Maharashtra is one of the largest states in India, both in terms of population and area. Its booming capital Mumbai makes it not only one of the most important states economically, but also a major gateway for overseas visitors. The name Maharashtra first appeared in a 7th-century inscription and in a Chinese traveler’s account. Its name may have originated from ‘rathi‘, meaning ‘chariot driver‘, referring to builders and drivers of chariots, who were known as ‘maharathis‘, or ‘fighting force‘.
The physical character of Maharashtra is predominantly that of a plateau. The Western Ghats flank the western coast of the state. The Satpura range covers the northern part of the state, while the Ajanta and Satmala ranges run through the central part. Maharashtra is contiguous to the Arabian Sea on the western side, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are its neighbors on the northern side. The eastern part of Maharashtra has its boundary with Madhya Pradesh, and on its southern side are the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The third – largest state of India, both in area and population, Maharashtra was formed in 1960, when the Marathi and Gujarati linguistic areas of the former Bombay state were separated. Bombay (Mumbai) city became the capital of the new state.
Fast Facts :
Area: 3,07,713 sq km
Religion: Hinduism (81.11%), Islam (9.66%), Others (9.23%)
Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
Best time to visit: October to March.
- Major Cities: Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Solapur, Aurangabad
State Emblem: Samai
State motto: प्रतिपच्चंद्रलेखेव वर्धिष्णुर्विश्व वंदिता महाराष्ट्रस्य राज्यस्य मुद्रा भद्राय राजते
(The glory of this Seal of Maharashtra will grow like the first day moon. It will be worshiped by the world and will shine only for the well being of people)
State Animal: Indian giant squirrel
State Bird: Yellow-footed green pigeon
State butterfly: Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor)
State Tree: Mango (Mangifera indica)
State Flower: Pride of India (Lagerstroemia speciosa)
Tourist Attractions :
Being the commercial hub of India, Bombay is the main international gateway to the country. The city has far more international flights than Delhi, Kolkata or Chennai. It also has the busiest network of domestic flights, including flights to Aurangabad the base for visiting the world heritage sites of Ellora and Ajanta caves. The international airport (Sahar) and the domestic terminal (Santa Cruz) are 30km and 25km respectively from the center of Bombay. You have good facilities shuttle buses between the two terminals. Long-distance buses ply from the state road transport terminal opposite Bombay’s Central railway station to different destinations within the state of Maharashtra and outside the state. The state buses of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh connect Bombay to different places in these states.
Gateway of India
The ceremonial arch was built in 1927 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Constructed in honey-colored basalt the gateway was designed by George Wittet, inspired by 16th century Gujarat Style. Historically the Gateway holds greater significance as the last of the British troops left Independent India by sea marched through its portals.
This sweeping Queens Necklace, Flickering with a thousand light turns into the main thoroughfare linking Malabar Hill and the northern parts of the island to the southernmost points of Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point and Fort.
97 km from Nashik, Shirdi is associated with the name of the mystic saint Sai Baba (c. 1838 – 1918) who is revered by the people of a different faith. A temple dedicated to him has been built here and draws thousands of visitors. Other tourist attractions are the Gurusthan, the Khandoba Temple, the Shani Mandir, the Narasimha Mandir, the Changdev Maharaj Samadhi and the Sakori Ashram.
The beautifully sculptured fountain was erected in the memory of the Governor, Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere as a tribute for his contribution towards the building of Bombay.
One of the most beautiful hill stations in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is situated at an elevation of 1372 mt. above sea level. Better known as Strawberry Country the place is an ideal place for honeymoon couples and families.
Popular tourists points in and around Mahabaleshwar are Wilson Point, Connaught Peak, Elphiston Point, Marjorie Point, Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat, Baghdad Point, Babington Point, Northcote Point, Falkland Point, Carnac Point, Fitzgerald Point, Bombay Point, Gaolani Point, Panchgani Point, Helen’s Point and Venna Lake.
Located in Sahyadri hills near the west coast of India, Pune is a fascinating city with a healthy climate all year around. The city was one of the pivotal base of the 17th century great Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, who was born at the Shivneri Fort here. Pune became the seat of the enterprising Peshwas, under whom Maratha power rose into a major political force. The Peshwas were renowned patrons of the arts and in their time, enriched the city with temples, gardens and educational institutions. It was here that Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak introduced the principle of Swadeshi during the Freedom Movement. Today Pune is one of the leading metros in India, with the Film and Television Institute of India and National Defence Academy based here.