Maharashtra – Culture and Tradition

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.

History

Raja Shivaji

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 culture

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 Marathi language, folk songs, food, 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.

Tradition of Maharashtra

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi (Ganesh’s birthday) is the biggest festival of 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.

Maharashtrian Wedding Traditions

Typically, Maharashtrians go in for marriage alliance between equal status families. However, the marriage alliance is finalized only after matching of the horoscopes by the family pundit. Following this, the pundit decides the auspicious date for the wedding.

Costumes of Maharashtra

Maharastra
Maharastra

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.

Cuisines in Maharashtra

Maharashtra food

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.

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

gateway from Arabian sea
gateway from Arabian sea

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.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.