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Maharashtra is a state in India's western and central peninsular regions, comprising a large chunk of the Deccan Plateau and extending into the Arabian Sea. This state serves as the geographic centre of India. Maharashtra is the second-most populous state in India and the third-most populous country subdivision in the world, according to the United Nations Population Division. It was established on May 1, 1960, when the bilingual Bombay State, which had existed since 1956, was divided into two states: Maharashtra, which spoke Marathi as its primary language, and Gujarat, which spoke Gujarati as its primary language. As a result, Maharashtra is a state that speaks the Marathi language. The state is split into six divisions and thirty-six districts, with Mumbai acting as the state capital and as the country's most populated metropolitan region, and Nagpur serving as the country's winter capital. The Godavari and the Krishna rivers are the state's two most important rivers. Marathi is the most frequently spoken language in the state of Maharashtra, and it is also the state's official language. It is estimated that 16.47 percent of the state's total geographical area is covered by forest cover. About 60% of the total cultivable area in Maharashtra is utilised for grain crops, with Jowar (Sorghum bicolor) being the most important of these crops.

The Maratha Empire, which had its headquarters in Maharashtra, was a powerful monarchy. In the centuries leading up to Indian independence, the state had been controlled by several dynasties such as the Satavahanas, the Rashtrakutas, the Western Chalukyas, Deccan sultanates, the Mughals and the British. A scattering of ruinous structures, tombs, fortifications, and places of worship, left by these monarchs, may be found across the state. At the period of the Indian independence struggle in the early twentieth century, Maharashtra was divided into two large princely states: the Deccan and the Kolhapur kingdoms. The state is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Ajanta, Ellora, and Elephanta caves, as well as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Station) (formerly Victoria Terminus). In recognition of the presence of multiple internationally renowned educational institutions, Pune is dubbed as the 'Oxford of the East.' Due to the high concentration of wineries and vineyards in Nashik, the city is renowned as the 'Wine Capital of India.' The state of Maharashtra gives legal protection to its tiger population via the establishment of six designated tiger reserves inside the boundaries of the National Tiger Conservation Authority's administrative boundaries.

State of Maharashtra is India's most industrialised state, and Mumbai, the state's capital, serves as the country's financial and commercial centre. The state has played a considerable role in the country's social and political life, and it is usually regarded as a leader in the fields of agricultural and industrial output, commerce and transportation, as well as education and training. According to the World Bank, Maharashtra is one of the most developed Indian states and remains the single greatest contributor to the national economy, accounting for 12 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Its economy, which has a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of 21.61 trillion rupees (US$290 billion) and a GSDP per capita of 229,488 rupees (US$3,000), is the greatest in India. According to the Human Development Index, Maharashtra has the fifteenth highest score among Indian states.