Harashtra  ; Marathi:   ( hear ), abbr. MH  or  Maha is  a state in the western peninsular region of India covering most of the Deccan Plateau. It is the second most populous state in India and the second most populous country subdivision globally. It was formed on 1 May 1960 by partitioning the bilingual Bombay State.

which existed since 1956, with majority Marathi-speaking Maharashtra and Gujarati-speaking Gujarat. Maharashtra is home to the Marathi people, the main ethno-linguistic group, who speak the Marathi language, the official language of the state. The state is divided into 6 divisions and 36 districts, the state capital Mumbai is the most populous urban area in India and Nagpur serves as the winter capital, which also hosts the winter session of the state legislature.

  Godavari and Krishna are the two major rivers of the state. Forests cover 16.47 percent of the state’s geographical area. About 60 percent of the total cultivable land in the state is used for grain crops in the Deccan region, rice in the Konkan coast and other high rainfall areas.

Spread over 307,713 km2  (  118,809 sq mi), Maharashtra is the third largest state in India by area. It is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa to the south, Telangana and Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to the north, and the Indian Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

and Daman and Diu to the northwest. There are three international airports in the state, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai), Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (Nagpur), and Pune Airport. There are three railway headquarters in the state. Central Railway (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus), Konkan Railway (CBD Belapur), and Western Railway (Churchgate). State High Courts viz. Bombay High Court is located in Mumbai. 

The state’s lower house Lok Sabha and upper house Rajya Sabha have 48 and 19 seats respectively. President’s Rule has been imposed in Maharashtra three times for a total of 156 days since its formation for different reasons. More than three-quarters of the population follow Hinduism, followed by Islam and Buddhism. The state has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus).

Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states in India. The state capital Mumbai is the financial and commercial capital of India. India’s largest stock exchange Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest in Asia, is located in the city.

 The state plays an important role in the social and political life of the country and is widely regarded as a leader in terms of agricultural and industrial production, trade and transport, and education. Maharashtra is one of the most developed states in India and the largest contributor to the national economy.

It accounts for 14 percent of the all-India nominal GDP. Maharashtra’s economy is the largest in India, with a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of ₹ 31.97 trillion (US$400 billion) and a per capita GSDP of ₹ 225,073 (US$2,800). 

 The state’s economy is dominated by the services sector, accounting for 69.3 percent of the country’s value of output. Although the agriculture sector accounts for 12 percent of the state’s GDP, it provides employment to nearly half of the state’s population. Maharashtra ranks 15th among Indian states in Human Development Index.

The territory occupied by the state has a history dating back several millennia. Before Indian independence, the notable dynasties and entities that ruled the region chronologically include the Mauryas, Western Satraps, Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Bahmanis, Deccan Sultanate, Magathire, Shivarai, etc. 

and British. Ruins, monuments, tombs, forts and places of worship left by these rulers are spread across the state. The state has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus).

 During the Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, the region included several British vassal states, including the Bombay Presidency, and the British territories of Central Provinces and Berar. Of these, the erstwhile Hyderabad State was larger and more expansive than many modern states in India. Other states included in the group under the Deccan States Agency include Kolhapur, Miraj, Sangli, Aundh, Bhor and Sawantwadi.


The modern Marathi language developed from Maharashtrian Prakrit, and  the word Marhatta  (later used for Marathas) is found in Jain Maharashtrian literature. The word Maharashtra (Marathi: மார்ஷாத்து) may have come from the same root along with Maharastri, Marathi and Maratha. However, their exact origin is uncertain. 

The most widely accepted theory among linguistic scholars is that the words Maratha and Maharashtra are ultimately derived  from the combination of Maha  (Marathi: महा) and Rashtriya (Marathi:  राष्टरिका  ), the name of a tribe or dynasty. A ruling chief in the Deccan region. An alternative theory states that the word derives from  maha  (“great”) and  ratha  /  rathi  (chariot/charioteer), referring to the skilled northern fighting force that migrated south to the region.

An alternative theory states that the word derives from the words  maha  (“great”) and  rashtra  (“nation/dominion”). However, this theory is somewhat disputed among modern scholars who believe that it is a Sanskrit interpretation by later writers. 


Geography of Maharashtra

The Brahmagiri hills of the Sahyadri mountain range (

Wainganga River in Bhandara District.

 Maharashtra is the third largest state in terms of area with a total area of ​​307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi) and constitutes 9.36 percent of India’s total geographical area . The state lies between 15°35′ N to 22°02′ N latitude and 72°36′ E to 80°54′ E longitude. It occupies the western and central parts of the country and has a coastline of 840 kilometers along the Arabian Sea. 

The dominant physical feature of the state is its plateau feature, separated from the Konkan coast by the Western Ghats mountain range, which runs parallel to the coast from north to south. The Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadri Range, have an average elevation of 1,200 meters (4,000 ft); Its slopes descend gently towards the east and southeast. The Western Ghats (or Sahyadri mountain ranges) form a physical barrier to the state on the west, while the Satpura Hills in the north and the Bhamragarh-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges in the east act as its natural boundaries. The extension of this state is 700 km from north to south and 800 km from east to west.

 To the west of these hills are the 50-80 km wide Konkan coastal plains. To the east of the Ghats lies the flat Deccan Plateau. The major rivers in the state are the Krishna, and its tributaries, the Bhima, the Godavari and its main tributaries, the Manjra, and the Wardha–Vainganga and Tapi, and its tributary the Purna. Maharashtra is divided into five geographical regions. Konkan is the western coastal region between the Western Ghats and the sea. Khandesh is an Uttar Pradesh located in the Tapti, Purna river basin. 

 Nashik, Malegaon, Jalgaon, Dhule and Bhusawlaya are the major cities of the region. The country is in the center of the state. Marathwada, which was a part of the Hyderabad state until 1956, is located in the southeastern part of the state. 

Aurangabad and Nanded are the major cities of this region. Vidarbha is the easternmost region of the state, formerly part of Madhya Pradesh and Berar. 

The state has limited area under irrigation, low natural soil fertility and is prone to severe droughts. As a result, the agricultural productivity of Maharashtra is generally low compared to the national average for various crops. Maharashtra is divided into nine agro-climatic zones based on annual rainfall, soil type, vegetation and cropping system. 

the weather

from Puntamba in Ahmednagar district 

Godavari became dry with less rain

Maharashtra experiences a tropical monsoon climate with hot, rainy and cold climates and dry summers. Summer begins in the month of March and the temperature rises steadily till June. In the central plains, summer temperatures range between 40 °C or 104.0 °F and 45 °C or 113.0 °F.

May is usually the hottest and January is the coldest month of the year. Winter lasts till February with low temperatures in December and January. On the Deccan Plateau, east of the Sahyadri Range, the climate is dry, however, with dew and hail, depending on the seasonal climate. 

Rainfall in the state varies according to the topography of different regions. The state can be divided into four climatic zones, namely Coastal Konkan, Western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. The southwest monsoon generally arrives in the last week of June and lasts till mid-September. Pre-monsoon rains start from mid-June and post-monsoon rains occur occasionally in October.

 July and August receive the highest average monthly rainfall. During the winter season, the region may receive some rainfall associated with westerly winds. The Konkan coastal area west of the Sahyadri Mountains receives an average annual rainfall of more than 3,000 mm. However, only 150 km to the east, in the rain shadow of the mountain range, only 500–700 mm/year falls and long dry spells leading to drought are a common phenomenon. Many of the 99 Indian districts identified as drought-prone by the Central Water Commission of India are in Maharashtra. 

 The annual average rainfall in the state is 1,181 mm and 75 percent of it falls in the southwest monsoon during June-September. However, under the influence of the Bay of Bengal, East Vidarbha receives good rainfall in July, August, September. Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts receive an average rainfall of 2,000 to 2,500 mm or 80 to 100 inches, and the hill stations of Matheran and Mahabaleshwar receive more than 5,000 mm or 200 inches.

 Parts of Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur receive less than 1,000 mm of annual rainfall or 40. In winter, clear skies, light breezes and pleasant weather prevail from October to February, although East Vidarbha receives rains from the Northeast Monsoon. 

Plants and animals of a particular region or period

The state has three important biogeographical zones namely the Western Ghats, the Deccan Plateau and the West Coast. The Ghats nurture endemic species, the Deccan Plateau provides extensive mountain ranges and grasslands while the coast is coastal and swampy forests. 

The flora of Maharashtra is heterogeneous in composition. The dense forest area recorded in the state in 2012 was 61,939 km2  (  23,915 sq mi) which was about 20.13 percent of the state’s geographical area. There are three main Public Forestry Institutions (PFIs) in the state of Maharashtra: Maharashtra Forest Department (MFD), Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) and Directorate of Social Forestry (SFD). 

 The Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board, established by the Government of Maharashtra in January 2012 under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, is the nodal body for the conservation of biodiversity within and outside the forest areas of the state. 

Maharashtra ranks second among states in India in terms of recorded forest area. The recorded forest area (RFA) of the state is 61,579 square miles  (159,489 km 2  ), of which 49,546 square miles (128,324 km  2  ) are reserved forests, 6,733 square miles (17,438 km  2  and 372 km, 372 km ) are protected forests. )

There are unclassified forests. Based on analysis of IRS Resourcesat-2 LISS III satellite data from October 2017 to January 2018, the state has 8,720.53 sq mi (22,586 km  2  ) under very dense forest (VDF), 20,572.352 km (352.353  km 2  ) medium density forest (MDF) and 21,484.68 sq mi miles (55,645 km  2 ) under open forest (OF). According to the Champion and Seth classification, there are five types of forests in Maharashtra:

  • Southern tropical semi-evergreen forests – These are found in the Western Ghats at altitudes of 400-1000 m. Anjani, hirda, kinjal and mango tree species are found here.
  • Southern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests – These are a mixture of moist teak forests (Melghat) and humid mixed deciduous forests (Vidarbha and Thane districts). Commercially important teak, reed and bamboo are found here.
  •  Apart from evergreen teak, some other tree species found in this type of forest include jambhul, ain and shisam. [95]
  • Southern tropical dry deciduous forests cover a large part of the state. Southern tropical thorn forests
  • Found in low rainfall regions of Marathwada, Vidarbha, Khandesh and western Maharashtra. Currently, these forests are getting degraded in a big way. Babul, Bor and Palas tree species are found here.
  • Riparian and swamp forests are mainly found in the bays of Sindhudurg and Thane districts of the Konkan coast. Forest Survey in the Coastal Districts of the State With 304 km2 (117 sq mi) of the area under mangrove cover according to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR)   , the state has significant mangrove, coastal and marine biodiversity.

Bengal tiger in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

Animal species in the state include monkey, wild boar, tiger, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, sambar, four-horned deer, chital, barking deer, mouse deer, small Indian civet, golden jackal, forest cat etc. Rabbit _ Other animals found in this state include reptiles like lizards, scorpions and species of snakes like cobras and kraits etc. The state provides legal protection to its tiger population through six dedicated tiger reserves under the jurisdiction of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The state’s 720 km long Arabian Sea coastline is home to a wide variety of fish and marine life. The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) found 1527 species of marine animals, including 581 species of molluscs, several crustacean species including crabs, shrimps and lobsters, 287 species of fish and 141 species of annelids (sea worms). 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top