KALARAM TEMPLE

Lord Shree Ram - Kalaram Temple Panchvati Nashik
Statue of Lord Ram, Lord Lakshman and Devi Sita
inside the Kalaram Temple
The Kalaram temple, situated in the Panchvati area of Nashik City, is dedicated to Lord Shree Ram. The name Kalaram derives from the statue of Shree Ram that is black.

The temple probably the most important Hindu Temple in the Nashik City was built in 1788 by Sardar Rangarao Odhekar at a cost of Rs. 23 Lakhs. The spire of the temple is made up of 32 tons of gold. This temple also houses the statues of Devi Sita and Shree Lakshman.

A large number of devotees visit this Mandir every day.

Nearby Attractions / Places to Visit
Panchvati, Tapovan, Sita Gumpha, Ramkund, Naroshankar Temple, Sundarnarayan Temple, Godavari Temple, Akshardham, Gondeshwar Temple

Accommodation / Tourist Lodges / Hotels
Hotel Rahi - 0253-6957235

HOW TO REACH
Nearest Railway Station : Nashik Road
Nearest Airport : Gandhinagar Airport, Nashik (CODE : ISK)

Distance
Nashik to Kalaram Temple - 10 Kilometers

Photos - Kalaram Temple

Kalaram Temple
Entrance - Kalaram Temple
Kalaram Temple
Kalaram Temple

KAAS PLATEAU

Kaas Plateau Satara
Kaas Plateau - Bed of Flowers - Satara
The Kaas Plateau (Kaas Pathar), nestled in the Sahyadri ranges (Western Ghats), is 24 kilometers away from Satara. The name ‘Kaas’ originates from the South Indian Marble Tree (in Marathi – Kasa Tree). The place, also known as Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers, has more than 800 different species of flowers and other plants including Orchidaceae, Maruadona and carnivorous plants such as Gavati Davbindu. The area of the Kaas Pathar is approximately 10 square kilometers.

The plateau is full of wild flowers during the monsoon and looks like a colorful carpet. Kaas is a dream destination for photographers, flora researchers and nature lovers.

Recently UNESCO declared this location as a Biodiversity World Heritage Site.

Fees
Rs.10 per person

Camera
Rs.10 for Camera Mobile, Rs.50 for Camera, Rs.100 for long zoom camera

Hotels
Nivant # 91-2162-282679 [located at Yevteshwar]

Nearby Attractions
Kaas Ghat Road, Kumudini Lake, Bhambawali Wanrai Waterfall, Shree Kshetra Yevteshwar, Vasota Fort, Ajinkyatara Fort, Sajjangad Fort, Thoseghar Waterfall, Chalkewadi Windmills

Contact Numbers (Dy. Conservator of Forest)
02162-233614

How to reach Kaas Plateau
Nearest Railway Station : Satara Railway Station
Nearest Airport : Pune International Airport (PNQ)

Distance
Pune Airport to Kaas Plateau - 146 Kilometers
Satara to Kaas Plateau (Via Yevteshwar) – 24 Kilometers

Photo Gallery

Smithia Hirsuta Flowers Kaas Plateau Satara
Smithia Hirsuta Flowers
Kaas Road Satara
Kaas Road
THE CAVES OF MAHARASHTRA

THE CAVES OF MAHARASHTRA

Maharashtra has indeed a rich heritage of ancient monuments representing different phases of development in art and architectural style. The rock-cut architectural beauty witnessed in almost all the cave temples spread over entire Maharashtra is a finest example of majestic glory of the ancient architecture and culture. It is a unique combination of art, sculpture, architecture and culture as well. The forefathers have created and preserved this marvelous treasure for the generation to come.

About 1000 such rock-cut caves, excavated between 200 BC and 700 AD have been found in India during the period of last century. Surprisingly out of 1000, 900 are located in Maharashtra alone. Many more are still there to be excavated which are awaiting for the daylight.

The art of cave temples in India was first initiated by Samrat Ashoka, who was a staunch follower of Buddhism. The style of this architect was later on followed by Shaivas, Vaishnavas and Jains with suitable modifications in the form, symbols and other aspects in order to express suitably their sectarian individuality and characters.

The cave temples carved in a different span of history must have been once the centers of religious activities, pilgrimage, abodes of monks and preachers and places of worship. The main aim behind these architectural majesty must have been patronage to the art and religious activities. The caves at Ellora, Ajanta or Kanheri enjoys the status of a few of the masterpieces in the world.

Sr.CavesInformation
1Elephanta CavesClick Here
2Kanheri CavesClick Here
3Mahakali CavesClick Here
4Bedse CavesClick Here
5Ajanta CavesClick Here
6Bhaje CavesClick Here
7Karla CavesClick Here
8Ellora CavesClick Here
9Pataleshwar CavesClick Here
10Cave Temples Mumbai RegionClick Here

JYOTIBA TEMPLE

Lord Jyotiba Kolhapur Maharashtra
Lord Jyotiba
Jyotiba shrine, 17 kilometers northwest of Kolhapur, is situated in the Sahyadri ranges at a height of about 1000 meters from sea level. This holy place is nestled in the hills near Wadi Ratnagiri. The deity of the temple Shree Jyotiba is supposed to be an amalgamation of the souls of three gods, i.e. Shree Brahma, Shree Vishnu and Shree Mahesh. Shree Jyotiba is a family deity of many families in Maharashtra. On Chaitra and Vaishakh Pournimas, a mammoth colorful fair takes place.

For Pooja - Telephone / Mobile Number
Amane Pujari - 0232-8239585 / 9420135187

Hotels - Kolhapur
Hotel Haripriya Grand # 0231-2524933
Hotel Landmark # 0231-6292222

Nearby Attractions
Yamai Temple, Mahalaxmi Temple, Bahubali Jain Temple, Maharaja's Palace

HOW TO REACH
Nearest Railway Station : Kolhapur Railway Station
Nearest Airport : Kolhapur Airport (KLH)

Distance
Kolhapur Station to Jyotiba Temple - 17 Kilometers (By Road)

MELGHAT

Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary
Melghat, located in the northern part of Amravati District, is 225 Kilometers west of Nagpur. In the year 1967, Melghat, established as a wildlife sanctuary and in 1974 it was declared a Tiger Reserve. The Melghat Tiger Reserve was among the first nine tiger reserves notified under the Project Tiger. The Melghat wildlife sanctuary was created in 1985.

The Melghat’s tiger reserve area is around 1677 square kilometers. Mammals include Royal Bengal Tigers, Panthers, Leopards, Jungle Cats, Indian Bison or Gaur, Deer, Sambars, Chitals, Snakes and the Flying Squirrels are familiar sights.

Total 61 villages are there but all outside the core area. The residents are mainly Adivasis (tribes).

Best Time to Visit
October to June
* Due to Heavy Rainfalls avoid visiting during monsoon.

Climate
Summer - Hot and dry (Temperature - 30°C to 43°C)
Monsoon - Very Wet, receives a rainfall of 1500 mm to 2200 mm
Winter - Very Cold (Temperature - 6°C to 15°C)

Forest Department Melghat
Contact Number (Field Director Melghat) # 0721-2662792

Tourist Lodges run by the Forest Department
The Semadoh Tourist Complex (It is situated inside the Melghat Jungle)
[Tourist Hut - Tariff : Rs.350/- to Rs.500/-]

Accommodation
Chikhaldara Convention Complex (MTDC) # 07220-230234 / 230263

Fees and Charges Melghat
Entry Fee
Adult Rs.22/-; Child Rs.11/-
Vehicle Entry Fee (Jeep / Car) Rs.55/-

Charges
Jungle Safari (for each person) Rs.22/-
Tourist Guide Rs.110/- (per Trip)

Camera and Shooting Charges
Steel Camera : for Indians Rs.3/-, for Foreigners Rs.9/-
Video Camera : for Indians Rs.6/-, for Foreigners Rs.22/-
Professional Photography : Rs.500/- (per Day)
Professional Video Shooting : Rs.16500/- (per Day)

HOW TO REACH
Buses ply from Badnera to Paratwada

Nearest Airport
Akola Airport (Code : AKD)

Nearest Railway Station
Badnera Railway Station, Amravati [Mumbai - Nagpur - Kolkotta Route]

Distance
Badnera to Melghat - 92 Kilometers

Photo Gallery

Melghat Wildlife SanctuaryMelghat Wildlife Sanctuary

PRATAPGAD

Pratapgad
Shivaji Maharaj - Afzal Khan meeting at Pratapgad
Pratapgad-Afzal Khan episode affords the best example of Shivaji Maharaj’s generalship and his grasp of the situation. The fort is invariably associated with the slaying of Afzal Khan (or Abdullah Khan), the Bijapur general by Shivaji Maharaj. Pratapgad on a hill commanding the famous Panghat below Mahabaleshwar, happens to be one of the rare forts. There are strong watch towers and bastions, Hanuman and Bhavani Devi temples, remnants of the palace and few reservoirs. The height of Pratapgad is 1100 meters from sea level.

It is among the highest and most picturesque forts in Western India, 20 kilometers below Mahabaleshwar or 60 kilometers from Mahad which was often the residence of Shivaji Maharaj.

The first part of the ghat road leading down from Pratapgad towards Mahad shows surpassing scenery. Many visitors to Mahabaleshwar visit Pratapgad and also climb the fort which has a motorable road almost to the top. At the top having passed through the fort gateway, there is a magnificent view in the foreground of what is known as Abdullah’s tower and the stretching valley below.

Nowadays various facilities are made available at the fort for tourists.

Nearest Railway Station : Satara

Distance : Satara to Pratapgad - 74 Kilometers

Nearby Attractions : Tomb of Afzal Khan, Bhavani Devi Mandir

NANDUR MADHYAMESHWAR BIRD SANCTUARY

Nandur Madhyameshwar Nashik
Nandur Madhyameshwar
Nandur Madhyameshwar, situated 53 kilometers away from Nashik, is the sanctuary for colorful birds. Here you can also find migratory birds. So it is called Maharashtra’s Bharatpur. A bird sanctuary has developed here since 1950. Today it is a haven for thousands of beautiful and migratory birds. Several local waterbirds also breed here.

The Madhyameshwar dam is constructed at the confluence of Godavari and Kadwa. The sanctuary is named after the ancient temple of Madhyameshwar.

For tourists the ideal season to be here is from October to March.

Nearby Attractions
Madhyameshwar Temple, Madhyameshwar Dam

Hotels / Rest House
Maharashtra Forest Department's Rest House at Khangaon Thadi
- for Reservation - Contact Nos. 0253-2317114, 2317115, 2310635

Nearest Airport
Aurangabad Airport (Code : IXU, VAAU)

Nearest Railway Station
Niphad Railway Station (Route - Mumbai Bhusawal Railway Line)

Distance
Mumbai to Nashik - 167 kilometers (Via National Highway 3)
Nashik to Nandur Madhyameshwar - 53 Kilometers (By Road)

Photo - Nandur Madhyameshwar

Nandur Madhyameshwar
Lord Madhyameshwar Nandur Madhyameshwar
Nandur Madhyameshwar

VISHALGAD

Vishalgad
Vishalgad
Fort Panhala once was seized by Siddi Johar for about 4 months when Shivaji Maharaj had continued himself beleaguered in the fort. Shivaji Maharaj was left with no alternative than the desperate escape to Vishalgad. Shivaji Maharaj beleaguered for over a few months, escaped one rainy night to Vishalgad, while his faithful general Baji Prabhu Deshapnde laid down his life holding down the forces of Siddi Johar at a narrow pass, since christened ‘Pawankhind’.

This fort is at an altitude of 1003 meters from sea level. The name Vishalgad connotes grandeur and magnificence of this strong hill fort. The picturesque fort houses the Amriteshwar Temple, Takmak Tok, Sati Vrindavan, and a Dargah which is visited by devotees who comprise Hindus as well as Muslims.

Vishalgad is about 60 kilometers to the west of Panhala.

Tourist Lodges / Hotels
Hotel Rajpurush - 0231-2664888

Nearest Airport
Ratnagiri Airport

Nearest Railway Station
Kolhapur

Distance
Kolhapur to Vishalgad - 80 Kilometers

Nearby Attraction
Jyotiba, Narsobachi Wadi, Amboli, Gokak Falls, Barkhi Waterfall

PANHALA

Panhala Fort Kolhapur
Panhala Fort
The sprawling complex of Panhala fort has a bracing weather of a hill station. Only 18 kilometers from Kolhapur City, Panhala on a height 977 meters above sea level, is both historical and scenic in its appeal. It is redolent with the memories of Shivaji Maharaj who as besieged here by the forces of Siddi Johar and is reported to have effected an epic escape from his clutches to Vishalgad.

Built by Ibrahim Adil Shah in 1500 AD and known as ‘Sajja Kothi’, it is right on the edge of a precipice commanding a magnificent panorama.

Legend reputes Panhala’s origin to the times of Rishi Parashar. In modern history it was Bhoja-II of the great Silahara dynasty who made it the seat of his government in 1190 AD. Panhala was also held successively by the Yadavas and Bahmani Kings and others.

Well laid out, Panhala, with its red soil and salubrious climate, has several ancient ruins and monuments, including the Teen Darwaza, which has an inscription dating back to 954 AD; Wagh Darwaza, the Amberkhana or granary which used to contain 25,000 khandis of corn. There are many viewpoints, fine walks with hike and several places of excursions like Jyotiba with its picturesque ancient temples, to the adjoining plateau of Redegadh and other places.

From Panhala an excursion is also possible to the pass of Pawankhind where Baji Prabhu, Shivaji’s gallant general sacrificed his life to cover the escape of his chief to Vishalgad. Fifty two kilometers away from it is the wildlife sanctuary of Radhanagari.

Nearest Railway Station : Kolhapur

Photo Gallery

Panhala Map
Panhala Map
History of Panhala
Panhala History
AMALNER

AMALNER

Two centuries ago, there was a saint from Jalgaon district, Shri Sakharam Maharaj who devoted his life to Bhajans and Kirtans, Pandharpur pilgrimage and spread the Bhagwat Dharma, the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred scripture.

He set up Vitthal Mandir in Amalner on the bank of Bori river. The Peshwas honored for his total devotion to Vitthal. The saying is that the God in the disguise of a Sadhu, offered him the idol of ‘Vitthal’ as a Prasad, which imitates with the idol of Vitthal at Pandharpur.

Sakharam Maharaj took Samadhi at Amalner in 1818, Vaishakh Shuddha Chaturdashi on which day the festival is held every year and Palanquin is carried. Lakhs of devotees come here on this day every year.

Sane Guruji the great leader in the freedom movement and the author spent his life at Amalner.

ALANDI

Lord Vithoba & Rakhumai
Pilgrims trek long distances to Alandi in Pune district like Pandharpur to pay obeisance to the Samadhi of Saint Dnyaneshwar.

The Varkari sect worships Vishnu in the form of Vitthal and follows the ‘Bhakti’ cult. It was firmly established by Saint Dnyaneshwar who took Samadhi at Alandi at the age of only 22. For pilgrims Alandi is as significant as Pandharpur.

On the bank of Indrayani river, Alandi is 31 kilometers from Dehu, the village of another great Saint Tukaram.

A fair is held here on every Ashadhi-Kartiki Ekadashi and Samadhi day of Dnyaneshwar. Thousands of Maharashtrians accompany the holy palanquins of Saints and walk the distance from their home towns.

Nearest Railway Station : Pune

RAJGAD

Rajgad Fort Pune
Rajgad Fort, Pune
Rajgad, the first headquarters of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is 58 kilometers from Pune. Its height is 1318 meters from sea level. Swarajya was founded on firm footing at Rajgad. However Rajgad’s narrow summit plateau proved too small to contain a Royal Capital. Rajgad, therefore was chosen for this purpose.

The fort is having gates at three sides while citadel at the center. Also there are temples and water reservoirs. Other forts such as Makrandgad, Raigad, Torna, Sinhgad, Purandhar are viewed from Rajgad.

In 1704, after the death of Shivaji Maharaj, Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor, captured the fort. There is an approach from Sawan Village. The way is little difficult to climb the fort. It is a perfect place for trekking.

Important things to Carry (If you stay at Rajgad for 1 night / during Night Trekking)
• Mineral Water Bottle (at least 2 Liters)
• Sleeping Bag or Mat and Bed sheets
• High Quality LED Torch
• Wire Rope
• Good pair of Sports Shoes
• Rain Jacket (if you are visiting during monsoon)
• Some extra clothes, towel and napkins
• First Aid Kit
• Instant energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster

Accommodation / Hotels
Accommodation facility available at Padmavati Temple atop Padmavati Machee

Nearest Railway Station
Pune Railway Station

Distance
Pune to Rajgad Fort - 58 Kilometers

Nearby Attractions
Baneshwar Temple, Panshet Dam, Mulshi Dam, Sangameshwar Temple

NALDURGA FORT

Naldurga Fort Solapur
Naldurga Fort, Solapur
Land fort, Naldurga in Osmanabad district, in somewhat good condition, is 34 kilometers from Tuljapur and 47 Kilometers from Solapur. It was built by the King Nala. During the Adil Shah reign it was renovated in 1561. It is one of the few land forts which has retained its original shapes and condition even after a few centuries.

With the strong surrounding walls, the fort has many gates and bastions. The main bastion is quite high on which guns were installed. One of such guns is preserved here as an exhibit for visitors. The fort also has Armory Godown, Mahal and Mosque. The flow of Bori river is diverted in the fort and the waters of the river made to flow down from the Mahal, popularly known as Pani Mahal (Water Palace). The waterfall can be seen from Pani Mahal, the view of which is most fascinating to the tourists.

Nearby Attractions
Tulja Bhavani Temple, Shree Ram Temple at Ramtirth, Shree Swami Samarth Math at Akkalkot

Accommodation / Hotels
Shivneri Hotel, Tuljapur # 02471-244052 / 98223 38778

HOW TO REACH NALDURGA FORT
Nearest Airport : Solapur Airport (SSE/VASL)
Nearest Railway Station : Solapur Railway Station

Distance (By Road)
Solapur Station to Naldurga Fort - 47 Kilometers (NH-9)

Photo Gallery

Naldurga Fort Solapur MaharashtraNaldurga Fort Solapur Maharashtra