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Map of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is India's third largest state in terms of area and second largest in terms of population after Uttar Pradesh. It is bordered by the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and is home to 96 million people.

Mumbai, India's largest city, is the capital of Maharashtra.

Maharashtra has a population of 96,752,247 inhabitants making it the second most populous state in India, and the second most populous country subdivision in existence. The Marathi-speaking population of Maharashtra numbers 62,481,681 according to the 2001 census. This is a reflection of the cosmopolitan nature of the state.
Only eleven countries of the world have a population greater than Maharashtra. Its density is 322.5 inhabitants per square kilometre. Males constitute 50.3 million and females, 46.4 million

Time zone   IST (UTC+5:30)
Area   307,713 km (118,809 sq mi)


District   35
Population   96,752,247
Language   Marathi, Hindi
Established   1960-05-01


Hindus form the majority of Maharashtra population and the culture of Maharashtra reflects that. There are many temples in Maharashtra some of them being hundreds of years old. These temples are constructed in a fusion of architectural styles borrowed from North and South India. The temples also blend themes from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cultures. The temple of Vitthala at Pandharpur is the most important temple for the Varkari sect. Other important religious places are the Ashtavinayak (eight temple sites of Ganesha), Bhimashankar which is one of the Jyotirlinga (12 important shiva temples). Amongst the cave art and architecture is the famous tourist attraction of Ajanta and Ellora Caves near Aurangabad. A famous example of Mughal architecture is the tomb of the wife of Aurangzeb called Bibi Ka Maqbara also located at Aurangabad.

The People

Maharashtra's diversity of physical features and geography is reflected in her people and culture. Virtually every major is represented in the state. The Deccan Plateau in Central Maharashtra is largely populated by tribal groups. The Bhils, Mahadeo Kolis, Gonds and Warlis are the largest tribal communities. On the northwestern coast, the Warlis continue their frugal, reflective existence, worshipping the mother goddess. Warli myths reveal that death came upon the human race as a result of the humiliation of Mother Earth. The Warlis appease this goddess of creative energy, the corn goddess and the goddess of trees and plants. Their death songs attempt to unravel the mysteries of life and death, revealing their simple awe of nature in all its innocence.

The Warlis, aboriginal settlers from the foothills of the Sahyadris, in Thane district, north of Mumbai, live in a small cluster of huts called padas. These houses generally have one door and no windows at all.

The Gonds, a people of central India, are spread between the forested areas of the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. They have distinctive customs and speak a Dravidian language called Gondi. Today, many Gond youth have taken on the dominant language of their regions and cultural variations between tribal communities is expanding. Where their forest homes are still intact, however, their lifestyles remain unchanged and such communities provide anthropologists with a window into a past.

Although Maharashtra has a distinctive Hindu flavour, it has always had a tradition of secularism. Jewish communities have established several synagogues which are still active in Mumbai, Pune, Alibag, Pen, Thane and Revdanda. Mosques and dargahs, churches and Zoroastrian fire temples, all find the space to function. A sprinkling of Jain and Buddhist temple cover the region.


The climate of Maharashtra is typically monsoonal in character, with 'hot' rainy and cold weather seasons. The months of March-April and May are maximum heat. During this season, especially in April and May thunderstorms are a common feature all over the state. The first week of June is the time for the onset of the south-west monsoon. Rains spread out  from the south western and western sides all over Maharashtra. July is the wettest month and August is substantially rainy, by September  the south west monsoonal current weakens. October marks the transition from the rainy season to winter. The general drying up of the land and greater sunshine, accompanied by high humidity, produce familiar phenomenon of 'October heat'. From November to February there is a cool dry spell, with clear skies gentle breezes and pleasant weather, though the eastern margins of Maharashtra receive some rainfall.

In the general March of seasons in Maharashtra, the dominant natural factor that affects basically the life and economy of the peoples is the rainfall in its regime amount and variability. In regime quite major part of the rain is received during the four months from June to September. This concentration is particular to the Konkan and Sahyadrian Maharashtra. In central Maharashtra, though the total precipitations is much lower, there is a wider spread over the months of June to October with a noticeable maximum in September. From Maharashtra, the total rainfall steadily increases towards the east under the influence of the Bay of Bengal monsoon and hence eastern Vidarbha receives its major rains in the month of July August and September. The heaviest rainfall in Maharashtra occurs in the main Sahyadris. Different regions have different rainfalls. These regional difference in the total annual rainfall help in distinguishing three zones of Maharashtra; the wet, the intermediate and semiarid zones. The variability of monsoonal rains is common all over Maharashtra. This unpredictable monsoonal rains affect the agriculture and this will impact economic distress and human suffering. The rainfall in Maharashtra is not fully utilised. A major portion goes waste to the sea in torrents during rainy season. While in the summer months many of these areas suffer acute shortage even of drinking water.

Temperature variations in Maharashtra are not of that consequence as those in rainfall. Tropical conditions are common all over and even the hill stations are not that cold. But lower winter temperature on the plateau do help the growth of some important crops like wheat, gram, linseed and grapes. High summer temperatures induce local thunder showers. Dew, frost, hail and other local weather phenomena are not absent from the climate.

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