Maharashtra – Culture and Tradition
Maharashtra has a richly diverse culture and heritage. It has its own identity in India for its Ganesh festival, Great monuments and numerous old temples.
As it names itself suggest it is the great land, Maha (“great“) and Rashtra (“nation/dominion“). Religions and Social Activities in Maharashtra is a mixture of well diverse democracy and all mixed cultures like the rest of India.
Maharashtra was ruled by Maurya Empire and then by Satavahana dynasty, the Buddhist Ajanta Caves in present-day Aurangabad display influences from the Satavahana and Vakataka style. Shivaji Bhosle, the founder of the Maratha Empire, did a lifelong struggle against the Mughals.
Shivaji was a great warrior and one of the finest rulers of India, so he holds the highest place in Maratha history. The present state was formed in 1960 with Bombay as the capital when the Marathi and Gujarati linguistic areas of former Bombay state were separated. Maharashtra became the main channel of cultural exchange between southern to northern India.
Babasaheb Ambedkar acted as the first law minister of India and was able to suppress the revolts against the minority class or the depressed classes during the freedom movement. Even Lokmanya Tilak is responsible for the independence of India.
Culture of Maharashtra
Maharashtra is divided into various regions; Marathwada, Vidarbha, Khandesh, Konkan, etc., and each region has its own cultural identity in the form of different dialects of the Marathi language, folk songs, food, and ethnicity.
The state is home to a rich spectrum of heritage and intriguing diversity of culture. The Waghya Murali, Potraj, Vasudev, and Gondhali communities have managed to keep alive their unique cultures and vibrant art, enriching the cultural tapestry of Maharashtra with their engaging traditions. But with the opening of modern markets and rapid transformation of lifestyles, the ancient traditions are vanishing fast.
Mumbai in Maharashtra is home to Bollywood the country’s Hindi film industry. Mumbai has long been one of India’s foremost centers for arts and culture, being one of the biggest sites of the country’s theater scene in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Suggested Read: Culture and Tradition of Indian States
Tradition of Maharashtra
Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganesh’s birthday) is the biggest festival for the Maharastra people. The other festivals celebrated on a large scale are Vijayadashami or Dasara (Marathi: दसरा), Navaratri, Holi, Diwali, Eid (Ramzan Eid). The main language spoken in Maharashtra is Marathi.
Typically, Maharashtrians go in for marriage alliance between equal status families. However, the marriage alliance is finalized only after matching the horoscopes by the family pundit. Following this, the pundit decides the auspicious date for the wedding.
Costumes of Maharashtra
Women traditionally wear a nine-yard or five-yard sari and men a dhoti or pajama with a shirt. This, however, is changing with women in urban Maharashtra wearing Punjabi dresses, consisting of a Salwar and a Kurta while men wear trousers and a shirt.
Suggested Read: Traditional Dresses Of Indian States
Cuisines in Maharashtra
The cuisine of Maharashtra varies according to the region of Maharashtra. The people of the Konkan region have a chiefly rice-based diet with fish being a major component, due to the close proximity to the sea.
In eastern Maharashtra, the diet is based more on wheat, jowar, and bajra. Puran Poli, Bakarwadi, plain simple Varan Bhat (a dish cooked with plain rice and curry), and Modak are a few dishes to name. Chicken and mutton are also widely used for a variety of cuisines. Kolhapuri Mutton is a dish famous for its peculiar spicy nature.
Suggested Read: Famous Food Of Indian States
Music and Dances of Maharashtra
The music and dance in Maharashtra vary according to people’s specific localities. Dance forms like Powada, Banjara Holi Dance, Lavani, Koli with mesmerizing music, and rhythmic movement entertain the people of Maharashtra.
Famous tourist attraction
Maharashtra attracts many tourists from different states and foreigners too, the main attraction to see in Maharashtra are Shirdi, Elephanta caves, Ajantha and Ellora caves, Nariman Point, Gateway of India, Bollywood, ISCKON Temple, Marine Drive, Powai Lake, Haji Ali Mosque, Essel World, Hotel Taj, Magarpatta, etc.