Maharashtra is a state located in western India. It is the second most populous
after Uttar Pradesh, third largest state by area in India and the richest state
in India contributing to approximately 25% of the country's industrial output and
to 23.2% of its GDP in 2010-11.
Maharashtra encompasses an area of 308,000 km² (119,000 mi²), and is the third largest
state in India. It is bordered by the states of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh
to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast, Karnataka to the south, and Goa to
the southwest. The state of Gujarat lies to the northwest, with the Union territory
of Dadra and Nagar Haveli sandwiched in between. The Arabian Sea makes up Maharashtra's
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). Kalsubai, a peak
in the Sahyadris, near Nashik City is the highest elevated point in Maharashtra.
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. The Western Ghats form one
of the three watersheds of India, from which many South Indian rivers originate,
notable among them being Godavari River, and Krishna, which flow eastward into the
Bay of Bengal, forming one of the greatest river basins in India.
The State has 35 districts which are divided into six revenue divisions (Konkan,
Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur) for administrative purposes and eight
educational division (Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati, Nagpur, Kolhapur
and Latur) These 35 districts are further divided into 109 sub-divisions of the
districts and 355 talukas. The State has a long tradition of having very powerful
bodies for planning at the district / local level. For local self-governance in
rural areas, there are 33 Zilla Parishads, 355 panchayat samities and 27,993 Gram
Panchayat. The urban areas are governed through 23 Municipal Corporations, 222 Municipal
Councils and 4 Nagar Panchayat.
Maharashtra has typical monsoon climate, with hot, rainy and cold weather seasons.
Summer (March to May), Monsoon (June-September), Post Monsoon (October-November),
Winter (January- March)
The various mineral resources found in the state include manganese, coal, iron ore,
limestone, copper, bauxite, silica sand, and common salt. Districts like Yavatmal,
Nagpur, and Chandrapur are rich in coal deposits. The undersea oil deposits were
discovered near Bombay High oil field in 1970.
Maharashtra is divided into Deccan plateau, which is separated from the Konkan coastline
by 'Ghats'. 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. 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.
Godavari River, Krishna River, Tapi River are the three major rivers in the state.
Flora & Fauna
The forests are mainly evergreen deciduous type. Majority of the forests are in
the eastern and Sahyadri regions of the state.
Maharashtra has five national parks, three game reserves, and 24 wildlife/bird sanctuaries.
Different kinds of animals found are tigers, panthers, bison, deer and antelopes,
wild boars, bears and blue bull.
Source: GoI, Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2010-11
Maharashtra has the largest road network (7% of total Indian road network) in the
country and 97.5 % of the villages are well connected with all weather roads in
the state and 2% are connected with fair weather roads. The state encompasses 2
major railway zone headquarters; the Central and Western Railway Zone headquarters.
State has 9.2 % of total railway network of the country. Maharashtra is also well
connected to major cities in the USA, EU, Asia and other Indian metropolitan cities
by air route. The state has the highest number of airports in the country (6%).