You can visit all the major tourist attractions of India from the Taj Mahal to the Qutub Minar, from Goa’s beaches to Kerala’s backwaters, and from Madhya Pradesh’s wildlife sanctuaries to Himachal Pradesh’s hill stations — but you will never truly feel one with the spirit of this country till you visit its villages. Rural India is where the real pulse of India makes itself seen. With their ethnic charm, beautiful green farmlands, adjacent beaches, slow but meticulous lifestyle, and pleasant ambiance that is capable of making you discover your true self. (ALSO SEE 16 spectacular photos of the most beautiful villages around the world) India’s villages are absolutely magical to say the least. While such villages are scattered all across India, the state of Maharashtra in particular has some fine gems worth checking out. Here are the best villages in Maharashtra for those who like to tread off the beaten path and indulge in some rural tourism. Also Read - Maharashtra Reports 72 Coronavirus Deaths in 24 Hours, Total Positive Cases Climb to 1,135
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Known for its beautiful beach which makes for an awesome weekend getaway, Ganpatipule is a small town which gives you the feeling of a quaint fishing village. It is located on the west coast of India in the Ratnagiri district. The Ganesha temple here is visited by locals and tourists all year round and is considered to be an important pilgrim spot. Several hotels have sprung up over the years for tourists here but the quiet charm of the beach and the easy pace of life in the town makes for a good break from the city. Also Read - Read About Wuhan, Things Can be Better With Time: Uddhav Expresses Hope as Country Battles With COVID-19
Photograph: Maharashtra Tourism
Velas village is famous for the Velas beach which is a nesting ground of Olive Ridley turtles in Maharashtra. Thanks to the popularity of the turtles, the beach now has international recognition and there is also an annual festival held here called the Velas Turtle Festival which draws in tourists from all over the world. However, the true charm of Velas lies in its rural ambiance and history. This village in Ratnagiri is the birthplace of Nana Phadnis, the great minister of the Maratha Empire.
Shani Shingnapur is popular as the village with no doors. The houses and temples in this village do not have doors due to a legend associated with Shani. Even the post office is left open as there is utmost faith that no kind of robbery can take place here. A significant place for Hindus on account of the Shani temple located here, Shani Shingnapur is usually part of the Shirdi tour for Sai Baba devotees. It is just 35 km away from Ahmednagar.
A taluka city in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, Murud is a great place for rural tourism due to its laid back ambiance and green scenic beauty all around. The administrative division of Murud is home to a number of villages like Adhi, Borli, Kashid, and Sawali which all fall on an extremely picturesque route. The coastal village of Murud is known for the mammoth Murud-Janjira fort which makes for a spectacular landscape. CHECK OUT 45 fabulous beaches in India that every beach lover must visit!
- Diveagar in Maharashtra
Another coastal delight in Maharashtra is Diveagar, one of the best offbeat places to visit in the country. This village in the Raigad distrcit provide some stunning views of the sunset and gives you a sneak peek into rural life in the state. With sparse population, a relaxed pace of life and clean surroundings, Diveagar makes for an extremely pleasant getaway from the cities.
One of the lesser known villages of Maharashtra, Dehna is worth a visit for its beautiful paddy fields and countryside landscapes. The gushing river, heartwarming greenery, and amazing local food and people of Dehna will keep you engaged and give you some respite from your busy routine. You can also take an excursion to the nearby Kalsubai, Maharashtra’s highest peak. Dehna is around 130 km from Mumbai and is located in a high rainfall region making it wonderful to visit during monsoon.
- Photograph Courtesy: Bhatta!/Creative Commons
Purushwadi is known for the firefly festival which can be an experience of a lifetime. Imagine watching millions of fireflies shed light into the darkness in a valley! Located around 70 km from Igatpuri in Maharashtra, the Purushwadi village is an excellent choice for campers and nature lovers. An organization called Grassroutes sets up camps here and they are your best option for an organized trip.
Rajmachi during the rains
And then there is the monsoon paradise of Rajmachi! Popular among trekkers and nature enthusiasts, Rajmachi is a fort located near the Udhewadi village which is the base of the trek. Local families in Udhewadi are friendly people who provide food and refreshments to trekkers. The region around Udhewadi is as beautiful as the trek itself and provides a serene and rejuvenating ambiance.
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