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7 Wonders of Maharashtra


The Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra are 31 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jakarta tales). All the rock-cut caves had paintings on verandahs, inner walls and ceilings, these reveals some of the most beautiful masterpieces of world art. There are also symbolic Buddhist mounds called Stupas, and cells for monks called viharas. There were giant sculptures of Buddha's, Bodhisattvas or Taras as also dwarapalas.


Lonar Crater has its genesis nearly 50,000 years ago, when a 2 million-ton meteorite impacted the earth to create a depression 1.83 kilometers in diameter and 150 meters deep. Since that cataclysmic event, Lonar has evolved into an idyllic expanse of sky blue water amidst a sprawling emerald forest that stretches around it as far as the eye can see. Lonar crater is considered as an important geological structure as it impresses with the richness of its natural heritage.


Raigad was the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji's kingdom and is a hill fortress situated in the modern day near Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra. The Maratha king Shivaji made the fort his capital in 1674 when he was crowned King of a Maratha Kingdom. It has a famous wall called "Hirakani Buruj" constructed over a huge cliff. The king's public Durbar has a replica of the original throne that faces the main doorway called the Nagarkhana Darwaja. This enclosure had been acoustically designed to aid hearing from the doorway to the throne. A secondary entrance, called the Mena Darwaja, was supposedly the private entrance of the royal ladies of the fort; it leads to the queen's quarters.


The Kas Plateau is situated at the Sahyadri hills near Satara. This plateau is well known for its unique biosphere, high hill plateaus and grasslands. During monsoon season, especially in the month of August, the plateau comes to life, with picturesque view of various types flowers that carpet the floor of the plateau. As per the Forest Department Board at Kas Plateau, there are more than 150 or more types of flowers, shrubs and grasses found here.


The Daulatabad fort was one of the most powerful forts during the medieval period. The ancient name was 'Devagiri' or 'Deogiri' which means 'Hill of Gods'. The imposing fort is built on an isolated pyramid-shaped natural mountain peak. The fort area is surrounded by three concentric walls (fortifications) known as kots. The fortification constitutes of three concentric lines of defensive walls with large number of bastions. The noteworthy features of the fort are the moat, the scarp and the sub-terranean passage, all hewn of solid rock.


The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Mumbai as the 'Gothic City' and the major international mercantile port of India. The terminal was built over 10 years, starting in 1878, according to a High Victorian Gothic design based on late medieval Italian models. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. It is an outstanding example of the meeting of two cultures, as British architects worked with Indian craftsmen to include Indian architectural tradition and idioms thus forging a new style unique to Mumbai.


The Global Vipassana Pagoda is the world's biggest pillar-less stone dome that enshrines Gautam Buddha's relics. This is a replica of Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Myanmar & it marks India's gratitude towards Myanmar and Sayagyi U Ba Khin for helping the Vipassana technique reach the world. One of the main objectives of this magnificent monument is to give information about Vipassana meditation to visitors. Hence, it also serves as a monument of peace and harmony. The center of the Global Vipassana Pagoda contains the world's largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars. The height of the dome is approximately 29 meters and inside of the pagoda is hollow space which serves as a very large meditation hall.