Ahmedabad is the main city of gujarat and the centre of the famous textile industry. This city extends on both sides of the river Sabarmati and has many monuments that depict the influence of Hindu and Islamic styles. Another famous landmark here is the Sabarmati Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi lived. This city also has many textile museums.
Other important attractions of Gujarat are Dwarka, Girnar, Rann of Kutch wildlife sanctuary, and Sasangir national park. Dwarka is an important Hindu pilgrimage site, and has the Dwarkanath temple . It is believed that Lord Krishna fled here from his birth place in Mathura. The birth of Lord Krishna in August / September is a major event of Dwarka.
Beautifully designed Jain temples atop a 600 metre high Girnar Hill is an important destination for Jain pilgrims. This place is located near Junagadh. The Rann of Kutch wildlife sanctuary is home to the fast moving Wild Ass (Khur). Other animals that can be found here are wolves and the caracal. The Sasan Gir National Park is unique as it is the last refuge of the Asiatic lion and about 250 of them live here.
Maharashtra has many beautiful attractions like Ajanta & Ellora, Bhaja, Elephanta and Karla Caves. Mahabaleshwar, Aurangabad, Nashik, Shirdi and cosmopolitian Mumbai are its other attractions.
Ajanta & Ellora caves have shrines that were cut out of rock, by hand and is one of the wonders of ancient Indian architecture. There are 34 caves at Ellora and 29 at Ajanta, which were discovered in the 19th century.
Ajanta Caves are at the Sahyadri hills, above the Waghora river. These caves tell the story of Buddhism and were built to serve as retreats for Buddhist monks, who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas (ancient learning centres). Many of the caves have panels with stories from the Jatakas (tales of the several incarnations of the Buddha).
Ellora Caves are carved into the sides of a hill, 30 kms from Aurangabad. These cave temple architecture, represents the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and
Jainism carved during the 350 AD to 700 AD. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.
Bhaja caves were carved in the 200 B.C. and has architectural style of the caves at Karla. There are 14 stupas inside and outside of the caves. Elephanta has rock cut temples and caves: prominent among which is the three-headed Trimurti. Karla caves were carved in 80 B.C. and has the impressive prayer hall (Chaitya) inside it.
Nashik is an important Hindu pilgrimage site located on the banks of the river Godavari is full of temples. The Kumb Mela held in Nashik once in every 12 years attracts a lot of Hindu pilgrims. Shridi is the place where the mystic saint Sai Baba lived till his death in 1918 and this place also attracts devotees of all faiths. A picture of the saint Shridi ki Sai Baba is as shown on the left.
Mumbai (Bombay) is the capital of Maharashtra and the commercial capital of India. This cosmopolitian city has some great art galleries, musuems and a thriving night life. Mahabaleshwar is the hill station of Maharashtra located on the Western Ghats and is an excellent place to rest and relax. Aurangabad is named after the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb and this place is famous for its caves of 6th and 7th century A.D. and the Bibi-ka-Maqbara which is a memorial of Aurangazeb's wife.
Manipur is renowned for its dance and colourful costumes. Manipur has many beautiful scenic locations. The capital of Manipur is Imphal where the Manipuri style dance programme on the Krishna theme is held daily at the Shri Govindji temple. A 15th century Vishnu Temple is located at Vishnupur, 29 kilometres away from Imphal.