Portal:Maharashtra

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Maharashtra (/mɑːhəˈrɑːʃtrə/; Marathi: [məharaːʂʈrə] (About this soundlisten), abbr. MH) is a state of India, in the western region of the country and is India's second-most populous state and third-largest state by area. Spread over 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi), it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian states of Karnataka, Telangana, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It is also the world's second-most populous subnational entity. It has over 112 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population around 18 million making it the most populous urban area in India. Nagpur hosts the winter session of the state legislature. Pune is known as 'Oxford of the East' due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions.

The Godavari and the Krishna are the two major rivers in the state. The Narmada and Tapi Rivers flow near the border between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Maharashtra is the third-most urbanized state of India. Prior to Indian independence, Maharashtra was chronologically ruled by the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Deccan sultanates, Mughals and Marathas, and the British. Ruins, monuments, tombs, forts, and places of worship left by these rulers are dotted around the state. They include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The numerous forts are associated with the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

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The History of Maharashtra can be traced to approximately the 4th century BCE. From the 4th century BCE until 875, Maharashtri Prakrit and its Apabhraṃśas were the dominant languages of the region. Marathi, which evolved from Maharashtri Prakrit, has been the lingua franca from the 9th century onwards. The oldest stone inscriptions in Marathi language can be seen at Shravanabelagola in modern-day Karnataka at the foot of the Bahubali Statue. In the course of time, the term Maharashtra was used to describe a region which consisted of Aparanta, Vidarbha, Mulak, Ashmak Assaka and Kuntal. Tribal communities of Naga, Munda and Bhil peoples inhabited this area, also known as Dandakaranya, in ancient times.

The Marathas dominated the political scene in Maharashtra from the middle of the 17th century to the early 19th century as the Maratha Empire. Although for historical purposes the term Maratha is used in a comprehensive sense to include all Marathi-speaking people, actually the word signifies the distinct community which has dominated the political scene of Maharashtra since medieval times.

Chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj was an able warrior and established a government that included such modern concepts as a cabinet (ashtapradhana mandala), foreign affairs (dabir) and internal intelligence. Shivaji established an effective civil and military administration. He also built a powerful navy and erected new forts like Sindhudurg and strengthened old ones like Vijayadurg on the west coast. The Maratha navy held its own against the British, Portuguese and Dutch till Maratha internal conflict brought their downfall in 1756.

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Fishing boats parked at Anjarle Creek (Konkan), Maharashtra.

Fishing boats parked at Anjarle Creek (Konkan), Maharashtra.
Fishing boats used to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Traditional fishing is any kind of small scale, commercial or subsistence fishing practices using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, throw nets and drag nets, etc.

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Selected biography

Vishnu Vāman Shirwādkar (Marathi: विष्णु वामन शिरवाडकर) (27 February 1912 – 10 March 1999), popularly known by his pen name, Kusumāgraj (Marathi: कुसुमाग्रज), was an eminent Marathi poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, apart from being a humanist, who wrote of freedom, justice and emancipation of the deprived. In a career spanning five decades starting in pre-independence era, he wrote 16 volumes of poems, three novels, eight volumes of short stories, seven volumes of essays, 18 plays and six one-act plays.

His works like the Vishakha (1942), a collection of lyrics, inspired a generation into the Indian freedom movement, and is today considered one of the masterpieces of Indian literature, apart from his play, Natsamrat which has important place in Marathi literature. He was the recipient of several State awards, and National awards including the 1974 Sahitya Akademi Award in Marathi for Natsamrat, Padma Bhushan (1991) and the Jnanpith Award in 1987; he also remained chairperson of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in 1989.

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