Mumbai is the largest metropolis in India and also its financial capital. Major sites in the city include the Gateway of India, Elephanta Island, Prince of Wales Museum, Flora Fountain, Haji Ali's Tomb, Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus, Kalbadevi Temple, Bhuleshwar Temple, Jama Masjid, Mumbadevi Temple, Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Science Center, and its famous Marine Drive. Other places of interest are Taraporewala Aquarium, ISKCON temple, amusement parks like Essel World and Fantasy Land, beaches like Madh Island, Manori, Versova, Goral, Marue, and Juhu.
Pune is the second largest city of Maharashtra and was home for a long time to the Maratha leader, Shivaji. One of the city's most famous residents was the self-proclaimed guru, Bhagwan Rajneesh, later known as Osho. Other tourist spots in the city are the Shanwarawada Palace, Raja Kelkar Museum, Gandhi National Memorial, Samadhi, and Pataleshwar Temple.
The city of Aurangabad is known for its medieval monuments and cultural heritage. It was also the seat of the Mughal Empire for a short span. The city boasts of the Bibi-ka-Makbara, a tomb that has some resemblance to the Taj Mahal. The importance of Aurangabad is great, owing to its proximity to the world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora. These sites have Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples. Aurangabad is also famous for it's silk and cotton textiles.
Fifteen kilometers from Aurangabad is one of Maharashtra's many impressive forts, Daulatabad. This is the same place where Mohammed Bin Tughlak built his capital only to return back to Delhi after some time.
The site of the Ajanta caves is located to the northeast of Aurangabad, with the caves a little way off the main road. The 29 caves are built in a horseshoe shaped curve of the steep rocky gorge that rises above the river Waghore. The caves date from about 200 BC to 650 AD, but soon after, the site was abandoned, at roughly the time that Ellora was built and the Ajanta caves were slowly forgotten. They remained unknown for centuries, till, in 1819, soldiers from a British hunting party re-discovered them.
The Ellora caves are about 30 kilometers northwest of Aurangabad, cut into the hillside, and are famed for their sculptures. The earliest caves are Buddhist, but the later ones are Hindu and Jain cave temples. It is difficult to say with any degree of absolute precision when the various groups of caves were built, but archeologists feel that some of the building was simultaneous, with the early Hindu temples being carved at the same time as the later Buddhist caves. There are 34 caves, of which 12 are Buddhist, 17 are Hindu and five Jain.
Overlooking the Krishna and Koyna valleys, Mahabaleshwar, at an altitude of 1372 meters, opens up a whole world of picturesque delight. With an air of unspoilt beauty, it is a paradise for nature explorers and peace lovers, as also for filmmakers. The summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, Mahabaleshwar retains its quintessential old world charm, despite the increasing crowds that visit the town. Numerous majestic mansions built during the days of the British, still stand as monuments of the Raj.
Lonavala is a famous hill station and a popular getaway from the cities of Mumbai and Pune. A special candy made of peanut and jaggery is a specialty of this place and popular all over the country.
The climate of Maharashtra is moderate, with variations in temperature ranging between 16°C and 35°C. July to September are the months when monsoon lashes this state with good rainfall. This does not mean that the whole state gets uniform rainfall; a large part of inner Maharashtra remains dry in comparison to other areas under the rain shadow of the Sahyadri.