Welcome to Maharashtra. A land whose sheer size and diversity will stun you. Enjoy her mountains that stretch out into the mists as far as the eye can see. Her innumerous forts that stand proud and strong. Her scores of temples, sculpted into and out of basalt rock.
Her diverse and colourful cultures, woven into one gigantic quilt. Her festivals that galvanise the sleepy thousands into fervent motion. And her miles of silver, white beaches, stretched taut and inviting over the entire coast. Welcome aboard a travel package that gives you a glimpse into this vibrant and beautiful land.
Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states of India, it occupies the western and central parts of the country and extends over the Sahyadri mountains; a vast stretch of 720 kilometers of the Arabian sea coast providing it a beautiful backdrop. The present state of Maharashtra was formed on May 1, 1960 on uni-lingual principle by carving it out of the erstwhile Mumbai state, which included the predominantly Marathi-speaking areas as the former princely state of Hyderabad as well as the Central Provinces and Berar.
|Area||307,713 sq km|
|Population||114.2 million (2012)|
Surrounded by the Arabian Sea to its west, Gujarat to its northwest, Madhya Pradesh to its north, Karnataka to its south and Chhattisgarh and Telangana to its East.
Maharashtra, The Land Of Diverse Culture And Traditions, Celebrates Many Traditional, Religious, State And National Festivals. These Festivals Involving Dance, Music And Other Events Are Specially Organized For The Tourists. Some Of The Popular Festivals Celebrated In Various Parts Of Maharashtra Are Given Below.
The Most Important And Popular Festival Of Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi Is Celebrated In The Month Of August - September. This Festival Marks The Birth Anniversary Of Ganesha, The Hindu God Of Wisdom. The Preparations For This Festival Begin Months Ahead. Idols Of Ganesha Are Installed And Detailed Arrangements Are Made For Lighting And Decoration. The Festival Is Held For 7-10 Days. The Last Day Of The Festival Is Called Chaturthi, Dedicated To The Elephant-headed God. On This Day The Idols Of Ganesha Are Immersed In The Ocean Or Rivers, Where Thousands Of Processions Meet. The Immersion Of Idols Is Accompanied By Drumbeats, Devotional Songs And Dancing. This Marks The End Of The Festival.
Maharashtran New Year's Day Is Celebrated On The First Day Of The Hindu Month Chaitra ( March-april). This Festival Is Known As The Gudhi Padava In Maharshtra. This Day Marks The Start Of The Hindu Solar Year. On The Day Of The Festival People Get Up Early And Clean Their Houses, Decorating Them With Intricate Rangoli Designs. Bamboo Staffs (gudhi) Adorned With Silk Cloths And Topped With A Brass Goblet Or Kalash Are Erected. It Is Said That These Staffs Drive Away Evil From The Houses.
Celebrated In The Month Of August, The Nariel Purnima Or Coconut Day Is Dedicated To The Sea God Varuna. This Festival Marks The End Of The Monsoons And Is Celebrated By The Fishermen Of Maharashtra. The Fishermen Paint Their Boats And Coconuts Are Broken Against Them As Offering To The Sea God. Little Oil Lamps Are Lit And Set Afloat Amidst The Waves And Carried In The Boats. Garlands Made Of Flowers Are Also Offered To The Seas To Mark The Beginning Of A New Fishing Season.
Parsi People Celebrate Their New Year In August, Which Is Also Known As Pateti. It Is An Important Festival Because On This Day The Shahenshahi Zoroastrian Community Arrived In India While Migrating From Persia. This Festival Is Celebrated At The Fire Temple And The Parsi Community Strengthens The Bond Through Feasts, Where They Meet Friends And Relatives.
Holi, The Festival Of Colors Is Celebrated On The Day After The Full Moon In Early March Every Year. This Festival Is Not Only Celebrated In Maharashtra But All Over The Country With Equal Joy. This Festival Marks The End Of Winter Season And The Beginning Of The Spring Season. It Is Also A Celebration Of The Triumph Of Good Over Evil. All Participate In This Festival And Play With Colors. Dancing, Singing And Merry Making Are An Integral Part Of Holi.
Diwali Is A Popular Festival Celebrated All Over India With Great Pomp And Gaiety. It Is Celebrated For Five Days Marking The Home Coming Of Lord Rama And His Consort Sita. Th Festival Of Lights Symbolizes The Victory Of Good And Driving Away Of Spiritual Darkness. The Highlights Of The Festival Are Little Oil Lamps Or Diyas Decorating Houses And Crackers And Fireworks Which Are The Integral Parts Of This Festival. The Goddess Of Wealth And Prosperity, Lakshmi Is Worshiped On This Day Also Marking The Beginning Of The Hindu New Year.
The Banganga Festival Is A Musical Extravaganza Celebrated Every Year In The Month Of January. The Venue Of This Festival Is The Banganga Tank At Walkeshwar. Here Reputed Artistes From All Over The Country Perform Live In The Classical Music Concerts. The Festival Is A Delight For Culture Lovers.
The Elephanta Festival Is Celebrated In The Month Of February Every Year. The Festival Is Celebrated On The Elephanta Island, Which Is The Site Of The Brilliant Elephanta Caves. These Caves Have Beautiful Carvings, Sculptures, And A Temple Dedicated To The Hindu God, Lord Shiva. These Caves Are Located At A Distance Of 11-km From Mumbai. Special Performance By Renowned Dancers And Musicians Is The Highlight Of The Festival.
The Pune Festival Celebrated In The Months Of August - September Is Organized By Mtdc. This Week Long Festival Is A Celebration Of Art And Culture. The Pune Festival Is A Unique Festival That Provides Platform For The Budding Musicians And Dancers. The Festival Also Promotes Modern Trends In The Performing Arts, Notably The Dramatic Arts And The Traditional Art Of Rangoli. Visitors Coming To Pune Can Enjoy Themselves By Participating In The Events And Shopping Exquisite Textiles And Handicrafts. Originally, The Pune Festival Was Conceived As A Localized Cultural Event. But As It Has Evolved, It Has Been Actively Promoted Abroad By The Government Of India, As A Major Tourist Attraction.
The Kalidas Festival Celebrated In November Every Year At. The Festival Is Celebrated Over Two Exciting Days And Nights. Kalidas Festival Commemorates One Of The Greatest Poets Of All Times, 'kalidasa' (4th Century Ad). He Was A Brilliant Poet Who Enriched Indian Literature With His Works Of 'abhijnanasakuntalam', 'meghadootham', 'raghuvamsam' And 'kumarasambhavam'. Some Of The Greatest Performers Of Music, Dance And Drama Display Their Talent In The Picturesque Setting Of Ramtek.
Celebrated Every Year In The Month Of December, The Ellora Festival Is Organized By Mtdc. The Site Of This Festival Is The Ellora Caves Near Aurangabad, Where Well-known Artistes Perform. These Music And Dance Performances Invoke A Certain Kind Of Vibrancy In The 1,400-year Old Caves And Rock Carvings. The Beautiful Kaildas Temple, Sculptured Out Of One Huge Rock, Provides A Perfect Backdrop For This Event.
The Unique Blending Of Various Cultural Affiliations Has Shaped The Culture Of The State Of Maharashtra. Maharashtra Is The Land Of Prosperity, Culture, Spirituality Which Has Gained Growing Global Recognition As It Has Preserved Its Traditions In The Wake Of Advanced Industrialization. The Land Of Maharashtra Was The Motherland Of Great Marathas, A Class Of Warriors Who Ruled Out The Region From Centuries And One Of The Major Reasons Of Rich Culture And Heritage Of The State. The State Is Also Well Known For Its Quality Education System In The Major Cities Like Mumbai And Pune; With Institutes Like Symbiosis Institutes, Xavier Institute Of Communications, Iit, Mithibai College, Sophia College Etc. Maharashtra's Rich Cultural Heritage Is The Result Of Various Charismatic Maratha Rulers Leaving Behind A Mark Of Majesty, Exuberance, Vivacity And Vigor.
The Cuisine Of Maharashtra Is Largely Influenced By The Landscape, The People And The Crops Grown In Various Regions. It Is Not Only Memorable For Its Subtle Variety And Strong Flavours, But Also Because Of The Legendary Hospitality Of Maharashtrians.
The Exotic Konkani Food Of The West Coast Of Maharashtra, Be It The Mild, Naturally Fragrant Vegetable Mixture Served With Local Papads, Or A Spicy-hot Fish And Meat Curry With A Coconut Milk Base, Is A Gourmet's Dream Come True.
Vidarbha's Cuisine Is Spicier And More Exotic Than That Of The Coastal And Southern Regions. The Ingredients Commonly Used Are Besan, Or Chickpea Flour, And Ground Peanuts.
The Food Of Peshwas And Brahmin Communities Of Pune Is Delicate, Sparsely Designed And Entirely Vegetarian. 'puneri Misal', 'thalipeeth', 'puri Bhaji' And 'dalimbi Usal' Are Not Only Tasty And Nutritious, But Inexpensive To Make.
Kolhapur Is Famous For Its Spicy Meat Curries. Popularly Called 'matnacha Rassa', Red-hot Meat Dish Is Served With Robust Chappatis, A White Gravy To Dilute Its Pungency Or A Chilli Gravy For The Bravehearts.
Aurangabad's Food Is Much Like Moghlai Or Hyderabadi Food, With Its Fragrant Pulaos And Biryanis. Meat Cooked In Fresh Spices And Herbs Is A Speciality, As Are The Delectable Sweets.
The Nagpur Food Is Generally Spicy, With A Good Amount Of Ghee, And Peanuts, Dried Copra And Dal Are Often The Basis Of The Flavours.
The Expertise Of The Artisans Of Maharashtra Can Be Seen In The Fine Art And Craft Finishes. The Fine Fabrics Of Mashru And Himroo Are The Clear Examples Of Their Highest Level Of Weaving Art. The Fabrics Which Looks Like Golden Cloth Are Regarded To Be One Of The Finest Of Its Kind. The High Level Weaving Know-how Are Also Evident With The Paithani And Narayan Peth Sarees. Bidriware Is Another Well-appreciated Craft Of This State. It Takes Lots Of Skills And Time In Preparation. The District Of Kolhapur Gives Two Most Famous Things - Jewellery And Kolhapuri Chappals. Kolhapuri Chappals Are Known For Its Quality, Comfortability And Low Price. Then Come The Paintings Of Warli Tribes Of Mumbai. It Is Even Compared To The Famous Paintings Of Madhubani, Bihar. Bidriware The Expertise Of The Artisans Of Maharashtra Can Be Seen In The Fine Art And Craft Finishes. The Fine Fabrics Of Mashru And Himroo Are The Clear Examples Of Their Highest Level Of Weaving Art. The Fabrics Which Looks Like Golden Cloth Are Regarded To Be One Of The Finest Of Its Kind. Kolhapuri Chappals Hand-made Leather Chappals And Sandals Of Kolhapur District Of Maharashtra Are World Famous. These Are Popularly Known As The Kolhapuri Chappals, And Known For Its Simple Styles, Quality Of Leather And Design. Kolhapur Jewellery Most Of The Maharashtrian Jewelleries Are Derived From The Legacies Of Maratha And Peshwa Dynasties. Kolhapur Is Famous For Its Special Type Of Necklace Called Kolhapur Saaj. This Jewellery Is Very Much Special For Maharashtrian Women. Mashroo & Himroo Himroo, Also Known As Kum Khuab Is A Distinctive, Luxurious Fabric, Once Used As Dress Material By The Nobles Of The Olden Days. The District Of Aurangabad Is Popular Because Of These Fine Fabrics. These Fabrics Are Made Of Cotton And Silk Using A Special Loom. Narayan Peth Narayan Peth Saree Is Very Much Popular In And Around Sholapur District Of Maharashtra. It Is The Favourite For The Women Of This District. It Is A Traditionally Maharashtrian Saree That Weaves Mainly In This District Only. Paithani Sarees Paithani Saree Took Its Name From A Place Called Paithan, Where It Started Producing 2000 Years Ago. This Saree Is Made Of Silk With An Ornamented Zari Pallav And Border. Warli Painting Warli Paintings Are The Tribal Wall Paintings Of The Warli Tribes Of Maharashtra. Warlis Are The Largest Tribes Of Maharashtra Live In Northern Outskirts Of Mumbai. Womenfolks Mainly Do The Paintings On The Mud Walls Of The Houses.