Maharashtra is a popular tourist destination and the state of India most visited by foreign travelers. In addition to beautiful beaches, beautiful mountain resorts and national parks and shrines, there are several historical monuments. Four of them are classified by UNESCO as “World Heritage Sites”.
The Aurangabad Ajanta Caves, dating back to the second century BC, were recognized by UNESCO in 1983 as a heritage of Maharashtra. The Buddhist troglodyte monuments are in a group of 30 and were built in two phases. The caves show rock carvings and sculptures that are among the best examples of ancient Indian art that see and appreciate the world. The caves have monasteries and churches. On a wall 250 feet high, various Buddhist traditions can be seen. A carved statue of the reclining Buddha, a table door with the seven Manushi Buddha (human form), frescoes and well-protected paintings are the highlights of the Ajanta Caves.
Also in Aurangabad are the Ellora Caves in the immediate vicinity of the Ajanta Caves. Built by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, the Ellora Caves are a mixture of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist art, with a series of 34 monasteries and temples that lead to about two kilometers. The caves of Ellora date from the 6th to the 10th century and were declared heritage of UNESCO in 1983 by Maharashtra.
Elephanta Caves are located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor. The first group has five Hindu caves and the second has two Buddhist wineries. One hour ferry ride from Mumbai Harbor, the Elephanta Caves are a fine example of the art and architecture of medieval India. The caves belong to the 7th century and show daring mythical themes. It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 and named “World Heritage Site of Maharashtra”.
Chhatrapati Shivji Terminus:
It was formally named Victoria Terminus in honor of Queen Victoria and inaugurated in 1887 on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee. It was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and today serves as the headquarters of Central Railways. It was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List of Maharashtra in 2004.