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Four Breathtaking UNESCO Sites Can Be Found Throughout this Diverse State in Southwestern India


Mumbai, India (March 3, 2008)-- Maharashtra, India’s third largest state, home to the cosmopolitan capital of Mumbai (Bombay), offers visitors a unique array of experiences, ranging from beautiful landscapes of tropical forests to relaxing beaches on the Arabian Sea. What is most breathtaking of Maharashtra is its deep history and position as home to hundreds of archaeological sites, including four designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-- as World Heritage sites to be protected and preserved by the law. Maharashtra’s four World Heritage sites include the rock cut-temples of Ajanta and Ellora, the Elephanta caves, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai (Bombay).


Ajanta Caves


The Ajanta caves are a source of tremendous pride for Maharashtra. The rock-cut caves, which lie in the form of a gigantic horseshoe, illustrate the skill and artistry that Indian craftsmen achieved several hundred years ago. Dating from 100 B.C., these caves were carved out of solid rock with only a hammer and chisel. Many of the caves are elaborated with detailed carvings on walls, pillars and entrances and feature intricate paintings. These works exemplify the finest and oldest examples of Buddhist frescoes in the world.


Ellora Caves


The cave temples and monasteries at Ellora, form an enormous complex carved out of the vertical face of an escapement north of the city of Aurangabad. Extending in a linear fashion, the 34 caves fall into three distinct categories: Buddhist, Hindu and Jain.  The Buddhist caves contain intricate Buddhist related carvings; the Hindu caves contain sculptures of Hindu deities; and the Jain caves, the most striking of these caves are known as Indra Sabha and provide visitors with a sense of mystery and spirituality found nowhere else. 


Elephanta Caves


The Elephanta Caves are the heart of the Elephanta Island, located in the Mumbai harbor.  The “City of Caves,” is a temple complex said to be the abode of Shiva and is created from one large piece of rock. The Elephanta Caves cover an area of 60,000 sq ft, consisting of a main chamber, two lateral ones, courtyards and subsidiary shrines.  These caves contain beautiful, larger-than-life reliefs and sculptures depiciting the lives of Hindu deities, as well as a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.


Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus


The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is an example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, and is the westernmost point for the Central Railways of India. Renowned for its ornamentation, the Victoria Terminus, as it is informally called, personifies colonial Raj architecture with an intricate façade and meticulously executed panels and frescos adorning the walls, arches and windows. This attractive site is located in the center of Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra’s capital.


The electrifying city of Mumbai is India’s financial epicenter and home to the eminent Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry. With a constant stream of musical, dance and theatrical performances, Mumbai caters to all visitors’ desires, and provides every experience from adventure to romance. Its variety of tourism offerings includes tropical beaches on the Arabian Sea, scenic drives, world-class theatres, lively nightclubs, ultra-modern bars and a diverse offering of restaurants.


About Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation:


Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) was set up by the Government of Maharashtra in 1975. The objective of this government body is to develop and monitor incremental tourist traffic into the state.


Apart from acting as the primary agency of the state for promotion and development of tourism, MTDC also protects and enhances the state’s historical physical and cultural heritage. The State Tourism Board MTDC has been played a pivotal role in projecting the multifaceted culture and heritage of Maharashtra among visitors from all over India and the world.


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