Maharashtra

About

Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India and is India's second-most populous state and third-largest state by area. Spread over 307,713 km, it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian states of Karnataka, Telangana, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It is also the world's second-most populous subnational entity. It has over 112 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population of approximately 18 million. Nagpur is Maharashtra's second capital as well as its winter capital. Mumbai has been the capital of Maharashtra since the day it was formed.The major rivers of the state are Godavari, and Krishna. The Narmada and Tapti Rivers flow near the border between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Maharashtra is the third most urbanised state among major states in India. Ancient and medieval Maharashtra was ruled by the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Deccan sultanates, Mughals and Marathas respectively. Ruins, monuments, tombs, forts and places of worship left by these rulers are dotted around the state. They include the world heritage sites of Ajanta caves and Ellora caves. There are also numerous forts associated with the life of Shivaji Maharaj.

History

Maharashtra was ruled by the Maurya Empire in the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. Around 230 BCE Maharashtra came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty for 400 years.The greatest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni. In 90 CE Vedishri,son of the Satavahana king Satakarni, the "Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty", made Junnar, thirty miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom. The state was also ruled by Western Satraps, Gupta Empire, Gurjara-Pratihara, Vakataka, Kadambas, Chalukya Empire, Rashtrakuta Dynasty, and Western Chalukya before finally, the Yadava rule. The Chalukya dynasty ruled from the 6th century to the 8th century CE and the two prominent rulers were Pulakeshin II, who defeated the north Indian Emperor Harsha, and Vikramaditya, who defeated the Arab invaders in the 8th century. The Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Maharashtra by that time. In the early 14th century, the Yadava dynasty, which ruled most of present-day Maharashtra, was overthrown by the Delhi Sultanate ruler Ala-ud-din Khalji. Later, Muhammad bin Tughluq conquered parts of the Deccan, and temporarily shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in Maharashtra. By the early 17th century, Shahaji Bhosale, an ambitious local general who had served Ahmadnagar Nizamshahi, the Mughals and Adil Shah of Bijapur at different periods during his career, attempted to establish his independent rule. At the turn of the 20th century, the struggle for independence took shape, led by radical nationalist Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the moderates like Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhai Naoroji, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule - social reformers who were all born in this region. Tilak was an inspiration to many Nationalists from the following generation like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. After the partial autonomy given to the states by the Government of India Act of 1935, B. G. Kher became the first Chief Minister of the Congress party led Government of tri-lingual Bombay Presidency.The ultimatum to the British during the Quit India Movement was given in Mumbai, and culminated in the transfer of power and independence in 1947.

Language And Culture

Language: Official language of the Maharashtra is Marathi. Infact, this language is spoken by the majority of population living in the state. In the bigger cities of Maharashtra (like Mumbai, Pune, etc), where the populace has acquired cosmopolitan nature, Hindi and English are counted amongst the major languages. Along with this, people are also found speaking Gujarati and Urdu. Culture: Maharashtra has rich culture and heritage. The Ganesh Festival or Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated in Maharashtra has its own identity in India and all over the world. There are numerous old temples of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain culture. These are great monuments of devotion and art. In Mumbai you can find famous churches and tombs. The diversity and the richness of the Maharashtrian culture drips down to its traditional dance forms too. One very interesting dance form in the state is the Povada. Basically based around the life of Shivaji Rao, this dance form is mesmerizing to see.

State symbols

State Animal: Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) State Bird: Yellow-footed green pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera) State Flower: Pride of India (Lagerstroemia speciosa) State Tree: Mango (Mangifera indica)

Top Attractions

1.Gateway of India 2.Pench National Park 3.Kailasa temple 4.EsselWorld 5.Siddhivinayak Temple 6.Lonavala Lake

Top Cities

1.Mumbai 2.Pune 3.Nagpur 4.Nashik 5.Solapur

How to Reach

By Air: Maharashtra has numerous domestic and International airports. Santa Cruz domestic Airport, Chattarpati Shivaji International Airport, Aurangabad Airport, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Airport and several others. From these airports there are major flights operating to and fro, and thus connecting Maharashtra to various parts of India and abroad. By Rail: The state has a well structure for rail network which connects all cities of Maharashtra. There are several fast running trains that operate from Mumbai, which is the most important railway station in Maharashtra. Trains function to and fro from the Mumbai railway station and connect the state of Maharashtra with the rest of India. By Road: There is a strong and dependable network of roads that connect Maharashtra with other parts of the country.