdanda beach is quiet picturesque. You can see some buildings inside the fort. A walk along the fort will give beautiful views of the sea and also the Korlai fort.

View from Salav bridge at Revdanda

The Fort of Korlai


Korlai fort can be seen from the bridge at Salav, located at three Kms. from Revdanda, on the Revdanda - Kashid road. The fort is an Old Portuguese outpost guarding the entrance to the river. A small road leads up to the top of the fort. There is a Lighthouse on the fort and a small climb from behind the lighthouse will take you to the fort. The fort is in ruins, but the view from the lighthouse is beautiful and the rocky beach at Korlai is also good.

The forts of khanderi and Underi


The sea forts of Khanderi and Underi are Located three kms. in the sea near Thal. You can take a boat ride from Thal to visit the forts. However there is no permanent ferry to the forts and you have to hire a boat from the local fishermen. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built the fort of Khanderi and the fort was most of the time in possession of the Marathas barring a few years of English possession. The fort of Underi is at a distance of kms. From Khanderi. There were continues fights taking place between the Marathas and the Siddhi of Janjira for the possession of these forts.

Kanakeshwar
The ancient temple of Kanakeshwar is located on Kanakgiri mountains at a distance of 13 kms. from Alibag. One has to climb some 700 steps to go to the temple and the trip is not for the faint hearted. The Temple is very beautiful with stone carvings and a water fountain. You also get a beautiful view of the surroundings from the top.

The forts of khanderi and Underi


Shree Vikram Vinayak Temple ( Birla Temple) The beautiful temple of Shree Vikram Vinayak also known as Birla temple is located at Salav, 20 kms. from Alibag. The Temple is built by the Birla Group of companies which have their Vikram Ispat plant located here. The temple surroundings are very beautiful and the temple has Idols of Ganpati, Radha - Krishna, Shankar - Parvati, Bhavani Mata and Surya. The Temple is only open in the mornings and evenings.

Murud
The trip to Alibag is incomplete without a visit to Murud Janjira, Situated at a distance of 42 kms. from Alibag, Murud is fast becoming a hot tourist destination with equal number of tourists choosing to stay in and around Murud. While entering Murud you come across the Palace of Nawab on the left had side of the road. The palace was built in 1885 for administration purposes. However you can see the Palace only from outside as the palace is still owned by the descendants of the Nawab and is a private property. There is a very beautiful beach at Murud and a lot of Hotels and Resorts along the beach to choose from. The Murud beach is very beautiful, clean and safe for swimming. Apart from the beach Murud is more famous for its proximity to Janjira at Rajpuri - The majestic sea fort which remained unconquered till the end.

Janjira
Located near Rajapur, Janjira is a majestic sea fort which remained unconquered till the end. The fort was built by Siddhi Amber who came from Abyssinia, the fort is an excellent example of fort building architecture and its outer walls are still in a good condition. I am sure you will be awed looking at the fort by thinking how the hell people would have built a fort in the middle of the sea? You have to take a boat ride to go to the fort, and there is a lot to see on the fort. There are guides available who tour you through the fort while giving you an interesting version of the forts history. The inside premises of the fort are in ruins but still give you a glimpse of its glorious past. The Huge cannons by the names Kalal bangdi, Chavri and LandaKasam are worth a mention, it is said that these guns could fire at a distance of two Kms. from the fort, making it impossible for enemy ships to come near. From the fort you can see the sea fort of Kasa or Padmadurg which was built by Shivaji Maharaj to counter the might of Siddhi.

The Beaches and Hill stations provide the best of leisure time for you.

Mahabaleshwar Hill Station Boating or fishing at the placid Venna Lake at Mahabaleshwar, you find the time and the environment to put your life and priorities.

Matheran Hill Station Your toy train chugs along slowly without a care in the world. During the two hour ascent, food vendors and monkeys jump on and off as the valley glides by sedately.

Bhandardara Hill Station A quiet, away-from-it-all, little holiday resort, with lovely picnic spots.

Chikhaldara Hill Station Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a herculean bout .

Malshej Ghat Hill Station Malshej Ghat holds special value for hikers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The nature here is at its best.

Panchgani Hill Station In nearby Panchgani - which derives its name from the five hills that surround it - you set out on one of the special visits arranged by the resorts over here.

Jawhar Hill Station Not for nothing is it named the 'Mahabaleshwar of Thane district,. In beauty and climate it is no less. And there's so much to see.

Amboli Hill Stations Snuggling coyly, in the southern ranges of the Sahyadri hills, Amboli at an altitude of 690 m is the last mountain resort.

Panhala Hill Stations The history of Panhala is also the history of Marathas. There are innumerable places of interest , each with its share of haunting anecdotes.

Khandala Lonavala Karla Hill Station Khandala and Lonavala are two charming hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, 5 kms apart straddling the Mumbai-Pune highway.

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