08 Nights 09 Days / Maharashtra Tour With Nashik-Aurangabad-Sirdi-Pune-Lonavala & Khandala-Mumbai

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Your tour itinerary:

Day 01 | Home - Mumbai

Arrive at the Mumbai airport our representative will assist you in getting transferred to your pre booked hotel today you will be free for your own activities and rest overnight at the hotel.

Day 02| Mumbai - Nashik                 /                 {170 KM 3 h drive}

After breakfast at the hotel get drive to Nashik after check-inn in the hotel gets ready for visit Nashik, Nashik is located on the banks of river Godavari also known as Grape City or Wine Capital of India. It is at a distance of 170 kms from Mumbai in state of Maharashtra. This city is major tourist destination one because it offers lovely views of Western Ghats and secondly it is also a major pilgrimage center for the Hindus and has numerous temples located in the city. Major tourist attractions in Nashik are Sita Gufaa, Kalaram Temple, Panchavati, Pandavaleni, Godavari Ghat, Jain Mandir, Veda Mandir, Phalke Smarak, Chambharlena, Muktidham, Bhaktidham, Sundarnarayan Temple, Someshwar, Nawsha Ganpati Temple and Sula Wines etc. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 03| Nashik - Aurangabad               /         {185 KM 3 h 30 m drive}

After breakfast at the hotel get drive to Aurangabad after check-inn in the hotel gets ready for visit Aurangabad, Aurangabad is a historic town in Maharashtra that was set up on the site of Khadki village by the Prime Minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, Malik Amber, in 1610. Stated as his capital, the village soon grew into an imposing city and was rechristened as Fatehnagar by his son and successor Fateh Khan. In 1633, the town was passed to the Mughals along with other Nizam Shahi dominions. Prince Aurangzeb, who was reappointed the viceroy of the Deccan in 1653, made Fatehnagar his capital and changed its name to Aurangabad. A characteristic feature of Aurangabad is the historic gates, built during the period of Aurangzeb, which gives the town its sobriquet – ‘The City of Gates’. Boasting multifarious ancient monuments including the world-renowned caves of Ajanta and Ellora & Aurangabad Caves. Overnight stay at the hotel.

 Day 04| Aurangabad City Tour Then - Shirdi             /              {109 KM 2 h 20 m drive}

After breakfast get ready to visit local sightseeing in Aurangabad visit Bibi Ka Maqbara, Panchakki, after then drive to Shirdi reached Shirdi check-inn in hotel after fresh up go to the Sai Baba Temple after darshan of Sai Baba come back at hotel for night stay.

Day 05| Shirdi - Shani Shingnapur - Shirdi             /                One way drive  {75 KM 1 h 30 m drive}

Getup early morning & go to the Sai Baba Temple for Kakad aarti after that come back at hotel have your breakfast and proceed for Shani Shingnapur Temple after Darshan the temple come back to Shirdi and you will free for Sai Dham, Dwarkamai & others temples and market have your dinner and come back to hotel for overnight stay at hotel.    

Kakad Aarti (Morning) Timing 04:30 AM – 05:00 AM

Day 06| Shirdi City Tour Then - Pune           /            {200 KM 4 h 10 m drive}

After breakfast get ready to visit local sightseeing in Shirdi visit Gurusthan, Chavadi, Lendi Baug, Samadhi of Abdulbaba, Maruti Temple etc. after then drive to Pune reached Pune check-inn in hotel after fresh free for your own activities & come back at hotel for night stay.

Day 07| Pune - Mumbai {Via Lonavala & Khandala}               /             {200 KM 4 h 10 m drive}

After breakfast get ready to visit local sightseeing in Pune visit Shaniwar Wada, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Aga Khan Palace, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, Vishrambaug Wada, Bund Garden etc. After lunch drive to Mumbai in rooted you can also visit Lonavala & Khandala then drive to Mumbai reached Mumbai check-inn in hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel Mumbai.

Day 08| Mumbai - City Tour 

After breakfast get ready for Mumbai sightseeing like Elephanta Island, Mani Bhawan , Haji Ali Dargah  & evening you will be free for shopping and come back to the hotel for night stay. 

Day 09| Mumbai - City & Shopping Tour fly back to Home

After breakfast at the hotel you will be go for Mumbai sightseeing & shopping tour and after that check-out from the hotel and we will assist you in your transfer to the Mumbai airport for back to home with sweet memories with Guruji Travels of India.                                                                 

***Tour Ends***

 

 

 

Inclusions

Hotel

City Name Hotel Name Hotel Type

About The Place

About Mumbai

Mumbai also known as Bombay, the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India and the ninth most populous agglomeration in the world, with an estimated city population of 18.4 million. Along with the neighbouring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world and the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 20.7 million as of 2011. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2009, Mumbai was named an Alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West, or Central Asia. Mumbai has the highest number of billionaires and millionaires among all cities in India. The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company when in 1661 King Charles II married the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and seven islands of Bombay. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterized by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India's independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital. The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996. Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 6.16% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT), and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.

About Nashik

Nashik is an ancient city in the northwest region of Maharashtra at India. Famous the world over for its fresh agricultural produce namely table and wine grapes besides vegetables. Purportedly has the best year around weather amongst Indian cities. Situated at the foothills of the Western Ghats on the banks of the river Godavari which originates nearby at Trimbakeshwar. Nashik lies in the northern part of Maharashtra state at 700 m (2,300 ft) from the mean sea level. The river Godavari originates from the Brahmagiri Mountain, Trimbakeshwar about 24 km (15 mi) from Nashik and flows through the old residential settlement, now in the central part of the city. Due to high pollution created by factories in proximity of the city the river was dying at an alarming rate. It has since been successfully cleaned. Other than Godavari, important rivers like Vaitarana, Bhima, Girana, Kashyapi and Darana flow across Nashik. Nashik lies on the western edge of the Deccan Plateau which is a volcanic formation. Lime and Kankar (Kankur) nodules are found widely in Nashik district. The district shares border with Jalgaon and Aurangabad to east, Ahmadnagar to the south, while Thane and parts of Gujarat state are on the west.[not in citation given] Trimbakeshwar is about 30 km (19 mi) from the city, it is where from river Godavari originates. The land area of the city is about 259.13 km2 (100.05 sq mi).

Sita Gufa {Nashik}

When Shree Rama was busy to fought with danava he leaves sita in cave near panchavati for her safety. This cave is known as Sita gufa. Sita gufa is near shree kalaram temple and is one of the famous places in Nasik. Visitor often visit this place and they have to pass through this gufa which is just about 4ft. in height. There are 5 vad trees are near around Sitagufa which are said to be from the period of shree Rama and because of these 5 vad the area is called as panchavati.

Sundarnarayan Temple {Nashik}

 Sundarnarayan temple located in the Ahilyabai Holkar Bridge locality of Nashik in Maharashtra state was built in 1756 by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud. Lord Vishnu in the form of Sundarnarayan is the ruling deity, accompanied by Mata Saraswati and Lakshmi whose idols are placed in the temple sanctum. The temple walls are adorned by paintings of Indira, Hanuman and Narayana. The architecture of the temple is a masterpiece and perfect example of the temple art culture of India. The temple which faces towards the east has three porches provided with balcony seating and globular domes. Some of the architecture works also has shades of Mughal architecture. The most striking aspect of the temple is the angle at which it is erected. The finely sculptured stone temple is erected in such a way that the first rays of the sun fall exactly on the idol on 21st March. The temple is thronged by thousands of devotees to witness this grandeur. The pillars of the temple are decorated with various carvings and it also has two mandaps and a well decorated corridor. The temple has a pond and each corner of the temple is decorated with paintings and sculpture work. This temple in Nashik is a visitor’s delight and must see site. The legend of the temple goes this way, it is believed that the area where the present temple stands was a place haunted by a evil demon named Jalandar who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Even though the demon was wild and practiced evil deeds, he had a pious and virtuous wife who was down to earth in her behavior. Lord Shiva was highly impressed by his devotion and his wife’s and he blessed the demon with a boon of immortality. This boon made Jalandar to create destruction in the area. He challenged the Gods including Lord Shiva. The Gods realized the importance to kill the demon to save the mankind. The Gods approached Lord Vishnu to help them in this noble cause. Lord Vishnu understood that the chastity and piousness of Jalandar’s wife is acting as a shield to his life. Lord Vishnu adopted the look of Jalandar and started living with his wife. He challenged the chastity of the women and killed Jalandar. When Jalandar’s wife Devi Vrinda cam to know this, she cursed Lord Vishnu to turn black and lose his charm, glamour and beautiful looks. The curse of the lady made him dark and he had to take a holy dip in River Godavari to regain his original form. After regaining his original form, Lord Vishnu was called Sundar Narayan. Sundar in local language means beautiful. When the temple was built the legend of Vishnu was associated in naming the temple as Sundar Narayan Temple.

Temple Opening Timings 7.00 am to 7.00 pm

About Shri Navshya Ganapati {Nashik}

The Navshya Ganapati Temple at Anandvalli,on Gangapur road going towards Someshwar, Nasik has history of around 300-400 years. The temple was built at the time of Peshvas. The Ganapati Idol is famous amongst its followers as 'Navashya' because it is said that he grants all wishes of anyone who comes to him, Ganapati answers to the offerings in prayers ('navas') and thousands of followers have experinced this act of god. In the year 1774 Raghoba Peshava and his wife Anandibai built this temple. Shreemant Madhavrao Peshve and Matoshri Gopikabai were also devotees of Shri Navshya Ganapati. On 15th August 1764, Raghoba Peshava and his wife Anandibai had a son who was named Vinayak. On that day the village was named Anandvalli and work started for building the temple. The temple is situated on the banks of river Godavari. The idol is very attractive and its eyes are very lively. Raghoba Peshava also constructed a palace at Anandvalli. In year 1818 the palace was destroyed by British Empire however the temples were untouched. 

Godavari Ghat {Nashik}

 The Godavari is the second longest river in India after the river Ganges. It  starts in Maharashtra and flows for 1,465 kilometers (910 mi) into the Bay of Bengal via the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It forms one of the largest river basins in India. 

Religious significance {Nashik}

The River is sacred to Hindus and has several places on its banks that have been places of pilgrimage for thousands of years. Amongst the huge numbers of people who have bathed in her waters as a rite of cleansing are said to have been the deity Baladeva 5000 years ago and the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago. Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on the banks of the river. A legend has it that the Sage Gautama lived in the Brahmagiri Hills at Trayambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The Rishi kept his stock of rice in a granary. Once, a cow entered his granary and ate up the rice. When the Rishi tried to ward the cow away with darbha grass, it fell dead. The Rishi wished to atone for the sin of 'Gohatya' - killing a sacred cow. He prayed to Lord Shiva and requested him to divert the river Ganges to purify his hermitage. Lord Shiva was pleased with the Rishi so appeared in his Triambaka manifestation and diverted the river Ganges to flow past his homestead.

Sula Wines {Nashik}

Sula Vineyards (or “Sula”) is a winery and vineyard located in the Nashik region of western India, 170 km northeast of Mumbai. After the launch of its first wines in 2000, Sula expanded from its original 30 acre family estate in Nashik to approximately 1800 acres across Nashik and the state of Karnataka. Sula introduced grape varietals such as Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Zinfandel to India and as of 2013, they hold a market share of almost 70% in the Indian wine Industry. In addition to winemaking, the company has also diversified into hospitality, alcobev imports and spirits. Sula Vineyards was founded by Rajeev Samant in 1998. Samant studied engineering at Stanford University and worked at Oracle in San Francisco thereafter. After quitting his corporate job, Rajeev established Sula upon his return to India. He initially experimented with crops such as mangoes, roses, teakwood, and table grapes before realising that Nashik’s climate and temperature were well-suited for growing wine grapes. In consultation with Kerry Damskey, a Californian winemaker, Samant setup the first winery in the Nashik region of India. Sula was named after Rajeev’s mother – 'Sulabha'. Samant steadily expanded the company over the next few years by introducing newer grape varieties and expanding the company’s offerings. Today, the Nashik region is known as the 'Wine Capital of India' and is home to almost 50 wineries.

About Aurangabad

Aurangabad is a city in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state in India. Aurangabad ("Aurang City") is named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The city is a tourism hub, surrounded by many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as Bibi Ka Maqbara and Panchakki. The administrative headquarters of the Aurangabad Division or Marathwada region, Aurangabad is titled "The City of Gates" and the strong presence of these can be felt as one drives through the city.The City was founded in 1610 by Malik Amber which in the year 2010 completed 400 years. Aurangabad is the Tourism Capital of Maharashtra. Khadki was the original name of the village which was made a capital city by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam, Shah of Ahmadnagar. Within a decade, Khadki grew into a populous and imposing city. Malik Ambar died in 1626. He was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan, who changed the name of Khadki to Fatehnagar. With the capture of Daulatabad by the imperial troops in 1633, the Nizam Shahi dominions, including Fatehnagar, came under the possession of the Moghals. In 1653 when Mughal prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan for the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and renamed it Aurangabad. Aurangabad is sometimes referred to as Khujista Bunyad by the Chroniclers of Aurangzeb's reign. In 1724, Asif Jah, a Turkic general and Nizam al-Mulk of the Mughals in the Deccan region, decided to secede from the crumbling Mughal Empire, with the intention of founding his own dynasty in the Deccan and decided to make Aurangabad his capital. His son and successor, Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah II transferred his capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad in 1763.[7] In 1795, the city came under the Maratha rule, following the Maratha victory in the Battle of Kharda, along with an indemnity of 30 million rupees paid by Ali Khan Asaf Jah II, Nizam of Hyderabad to the Marathas. However, Maratha rule lasted only eight years before the city came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad, under the protection of the British East India Company, following the British victory in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. During the period of the British Raj, the city was known as Aurungábád. Aurangabad was a part of the Princely State of Hyderabad during the British Raj, until its annexation into the Indian Union after the Indian Independence in 1947, and thereafter a part of Hyderabad state of India until 1956. In 1956 it became a part of newly formed bilingual Bombay state and in 1960 it became a part of Maharashtra state.

Ajanta Caves {Aurangabad}

Ajanta is barely two hour’s drive from Aurangabad. Situated at a distance of 99 km from Aurangabad, the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state of India are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 or 650 CE. The caves include paintings and rock cut sculptures described as among the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art, particularly expressive painting that present emotion through gesture, pose and form. According to UNESCO, these are masterpieces of Buddhist r eligious art that influenced Indian art that followed. The caves were built in two phases, the first group starting around the 2nd century BC, while the second group of caves built around 400–650 AD according to older accounts, or all in a brief period of 460 to 480 according to Walter M. Spink. The site is a protected monument in the care of the Archaeological Survey of India, and since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ajanta Caves constitute ancient monasteries and worship halls of different Buddhist traditions carved into a 250 feet wall of rock. The caves also present paintings depicting the past lives and rebirths of the Buddha, pictorial tales from Aryasura's Jatakamala, as well as rock-cut sculptures of Buddhist deities in vogue between the 2nd century BCE and 5th century CE. Textual records suggest that these caves served as a monsoon retreat for monks, as well as a resting site for merchants and pilgrims in ancient India. While vivid colours and mural wall painting were abundant in Indian history as evidenced by historical records, Caves 16, 17, 1 and 2 of Ajanta form the largest corpus of surviving ancient Indian wall-painting. The Ajanta Caves site is mentioned in the memoirs of several medieval era Chinese Buddhist travelers to India and by a Mughal era official of Akbar era in early 17th century. They were covered by jungle until accidentally "discovered" and brought to the Western attention in 1819 by a colonial British officer on a tiger hunting party. The Ajanta caves are located on the side of a rocky cliff that is on the north side of a U-shaped gorge on the small river Waghur, in the Deccan plateau. Further round the gorge are a number of waterfalls, which when the river is high are audible from outside the caves. With the Ellora Caves, Ajanta is the major tourist attraction of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. They are about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Bhusaval Junction railway station, 104 kilometres (65 miles) from the city of Aurangabad, and 350 kilometres (220 miles) east-northeast from Mumbai. They are 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Ellora Caves, which contain Hindu, Jain as well as Buddhist caves, the last dating from a period similar to Ajanta. The Ajanta style is also found in the Ellora Caves and other sites such as the Elephanta Caves and the cave temples of Karnataka.

Ellora Caves {Aurangabad}

Ellora is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple caves complexes in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Maharashtra, India. The site presents monuments and artwork of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism from the 600-1000 CE period. Cave 16 of Ellora features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailasha temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva. The Kailasha temple excavation also presents the gods, goddesses and mythologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaktism and relief panels summarizing the two major Hindu Epics. The site features over 100 caves, of which 34 caves are open to public. These were excavated out of the vertical basalt cliff in the Charanandri hills. These consist of 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves. Each group presents the respective deities and mythologies prevalent in 1st millennium CE, as well as the monasteries of that religion. They were built in proximity and illustrate the religious harmony prevalent in ancient India. All Ellora monuments were built by Hindu dynasties, such as the Rashtrakuta dynasty who built some of the Hindu & Buddhist group of caves, and Yadav dynasty who built some of the Jain group of caves. Ellora was an important historic commercial center of the Deccan region, located on an ancient trade route of South Asia. The caves served as monasteries for monks, temples for prayers and a place for pilgrims to rest, but now is an archaeological site. It is 29 kilometres (18 miles) north-west of the city of Aurangabad, and about 300 kilometers (190 miles) east-northeast from Mumbai. Ellora Caves, along with the nearby Ajanta Caves, form one of the major tourist attractions in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Ellora is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.

Aurangabad Caves {Aurangabad}

The Aurangabad caves are twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines located on a hill  running roughly east to west, close to the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The first reference to the Aurangabad Caves is in the great chaitya of Kanheri Caves. The Aurangabad Caves were dug out of comparatively soft basalt rock during the 6th and 7th century. The caves are divided into three separate groups depending on their location. The carvings at the Aurangabad Caves are notable for including Hinayana style stupa, Mahayana art work and Vajrayana goddesses. These caves are among those in India that show 1st millennium CE Buddhist artwork with goddesses such as Durga, and gods such as Ganesha, although Buddhist caves in other parts of India with these arts are older. Numerous Buddhist deities of the Tantra tradition are also carved in these caves.

Bibi Ka Maqbara {Aurangabad}

The Bibi Ka Maqbara (English:"Tomb of the Lady") (Tomb of Rabia Durani) is a tomb located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It was built by Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb, in 1678 in memory of his wife, Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani). It bears a striking resemblance to the famous Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of his mother, Mumtaz Mahal. Aurangzeb was not very interested in architecture, though he had built the small, but elegant, Pearl Mosque at Delhi. The Bibi Ka Maqbara was the largest structure that he had to his credit. The comparison to the Taj Mahal has often obscured its very own considerable charm. Due to the strong resemblance, it is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan). The Bibi Ka Maqbara is the principal monument of Aurangabad and its historic city. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. Ata-ullah was the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the principal designer of the Taj Mahal.

History

Bibi ka Maqbara is believed to have been built between 1651 and 1661 C.E. According to the "Tarikh Namah" of Ghulam Mustafa, the cost of construction of the mausoleum was Rs. 6,68,203-7 (rupees six lakh, sixty-eight thousand, two hundred three and seven annas) – Aurangzeb allocated only Rs. 7,00,000 for its construction. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. The marble for this mausoleum was brought from mines near Jaipur. According to Tavernier, around three hundred carts laden with marble, drawn by at least 12 oxen, were seen by him during his journey from Surat to Golconda. The mausoleum was intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but the decline in architecture and proportions of the structure (both due to the severe budgetary constraints imposed by Aurangzeb) had resulted in a poor copy of the latter.

Panchakki {Aurangabad}

Panchakki, is also known as the water mill, takes its name from the mill which used to grind grain for the pilgrims. This monument located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, displays the scientific thought process put in medieval Indian architecture. It was designed to generate energy via water brought down from a spring on a mountain. The building, attached to the dargah of Baba Shah Musafir a Sufi saint is located in a garden near the Mahmud Darvaza and consist of a mosque, a madrissa, a kacheri, a minister's house, a sarai and houses for zananas.

History

Most of the buildings in the dargah complex (including Panchakki) were erected by Turktaz Khan, a noble on the staff of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah in about 1695 A. D. The oblong reservoir in front of the mosque and fountains were added 20 years later by Jamil Beg Khan. Dating back to the 17th century, this ingenious water mill was designed to use the energy generated by flowing water from a nearby spring to turn the large grinding stones of the flour mill. Shah Mosafar died in Hijri 1110. This water mill was used to grind grain for the pilgrims and disciples of saints as well as for the troops of the garrison.

About Shirdi Sai Dham {Shirdi}

Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as an incarnation of God (avatar), saint, fakir, and satguru, according to their individual proclivities and beliefs. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and during, as well as after, his life it remained uncertain if he was a Muslim or a Hindu. This, however, was of no consequence to Sai Baba. He stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru, who, having trod the path to divine consciousness, will lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual training. Sai Baba is known by people around the world. According to accounts from his life, he preached the importance of realization of the self, and criticized love for perishable things. His teachings concentrate on a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and guru. Sai Baba also condemned distinction based on religion or caste. Sai Baba's teaching combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived, practised both Hindu and Muslim rituals, taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions, and was buried in Shirdi. One of his well known epigrams, "Sabka Malik Ek" ("One God governs all"), is associated with Hinduism and Islam He is also known to have said, "Listen to me and your prayer shall be answered".

Dwarkamai {Shirdi}

Shri Sai Baba came to Shirdi with a marriage procession. Lord Sai baba stayed at Dwarkamai till the very end of his life. Dwarkamai is situated on the right of the entrance of Samadhi Mandir. Here god sai baba solved problems of the people, cured their sickness and worries. Before Baba's arrival in Shridhi, Dwarkamai was an old mosque in a dilapidated condition. Baba turned it into Dwarkamai and proved that God is one. The first level of Dwarkamai has a portrait of Baba and a big stone on which Baba used to sit. This level has two rooms. One contains the chariot and the second a palkhi. Just in front of the room where the chariot is kept is a small temple. A saffron flag flies over it. The second level of Dwarkamai has a square stool made of stone, which Baba used for taking a bath. The main attraction of this place is the oil painting of Shri Sai Baba sitting in a carved wooden shrine. This level also has the grinding stone and the wooden vessel called Kolamba in which Baba used to keep the Bhiksha brought from the village.

All in Shirdi

  • Gurusthan: This place holds immense significance among the things to watch in Shirdi since it is this place where Sai Baba came as a child ascetic and sat in deep contemplation under a Neem tree. Subsequently, this place came to be recognized as Gurusthan and was also once renovated. Located at this place is a small shrine, featuring a huge portrait of Sai Baba on an elevated platform.
  • Chavadi: It is this place where Sai Baba used to sleep after returning from a procession from Dwarkamai to Chawadi. Every Thursday, a procession is carried out to Chavadi carrying the possessions of Sai Baba such as Baba's Photo, Holy Padukas (footwear) and Satka.
  • Lendi Baug: It is a famous garden that Sai Baba used to visit daily, for watering the plants. The garden also houses a Neem tree under which he used to take rest. Adjacent to this tree is Nandadeep, a diya (lamp) that used to be lit by Baba each day in the pit dug by him. Nowadays, this pit has been transformed into a marble deepgriha (lighthouse), having a glass box where the lamp is still burning. Several other highlights of this garden are Datta Mandir (samadhi of Sai Baba's horse, Sham Sundar) and Baba's Shivdi.
  • Samadhi of Abdulbaba: Abdulbaba was one of the most ardent followers of Sai Baba, who used to read out the Quran to him. Nearby Shri Sai Baba Temple, his Samadhi (memorial) is located. It is one of the prime tourist attractions in Shirdi that houses photos and various items that were once handled by Sai Baba and him.
  • Maruti Temple: This temple was of special significance to Sai Baba and he used to come here religiously on a regular basis. Several satsangs (religious sermons) were also conducted here with the assistance of Devidas, who happened to be a bal yogi (young devout).

About Shani Shingnapur

Shani Shingnapur is a village in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Situated in Nevasa taluka in Ahmednagar district, the village is known for its popular temple of Shani, the Hindu god associated with the planet (graha) Saturn. Shingnapur is 35 km from Ahmednagar city. Shingnapur is also famous for the fact that no house in the village has doors, only door frames. Despite this, no theft was reported in the village until 2010. The temple is believed to be a "jagrut devasthan" (lit. "Alive temple"), meaning that a deity still resides in the temple icon. Villagers believe that god Shani punishes anyone attempting theft. The deity here is "Swayambhu" (Sanskrit: self-evolved deity) that is self emerged from earth in form of black, imposing stone. Though no one knows the exact period, it is believed that the Swayambhu Shanaishwara statue was four and by shepherds of the then local hamlet. It is believed to be in existence at least since the start of Kali yuga. The village has a post office and a high school known as Shri Shanishwar Vidya Mandir besides the primary schools run by the Zilla Parishad. The chief source of water supply in the village is wells.

The presiding deity of Shinganapur, Sri Shaneshwara or Lord Shanidev- the personification of the planet Saturn is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion by multitudes of people from all over the world. The spectacle of the deity in black stone is overwhelming. A unique aspect of this place is, that no temple structure houses the Shanidev. There is only a simple platform on which stands the swayambhu idol, in black stone. Unlike other pilgrimage centres, devotees here can perform puja or abhishek or other religious rituals themselves.
One of the unique aspects of the village Shiganapur is that houses here have no door- frames or locks on them for safety. They are in fact not needed. The people here believe that it is the benediction of the god that no crime ever occurs in this village.

About Pune

Pune is the 9th most populous city in India and the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after the state capital Mumbai. Pune is also the 101st most populous city in the world. It is situated 560 metres (1,837 feet) above sea level on the Deccan plateau, on the right bank of the Mutha River. Pune city is the administrative headquarters of Pune district and was once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire established by Shivaji Maharaj. In the 18th century, Pune became the political centre of the Indian subcontinent, as the seat of the Peshwas who were the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire. Pune is considered the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Since the 1950s and 1960s, Pune has had a traditional old-economic base. Most of the old industries continue to grow. The city is also known for its manufacturing and automobile industries, as well as for research institutes of information technology (IT), education, management and training, which attracts students, and professionals from India, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Pune is also one of the fastest growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region. The ‘Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings’ evaluated local living conditions in more than 440 cities around the world where Pune ranked at 145, second in India after Hyderabad (138). It also highlights Pune among evolving business centres and emerging 9 cities around the world with citation "Hosts IT and automotive companies".

Shaniwar Wada {Pune}

Shaniwarwada is an 18th-century fortification in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India.  Built in 1732, it was the seat of the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire until 1818, when the Peshwas lost control to the East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Following the rise of the Maratha Empire, the palace became the center of Indian politics in the 18th century. The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist site.

Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple {Pune}

Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple in Pune is dedicated to the Hindu God Ganesh. The temple is popular in Maharashtra and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. Devotees of the temple include celebrities and Chief Ministers of Maharashtra who visit during the annual ten-day Ganeshotsav festival. The main Ganesh idol is insured for sum of 10 million (US$150,000). Dagadusheth Halwai (Dagadusheth Gadve) was Lingayat trader and Sweet maker (Halwai in Marathi). He originally came from Karnataka and settled in Pune. After he gained fame as a Halwai, that became his surname. His original Halwai shop still exists under the name Kaka Halwai near Datta Mandir in Pune. Mr. Dagdusheth Halwai was a successful sweetmeat seller and a rich businessman. In late 1800s, he lost his son in a plague epidemic. This caused Dagdusheth and his wife to go into deep depression. To heal themselves, their Guru, Shri Madhavnath Maharaj recommended building a Ganesh temple. This was completed in 1893. Lokmanya Tilak, the Indian Nationalist leader and a contemporary of Dagdusheth, was a close friend of him. Tilak saw his dedication and also the construction of the temple and it was here that the idea of celebrating public Ganesh festival struck him. It proved to be an epoch making event in Indian history.

Aga Khan Palace {Pune}

The Aga Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in Pune, India. Built in 1892, it is one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history. The palace was an act of charity by the Sultan who wanted to help the poor in the neighbouring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine. Aga Khan Palace is a majestic building and is considered to be one of the greatest marvels of India. The palace is closely linked to the Indian freedom movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. It is also the place where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died. In 2003, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the place as a monument of national importance. Historically, the palace holds great significance. Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi and his secretary Mahadev Desai were interned in the palace from 9 August 1942 to 6 May 1944, following the launch of Quit India Movement. Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died during their captivity period in the palace and have their Samadhis located over there. Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi have their memorials located in the same complex, near Mula River. In 1969, Aga Khan Palace was donated to the Indian people by Aga Khan IV as a mark of respect to Gandhi and his philosophy. Today the palace houses a memorial on Gandhi where his ashes were kept. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi had visited the place in 1974 where she allotted a sum of ₹200,000 (US$3,000) every year, for its maintenance. The amount rose to 1 million (US$15,000) till the 1990s, after which the national monument of India, was neglected for many years due to improper allocation of funds. There was a protest held at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Pune railway station in July 1999 to protest against the worsening condition of the monument.

Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum {Pune}

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is in Pune, Maharashtra, India. It contains the collection of Dr. Dinkar G. Kelkar (1896–1990), dedicated to the memory of his only son, Raja. The three-storey building houses various sculptures dating back to the 14th century. There are also ornaments made of ivory, silver and gold, musical instruments (a particularly fine collection), war weapons and vessels. The collection was started around 1920 and by 1960 it contained around 15,000 objects. In 1962, Dr. Kelkar handed his collection to the Department of Archaeology within the Government of Maharashtra. The museum now holds over 20,000 objects of which 2,500 are on display. These consist of mainly Indian decorative items from everyday life and other art objects, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum's collection depicts the skills of the Indian artists of the time. The door frames, vessels, ornaments, musical instruments (including a collection of late industrialist Chandrashekhar Agashe donated by his son, the late Dnyaneshwar Agashe), paintings and carvings represent outstanding examples of their art. One part of particular interest is the "Mastani Mahal". Raja Kelkar made an attempt at depicting the palace of Mastani, (wife of the Peshwa Baji Rao I) with its remnants. A beautiful piece in the collection is the carving of Lord Ganesha on the seed; the idol of Lord Ganesha is shown with his trunk towards the left, which is quite rare and difficult to build or draw.

Parvati Hill {Pune}

Parvati Hill is a hillock in Pune, India. The hillock rises to 2,100 feet (640 m) above  sea level (It includes Punes MSL which is 560m from sea level, so effecitvely it's 80m(263 feet) from ground base). Atop the hillock is the Parvati Temple, one of the most scenic locations in Pune. The temple is the oldest heritage structure in Pune and was built during the rule of the Peshwa dynasty. For visitors, Parvati hill is also an observation point that offers a panoramic view of Pune. It is the second highest point in Pune (after Vetal Hill). The hill has 103 steps leading to the top of the hill where the temple is situated. The main temple, Devdeveshwara, is made of blackstone. It was completed under Balaji Baji Rao, in 1749. Other temples are dedicated to Vitthal and Rukmini, Vishnu, and Kartikeya.

About Lonavala

Lonavla is a town and a hill station Municipal Council in Pune district in the Indian State of Maharashtra. It is about 64 kilometres (40 mi) from the city of Pune and 96 kilometres (60 mi) from the city of Mumbai. It is known for its production of the hard candy chikki and is also a major stop on the railway line connecting Mumbai and Pune. From the Mumbai suburbs, local trains are available from Karjat. Both the Mumbai-Pune Expressway as well as the Mumbai-Chennai highway pass through Lonavla. Lonavla is also home to INS Shivaji (formerly HMIS Shivaji) which is the Indian Navy's Premier Technical Training Institute. Present day Lonavla was a part of the Yadava dynasty. Later, the Mughals realized the strategic importance of the region and kept the region for an extended time. The forts in the region and the "Mavla" warriors played an important role in the history of the Maratha and Peshwa empires. In 1871, the Lonavla and Khandala hill stations were discovered by Lord Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency at the time.

About Khandala

Khandala is a hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, India, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Lonavala and 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from Karjat. Khandala is located at one (top) end the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat (meaning valley in Marathi) on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. The ghat carries an extensive amount of road and rail traffic. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the main link between the major cities of Mumbai and Pune, passes through Khandala. Due to the ease of accessibility from nearby cities, Khandala is a common area for hiking. One destination is the nearby peak of Duke's Nose, which offers a panoramic view of Khandala and the Bhor Ghat. The route near Khandala sunset point and khopoli has been there since centuries used to connect the coastal cities like Sopara to Pune. The transport from base of khopoli was by carts both hand pulled and horse drawn, which was tarred during British time somewhere in 1840. The railway route from Karjat to Pune was started under the guidance of Great Indian Peninsula Railway Chief Engineer 1849–1862: James Berkley (surveyor and route designer). The chief Engineer had a bungalow near the current day st Xaviers Villa in Khandala facing towards Duke's nose hill, The construction of the Khandala tunnel was a herculean job as the tunnel had to be bored through basalt. There were four bouts of cholera in Khandala during the construction of the Tunnels and Khandala Railway station, Which is well documented by the paper published by sir James Berkley. The another notable place of visit is the Ancient Jail which was built in 1896, in which founders of St Xavier’s college were jailed as POWs by the British masters.

Mumbai

Elephanta Island {Mumbai}

Elephanta is a World Heritage Site, showcasing legends of Lord Shiva carved in rock cave temples.The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture, and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.The island is about an hour's boat ride from the Gateway of India. There are government boats that will ferry you to the island and back. You will need three hou rs to complete this trip, so you can go in the morning and then come back in time for lunch.

Mani Bhavan {Mumbai}

After lunch, get ready for Mani Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi’s home in Mumbai.This little two-storied house is now a small, but engrossing museum that shouldn't be missed. Gandhi's simple room remains untouched and the story of his life is told in a series of doll tableaus.There is also a wonderful photographic record of his life, along with original documents such as letters he wrote to Hitler and US President Roosevelt

Haji Ali {Mumbai}

The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and Dargah (tomb) located on an islet  off the coast of Worli in the Southern part of Mumbai. Near the heart of the city proper, the dargah is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Mumbai. An exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Architecture, associated with legends about doomed lovers, the dargah contains the tomb of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Hailing from Bukhara, in present day Uzbekistan, Bukhari travelled around the world in the early to mid 15th century, and eventually settled in present day Mumbai.

Siddhivinayak Temple {Mumbai}

The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to  Lord Shri Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on November 19, 1801.It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai. The temple has a small mandap (hall) with the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak ("Ganesha who grants your wish"). The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra). The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the central statue is of Ganesha. In the periphery, there is a Hanuman temple as well.

History

It was constructed on 19 November 1801, the original structure of the Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 m x 3.6 m square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick shikhara. The temple was built by the contractor Laxman Vithu Patil. The building was funded by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil. Childless, Deaubai built the temple so that the Lord should grant children to other barren women. Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, a disciple of the Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth, buried two divine idols in the front of the presiding deity of the temple on the orders on his guru. As prophesied by Swami Samarth, after 21 years after the burial of the icons, a mandar tree grew at that spot with a svayambhu Ganesha in its branches. The 2550 sq m temple complex had two 3.6 m Deepamalas, a rest house and living quarters for the caretaker. It had an adjoining lake 30 x 40 sq. m. in size on the eastern and southern side of the temple. The lake, dug by Nardulla in the early 19th century to counter the scarcity of water, was filled up in the later years and the land is now not part of the temple complex. Around 1952, a small Hanuman shrine was built in the temple complex for the Hanuman icon that was found during the road extension project of Sayani Road near Elphinstone Road. In the 1950s and 60s, the fame of the temple spread and a significant number of devotees began visiting. However, in the same period, the owner of the plot sold some of the temple land, reducing the complex area. After 1975, the number of devotees increased dramatically.