Located in the western part of India, Maharashtra is the third largest state in terms of area and second most populous state in the country. The state covers an area of 307713 square Km. 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. Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra and Nagpur is Maharashtra’s second capital as well as its winter capital. The State was formed on 1 May 1960 and since then it has been developing at a faster pace and is regarded to be one of the most developed State in the country. Maharashtra has total 36 districts and the official language of this State is Marathi since a large number of Marathi-speaking populations reside here.
|Established||1 May, 1960|
|Total Population (2011)||112,372,972|
|High Court||Bombay High Court|
|Rivers||Godavari, Bhima, Narmada, Krishna, Wainganga, penganga, Indravati, Girna and Mula-Mutha etc.|
|National Parks||Tadoba National Park, Pench National Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park|
|Languages||Marathi, English, Konkani|
|State Animal||Indian Giant Squirrel|
|State Bird||Yellow-footed Green Pigeon|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||79.85%|
|Females per 1000 males||925|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||48|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
Maharashtra has a glorious 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 in various period include the Satavahana dynasty (first century B.C.), Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th to the 10th century), Western Chalukyas (10th and 12th century). The Yadava dynasty (12th to 14th century) was defeated by the Delhi Sultanate. The Delhi Sultanate declined in 1347 and this led to the rise of the Bahamani Sultanate which ruled the state till 1518. The region was also under the rule of the Mughals. During the 16th century Maharashtra saw the rise of the Marathas with Shivaji establishing a Maratha Empire. By the 18th century, the Maratha Empire had significantly expanded under the Peshwas and a large part of India came under the control of Maratha rule. But the Maratha power was finally crushed during the Third Anglo-Maratha War fought during 1817-1818. Thereafter, the region passed into the hands of the British (East India Company) who governed the western part of the state as Bombay Presidency (1843 to 1936) which included Karachi and parts of northern Deccan apart from many princely states in Western India. After independence, the Bombay State was created adding some small princely states in Deccan and Kolhapur to the erstwhile Bombay Presidency. The Deccan States and Kolhapur were also included in the newly formed state. In 1960, the Bombay State was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The Western and Central part of the country is occupied by Maharashtra; this also includes a long coastline stretching 720 kilometers along the Arabian Sea. The striking physical features of this State are that the Deccan Plateau which is separated from the Konkan coastline by repeated steep hills called ‘Ghats’. Mainly the State’s hill station is located in the Ghats. The Western Ghats (or the Sahyadri Mountain range) is endowed with a physical backbone to the state on the west, while the Satpura Hills along the north and Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the east bordering the entire State. A greater part of the forests are in the eastern and Sahyadri regions of the state. The main rivers of the state are Krishna, Bhima, Godavari, Tapi-Purna and Wardha-Wainganga.
Maharashtra has a population of 112,374,333 which is 9.28% of India’s population. This includes 58,243,056 of male population and 54,131,277 of female population. The total population growth in 2011 was 15.99 percent while in the previous decade it was 22.57 percent. The sex ratio in Maharashtra was 925 females per 1000 males and this is below the national average of 940. The literacy rate of this State is 83.2 % and out of this male literacy stood at 89.82% and female literacy stood at 75.48%.
The economy of Maharashtra is determined by the industries like manufacturing, international trade, Mass Media (television, movies, video games and recorded music), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, information technology and tourism. Maharashtra is the most industrialized state and has maintained the leading position in the industrial sector in India. The State is pioneer in small scale industries. Mumbai, the capital of state and the financial capital of India, houses the headquarters of most of the major corporate and financial institutions and banks. India’s main stock exchanges and capital market and commodity exchange’s offices and headquarters are located in Mumbai. The State still gets industrial investments from domestic as well as foreign institutions. Maharashtra has the largest proportion of taxpayers in India and its share markets transact almost 70 per cent of the country’s stocks. The State’s more than half the population is engaged in rural, agriculture and allied industries play an equally important role in the states’ economy. The agriculture and allied activities sector contributes 12.9% to the state’s income. The crops such as rice millet, sugarcane, cotton, oilseeds, tobacco, fruit, vegetables and spices such as turmeric are grown widely here. Animal husbandry is an important agriculture related activity. Thus, this result in growth of great economy and its total Net State Domestic Product is Rs. 16.866 Trillion during 2014-2015.
Maharashtra is the most tourist gathered places in India. Tourists flock to see the the greenery of Khandala, Panchmarhi, Lonavla, Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai, Pune, Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Matheran, Alibaug,Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Shaniwarwada fort, Dagdu Seth Ganapati Temple and various kinds of beaches like Juhu, Chowpatty, etc.
The most popular sports played in Maharashtra are Kabaddi and Cricket. Maharashtra has various domestic level franchise-based leagues for hockey, chess, tennis and badminton. The state is also home to top national football clubs such as Mumbai Tigers F.C, Kenkre F.C, Bengal Mumbai FC and Air India FC. Maharashtra has an Indian Premier League Cricket franchise known as the Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) regulates cricket in state. Notable sportsperson from Maharashtra include retired Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar who were part of the Indian national cricket team. Other famous sports personalities are former Hockey player Dhanraj Pillai, Rohit Sharma, Aparna Popat, etc.
The state has various transport system with largest road network in India comprising of a number of national and state highways which pass through this state. A few of them are NH -3, 4B, 4C, 6, 44, 8, 65, 13, 63, 26B, etc. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) provides reasonable and trustworthy passenger road transport service for the public. These state-run buses are the ideal means of transport for the commuters. Other than this metered taxis and auto rickshaws are also the other forms of transports which run in Maharashtra. Rail transportation consists of the Central Railway and the Western Railway zones of the Indian Railways. It has it’s headquarter in Mumbai, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Churchgate respectively. Mumbai Suburban Railway is also there for faster commuting to various places. The main sea ports are the Mumbai port and Jawaharlal Nehru port located in Mumbai along with 48 minor ports all around Maharashtra which is the centre for water navigation. All the major cities of Maharashtra have airports. CSIA (formerly Bombay International Airport) and Juhu Airport are the two airports in Mumbai. The international airports consist of Pune International Airport and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (Nagpur). These flights are operated by various airline companies offering domestic and international flights to connect Maharashtra with other parts of India and rest of the parts of world. Nashik Airport is also major airport.
There are various blends of cultural life you will get to see in Maharashtra. Along with Marathi you will also see Gujarati, Bengali and Parsee influence. Makar Sankranti, Gudi Padwa, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Durga Puja are some of the main festivals celebrated in this State with great pomp and show. The traditional Vasudev Dance, Lavni Dance, Dhangari Gaja, Tamasha also adds to the enriched culture of Maharashtra. Moreover, in this State the people of the Warli tribe create ritualistic paintings on cow dung-plastered walls. Other crafts include the famous Paithani sarees and Mashru &Himroo fabrics and Kolahpuri footwear.
Maharashtra has 24 universities where every year 160,000 Graduates passes out. Maharashtra has played a very important role in the development of the modern education system in India. The University of Mumbai is the largest university in the world in terms of the number of graduates and has 141 affiliated colleges. The Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University is the oldest women’s liberal arts college in South Asia established in 1916. College of Engineering Pune which was established in 1854 is the third oldest college in Asia. Government Polytechnic Nagpur, established in 1914 is one of the oldest polytechnic in India. Maharashtra is also home to such notable autonomous institutes as Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, Institute of Chemical Technology, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Walchand College of Engineering, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology Nagpur (VNIT), Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), The University of Pune (now Savitribai Phule Pune University), the National Defence Academy, Film and Television Institute of India, Armed Forces Medical College and National Chemical Laboratory, etc.
Hospitals and Healthcare
In 2011, the health care system in Maharashtra consisted of 363 rural government hospitals, 23 district hospitals with 7,561 beds, 4 general hospitals with 714 beds mostly under the Maharashtra Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and 380 private medical establishments; these establishments provide the state with more than 30,000 hospital beds. It is the first state in India to have nine women’s hospitals serving 1,365 beds. Some of the best hospitals are Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital and many more renowned hospitals.