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Facts about Maharashtra



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Area 3,07,713 sq km
Capital Mumbai
Population 9,67,52,247
Principal Languages Marathi

History and Geography: The first well-known rulers of Maharastra were the Satavahanas (230 BC-225 AD), who were the funders of Maharashtra, and have left a plethora of literary, epigraphic, artistic and archaeological evidence. This epoch marks tremendous development in every field of human endeavour.

Then came the Vakatakas who established a pan-Indian empire. Under them Maharashtra witnessed an all-sided development in the fields of learning, art 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 a large part 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 Mahatama Gandhi. Maharashtra was the home of Gandhiji's movement, while Sevagram was the capital of nationalistic India during the Gandhian era.

The administrative evolution of the state of Maharashtra is the outcome of the linguistic reorganisation of the States of India, effected on 1 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 district 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, plateau character. Maharashtra is a platea of plateaus, its western upturned rims rising to form the Sahyadri Range parallel to the sea-coast and its slopes gently the State, while Ajanta and Satmala ranges run through central part of State. Arabian Sea guards the western boundary of Maharashtra, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are on the northern side. Chhattisgarh covers the eastern boundary of the State. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are on its southern side.

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