Located in the western part of India, Maharashtra is the third largest state in the country. The state covers an area of 118,809 square miles. Maharashtra shares its borders with the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh , Telangana, Karnataka, Goa and the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. On the western side of the state lies the Arabian Sea.
Divided into thirty five districts, it has cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nagpur, Thane, Jalgaon and Amravati which have a distinct place on the map of the world. All the districts of Maharashtra are grouped into six divisions: Aurangabad Division, Amravati Division, Konkan Division, Nagpur Division, Nashik Division and Pune Division.
The state which is home to one of the largest film industries of the world i.e. Bollywood, also boasts of being the largest contributor to India's national industrial output.
Maharashtra has a rich history which dates back to many centuries. During the 3rd and 4th century BC, the region was under the rule of the Mauryas. Other dynasties that ruled the region from time to time include the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas. In the early 14th century, the Yadava dynasty was defeated by the Delhi Sultanate. The decline of the Delhi Sultanate in 1347, led to the rise of the Bahmani Sultanate which ruled the state till 1518 when it split in five different kingdoms. The region was also under the rule of the Mughals. The 16th century saw the rise of the Marathas with Shivaji establishing a Maratha Empire. By the 18th century, the Maratha Empire had considerably expanded under the Peshwas and came to control large parts of India. Though the Marathas suffered a setback during the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 but they quickly recovered. Their power was finally crushed during the Third Anglo-Maratha War fought during 1817-1818. Thereafter, the region passed into the hands of the British who governed the western part of the state as the Bombay Presidency which also includes Karachi and parts of northern Deccan. At the time there were also many princely states in the region. Following independence, the Bombay State was created in 150 from the former Bombay Presidency. The Deccan States and Kolhapur were also included in the new state. In 1960, the Bombay State was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat.
There are numerous places to visit in this state. Some of them include Lonavala, Khandala, Matheran, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
The number of national and state highways passing through this state are many. A few of them are NH -3, 4B, 4C, 6, 44, 8, 65, 13, 63, 26B, and many more.
To visit the hills in this state, including Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Chikhaldar and Toranmal, you can spare your time during the Monsoons. However, if you want to avoid rains, you can visit the state between October to March.
By Air: There are two airports in Mumbai itself. The city has one of the major airports of India, Chhatrapati International Airport which connects the country to Sharjah, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ahmadabad, Mauritius, Jaipur, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Munich, Frankfurt, Muscat and many others. The other is the domestic airport, Santa Cruz Domestic Airport. Apart from these, there are airports in other cities of the state, which include Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Kolhapur.
By Rail: The headquarters of the Central Railways, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is located in Mumbai. The cities of Maharashtra, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and Amravati, also have their own railway stations.
By Road: This state is easily accessible by road. There are regular interstate and intrastate bus services available to reach cities like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Ahmadabad and Jaipur.
Maharashtra State Information
|Date of formation||1. May. 1960|
|Governor||Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao|
|Chief Minister||Devendra Fadnavis|
|Tourist attractions||Gateway of India, Murud-Janjira Fort, Elephanta Island, Aurangabad Caves|
|Festivals||Makar Sankranti, Ganesh Chaturthi|
|Major dance and music forms||Vasudev Dance, Lavni Dance, Dhangari Gaja|
|Arts and crafts||People of the Warli tribe create ritualistic paintings on cowdung-plastered walls; Paithani saris; Mashru and Himroo fabrics|
|Languages||Marathi, English, Hindi|
|Size||307,713 sq. km|
|Population (Census 2011)||112,372,972|
|Rivers||Godavari, Penganga, Bhima, Varna, Parvara, Mula|
|Forests and wildlife sanctuaries||Pench NP, Tadoba NP, Nagzira National Park, Nawegoan NP, Devlagaon NP, Gugamal NP.|
|State animal||Giant squirrel|
|State bird||Yellow-footed green pigeon|
|Major crops||Paddy, wheat, sugarcane, oranges|
|Factoids||Gharapuri, just outside Mumbai, has seven beautiful rock-cut caves carved between the 6th and 7th centuries AD.|
|Kolis were among the first residents of the archipelago or arc of seven islands that later became Mumbai.|
|No. of District||36|