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A REFERENCE ANNUAL
RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Area : 3,07,713 sq km
Population (Lakh) : 112372972 (as per Prov. Census 2001)
968.79 (as per Census 2011)
Capital : Mumbai Principal Language : Marathi
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The first well-known rulers of Maharashtra were the Satavahanas (230 BC to 225 AD), who were the founders 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, arts 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 large parts 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 Shiva ji. A new sense of Swaraj and nationalism was evolved by Shiva ji. 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 [Attock?] in Punjab.
Maharashtra was in the forefront during freedom struggle and it was here that the Indian National Congres was born. A galaxy of leaders from Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra led the Congres movement under the guidance of Tilak and then Mahatma Gandhi. Mahrashtra 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 districts 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, enforced by its underlying geology. The dominant physical trait of the State is its plateau character. Maharashtra is a plateau of plateaus, its western upturned rims rising to form the Sahyadri Range parallel to the seacoast and its slopes gently descending towards the east and south-east. Satpura ranges cover the northern part of the State, while Ajanta and Satmala ranges run through central part of State. Arabian Sea guards the western boundry 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.
About 65 per cent of the total workers in the State depend on agriculture and allied activities. Net irrigated area in 2008-2009 was 39.70 lakh ha. and 32.55 lakh ha. respectively. Principal crops grown in the State are rice, jowar, bajra, wheat, tur, mung, urad, gram and other pulses. The State is a major producer of oilseeds. Groundnut, sunflower, soyabean are major oil seed crops. Important cash crops are cotton, sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables. States and Union Territories 1273
The State has been identified as the country’s powerhouse and Mumbai, its capital as the centre point of India’s financial and commercial markets. Industrial sector occupies a prominent position in the economy of Maharashtra. Food products, breweries, tobacco and related products, cotton textiles, textile products, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, rubber, plastic, chemical and chemical products, machinery, electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and transport equipment and parts contribute substantially to the industrial production in the state.
The contribution of Industries in the State in total value of output was 18.4 per cent while that in the gross value added was about 21.4 per cent during 2008-09.
IRRIGATION AND POWER
By the end of June 2010, 32 major, 186 medium and about 2,549 state sector minor irrigation projects had been completed. Another 54 major and 72 medium irrigation projects are under construction.
Maharashtra has an installed capacity of 19,166 MV (31 December 2010) which was higher by 2.9% than that on 31st March 2009. Total power generation was 81,345 million KWH in year 2009-10, which was higher by 6150 MKWH compared to previous year.
Roads : Total length of roads in the State as in March 2010 was 2.40 lakh km consisting of 4,376 km of national highways, 34,102 km of state highways, 49,621 km of major district roads, 46,817 km of other district roads, and 1,04,844 km of village roads. Railways: Maharashtra has 5,983 km of railway routes which is 9.4% of total railway route in the country.
Aviation: There are 3 International and 5 Domestic Airports in the State. To reduce congestion in Mumbai International Airport additional Airport has been proposed at Navi Mumbai.
Ports: Mumbai is a major port. There are two major and 48 notified minor ports in the State.
Some important tourist centres are : Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Kanheri and Karla caves, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran and Panchgani, Jawhar, Malshej ghat, Amboli, Chikaldara, Panhala Hill stations and religious places at Pandharpur, Nashik, Shirdi, Nanded, Audha Nagnath, Trimbakeshwar, Tuljapur, Ganpatipule, Bhimashanker, Harihareshwar, Shegaon, Kolhapur, Jejuri and Ambajogai.
Governor : Shri K. Sankaranarayanan
Chief Secretary : Shri Ratnakar Gaikwad
Chief Minister : Shri Prithviraj Chavan
Jurisdiction of High Court: Maharashtra, Goa,
Diu and Daman
AREA, POPULATION AND HEADQUARTERS OF DISTRICTS
Districts Area (sq km) Population Headquarters (census 2001)
Ahmednagar 17,048 40,40,642 Ahmednagar
Akola 5,429 16,30,239 Akola
Amravati 12,210 26,07,160 Amravati
Aurangabad 10,107 28,97,013 Aurangabad
Bhandara 3,895 11,36,146 Bhandara
Beed 10,693 21,61,250 Beed
Mumbai City 157 33,38,031 Mumbai
Mumbai (Sub.) 446 86,40,419 Bandra
Buldhana 9,661 22,32,480 Buldhana
Chandrapur 11,443 20,71,101 Chandrapur
Dhule 8,063 17,07,947 Dhule
Gadchiroli 14,412 9,70,294 Gadchiroli
Jalgaon 11,765 36,82,690 Jalgaon
Jalna 7,718 16,12,980 Jalna
Kolhapur 7,685 35,23,162 Kolhapur
Latur 7,157 20,80,285 Latur
Nagpur 9,802 40,67,637 Nagpur
Nanded 10,528 28,76,259 Nanded
Nashik 15,530 49,93,796 Nashik
Osmanabad 7,569 14,86,586 Osmanabad
Parbhani 6,517 15,27,715 Parbhani
Pune 15,643 72,32,555 Pune
Raigad 7,152 22,07,929 Alibag
Ratnagiri 8,208 16,96,777 Ratnagiri
Sangli 8,572 25,83,524 Sangli
Satara 10,480 28,08,994 Satara
Sindhudurg 5,207 8,68,825 Oras
Solapur 14,895 38,49,543 Solapur
Thane 9,558 81,31,849 Thane
Wardha 6,309 12,36,736 Wardha
Yavatmal 13,582 24,58,271 Yavatmal
Nandurbar 5,034 13,11,709 Nandurbar
Washim 5,153 10,20,216 Washim
Gondia 5,425 12,00,707 Gondia
Hingoli 4,524 9,87,160 Hingoli
Wildlife parks and sanctuaries: India
Visit to Bhimashankar is in fact like taking an insight into Indian ethos. It shelters a number of animals but is known for the brightly coloured giant squirrel. Bhimashankar is also home for quite a handful of forest deities. Vandeo and Waghdeo are symbols of human-nature interrelationship in the country. Waghdeo or Tiger lord and Vandeo or forest lord, are worshipped for peaceful life. Whereas Lord Khetoba provides complete protection to the forest around. Plucking of a leaf is forbidden. At the origin of river Bhima the Bhimashankar temple is found and the sanctuary is part of the catchment area.
Leopard, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Sambar, Wild boar, Porcupine, Langur, and the Giant squirrel are some of the mammals found in the sanctuary.
PENCH NATIONAL PARK
Situated on the Madhya Pradesh - Maharashtra border, it is partly in both the states, and can be approached from Seoni in Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra.
The reservoir formed by the dam on Pench River provides abundant water for the rich fauna. The forest is mainly deciduous with open grass meadows. Gaur, Sambar, Chital, Tiger, Leopard are some of the important species found. The reservoir has a good fish population.
The forest guesthouses are ideal for stay. Totladoh and Ranidoh on the river, provides an opportunity for observing waterfowl. Other terrestrial bird diversity is also high.
Seoni (30 kms) and Nagpur (57 kms)
Area: 293 sq.kms
By Air - Nagpur
By Rail - Nagpur and Seoni
Forest Guest House
Pune located in Sahyadari hills is called 'the Queen of the Deccan'. Its hilly environment and pleasant climate serves as an ideal basepoint for trekking and mountaineering and other related adventure sports. A number of places around Pune, Lonavala, Khandala, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani with their steep ravines and waterfalls during the monsoon make for attractive nature walks and treks.