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    Area
  • :
  • 307,690 Sq.km.
  • Population
  • :
  • 9.68 Cr.
  • Religion
  • :
  • Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Christian, Jain
  • Capital
  • :
  • Mumbai
  • Languages
  • :
  • Hindi, Marathi
  • Literacy Rate
  • :
  • 63.1
  • Best Time to Visit
  • :
  • September to April (coast); September to mid-June(hills)

Introduction:

Maharastra Travel GuideThe state of Maharastra is one of the largest in India . Most of the state stand on the high Deccan plateau which stretches east some 800 km. from the Western Ghats.Historically this was the main centre for the Maratha Empire,which defied the Mughals for so long , and which , under the fearless rule of Shivaji , carvedout a large part of central India as its domain . Maharastra's many inland and coastal forts are a legacy of Shivaji and, to a lesser extent, the portuguese.

History of Maharashtra :
Mughal power dominated much of central and southern India in the 16th century until the Deccan became the epicentre of the Maratha empire in the 17th century. With a relatively small army, Shivaji established a base at Pune and later Raigad. From the early 18th century the the Maratha empire was controlled by the Peshwas who retained power until they upset the British in 1817.

The Chinese pilgrim, Hiun Tsang, visited Maharashtra during AD 640-641 and was very impressed by the prosperity of the country, the efficiency of the administration and the character of the people. He called the land Mo-ho-lo-cha (Moholesh), and was perhaps the first person to discuss the region and its people.

He says:

"The soil is rich and fertile and it is regularly cultivated and very productive. Men are fond of learning and studying both heretical and orthodox books. The disposition of the people is honest and simple; they are tall in stature and of a stern and vindictive character. To their benefactors, they are grateful; to their enemies, relentless. If they are insulted, they will risk their lives to avenge themselves. If they are asked to help one in distress, they will forget themselves in their haste to render assistance."

Maharastra Travel Guide The antiquity of this region can be traced to approximately the 3rd century BC, which is when the Maharastri language, a Prakrit corruption of Sanskrit from which the term 'Maharashtra' is derived, was then in use. Marathi, which evolved from Maharastri-Prakrit, has been the lingua franca of the people of this area from the 10th century onwards.

And, in the course of time, the term 'Maharashtra' was used to describe a region which consisted of Aparanta, Vidarbha, Mulak, Ashmak and Kuntal. The tribal communities of Nags, Munds and Bhils inhabited this area, also known as Dandakaranya, in ancient times.

They were joined by the Aryas, the Shakas and the Huns, who came from the North, as well as by foreigners, who arrived by sea. The Dravidians from the South colonised the land, joining a group which collectively became known as 'Marathas'.

Maratha also has a strong links with Gandhi & India's Independence. Gandhi was interned by british in Pune for two years after the Quit India declaration, and his ashram is at Sevagram in the state's far east. After Independence, western Maharashtra and Gujarat were joined to form Bombay state. Today's state, with Mumbai as capital, was formed in 1960 when the Marathi and Gujrati-speaking areas were again separated.

Physical Features :

As far as the geography of Maharashtra goes, much of the state consists of the high Deccan plateau, which is separated from the straight Konkan coastline by 'Ghats'. The Ghats are a succession of steep hills, periodically bisected by narrow roads, and which are often crowned by medieval forts. Given their altitude, it is not surprising that the Ghats are home to the state's hill stations. One of the three major regions of the state is the Sahyadri range with an elevation of 1000 meters. The unique feature of this region is a series of crowning plateau.

Maharastra Travel GuideLying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range, Konkan is narrow coastal lowland, just 50 km wide and with an elevation below 200 meters.

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. These ranges also serve as natural limits to the state.

Climate :
The climate of Maharashtra is moderate, with variations in temperature ranging between 16C and 35C. July to September are the months when monsoon lashes this state with good rainfall. This does not mean that the whole state gets uniform rainfall; a large part of inner Maharashtra remains dry in comparison to other areas under the rain shadow of the Sahyadri. Best Time to Go: September to April (coast); September to mid-June(hills)

How to Reach Maharashtra: By Air:

There is an extensive network of flights from Mumbai's Sahar (international) and Santa Cruz (domestic) airports. There are domestic flights to all the major cities of the country.

By Rail:

Mumbai has trains connecting it to all important cities in India. intra city trains in Mumbai are very good, and are the cheapest and fastest way to move around in Mumbai.

By Road:

Mumbai is well connected to all the cities in Maharashtra by bus. intra city bus services are also very good



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