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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Maharashtra


Capital : Mumbai
Principal Languages : Marathi

Geography :

One of the largest states in India, Maharashtra enjoys over 450 miles (about 725 km) of beautiful western coastline along the Arabian Sea. The rest of the state is closed in by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh on the north, Chhattisgarr on the east, and Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Goa on the south. The entire state can be viewed as three main geographical regions. Most of the state sits upon the Deccan Plateau. Moving westward, one comes across the thin strip of steep rolling hills known as the Ghats. Intersected by roads and capped by forts, the hills of the Ghats separate the Deccan Plateau from the final geographic region of the state: the Konkan Coastline.

Important Cities - Towns and Religious - Tourist Place :

Ajanta and Ellora (tourist centres), Ahmednagar, Akola, Alibag, Amravati, Aundhanagnath (religious place), Aurangabad, Bhandara, Beed, Buldana, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gadchiroli, Ganapatipule (religious place), Jalgaon, Jaina, Kanheri (tourist center) Karala caves, Kolhapur, Kudal, Latur, Lonavla (hill station), Matheran (hill station), Mumbai (earlier name Bombay, India's large commercial centre, Gateway of India, Chowpatty, Marine Drive, Malabar Hill,Prince of Wales Museum, Jubu Beach, Elephanta Caves dedicated to Lord Shiva), Nagpur, Nanded (religious place), Nasik (religious place), Osmanabad, Panchangani (hill station)., Pandharpur (religious place), Sangli, Satara, Sevargam (Mahatma Gandhi's ashram), Shirdi (pilgrimage place for followers of Shri Sai Baba), Sholapur, Tadobal National Park (wildlife Sanctuary), Thane, Trimbakeshwar (religious place), Tulajpur (religious place), Wardha, Yavatmal.

Climate :

The Maharashtra climate is tropical with slight temperature variations based on proximity to the coastline. January temperatures tend to be in the 60s to 70s range (15.6ºC - 26.1ºC), while May temperatures tend to be anywhere from 90ºF to 105ºF (32.2ºC - 40.6ºC). In general, the Konkan coast tends to enjoy a cooler climate than inland Maharashtra. The monsoon season, which lasts from July to September, brings about 80% of the state's annual rainfall, but again the regional experience varies. Some inland portions of the state remain relatively dry compared to others areas.

Location :

Located in central India, Maharashtra is bounded north by Madhya Pradesh, East by Chhattisgarh, South by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa, west by the Arabian Sea and north-west by Daman and Gujarat.

Culture :

Maharashtra's culture reflects the heterogeneous make up of India. The majority of the population is made up of Hindus, but there are many other religious groups that call Maharashtra home: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and Parsees. Migrants from Persia, the Parsees are followers of Zoroastrianism and add depth to the culture of Maharashtra unseen in other Indian states. Mumbai in August witnesses the celebration of the Parsee New Year, Pateti, including its feasts and gatherings at the fire temple. Along side festivities of this nature, Maharashtra's people celebrate common Hindu and Muslim celebrations. Because of its large Catholic population, Mumbai has massive Christmas celebrations, involving tree decorating and lining the streets with colored lights. The state also observes distinctly Maharashtra holidays that symbolize state pride. Gudi Padva (usually in March or April) is the beginning of Maharashtra's traditional New Year and celebrates the overthrowing of former Gupta rulers by a simple potter's son; the Nariel Purnima (coconut day) observes the end of the monsoon season and finds most enthusiasm in the fishing communities. The Ellora Festifval and the Elephanta Festival both serve as talent shows for India's most gifted classical musicians

History :

Under the State Reorganisation Act, 1956, Bombay State was formed by merging the States of Kutch and Saurashtra and the Marathi-speaking areas of Hyderabad (commonly known as Marathwada) and Madhya Pradesh (also called Vidarbha) in the old State of Mumbai, after the transfer from that state of the Kannada-speaking areas of the Belgum, Bijapur, Kanara and Dharwar districts which were added to the state of Mysore (now Karnataka, and the Abu Road taluka of Banaskantha district, which to the State of Rajasthan. By the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960, which came into force from May 1, 1960,17 districts (predominantly Gujarati-speaking) in the north and west of Mumbai State became the new State of Gujarat and the remainder was renamed Maharashtra.

Economy :

Maharashtra is one of India's largest producers of oilseeds, peanuts, sunflowers, and soybean. It also produces large amounts of cotton, sugarcane, and turmeric, as well as special vegetables and fruits. Despite the large agricultural activity, the state is incredibly industrial, even considered the industrial powerhouse of the country. In fact, Mumbai is the commercial center of India. The state continues to push its industrial growth in many fields including, engineering, petrochemical, food processing, and various agro-industries. The state's largest industry, however, remains the cotton textile industry

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