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State of India
Seal of Maharastra
Location of Maharashtra (marked in red) in India
Location of Maharashtra (marked in red) in India
Map of Maharashtra
Map of Maharashtra
Coordinates (Mumbai): 18°58′N 72°49′E / 18.96°N 72.82°E / 18.96; 72.82Coordinates: 18°58′N 72°49′E / 18.96°N 72.82°E / 18.96; 72.82
Country  India
Region Western India
Established 1 May 1960 (Maharashtra Day)
Capital Mumbai
Largest city Mumbai
Districts 36 total
 • Body Government of Maharashtra
 • Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao
 • Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan (INC)
 • Legislature Bicameral
(288 + 78 seats)
 • Parliamentary constituency 48
 • High Court Mumbai High Court
 • Total 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi)
Area rank 3rd
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 112,372,972
 • Rank 2nd
 • Density 370/km2 (950/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-MH
HDI Increase 0.689 (medium)
HDI rank 12th (2005)
Literacy 82.9% (6th)
Sex ratio 925 /1000 (2011)[2]
Official language Marathi[3][4]
Website Maharashtra

Maharashtra (/mɑːhəˈrɑːʃtrə/; locally: [məharaːʂʈrə] ( ), abbr. MH) is a state in the western region of India and is the nation's second-most populous. It is also the second-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 110 million inhabitants. With a population of approximately 15.2 million people Mumbai is the state capital. It is also the financial capital of the nation and houses the headquarters of all major banks, financial institutions, insurance companies in India.

Spread over 118,809 sq mi (307,710 km2), it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian states of Karnataka, Telangana, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Maharashtra is the wealthiest and most developed state in India, contributing 25% of the country's industrial output and 23.2% of its GDP (2010–11).[5] As of 2011, Maharashtra had a Per capita income of INR1.0035 lakh (US$1,700), more than national average of INR0.73 lakh (US$1,200). State's GDP per capita crossed the INR1.20 lakh (US$2,000) threshold for the first time in 2013 making it one of the richest states in India. Agriculture and industries are the largest parts of the state's economy. Major industries in Maharashtra include Chemical products, Electrical and non-electrical machinery, Textiles, Petroleum and allied products.

Maharashtra was home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India, including Satavahana dynasty, Western Chalukya Empire, Mughals and Maratha. The major rivers of the state are Godavari, Krishna, Narmada and Tapti. The state has several historical, natural, and religious tourist destinations, such as the Pandharpur, Hazur Sahib Nanded, Shegaon, Shirdi, Mahabaleshwar, Satara, Nanded, Nagpur, Chikhaldara and Panhala. Maharashtra has highest level of urbanisation of all Indian states.[6] The mountainous topography and soil are not as suitable for intensive agriculture as the plains of North India; therefore, the proportion of the urban population (45.23 percent) contrasts starkly with the national average of developing metros and many large towns.[7][8] Mumbai is the state capital The other large cities are Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Thane, Solapur, Amravati, Sangli and Nanded.


The modern Marathi language developed from the Maharashtri Prakrit,[9] and the word Marhatta (later used for the Marathas) is found in the Jain Maharashtri literature. The terms Maharashtra, Maharashtri, Marathi and Maratha may have derived from the same root. However, their exact etymology is uncertain.[10]

The most widely accepted theory among the scholars is that the words Maratha and Maharashtra ultimately derive from a compound of Maha (Marathi: महा) and rashtrika (Marathi: राष्ट्रिका).[10] The word Rashtrika, is the name of a tribe or a dynasty of petty chiefs ruling in the Deccan region.[11] Another theory is that the term is derived from Maha ("great") and rathi or ratha (great chariot driver), which refers to a skilful northern fighting force that migrated southward into the area.[11][12]

An alternative theory states that the term derives from the words Maha ("Great") and Rashtra ("nation/dominion"). However, this theory has not found acceptance among modern scholars who believe it to be the Sanskritised interpretation of later writers.[10] Yet another theory, popular among the Dalit activists and the nineteenth-century British writers in India, was that the term means "the nation of Mahars" (Mahar + Rashtra).


Painting from the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, sixth century

The Nashik Gazetteer states that in 246 BC Maharashtra is mentioned as one of the places to which Mauryan emperor Asoka sent an embassy, and it is recorded in a Chalukyan inscription of 580 CE as including three provinces and 99,000 villages.[13][14] The name Maharashtra also appeared in a 7th-century inscription and in the account of a Chinese traveller, Hiuen-Tsang.[13] In 90 AD Vedishri,[15] son of the Satavahana king Satakarni, the "Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty", made Junnar, thirty miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom. It was also ruled by Kharavela, Satavahana dynasty, Western Satraps, Gupta Empire, Gurjara-Pratihara, Vakataka, Kadambas, Chalukya Empire, Rashtrakuta Dynasty, and Western Chalukya before Yadava rule. Maharashtra was ruled by the Maurya Empire in the 4th and 3rd century BC. Around 230 BCE Maharashtra came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty which ruled the region for 400 years.[16] The greatest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni. The Chalukya dynasty ruled Maharashtra from the 6th century to the 8th century and the two prominent rulers were Pulakesi II, who defeated the north Indian Emperor Harsha and Vikramaditya II, who defeated the Arab invaders in the 8th century. The Rashtrakuta Dynasty ruled Maharashtra from the 8th to the 10th century.[17] The Arab traveller Sulaiman called the ruler of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty (Amoghavarsha) as "one of the 4 great kings of the world".[18] From the early 11th century to the 12th century the Deccan Plateau was dominated by the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty.[19] Several battles were fought between the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty in the Deccan Plateau during the reigns of Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Jayasimha II, Somesvara I and Vikramaditya VI.[20]

In the early 14th century the Yadava dynasty, which ruled most of present-day Maharashtra, was overthrown by the Delhi Sultanate ruler Ala-ud-din Khalji. Later, Muhammad bin Tughluq conquered parts of the Deccan, and temporarily shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in Maharashtra. After the collapse of the Tughlaqs in 1347, the local Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga took over, governing the region for the next 150 years. After the break-up of the Bahamani sultanate, in 1518, Maharashtra split into and was ruled by five Deccan Sultanates: namely Nizamshah of Ahmednagar, Adilshah of Bijapur, Qutubshah of Golkonda, Bidarshah of Bidar and Imadshah of Berar. These kingdoms often fought amongst each other. United, they decisively defeated the Vijayanagara Empire of the south in 1565. Also present area of Mumbai was ruled by Sultanate of Gujarat before capturing by Portugal in 1535 and Faruqi dynasty ruled Khandesh region between 1382 and 1601 before Mughal annexation. Malik Ambar was the regent of the Nizamshahi dynasty of Ahmednagar from 1607 to 1626. During this period he increased the strength and power of Murtaza Nizam Shah and raised a large army. Malik Ambar is said to be the one of proponent of guerilla warfare in the Deccan region. Malik Ambar assisted Shah Jahan wrestle power in Delhi from his stepmother, Nur Jahan, who had ambitions of seating her son-in-law on the throne.

Maharashtra, as part of the Bombay Presidency in 1909

By the early 17th century, Shahaji Bhosale, an ambitious local general in the service of the Mughals and Adil Shah of Bijapur, attempted to establish his independent rule. His son Shivaji succeeded in establishing Maratha Empire which was further expanded by Bhonsle of Nagpur, Gaekwad of Baroda, Holkar of Indore, Scindia of Gwalior, Mahadik of Gwalior and Peshwas (prime ministers). The Marathas defeated the Mughals, and conquered large territories in Northern and Central parts of the Indian subcontinent. After the defeat at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, the Maratha restored their supremacy and ruled central and north India including New Delhi till the end of the eighteenth century. The Third Anglo-Maratha war (1817–1818) led to the end of the Maratha Empire and East India Company ruled the country in 1819.

The British governed the region as part of the Bombay Presidency, which spanned an area from Karachi in Pakistan to northern Deccan. A number of the Maratha states persisted as princely states, retaining autonomy in return for acknowledging British suzerainty. The largest princely states in the territory of present-day Maharashtra were Nagpur, Satara and Kolhapur; Satara was annexed to Bombay Presidency in 1848, and Nagpur was annexed in 1853 to become Nagpur Province, later part of the Central Provinces. Berar, which had been part of the Nizam of Hyderabad's kingdom, was occupied by the British in 1853 and annexed to the Central Provinces in 1903. However, a large part of present-day Maharashtra, called Marathwada, remained part of the Nizam's Hyderabad State throughout the British period. The British rule was marked by social reforms and an improvement in infrastructure as well as revolts due to their discriminatory policies. At the beginning of the 20th century, the struggle for independence took shape led by extremists like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and the moderates like Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhai Naoroji. In 1942, the Quit India Movement was called by Gandhi which was marked by a non-violent civil disobedience movement and strikes in the region. The ultimatum to the British to "Quit India" was given in Mumbai, and culminated in the transfer of power and the independence of India in 1947. BG Kher was the first Chief Minister of the tri-lingual Bombay Presidency.

After India's independence, the Deccan States, including Kolhapur were integrated into Bombay State, which was created from the former Bombay Presidency in 1950. In 1956, the States Reorganisation Act reorganised the Indian states along linguistic lines, and Bombay Presidency State was enlarged by the addition of the predominantly Marathi-speaking regions of Marathwada (Aurangabad Division) from erstwhile Hyderabad state and Vidarbha region from the Central Provinces and Berar. Also, southernmost part of Bombay State was ceded to Mysore one.

From 1954–1955 the people of Maharashtra strongly protested against bilingual Bombay state and Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti under the leadership of Gopalrao Khedkar was formed. Mahagujarat Movement was also started for separate Gujarat state. Gopalrao Khedkar, S.M. Joshi, S.A. Dange, P.K. Atre and other leaders fought for a separate state of Maharashtra with Mumbai as its capital. On 1 May 1960, following mass protests and sacrifice of 105 human lives the separate Marathi-speaking state was formed by dividing earlier Bombay state into new states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The demand of the local people of merging some of the Marathi speaking areas of Karnataka namely Belgaum, Karwar and Nipani is still pending.

Geography and climate[edit]

Satara mountains, area covers the western region.
Deccan Traps as seen from Matheran.
Shivasagar Lake located in Satara district.

Maharashtra occupies the western and central part of the country and has a long coastline stretching nearly 720 kilometres along the Arabian Sea.[21] The Sahyadri Mountain ranges provide a physical backbone to the state on the west, while the Satpura Hills along the north and Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the east serve as its natural borders.[22] The State is surrounded by Gujarat to the north west, Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Telangana to the south east, Karnataka to the south and Goa to the south west.[21][21]

Maharashtra is the second most populous state and third largest state by area in India.[23] Its coastline is 330 miles (530 km) long along the Arabian Sea. Rice is the dominant crop of the state, but cashews, mangoes, vegetable cotton, oilseeds, and tobacco are also important.[22] The Western Ghats better known as Sahyadri, are a hilly range running parallel to the coast, at an average elevation of 1,200 metres (4,000 ft).[24] Kalsubai, a peak in the Sahyadris, near Nashik city is the highest elevated point in Maharashtra.[25] To the west of these hills lie the Konkan coastal plains, 50–80 kilometres in width. To the east of the Ghats lies the flat Deccan Plateau. Forests comprise 17% of the total area of the state.[21] Majority of the forests are in the eastern and Sahyadri regions of the state. Main Rivers of the state are Krishna, Bhima, Godavari, Tapi-Purna and Wardha-Wainganga.[21][26]

Maharashtra is divided into five geographic regions. Konkan is the western coastal region, between the Western Ghats and the sea.[27] Kandesh is the northwestern region lying in the valley of the Tapti River.[26] Jalgaon, Dhule and Bhusawal are the major cities of this region.[28] Desh is in the centre of the state.[29] Marathwada, which was a part of the princely state of Hyderabad until 1956, is located in the southeastern part of the state.[21][30] Aurangabad is the main city of the region.[31] Vidarbha is the easternmost region of the state, formerly part of Central Provinces and Berar. Nagpur is the main city in the region.[21] Physical features of Maharsahtra divided into Deccan plateau, which is separated from the Konkan coastline by 'Ghats'.[24] The Ghats are a succession of steep hills, periodically bisected by narrow roads. Most of the famous hill stations of the state are at the Ghats. Sahyadri range with an elevation of 1000 meters is known for its crowning plateaus.[32] Lying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range, Konkan is narrow coastal lowland, just 50 km wide and with an elevation below 200 meters.[33] The third important region is the Satpura hills along the northern border, and the Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the eastern border form physical barriers preventing easy movement.[34] These ranges also serve as natural limits to the state.[21][35]

Maharashtra has typical monsoon climate, with hot, rainy and cold weather seasons. However, dew, frost, hail can also be happened sometimes according to the seasonal weather. The winter in January and February is followed by summer between March and May and the monsoon season between June and September. Summers are extreme with March, April and May with the hottest months. During April and May thunderstorms are common all over the state. Temperature varies between 22 °C-39 °C during this season.[36] Rainfall starts normally in the first week of June. July is the wettest month in Maharashtra, while August too gets substantial rain. Monsoon starts its retreat with the coming of September from the state. Winter season is Cool dry spell, with clear skies gentle breeze and pleasant weather prevails from November to February. But the eastern part of Maharashtra sometimes receives some rainfall. Temperature varies between 12 °C-34 °C during this season.[36] Rainfall in Maharashtra differs from region to region. Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, receive heavy rains of an average of 200 centimetres annually. But the districts of Nasik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgao, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and parts of Kolhapur get rainfall less than 50 centimetres.[36] Rainfall particularly concentrates to the Konkan and Sahyadrian Maharashtra. Central Maharashtra receives less rainfall. However, under the influence of the Bay of Bengal, eastern Vidarbha receives good rainfall in July, August and September.[36]


State symbols of Maharashtra[37]
Animal Indian Giant Squirrel Malabar giant sqirrel.jpg
Bird Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon (Treron phoenicopterus) male-8.jpg
Tree Mango Mangues.JPG
Flower Lagerstroemia Crepe Myrtle.jpg
Dance Lavani Chani lavni dancer 01.jpg
Sport Kabaddi Game-asia-kabadi.jpg
refer caption
Oriental Garden Lizard at Chandoli National Park

The flora of Maharashtra is heterogeneous in composition. In 2012 the recorded thick forest area in the state was 61,939 km2 (23,915 sq mi) which was about 20.13% of the state's geographical area.[38] There are three main Public Forestry Institutions (PFIs) in the Maharashtra state viz. the Maharashtra Forest Department (MFD), the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) and the Directorate of Social Forestry (SFD).[39] The flora of regions such as Nag region formed by Nagpur, districts, districts and Gadchiroli and the plateau of Vidarbha composed by Wardha, Amravati, Yavatmal, Akola and Buldhana.[38] Most of the forests are found in the Sahyadri region and are very dense.[40] These forests are confined to areas which have low annual rainfall (50–70 cm), a mean annual temperature of 25–27 °C and low humidity. Some of forest areas are converted into wildlife thus preserving the biodiversity.[41]

Maharashtra is known for its extensive avifauna. Maharashtra is said to have 3 game reserves, 5 national parks and 24 bird sanctuaries.[42] Wild sanctuaries in the state include Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandoli National Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.[43]

The most common animals which are found in the state are Tigers, Black panthers, Leopards, Gaur, Sloth bears, Sambar, Four-headed antelope, Blue Bull, Chital, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Civet cats, Jackals, Jungle cats, Spotted hyena, and Hare.[44] Other animals in the state include reptiles such as lizards, cobras and kraits.[42] The national parks of Maharashtra possess a variety of plant species that include Jamun, Palas, Shisam, Neem, Teak, Dhawada, Kalam, Ain, Bija, Shirish, Mango, Acacia, Awala, Kadamba, Moha, Acacia, Terminalia, Hedu and Ficus.[45]

Regions, divisions and districts[edit]

refer caption
Divisions of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is divided into 36 districts under given 6 divisions. These 36 districts are further divided into 109 sub-divisions of the districts and 357 talukas.[46]

  1. Amravati
  2. Aurangabad
  3. Konkan
  4. Nagpur
  5. Nashik
  6. Pune

The following is a list of top five districts of by rank in India as per the 2011 Census.[47]

Rank District Population Growth rate Sex ratio Literacy
1 Thane 11,060,148 36.01% 886 84.53
4 Pune 9,429,408 30.37% 915 86.15
5 Mumbai Suburban 9,356,962 8.29% 860 89.91
11 Nashik 6,107,187 22.30% 934 82.31
28 Nagpur 4,653,570 14.40% 951 88.39

Each district is governed by a district collector or district magistrate, appointed either by the Indian Administrative Service or the Maharashtra Civil Service.[48] Each district is subdivided into sub-divisions, governed by a sub-divisional magistrate, and again into Blocks.[49] Blocks consists of panchayats (village councils) and town municipalities.[50][51] Talukas are intermediate level panchayat between the zilla panchayat (district councils) at the district level and gram panchayat (village councils) at the lower level.[49][52]


Religion in Maharashtra[54]
Religion Percent

According to the provisional results of the 2011 national census, Maharashtra is the second most populous state in India with a population of 112,374,333 (9.28% of India's population) of which male and female are 58,243,056 and 54,131,277 respectively.[55] The total population growth in 2011 is 15.99 percent while in previous decade it was 22.57 percent.[56][57] Since independence, the decadal growth rate of population in Maharashtra has remained higher (except in the year 1971) than the national average. For the first time, in the year 2011, the decadal growth rate of population has been found to be lower than the national average.[57] State has a large number of Uttar Pradesh diaspora.[58] Marathis comprise the majority of the population. The Bihari, Gujarati, Punjabis, Parsis, Kanarese and Tamil minorities are scattered throughout the state. Maharashtra is home to indigenous tribal Adivasis such as Thakar, Warli, Konkana and Halba.[59]

The official language is Marathi.[60] Although different regions have their own dialects.[61] English is applicable in urban areas. Spoken Marathi language changes with every change of district or area or locality in its tone and a few words. The Marathi script doesn't have any silent pronunciation making the language so phonetic.[62] Konkani is also spoken in some areas of Maharashtra. Other major dialects include Varhadii spoken in the Vidarbha region and Dangii spoken near Maharashtra-Gujarat border. Alphabet L is abundantly used in many verbs and nouns in Marathi.[63] It is replaced by the letter y in the Varhadii dialect, which makes it quite distinct.[63] Urdu is mainly spoken in the Muslim majority areas of Mumbai and its suburbs, Marathwada and parts of the Khandesh.[62] Outlining migratory trends in the state. According to the economic survey of Maharashtra (2008–09), the percentage of the state's population that names Marathi as its mother tongue has declined to 68.8% from 76.5% over the past three decades, meantime the survey highlights the sharp rise in the Hindi-speaking population (11% from 5%) in the same period.[64]

At the 2011 census, Hinduism was the principal religion at 82.5% of the total population, while Muslims comprised 13.4% of the total population, being the second-largest community and the largest minority group; Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism and other religions comprised 4.1% of the total population of the State.[65] Maharashtra had the largest concentration of Buddhists at 58.3% – 73.4% of the total Buddhists in India reside in Maharashtra.[66] The state contributed 9.28% to India's population.[67] The gender ratio in Maharashtra was 925 females per 1000 males, which was below the national average of 940.[68] The density of Maharashtra was 365 inhabitants per km2 which was lower than national average 382 per km2. Since 1921, the populations of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg shrank by −4.96% and −2.30% respectively, while the population of Thane grew by 35.9%, followed by Pune at 30.3%.[69]

The literacy rate in Maharashtra rose to 83.2%.[70] Of this, male literacy stood at 89.82% and female literacy 75.48%.[55][71] The total number of literate people in Maharashtra stood at 81,554,290, of whom 45,257,584 were male and 36,296,706 were female.[55]

Government and administration[edit]

Maharashtra High Court
The Bombay High Court, one of the most distinguished high courts in India

Maharashtra has a parliamentary system of government with two democratically elected houses, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The Legislative Assembly consists of 288 members who are elected for five-year terms.[72] The Legislative Council is a permanent body of 78 members. The government of Maharashtra is headed by the Chief Minister who is chosen by the ruling party members of the Legislative Assembly. In the 2009 election, the largest number of seats went to the Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party with 82 and 62 seats respectively.[73] The Chief Minister, along with the council of ministers, drives the legislative agenda and exercises most of the executive powers.[74] However, the constitutional and formal head of the state is the Governor who is appointed for a five-year term by the President of India on the advice of the Union government.[75] The people of Maharashtra also elect 48 members to the Lok Sabha,the lower house of the Indian Parliament.[76] The members of the state Legislative Assembly elect 19 members to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.[77]

Men in traditional Indian dresses posing for a photograph
First session of the Indian National Congress in Bombay (28–31 December 1885)

The state has a long tradition of highly powerful planning bodies at district and local levels. Local self governance institutions in rural areas include 33 zilla parishads, 355 panchayat samitis and 27,993 gram panchayats. Urban areas in the state are governed by 23 Municipal Corporations, 222 Municipal Councils, four Nagar Panchayats and seven Cantonment Boards.[57][78] The administration in each district is headed by a Deputy Commissioner who belongs to the Indian Administrative Service and is assisted by a number of officers belonging to Maharashtra state services. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, an officer belonging to the Indian Police Service and assisted by the officers of the Maharashtra Police Service, is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order and related issues in each district. The Deputy Conservator of Forests, an officer belonging to the Indian Forest Service, is entrusted with the responsibility of managing forests, environment and wildlife of the district, he will be assisted by the officers belonging to Maharashtra Forest Service and officers belonging to Maharashtra Forest Subordinate Service. Sectoral development in the districts is looked after by the district head of each development department such as Public Works Department, Health, Education, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, etc.

The judiciary in the state consists of the Maharashtra High Court (The High Court of Bombay) in Mumbai, district and session courts in each district and lower courts and judges at the taluka level.[79] The President of India appoints the chief justice of the High Court of the Maharashtra judiciary on the advice of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of India as well as the Governor of Maharashtra. Other judges are appointed by the chief justice of the high court of the judiciary of Maharashtra on the advice of the Chief Justice.[69] Subordinate Judicial Service is another vital part of the judiciary of Maharashtra. The subordinate judiciary or the district courts are categorised into two divisions viz. Maharashtra civil judicial services and Maharashtra higher judicial service.[80] While the Maharashtra civil judicial services comprises the Civil Judges (Junior Division)/Judicial Magistraes and civil judges (Senior Division)/Chief Judicial Magistrate, the Maharashtra higher judicial service comprises civil and sessions judges.[81] The Subordinate judicial service of the judiciary at Maharashtra is controlled by the District Judge.[69][82]


Net State Domestic Product at Factor Cost at Current Prices (2004–05 Base)[83]

figures in crores of Indian rupees

Year Net State Domestic Product
2004–2005 368,369
2005–2006 433,559
2006–2007 524,137
2007–2008 614,071
2008–2009 699,603
2009–2010 817,891

The economy of Maharashtra is driven by international trade, entertainment (television, motion pictures, video games, recorded music), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, and tourism. Maharashtra is the most industrialised state and has maintained leading position in the industrial sector in India.[84] The State is pioneer in Small Scale industries. Mumbai, the capital of state and the financial capital of India, houses the headquarters of most of the major corporate & financial institutions. India's main stock exchanges & capital market and commodity exchanges are located in Mumbai. The State continues to attract industrial investments from both, domestic as well as foreign institutions. Maharashtra has the largest proportion of taxpayers in India and its share markets transact almost 70 per cent of the country's stocks.

refer caption
The Bombay Stock Exchange is the oldest in Asia

The Service sector dominates economy of Maharashtra accounting for 61.4% of the value addition and 69.3% of the value of the output in country.[82] State's per-capita income is 40% higher than the all-India average.[85] The gross state domestic product (GSDP) at current prices for 2011–12 is estimated at 11,995.48 billion and contributes about 14.4% of the GDP. The agriculture & allied activities sector contributes 12.9% to the state's income. Net State Domestic Product (State Income), as per the first revised estimates is 10,827.51 billion and Per Capita State Income is 95,339 during 2011–12. The percentage of fiscal deficit to GSDP is 1.7 per cent and debt stock to GSDP is 18.4 per cent during 2012–13, well within Consolidated Fiscal Reform Path stipulated by the Thirteenth Finance Commission. In 2012, Maharashtra reported a revenue surplus of INR1524.9 million (US$24 million), with a total revenue of INR1367117.0 million (US$22 billion) and a spending of INR1365592.1 million (US$22 billion).[82] Maharashtra ranks 1st in FDI equity and percentage share of total FDI inflows is 32.28%. Total FDI inflows into Maharashtra are US$53.48 billion. Top countries that invested FDI equity in Maharashtra (from January 2000 to December 2011) were Mauritius (39%), Singapore (10%), United Kingdom (10%), US (7%) and Netherlands (5%).[82]

refer caption
Freshly grown sugarcane, agriculture is the second leading occupation in Maharashtra

Maharashtra contributes 18% of the country's industrial output. The industrial activities in state is concentrated in four districts viz. Mumbai city, Mumbai suburban district.[86] Mumbai is having largest share in GSDP (21.5 per cent), both Thane and Pune district contribute about same in Industry sector, Pune district contributes more in Agriculture and allied activities sector whereas Thane district contributes more in Services sector than the other.[86] Share of Nashik district is highest in agricultural and allied activities sector, but is far behind in Industry and Services sectors as compared to Thane and Pune districts.[86] The industries in Maharashtra include chemical and chemical products (17.6%), food and food products (16.1%), refined petroleum products (12.9%), machinery and equipment (8%), textiles (6.9%), basic metals (5.8%), motor vehicles (4.7%) and furniture (4.3%).[87] State is the manufacturing hub for some of the largest public sector industries in India, including Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Tata Petrodyne and Oil India Ltd. Beides, animal husbandry is an important agriculture related activity. The agriculture & allied activities sector contributes 12.9% to the State's income. The State's share in livestock and poultry population in India is about 7% and 10% respectively. Tertiary sector consisting of transport, communication, Banking Insurance, Real estate and public administration grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7% during 1993–4 to 2001–02.

Maharashtra has above an average knowledge industry in India. Approximately, 25% of the top 500 companies in the IT sector are situated in Maharashtra. State accounts for 28% of the software exports of India. The state houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy.[86]

Banking sector comprises Scheduled and non-scheduled banks. Scheduled banks are of two types viz. Scheduled Commercial Banks and Scheduled Co-operative Banks. Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) in India are classified into five types viz. State Bank of India & its associates, Nationalised Banks, Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks and others (foreign banks). In 2012, there were 9,053 banking offices in the state, of which about 26 per cent were in rural and 54 per cent were in urban areas. Maharashtra has Microfinance system which refers to small scale financial services extended to poor in both rural and urban areas. It covers variety of financial instruments such as lending, savings, life insurance, and crop insurance.


NH 3, connects Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh
A container ship at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (or Nhava Seva). It is a principal port directly controlled by the government by India and the state has total two such ports.

The state has a large, multi-modal transportation system with the largest road network in India.[88] In 2011, the total length of surface road in Maharashtra was 2,67,452 km;[89] National Highways comprise 4,176 km [90] and state highways 3700 km.[89] The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) provides economical and reliable passenger road transport service in the public sector.[91] These buses, popularly called ST (State Transport), are the preferred mode of transport for much of the populace. Hired forms of transport include metered taxis and auto rickshaws which often ply specific routes in cities. Other district roads and village roads provide villages accessibility to meet their social needs as also the means to transport agriculture produce from village to nearby markets. Major district roads provide a secondary function of linking between main roads and rural roads. Almost 98% villages are connected via the highways and modern roads in Maharashtra. Average speed on state highways varies between 50–60 km/h (31–37 mi/h) due to heavy presence of vehicles; in villages and towns, speeds are as low as 25–30 km/h (15–18 mi/h).[92]

Indian Railway consist of the Central Railway and the Western Railway zones of the Indian Railways that are headquartered in Mumbai, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Churchgate respectively.[93][94] The Mumbai Rajdhani Express the fastest rajdhani train, connects the Indian capital of New Delhi to Mumbai.[95] CST is the busiest railway station in India, serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway.

There are nearly around 48 minor ports in Maharashtra.[96] Most of these handle passenger traffic and have a limited capacity. The two principal ports, Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port, which is also at Mumbai, are under the control and supervision of the government of India.[96][96]

The view of Mumbai Airport's T2
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is among the busiest airports in India

Most of the State's airfields are operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) while Reliance Airport Developers (RADPL), currently operate five non-metro airports at Latur, Nanded, Baramati, Osmanabad and Yavatmal on a 95-year lease.[97] The Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) was set up in 2002 to take up development of airports in the state that are not under the AAI or the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). MADC is playing the lead role in the planning and implementation of the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) project.[98] Almost all the major cities of Maharashtra have airports. CSIA (formerly Bombay International Airport) and Juhu Airport are the two airports in Mumbai. Maharashtra has two other international airports viz. Pune International Airport and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (Nagpur). Flights are operated by both private and government airline companies. Additional smaller airports includes Aurangabad, Akola, Amravati, Baramati, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gondia, Jalgaon, Karad, Kolhapur, Latur, Nashik, Nanded, Osmanabad, Ratnagiri, Solapur and Yavatmal.[99]

Education and social development[edit]

Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, was one of the institutions established after the Indian independence movement

Maharashtra schools are run by the state government or by private organisations, including religious institutions. Instruction is mainly in Marathi, English or Hindi, though Urdu is also used. The secondary schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) or the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Under the 10+2+3 plan, after completing secondary school, students typically enroll for two years in a junior college, also known as pre-university, or in schools with a higher secondary facility affiliated with the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education or any central board. Students choose from one of three streams, namely liberal arts, commerce or science. Upon completing the required coursework, students may enroll in general or professional degree programs.

Maharashtra has 24 universities with a turnout of 160,000 technocrats every year.[100][101] Maharashtra has played a pioneering role in the development of the modern education system in India. The University of Mumbai, is the largest university in the world in terms of the number of graduates and has 141 affiliated colleges.[102] People like B. R. Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule, John Wilson, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gadge Maharaj played a leading role in the setting up of modern schools and colleges in the state.[103][104][105][106] The Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute was established in 1821. The Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University which is the oldest women liberal arts college in South Asia, started its journey in 1916. College of Engineering Pune, established in 1854 is the third oldest college in Asia.[107]

Nagpur University campus
Entrance gate of Nagpur University, which is nationally renowned

According to prominent national rankings, 5 or 7 Maharashtra colleges and universities are ranked among the top 20 in India.[108][109][110] Maharashtra is also home to such notable autonomous institutes as Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, Institute of Chemical Technology, Homi Bhabha National Institute and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI).[111] These autonomous institutes are ranked most difficult colleges in Maharashtra to gain admission to. At the undergraduate level admission to autonomous institutes is extremely competitive. The University of Pune, the National Defence Academy, Film and Television Institute of India, National Film Archives, Armed Forces Medical College and National Chemical Laboratory were established in Pune after the Indian independence movement. Maharashtra has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions. There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition.

Besides these, the state also has Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, North Maharashtra University, Shivaji University Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University and Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University all well established and nationally renowned, to cover the educational needs at the district levels of the state. Apart from this there are number of deemed universities in Maharashtra viz. Symbiosis International University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tilak Maharashtra University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.[112] Notable scholars who were born, worked or studied in the geographic area of the state include prominent Varkari saint and spiritual poet Tukaram, lawyer and academic B. R. Ambedkar, social reformer Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the father of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke and theologist Jyotirao Phule.



refer caption
Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, India's first rural medical college

In 2011, the health care system in Maharashtra consisted of 363 rural government hospitals,[113] 23 District hospitals (with 7561 beds), 4 general hospitals (with 714 beds) mostly under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Maharashtra, and 380 private medical establishments; these establishments provide the state with more than 30,000 hospital beds.[114][115][116] It is the first state in India to have nine women hospital serving 1365 beds.[116]

Maharashtra has life expectancy of 65.48 years at birth, up from 67.2 years in 2011, ranks it 3rd among 29 Indian states.[117] The total fertility rate of the state is 1.9.[118] The Infant mortality rate is 28 and maternal mortality ratio is 104 (2012–2013) which are lower than the national average.[119][120] Public health services are governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), through various departments. The Ministry is divided in to two departments the Public Health Department, which includes Family welfare, Medical Relief, and the Department of Medical Education and Drugs.[121][122]

Maharashtra has health insurance that is any program that helps pay for medical expenses, whether through privately purchased insurance, social insurance or a social welfare program funded by the government.[123] In a more technical sense, the term is used to describe any form of insurance that provides protection against the costs of medical services.[124] This usage includes private insurance and social insurance programs such as National Health Mission, which pools resources and spreads the financial risk associated with major medical expenses across the entire population to protect everyone, as well as social welfare programs such as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the Health Insurance Program, which provide assistance to people who cannot afford health coverage.[123][124][125]


Current functioning units of Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station
Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station, the state's power production source

Because it is the most populous Indian state, Maharashtra is one of the country's largest users of energy.[126] However, due to conservation mandates, mild weather in the largest population centres and strong environmental movements, its per capita energy use is one of the smallest of any Indian state.[127] Due to the high electricity demand, state constitutes 13% of the total installed electricity generation capacity in India which is mainly from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.[citation needed] Mahavitaran is responsible for distribution of electricity throughout the state by buying power from either Mahanirmiti, captive power plants or from other state electricity boards and private sector power generation companies.[127]

as of 2012, Maharashtra is the largest power generating state in India with installed electricity generation capacity of 26,838 MW.[126] The state forms a major constituent of the western grid of India which now comes under North, East, West and North Eastern (NEWNE) grid of India. Maharashtra Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) operates thermal power plants. In addition to the state government-owned power generation plants, there are privately owned power generation plants that transmit power through the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company which looks after transmission of electricity in the state.[128]



Shivaji is an Indian warrior king and aristocrat of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.
B. R. Ambedkar was India's first law minister and principal architect of the Constitution of India.

Maharashtra’s regional literature is about Marathi people's life and circumstances in specific part of the state. The Marathi language, which boasts a rich literary heritage, is a Sanskrit-derived language and is written in the Devanagari script.[129] The earliest instances of Marathi literature is by Sant Dnyaneshwar with his Bhawarthadeepika (popularly known as Dnyaneshwari). The compositions written during 13th-century period are spiritually inclined. Other compositions are by Tukaram, Namdev, and Gora Kumbhar.[130] The compositions are mostly in poetic form, which are called bhajans. Maharashtra has a long tradition in spiritual literature, evidenced by the Amrutanubhav, Bhavarth Deepika, Bhagavata Purana, Eknathi Bhagwat and Bhavarth Ramayan.[131] Marathi literature was modernised in the works of authors such as Namdev, Dnyaneshwar, Samarth Ramdas, Tukaram, Balshastri Jambhekar, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Kusumagraj, Sane Guruji, Gopal Hari Deshmukh, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Hari Narayan Apte, Keshavsuta and Prahlad Keshav Atre. In modern times Mahadevshastri Joshi, Laxmanshastri Joshi, Varjesh Solanki, Manya Joshi, Hemant Divate, Mangesh Narayanrao Kale and Saleel Wagh among others are well known.

Music and dance[edit]

Maharashtra has given major contribution in Indian Classical music. Its vibrant folk form includes Powada, Bharuds and Gondhals.[62] Cities like Kolhapur and Pune have been playing major role in preservation of music like Bhavageet and Natya Sangeet which are inherited from Indian classical music. The songs from Hindi films and Marathi films are popular in urban areas.

Marathi dance forms draw from folk traditions. Lavani is popular form of dance in state. The Bhajan, Kirtan and Abhangas of Varkari sect (Vaishanav Devotees) have long history and these are part of their daily rituals.[132] Koli dance is among the most popular dances of Maharashtra. As the name suggests, it is related to the fisher folk of Maharashtra, who are called Kolis. Popular for their unique identity and lively dances their dances represent their occupation. This type of dance is represented by both men and women. While dancing, they are divided in the groups of two. These fishermen display the movements of waves and casting of the nets during their koli dance performances.[133]


Main articles: Bollywood and Marathi cinema
See also: Marathi theatre

Maharashtra is a prominent location for the Indian entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there. Mainstream Hindi films are popular in Maharashtra especially in urban areas. Mumbai is the largest center for film and television production and one-third of all Indian films are produced in state. Multi-million dollar productions Bollywood, with the most expensive productions costing up to INR150 billion (US$2.5 billion) is located there. Marathi film industry was once placed in Kolhapur but now is spread out through Mumbai too. The Marathi film film industry is well known for its art films, and has produced acclaimed directors like Dadasaheb Phalke, V. Shantaram and Shakti Samanta. Dada Kondke is the most prominent name in Marathi film industry. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema given annually by the Government of India for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.


 Traditional Maharashtrian dresses
Women wearing lugade (nauwar), a traditional nine yard sari.

Marathi women commonly wear the sari, often distinctly designed according to local cultural customs.[134] Among men, western dressing has greater acceptance. Men also wear traditional costumes such as the dhoti and pheta on cultural occasions.[134][135] Women wear traditional jewelleries derived from Marathas and Peshwas dynasties. Kolhapuri saaj, a special type of necklace, is also worn by Marathi women.[134] In urban areas, many women and men wear western attire.[135]


Main article: Maharashtrian cuisine
state popular food
Misal Pav, quintessentially from Kolhapur and is served with a wheat bread bun

Maharashtra cuisine covers a range from being mild to very spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit form staple food of Maharashtrian diet. Some of the popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, and batata wada.[136] Meals (mainly lunch and dinner) are served on a plate called thali. Each food item served on the thali has a specific place. People of this state believe in offering their food first to the lord as a thanksgiving for all that he has given. Maharashtra's cuisine is divided into Konkani and Varadi. Though quite different, both use a lot of seafood and coconut.

The bhaajis are vegetable dishes made with a particular vegetable or a combination and requires the use of goda (sweet) masala, essentially consisting of some combination of onion, garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, green chillies and mustard.[136] Depending on the caste or specific religious tradition of a family, onion and garlic may not be used in cooking. A particular variant of bhaaji is the rassa or curry. Vegetarians prepare rassa or curry of potatoes and or cauliflower with tomatoes or fresh coconut kernel and plenty of water to produce a soup like preparation than bhaaji. Varan is nothing but plain dal, a common Indian lentil stew. Aamti is variant of the curry, typically consisting of a lentil (tur) stock, flavoured with goda masala, tamarind or amshul, and jaggery (gul).[136]

Among seafood, the most popular fish is bombil or the Bombay duck, which is normally served batter fried and crisp. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal.


More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in this state and the book-publishing industry employs about 250,000 people.[citation needed] Lokmat published from Mumbai with 1,588,801 daily copies, has the largest circulation for a single-edition, regional language newspaper in India.[137] Other major Marathi newspapers are Maharashtra Times, Loksatta, Nava Kaal, Pudhari, and Sakal.[138] Major English language newspapers which are published and sold in large numbers are Daily News & Analysis, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Mumbai Mirror, Asian Age, MiD-DAY and The Free Press Journal. Some prominent financial dailies like The Economic Times, Mint, Business Standard and The Financial Express are widely circulated.[citation needed] Vernacular newspapers such as those in Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati and Urdu are also read by a select readership. The television industry developed in Maharashtra and is a significant employer in the state's economy.[citation needed] The four major Indias broadcast networks are all headquartered in Maharashtra; The Times, STAR India, CNN-IBN and ZEEL. Doordarshan is the state-owned television broadcaster. Multi system operators provide a mix of Marathi, Bengali, Nepali, Hindi, English and international channels via cable. Marathi 24-hour television news channels include ABP Majha, IBN-Lokmat, Zee 24 Taas, TV9 Maharashtra, ETV Marathi, TV9 Maharashtra and Jai Maharashtra. All India Radio is a public radio station. Private FM stations are available in all major cities. Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Uninor, Aircel, MTS India, Tata Indicom, Idea Cellular and Tata DoCoMo are available cellular phone operators. Maharashtra has the highest 18.8% of total households Internet users in India.[139] Broadband internet is available in all towns, villages and cities and is provided by the state-run MTNL and BSNL and by other private companies.[citation needed] Dial-up access is provided throughout the state by BSNL and other providers.


Main article: Sports in Maharashtra
 Anjali Bhagwat also referred as greatest Indian women athletes of all time.
Anjali Bhagwat, professional Indian shooter

The most popular sports in Maharashtra are Kabaddi and cricket, although state has adventure sports like Para Gliding, Water Sports, Rock Climbing, Trekking, Mountaineering and Scuba Diving.[140] Maharashtra has various domestic level franchise-based leagues for hockey, chess, tennis and badminton. The state is home to top national football clubs such as Mumbai Tigers F.C., Kenkre F.C., Bengal Mumbai FC and Air India FC.[141] As in the rest of India, cricket is popular in Maharashtra and is played on grounds and in streets throughout the state. Maharashtra has an Indian Premier League franchise known as the Mumbai Indians; the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), which regulates cricket in state. Maharashtra has three domestic cricket teams that includes Mumbai cricket team, Maharashtra cricket team, Vidarbha cricket team. Maharashtra football team represents it in the Santosh Trophy. Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) is the organisation responsible for Association football in and around Mumbai. The state has two clubs franchises playing in Elite Football League of India.[142] Mumbai Gladiators and Pune Marathas[143] are teams based in Mumbai and Pune respectively.[144]

Wankhede Stadium, which has a capacity of 45,000, hosted the final match of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.[145][146] It is home to the Mumbai Indians and Mumbai cricket team.[146] Mumbai and Pune holds derby races at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse and Pune Race Course respectively.[147][148] The wrestling championship Hind Kesari, is widely popular in the rural regions and is affiliated to All India Amateur Wrestling Federation (AIAWF).[149] Maharashtra Chess Association is the apex body for the game of chess in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Tennis League is India's first league format in tennis.[150][151] Other notable sports include hockey, Kho kho, fencing, archery and shooting.

Other notable athletes from Maharashtra include Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar who were part of the Indian national cricket team;[152][153] Asian Games silver medalist Hiranna M. Nimal, wrestler Khashaba Jadhav, chess player Rohini Khadilkar, tennis player Gaurav Natekar, former hockey players Dhanraj Pillay, Viren Rasquinha and badminton player Aparna Popat.[154]

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