Mumbai, Aurangabad, Ajanta, Ellora
Mumbai is the capital of the western state of Maharashtra, built on an archipelago of seven islands, namely Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli and Old Woman's Island. The city is a natural harbour lying at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the west coast of India. Mumbai has a lot of structures, monuments, cultural centres that are a standing testimony to its rich history. It is also home to a number of gardens and a national park, which are must-visits for travellers visiting Mumbai.
Declared as the World Heritage Site, Elephanta caves are situated on Elephanta Island in Mumbai harbor. The island has two groups of caves in the rock cut architectural style. Five caves situated on the western hills of the Island are devoted to the Hindu sect Shaiva and various Hindu sculptures are chiseled in these caves. In the second group of caves, various Buddhist architectures can be spotted depicting numerous pictures of Gautam Buddha and several sculptures from Buddhist literature, Jatak Kathayein.
Essel World & Water Kingdom is the largest amusement and water theme park in India. The park is divided into two major sections, Essel World (amusement park) and Water Kingdom (water park). The amusement park offers a variety of exciting rides, games and other attractions like standard roller coaster and adventure themes. Water Kingdom has waterslides for adults and kids, a drifting river and various theme cruises.
The Ajanta Caves are located 107 km away from Aurangabad city, just outside the village of Ajanta. This complex comprises 29 rock-cut cave monuments, which date back to around 2nd century BC. Nestled in the semi-arid Sahayadri Hills above the Waghur River, the caves at Ajanta are famous for beautiful paintings and sculptures that depict tales of Jatakas. Built using only hammer and chisel, these caves served as secluded retreats for Buddhist monks, who performed their rituals in the chaityas and viharas of these caves.
Located 30 km from the city of Aurangabad, the Ellora cave complex is an archaeological site. The cave complex comprises of 34 caves that were hewn out of solid rocks of the Charanandri Hills. Built between the 5th and 10th centuries, these caves are monasteries for Buddhists as well as temples for Hindus and Jains. A symbol of religious harmony of that time, the Ellora complex includes 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain caves.