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Maharashtra: Quick Facts About One Of India’s Most Prosperous States

Indian State Maharashtra

States and UTs

Maharashtra: Quick Facts About One Of India’s Most Prosperous States

The first passenger train in India ran between Mumbai and Thane on 16 April 1853.

Maharashtra, home to Bollywood and the city of dreams, Mumbai, is spread over an area of 3,07,690 sq. km.  It shares its borders with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat. The length of the coastline is 720 metres.

Quick Facts

  • Capital – Mumbai
  • Districts – 36
  • Population – 11,23,72,972
  • Assembly seats – 288
  • Legislative Council seats – 78
  • Lok Sabha seats – 48
  • Rajya Sabha seats – 19
  • Literacy rate – 82.3%
  • Sex ratio – 929
  • Life expectancy – 71.6 years.
  • Infant mortality rate – 24

Political Background

Yashwantrao Chavan was the first chief minister of the state which was created on 1 May 1960. The current incumbent, Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was sworn in as the state’s 18th Chief Minister on 13 October 2014. The Governor of the state is C.Vidyasagar Rao.

Historic Relevance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered to be the founder of the state, popularly known as the Marathi nation. Maharashtra was ruled by the Satavahanas rulers for over 400 years. During the British rule, Bombay Presidency emerged to be an important economic sector. It was in 1956 that the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti demanded a separate Marathi- speaking state. Later, in 1960, Maharashtra and Gujarat were separated to become two new states.

State Exclusives

  • The first passenger train in India between Mumbai and Thane was started in Maharashtra on 16 April 1853.
  • Navi Mumbai is the world’s largest planned city.
  • Shani Shingnapur village in the state has a superstitious belief of not having doors in their houses, as having doors in the house will face Lord Shani’s anger.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port, also called Nhava Sheva, located in the state is the largest container port in India.
  • Lonar Lake in Maharashtra is a National Geo-heritage Monument saline soda lake.
  • Elephanta Caves, the Ajanta-Ellora Caves (one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple caves complexes in the world) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
  • Shirpur Gold Refinery situated in Maharashtra is the India’s first gold refinery.

Cultural Heritage

  • Marathi is the official language of the state. Other languages like Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati and English are also widely spoken.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi and Gudi Padva are the major festivals of the state.
  • Lavni is the famous dance form of Maharashtra.
  • ‘Vada Pav’ leads the list of popular cuisine.
  • Godavari, Tapiu and Krishna are the rivers flowing through the state.

(Read: Flavours of India: Bangaler Rasogolla and other Geographical Indications)

 Tourism

Major devotional tourism destinations in the state are Mahalakshmi Temple, Haji Ali Dargah, Rankala Lake, Shani Shinganapur’s Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba and Siddhivinayak Mandir. Moreover, out of 12 Jyotilingas, 4 are in the state at Bhimashankar Temple, Grishneshwar Temple, Nageshwar Temple and Trambakeshwar Temple.

Nashik’s Trambakeshwar Simhastha Temple is also famous for holding the Kumbh Mela.

Mumbai (Mayanagari), the capital of the state is a major tourist attraction known for the Hindi film industry Bollywood, shopping streets, local trains and its night life.

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