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Maharashtra, India

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Avdisha, 8th Standard, Wisdom World School, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India - 136118

Area: 3,07,713 sq. km

Population: 11.24 crore (census 2011)

Capital: Mumbai

Jurisdiction of High Court: Maharastra, Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Principle language: Marathi

State flower: Banaba

State tree: Mango

State animal: Giant squirrel

State bird: Yellow-footed green pigeon

Official website: http://www.maharashtra.gov.in

The first well-known rulers of Maharashtra were the Satavahanas (230 BC to 225 AD), who were practically the founders of Maharashtra, and have left a plethora of literary, epigraphic, artistic, and archaeological evidence. Then, came the Vakatakas, who established a pan-Indian empire. Under them, this area witnessed an all-sided development in the fields of learning, arts and religion. Some of the Ajanta Caves and Fresco Paintings reached their pinnacle during their rule. After the Vakatakas and after a brief interlude of the Kalachuri dynasty, the most important rulers were the Chalukyas followed by the Rashtrakutas and the Yadavas apart from the Shilaharas on the coast. The Yadavas, with Marathi as their court language extended their authority over large parts of the Deccan.

While the Bahamani rule brought a degree of cohesion to the land and its culture, a uniquely homogeneous evolution of Maharashtra as an entity became a reality under the able leadership of Shivaji. A new sense of Swaraj and nationalism was evolved by Shivaji. His noble and glorious power stalled the Mughal advances into this part of India. The Peshwas established the Maratha supremacy from the Deccan Plateau to attack in Punjab.

Maharashtra was in the forefront during freedom struggle and it was here that the Indian National Congress was born. A galaxy of leaders from Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra led the Congress movement under the guidance of Tilak and then Mahatma Gandhi. Maharashtra was the home of Gandhi ji’s movement, while Sevagram was the capital of nationalistic India during the Gandhian era.

The administrative evolution of Maharashtra is the outcome of the linguistic reorganization of the states of India, affected in May, 1960. The state was formed by bringing together all contiguous Marathi-speaking areas, which previously belonged to four different administrative hegemonies. They were the districts between Daman and Goa that formed part of the original British Bombay Province; five districts of the Nizam’s dominion of Hyderabad; eight districts in the south of the Central provinces (Madhya Pradesh) and a sizeable number of petty native-ruled state enclaves lying enclosed within the above  areas, were later merged with adjoining districts. Located in the north centre of Peninsular India, with the command of the Arabian Sea through its Port of Mumbai, Maharashtra has a remarkable physical homogeneity, enforced by its underlying geology. The dominant physical trait of the state is its plateau character. Maharashtra is a plateau of plateaus, its western upturned rims rising to form the Sahyadri Range parallel to the sea-coast and its slopes gently descending towards the east and south-east. Satpura ranges cover the northern part, while Ajanta and Satmala ranges run through central part. Arabian Sea guards the western boundary of the state, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are on the northern side. Chhattisgarh and Telangana cover the eastern boundary of the state. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are on its southern side.

Agriculture

About 65 per cent of the total workers in the state depend on agriculture and allied activities. Principal crops grown are rice, jowar, bajra, wheat, tur, mung, urad, gram and other pulses. The state is a major producer of oilseeds. Groundnut, sunflower, soyabean are major oilseed crops. Important cash crops are cotton, sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables.

Industry

The state has been identified as the country’s powerhouse and Mumbai, its capital as the centre point of India’s financial and commercial markets. Industrial sector occupies a prominent position in the economy of Maharashtra. Food products, breweries, tobacco and related products, textiles and textile products, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, rubber, plastic, chemical and chemical products, machinery, electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and transport equipment and parts contribute substantially to the industrial production.

Transport

Roads: Total length of roads in the state is 2.43 lakh km consisting of 4,376 km of national highways, 34,157 km of state highways, 50,256 km of major district roads, 46,817 km of other district roads, and 1,06,601 km of village roads.

Railways: Maharashtra has 5,983 km of railway routes which is 9.2 per cent of total railway route in the country.

Aviation: There are 3 international and 5 domestic airports in the state. To reduce congestion in Mumbai International Airport, an additional airport has been proposed at Navi Mumbai.

Ports : Mumbai is a major port. There are two major and 48 notified minor ports in the state.

Tourist Centres

Some important tourist centres are Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Kanheri and Karla caves, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran and Panchgani, Jowhar, Malshej ghat, Amboli, Chikaldara, Panhala hill stations and religious places at Pandharpur, Nashik, Shirdi, Nanded, Aundha Nagnath, Trimbakeshwar, Tuljapur, Ganpatipule, Bhimashanker, Harihareshwar, Shegaon, Kolhapur, Jejuri and Ambajogai.

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