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Adventure Holiday in Maharashtra
The imposing Sahyadris, with their steep hair-raising cliffs, sprightly waterfalls, snaking their way through ridges, mist shrouded forests which are the home of many exotic animals, are the diverse elements which make up the state of Maharashtra. A group of seven islands, Mumbai is home to people of all Indian creeds and cultures, a fascinating city, throbbing with life.
Places for Adventure Seekers
Maharashtra's 720 km long affair with the Arabian Sea extends from Dahanu and Bordi in the north up to Goa proceeding southwards. If you've got a penchant for sand, sea and surf, this state has a great many interesting options in store.
The geography of Maharashtra shows evidence of a divine hand. Running north to south, throughout its length are the steeply rising Western Ghats. The foothills sometimes approaching the seashore and sometimes withdrawing 40 or 50 kms away seem to be playing an eternal game with the Arabian Sea. Nestling shyly in these mountains, some at an altitude of 2000 meters, are the hill stations of Maharashtra.
A haven for nature lovers - Maharashtra is a home to large number of animal and bird species including the tiger, crocodile, bison, gawa, neelgai, wild deer, sambars and rare migratory birds. The government has taken adequate steps towards setting up many wildlife parks and sanctuaries to protect these regions and promote these places as tourist attractions. Modern amenities such as jeep rides, night safaris, library and audio-visual facilities, comfortable accommodation and efficient transport are also available at these parks at a nominal charge.
There is good news for water sports lovers. The MTDC has introduced water sports at various lakes, areas near irrigation dams and the coastline. Imagine the rush of water and white foam coming up as you kayak or windsurfing in these clean waters. Aqua sports no longer need be the preserve of a privileged few as the Panshet Aqua Sports Centre has opened its doors to the public. Located just 40 kms. from Pune, all you need to take with you on this fulfilled holiday, is your swimsuit!
If you need a spell of peace and solitude and are trying to escape the polluted air of the city, Kihim beach with its clean, unpolluted sands is the answer. Just 120 kms. from Bombay the beauty of the deep, aquamarine sea is indeed a soothing sight. Amidst the thick, dense coconut groves on the beach, tents have been put up by the MTDC to lure holiday-goers, who are weary of the concrete and crowds.
Rock Climbing & Trekking
The Karla mountains, probably dating back to 160 BC, harbour the largest cluster of Chaitya caves. Their sheer rock faces provide the appropriate terrain for a rock climber to reach up to the white, fluffy clouds. Another popular adventure spot could be at Bhandardara. Bhandardara is 180 kms by road. It has one of the most beautiful lakes in the country surrounded by majestic hills. You can go off on long treks around the surrounding hills like Ratangadh, a favourite fort of Shivaji or Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, to the sprightly Randha falls or to Amriteshwar, a 1200 year- old temple.
Various forts in the Sahyadris also provide a good base for trekking activities. Forts around Pune like the Sinhgad,Lohagad, Visapur, Shivneri, Purandar, Rajgad, Raigad etc. are some of the few forts. Besides this Pratapgarh near Mahabaleshwar, Panhala near Kolhapur and Torna near Bhor are other exciting options. There are various clubs and private institutions which organize trekking expeditions on a regular
A legacy of the British, sailing has been kept alive by die-hard enthusiasts who have made sailing the most established water sport in the country. The main centres are Bombay and Pune. Pune, has a number of picturesque lakes where you can go out windsurfing, like Pawna, Panshet, Mulshi and Khadakvasla. Equipment is available only at the Khadakvasla Lake. Windsurfing on the crystal clear water of these lakes is a unique experience. In the summer months, you can get some super-sonic rides on these fresh water lakes.
Exploring the Wild Life
Maharashtra is known for its rich collection of wild life both flora and fauna. The forests abound in varied vegetational types which make for extremely scenic landscapes. Chikhaladara near Nagpur is full of deep valleys and is home to Melghat tiger project and Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park.
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