Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India. It is
the second most populous state after Uttar Pradesh and third
largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is the wealthiest
state in India, contributing 15% of the country's industrial
output and 13.3% of its GDP (2006–2007 figures). Maharashtra
is the world's second most populous first-level administrative
country sub-division. The state covers an area of 307,731 km2
(118,816 sq mi) or 9.84% of the total geographical area of
India. Mumbai, the capital city of the state, is India's
largest city and the financial capital of the nation. Nagpur
is the second (Winter) capital of the state. Marathi is the
state's official language.
Maharashtra is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west,
Gujarat and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to
the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the north and northeast,
Chhattisgarh to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast,
Karnataka to the south and Goa to the southwest. Maharashtra
is one of the most industrialized states of india. Maharashtra
is the most visited state by foreign tourists in India and 4th
most visited state by domestic tourists in country in
2010.Recently, Aurangabad was declared as Tourism Capital of
History of Maharashtra
name Maharashtra appeared in a 7th-century inscription and in
the account of a Chinese traveller, Hiuen-Tsang. In 90 AD
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.. Maharashtra was ruled by the Maurya Empire in the 4th
and 3rd century BC. Around 230 BCE Maharashtra came under the
rule of the Satavahana dynasty which ruled the region for 400
The greatest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra
Satakarni. The Chalukya dynasty ruled Maharashtra from the 6th
century to the 8th century and the two famous rulers were
Pulakesi II, who defeated the north Indian Emperor Harsha and
Vikramaditya II, who defeated the Arab invaders in the 8th
century. The Rashtrakuta Dynasty ruled Maharashtra from the 8th
to the 10th century.The Arab traveler Sulaiman called the ruler
of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty (Amoghavarsha) as "one of the 4 great
kings of the world".
In the early 14th century the Yadava dynasty, which ruled most
of present-day Maharashtra, was defeated by the Delhi
Sultanateruler 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 in the service of the Mughals and Adil Shah of Bijapur,
attempted to establish his independent rule. His son Shivaji
succeeded in establishing Maratha Empire which was further
expanded by Bhonsle of Nagpur, Gaekwad of Baroda, Holkar of
Indore, Scindia of Gwalior and Peshwas (prime ministers). The
Marathas defeated the Mughals, and conquered large territories
in Northern and Central parts of the Indian subcontinent.
After India's independence, the Deccan States, including
Kolhapur were included into Bombay State, which was created from
the former Bombay Presidency in 1950. In 1956, the States
Reorganisation Act reorganised the Indian states along
linguistic lines, and Bombay Presidency State was enlarged by
the addition of the predominantly Marathi-speaking regions of
Marathwada from erstwhile Hyderabad state and Vidarbha region
from the Central Provinces and Berar. Also, southernmost part of
Bombay State was ceded to Mysore one. From 1954–1955 the people
of Maharashtra strongly protested against bilingual Bombay state
and Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti under the leadership of Dr.
Gopalrao Khedkar was formed.
Geography of Maharashtra
Maharashtra encompasses an area of 308,000 km˛ (119,000 mi˛),
and it is the third largest state in India. It is surrounded by
the states of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the
east, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast, Karnataka to the south,
and Goa to the southwest. Kalsubai, a peak in the Sahyadris,
near Nashik City is the highest elevated point in Maharashtra.
To the east of the Ghats lies the flat Deccan Plateau. To the
west of these hills lie the Konkan coastal plains, 50–80
kilometres in width. The state of Gujarat lies to the northwest,
with the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli sandwiched in
between. The Arabian Sea makes up Maharashtra's west coast. The
Western Ghats better known as Sahyadri, are a hilly range
running parallel to the coast, at an average altitude of 1,200
metres (4,000 ft). The Western Ghats form one of the three
watersheds of India, from which many South Indian rivers
originate, most famous among the rivers are the Krishna River
and Godavari River which flow eastward into the Bay of Bengal,
forming one of the greatest river basins in India.
Tourism in Maharashtra
Maharashtra offers the adventure lovers, over 45
adventures to choose from across its length and breadth.
It has over 550 forts to visit including over 20 Sea
Forts, 720 km of coastline, the unbelievable scenes of its
western ghats that has excellent wildlife and camping
possibilities. From water to land to aero, there is a host
of adventures to choose from
Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb
up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial
Wildlife Safari is a safari park in Winston, Oregon,
United States. It is home to hundreds of animals that
wander freely over the 600-acre (240 ha) park, which
guests can drive through.
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a
diver uses a self contained underwater breathing apparatus
(scuba) to breathe underwater.
Paragliding is the leisure and competitive adventure sport
of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying,
foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary
Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air
sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as
gliders or sailplanes using naturally occurring currents
of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne.
Canoeing is a paddle sport in which one can kneel or sit
facing forward in an open-deckedcanoe, and propel
themselves with a single-bladed paddle, under owns power.
Kayaking is the use of a Kayak for moving across water.
Over the years, kayaking has evolved into a popular water
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a
body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped
tube called a snorkel, and generally fins.
Maharashtra has an enormous potential for Nature Tourism.
Many public and private organisations have begun unique
and innovative nature tourism. Some of them are Ecomantra,
Nature Trails, Wild Escapes, Orchid Group etc.
Hill stations in Maharashtra
Lonavale is a town and a hill station Municipal Council in
Pune district in the Maharashtra India.It is about 64 km
away from the city of Pune, 96 km away from the city
Igatpuri is a town and a Hill Station municipal council in
Nashik District in the Maharashtra, India. It is located
in the Western Ghats.
Karjat is a city, a Municipal Council, a Tahsil and a
sub-district in Raigad district,Mumbai in the Indian state
Mahabaleshwar is a city and a municipal council in Satara
district in the Maharashtra, India. It is a hill station
which is located in the Western Ghats range.
Panhala is a city and a Hill station Municipal Council
(3177 feet above sea level) 18 km northwest of Kolhapur,
in Kolhapur district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Khandala is a hill station in the Western Ghats in the
state of Maharashtra, India, it is about 3 kilometres from
Lonavala and 7 kilometres from Karjat.
Amboli is a hill station in south Maharashtra, India. It
is the last hill station before the coastal highlands of
Goa and a relatively unexplored one at an elevation of 690
Chikhaldara is a Hill Station and a municipal council in
Amravati district in the state of Maharashtra, India. The
scenic beauty of Chikhaldara can be enjoyed from Prospect
Point, Devi Point, and Hurricane Point.
Toranmal is a Hill Station in the municipal council of the
Nandurbar district in Maharashtra, India.
Jawhar is a city and a municipal council in Thane district
in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is about 166 km
from Mumbai and 80 km from the city of Nasik.
Panchgani is a famous hill station and municipal council
in Satara district in Maharashtra, India.
Matheran is a Hill Station and a municipal council in the
Raigad district in the Maharashtra, India.
How To Reach There
Mumbai is the state's most important Railway Station. A large
number of important trains link the city to other important
cities and states of India. There are also major Railway
Stations in or close by the tourist destinations.
National Highway 17 and the National Highway 6 links the state
of Maharashtra with the rest of India. The state enjoys
extremely good road network. Besides, a number of other National
Highways and State Highways crisscross the state making it
convenient to approach any city of Maharashtra from any part of
the country. MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport
Corporation) runs several buses to and from the city to several
other cities and states of the country.
The state has two airports - one international (Chattarpati
Shivaji International Airport) and another domestic (Santa Cruz
Domestic Airport) - in its capital city Mumbai. All public and
private airlines, like: Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways,
Air Sahara, Kingfisher Airlines, Spice Jet, Air Deccan, operate
regularly to and from Mumbai.