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Maharashtra

Maharashtra is a state/Union Territory of India.

Maharashtra is a state in west-central India. Its capital is Mumbai, the economic capital of India. Maharashtra's population was 96,752,247 per 2001 census, making it the second most populous state in India. Maharashtra was created on May 1, 1960. Bombay state, which had been enlarged in 1956 to include Marathi-speaking portions of Hyderabad state and Madhya Pradesh were included in Marashtra and Gujarati-speaking areas to the north were separated into Gujarat.

Maharashtra borders Goa and Karnataka to the south, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast, Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, and the Arabian Sea to the west. The Western Ghats mountains, which run north and south, parallel to the Arabian Sea coast, separate the western coastal portion of Maharashtra from the eastern portion of the state, which lies on the Deccan plateau. Maharashtra has five geographic regions.

Konkan is the western coastal region, between the Western Ghats and the sea, which includes Mumbai. Other major cities of Konkan include Thane, Ulhasnagar, and Bhiwandi, north of Mumbai, and Ratnagiri and Chiplun to the south. Kandesh is the the northwestern region, lying in the valley of the Tapti River, which flows west off the Deccan plateau into the Arabian Sea at Surat, in Gujarat. Jalgaon, Dhulia and Bhusawal are the major cities. Desh is in the centre of the state, east of the Ghats. Desh is the historic core of the Marathi state, and Pune, the capital of the Marathas, is the second largest city in the state. Other important cities include Nasik, Sangli, Sholapur, and Kolhapur. The Western Ghats in Desh are the source of Deccan's great rivers; the Godavari River rises at Trimbak, between Nasik and Mumbai, and flows eastward through Marathwada> to empty into the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. The Krishna River, which originates at Mahabaleswar and passes through Sangli, and its tributary the Bhima, which rises north of Pune, enter Karnataka state and ultimately empty into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi, Andhra Pradesh. Marathwada is located in the south-eastern part of the state, and was part of the former princely state of Hyderabad until 1956. Aurangabad is the main city of the region, which also includes the famous sculpture caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Vidarbha is the easternmost region of the state, formerly part of Central Provinces and Berar. Nagpur is the main city in the region. The Penganga and Pranhita, tributaries of the Godavari, are the region's main rivers.

Maharashtra is divided into 35 districts, which are grouped into six divisions: Aurangabad, Amravati, Konkan, Nagpur, Nashik, and Pune. Mumbai is the financial capital of India, and home to India's film industry. Specialized Industrial Parks in Maharashtra are 1) Krishna Valley Wine Park, Palus, Sangli 2)Nasik Wine Park, Nasik 3) Sangli Food Park, Mane-Rajuri, Sangli 4) Nagpur Food Park, Nagpur. Infotech /IT Parks include 1) SEEPZ, Mumbai 2) Millennium Business Park, New Mumbai 3) Hinjawadi IT Park, Hinjawadi, Pune 4) Sangli IT Park, Vishrambag, Sangli 5) Nagpur IT Park, Nagpur.

List of prominent temples in Maharashtra include Dehu, Alandi, Ghrishneshwar Temple, Khuldabad, Siddhivinayak Temple, Jejuri, Shegaon - Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple, Shirdi, Ganapati Temple of Sangli, Sangameshwar Shiva Temple, Haripur, Sangli, Audumbar Near Sangli, Khidrapur, Meherabad, Anwa Temple, Ashta Vinayak, Trimbakeshwar, Narasimha Wadi Near Sangli, Mahalaxmi Temple, Mumbai, Bhimashankar, Saptashringi Devi Temple, Haji Ali Shrine, Meherabad and Meherazad, near Ahmednagar.

Maharashtra is home to several National Parks, including Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Borivali National Park) in Mumbai, Chandoli Wildlife Sanctuary in Sangli District, Tadoba National Park in Chandrapur District, Panch National Park in Nagpur District, Nawegaon National Park in Bhandara District and Gugmal National Park in Amravati District. There are also a number of wildlife sanctuaries and nature preserves, including Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary near Sangli. Others are Andhari, Aner Dam, Bhimashankar, Bor, Chandoli, Chaprala, Gautala Autramghat, Great Indian Bustard, Jaikwadi, Kalsubai Harishchandra, Katepurna, Koyana, Malvan, Melghat, Nagzira, Nandur, Madmeshwar, Painganga, Phansad, Radhangiri, Tansa, and Yawal.

Districts of Maharastra are under six divisions. They are Amravati Division, Aurangabad Division (Marathwada), Konkan Division, Nashik Division, Nagpur Division, and Pune Division.

Shivaji Bhosle was the founder of the Maratha Empire. Shivaji brought the whole of Deccan to his empire. Sambhaji succeeded Shivaji, but he is not great as his father Shivaji. 1680 to 1707 is known as the period of instability in the history of Maharashtra. Balaji Vishwanath (1712-1721), Bajirao Peshwa (1721-1740), Nanasaheb Peshwa (1740-1761), 'Thorale' Madhaorao Peshwa (1761-1772, Narayanrao Peshwa (1772-1773), 'Sawai' Madhaorao Peshwa (1774-1795) and 'Second' Bajirao Peshwa - 1795 to 1802 were the other important rulers of Maharashtra. The fall of Ahmednagar fort in 1803 marked the end of Indian rule and supremacy of British in Deccan. In 1804, General Wellesly proclaimed the Deccan in a state of chaos, established military rule and the Peshwas remained rulers for namesake. The present state was formed in 1960 with Bombay as the capital, when the Marathi and Gujarati linguistic areas of former Bombay state were separated.