Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India, occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the second-most populous state in India and the second-most populous country subdivision in the world. It was formed on 1 May 1960 by splitting the bilingual Bombay State, which had existed since 1956, into majority Marathi-speaking Maharashtra and Gujarati-speaking Gujarat. The state capital is Mumbai, the most populous urban area in India. The Godavari and the Krishna are the two major rivers in the state.
Marathi is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state. Spread over 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi), it is the third-largest state by area in India. The Arabian Sea borders Maharashtra to the west, the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa to the south, Telangana to the southeast and Chhattisgarh to the east, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to the north, and the Indian union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu to the northwest. Nagpur hosts the winter session of the state legislature. The state has three international airports, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai), Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (Nagpur), and Pune Airport (Lohegaon, Pune). The state is home to three railway headquarters viz. Central Railway (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus), Konkan Railway (CBD Belapur), and Western Railway (Churchgate). The High Court of the state viz. Bombay High Court is located in Mumbai.
Handpicked popular adventure activities to try in Maharashtra
Before 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. The state is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ajanta, Ellora, and Elephanta Caves and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus). Pune is known as the 'Oxford of the East' due to several well-known educational institutions. Nashik is known as the 'Wine Capital of India' as it has the most significant number of wineries and vineyards in the country. Maharashtra is the most industrialized state in India and the state's capital; Mumbai is India's financial and commercial hub. The state has played a significant role in the country's social and political life and is widely considered a leader in agricultural and industrial production, trade and transport, and education. Maharashtra is one of the most developed and prosperous Indian states. It continues to be the single most significant contributor to the national economy, with a share of 15% of the country's GDP. The economy of Maharashtra is the largest in India, with a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of ₹28.78 trillion (US$400 billion) and has the country's 13th-highest GSDP per capita of ₹207,727 (US$2,900). Maharashtra is the fifteenth-highest ranking among Indian states in the human development index.
The Maurya Empire ruled Maharashtra in the fourth and third centuries BCE. Around 230 BCE, Maharashtra came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty for 400 years. The greatest ruler of the Satavahana dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni. In 90 CE, Vedishri, son of the Satavahana king Satakarni, the "Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty", made Junnar, 30 miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom. The state was also ruled by Western Satraps, Gupta Empire, Gurjara-Pratihara, Vakataka, Kadambas, Chalukya Empire, Rashtrakuta Dynasty, and Western Chalukya before finally, the Yadava rule. The Buddhist Ajanta Caves in present-day Aurangabad display influences the Satavahana and Vakataka styles. The caves were possibly excavated during this period. The Chalukya dynasty ruled from the sixth to the eighth centuries C.E., and the two prominent rulers were Pulakeshin II, who defeated the north Indian Emperor Harsha, and Vikramaditya II, who defeated the Arab invaders in the eighth century. The Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Maharashtra from the eighth to the tenth century. The Arab traveler Sulaiman al Mahri described the Rashtrakuta Dynasty Amoghavarsha as "one of the four great kings of the world". The Shilahara dynasty began as vassals of the Rashtrakuta dynasty, which ruled the Deccan plateau between the eighth and tenth centuries. From the early 11th century to the 12th century, the Deccan Plateau, which includes a significant part of Maharashtra, was dominated by the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty. Several battles were fought between the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty in the Deccan Plateau during Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Jayasimha II, Someshvara I, and Vikramaditya VI.
After Indian independence, princely states and Jagirs of the Deccan States Agency were merged into Bombay State, created from the former Bombay Presidency in 1950. In 1956, the States Reorganisation Act reorganized the Indian states along linguistic lines. Bombay Presidency State was enlarged by adding the predominantly Marathi-speaking regions of Marathwada (Aurangabad Division) from erstwhile Hyderabad state and Vidarbha region from the Central Provinces and Berar. The southernmost part of Bombay State was ceded to Mysore. In the 1950s, Marathi people strongly protested against the bilingual Bombay state under the banner of Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti. The notable leaders of the Samiti included Keshavrao Jedhe, S.M. Joshi, Shripad Amrit Dange, Pralhad Keshav Atre, and Gopalrao Khedkar. The key demand of the samiti called for a Marathi-speaking state with Mumbai as its capital. In the Gujarati-speaking areas of the state, a similar Mahagujarat Movement demanded a separate Gujarat state for the majority Gujarati sites. After many years of protests, which also saw 106 deaths amongst the protestors, and electoral success of the samiti in 1957 elections, the government of Nehru, yielded to public pressure to create on 1 May 1960, a separate Marathi-speaking state by dividing earlier Bombay State into the new states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The state continues to have a dispute with Karnataka regarding the region of Belgaum and Karwar.
Maharashtra has a tropical climate, with three distinct seasons: summer (March-May), monsoon (June–September), and winter (October–February). However, dew and hail also occur sometimes, depending on seasonal weather. The winter between October to February is followed by summer between March and May and the monsoon season between June and September. Summers (March, April, and May) are scorching, temperatures rising from 22 °C to as high as 43 °C. Rainfall starts typically in the first week of June. July is the wettest month in Maharashtra, while August also gets substantial rain. The rainy season starts its retreat with the coming of September to the state.
Rainfall in Maharashtra differs from region to region. Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg districts receive heavy rains of an average of 200 centimeters annually. But the districts of Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Satara, Sangli, Solapur, and parts of Kolhapur are less than 50 centimeters. Rainfall is exceptionally high in areas adjacent to the Sahyadri mountains, such as coastal Konkan on the west and foothills of the mountain range on the eastern side. Central Maharashtra receives less rainfall. However, under the influence of the Bay of Bengal, eastern Vidarbha receives good rainfall in July, August, and September. In winter, an excellent dry spell occurs, with clear skies, gentle air breeze, and pleasant weather prevails from October to February. But the eastern part of Maharashtra sometimes receives some rainfall. The temperature rises from 12 °C to 34 °C during this season.
People tend to rush behind doing things that they think most tourists are doing. That is the case with Maharashtra as well. Because people only relate Maharashtra with Bollywood and the film industry, there are several things that they miss out on. The adventure sports in Maharashtra are abundant; you just need to know the right places around. If you are in the mood to rush through your adrenaline in the body and experience a kind thing in your lifetime, visiting Maharashtra can be a good bet.
Not many require an introduction to this, but paragliding is possibly one of Maharashtra's most popular adventure sports activities. Maharashtra does have several peaks and mountains around, especially around Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. You are in for a ride if you want to try paragliding or parasailing in Maharashtra. You must keep an eye out on the season because this sport is very season-specific and only happens best during the months between October to March.
If you are in the mood to blend in water and land adventure activity, opting for waterfall rappelling is possibly one of the best activities that you can indulge in. People visiting Maharashtra for adventure sports often combine the waterfall rappelling with a trekking trip to make the most out of it. You can also do the same, depending on the level of difficulty you want with this activity. It isn't as easy as the bouts of rock climbing or such, so you need to be well prepared for everything before jumping head first into doing them.
For those who want to indulge in the most famous adventure sports in Maharashtra, trekking is possibly one of them. Several mountains around the state offer fantastic trekking trails, ranging from the easy ones for beginners to the difficult ones for the advanced-level adventurers. You must check out the trekking packages and go with a group rather than alone for a much safer experience. It is also best to talk to the people and confirm all the necessities you would need for the trekking trip. This makes things easier even more.
Yet another one of the amazing adventure activities in Maharashtra is the forest camping options. This is often part of the trekking expeditions that people set on. Still, sometimes, it can be done as an individual activity if you have the amenities to set up a camp around the forest regions. The area around Tiger's Point in Lonavala calls for one of the best camping sites you can check out. It is spread across an area of 40 acres, so you know that the place has a lot to offer. There are sports activities and even bonfires to warm up those chilly winter nights.
This is often also known as paragliding, yet another one of the fantastic adventure sports you can check out for yourself in Maharashtra. It is not for the faint-hearted or the ones who are scared of heights, so you do need to keep an eye out for things around you without fail. Several training centers around Maharashtra offer proper training before you are set out to be free in the sky a thousand feet up. There is a captain who guides and accompanies you in the activity, so you don't necessarily have to worry about safety at all.
Yet another one of the popular and best adventure sports in Maharashtra is the river rafting experience. If you want a rafting trip that gushes you down a steady stream of water along with the blanket of lush greenery on both sides, there are several options that you can look into while in Maharashtra. Kolad is a very famous spot for this that you can check out if you are in the mood for some of this. Several rafting camps are arranged to help you get in that rush of adrenaline and even find effective ways to rejuvenate your mind by being in the lap of nature around.
Cycling is yet another popular activity that you can indulge in while you are in Maharashtra. If you want to get in some fitness and, at the same time, find some form of rejuvenation from the hectic lifestyle, this is your safest bet. The coastal areas around Maharashtra do offer an excellent recluse for you to check out without further thought. If you do want to get into day trips and not for long, this is a perfect recreational activity without a doubt.
Not everyone has the guts to go paragliding or parasailing, but that doesn't mean that they don't want to see a panoramic view of the city from up above. The hot air balloon is quite an unusual activity that you can check out if you are in the mood for something out of the box and different around. The view from the stunning peaks of Sahyadris is one that you can't think of. There are varying slots that the safari happens in, so ensure that you get the timings confirmed before you plan your trip
If you are into watersports and have been in the mood to indulge in some while you are in Maharashtra, scuba diving is a fantastic spot you can visit. The unique range of marine flora and fauna of the Arabian Sea is one that you can't compare anything with. With so many unique spots to visit and explore, it isn't surprising that you can get the best experience without fail if you do it from the right place. The centers that allow scuba diving provide training first to ensure proper safety before taking a plunge into the sea.
Another unique experience that you can garner along with the water sports in Maharashtra is riverside camping. Given that the state is a coastal one and has such a long stretch of coastline, it isn't surprising that the options for riverside camping are pretty popular around there as an adventure sport. If you want to get laid back experience without the hassle, this is your safest bet. There are several options for the experience that you can explore around. The mesmerizing feeling of the river flowing is one of a kind experience
Not many realize this, but caving is one of the most popular adventure sports that one can try out in Maharashtra. It involves walking and crawling around the innumerable number of caves that are present in the state. There are several available caves around that you can indulge in. There are several protected monuments such as the Ajanta Caves, Karla Caves, etc.
Again, if you aren't terrified of heights and want to kick in the rush of adrenaline in your body, bungee jumping is yet another one of the popular adventure sports that you can look into. Several spots offer this adventure sport but the Della Adventures Park, which is also considered the biggest park in Maharashtra, offers this activity. The experience of free-falling is one that you can't match up with anything else, making it a pretty popular activity there.
Mumbai, the city of dreams. Mumbai, the city that never sleeps. Mumbai, the old world's charm and fast pace of modern life. There is so much that one can say in praise of the one city in India that everyone wants to visit at least once in their life. That may be because of the grandeur of this city or because of the history it has seen. Nonetheless, this city has a lot in store for everyone who visits.
If Mumbai is the most happening place in Maharashtra, its neighbor Pune is the cultural hub and the biggest city in the state. An upcoming I.T. center and a fascinating city, Pune has no shortage of things to intrigue the interest of almost anyone who has ever been here or has heard of the town.
Lonavala city is one of the most beautiful retreats that take you away from the maddening rush of the metropolises. It is located in the western part of India in the Pune district of Maharashtra. Lonavala City is popularly called the "city of caves'' and the "Jewel of Sahyadri." That is because the hill station boasts of some of the most spectacular settings that include luxuriant green valleys, remarkable caves, serene lakes, and stunning waterfalls. The spectacular rock-cut Bhaja and Karla caves in Lonavala have been notable tourists with their old beams, motifs, and inscriptions.
Located just below the border of Mumbai, Alibag is a little coastal town in Maharashtra. The town's name means "The Gardens of Ali" and refers to the fruit orchards planted by Ali, an Israelite who used to live in the town during its earliest days. Owing to its convenient location by the sea, the town was regarded as an important strategic port during the British reign in India. Being a coastal town, the beauty of Alibaug derives mainly from the various beaches here. With its glittering golden black sands and clear blue waves, the clean and sparkling beaches of the town are a sight to behold. The brilliance of the beaches is often complemented by the historical fort ruins and ancient temples that can usually be found scattered around the place.
Located in the mountainous and scenic district of Raigad, Karjat is a municipal council and city. This city is also a part of Mumbai's metro city that travelers prefer the most. Right from couples to kids and families, anyone can make the most of Karjat as a holiday destination. That is because the city has a lot to offer in terms of beating boredom. The hilly town of Karjat is full of fascinating temples, monuments, lush green seraphic valleys, and exquisite caves.
Nestled in the picturesque Western Ghats, tourist places in Mahabaleshwar will captivate your imagination with their natural splendor. Mahabaleshwar is well known for its numerous rivers, magnificent cascades, and majestic peaks. The city comprises ancient temples, boarding schools, manicured and lush green dense forest, waterfalls, hills, valleys that will take your breath away on your visit.
Nashik is a holy site in Maharashtra that is known for its religious importance for Hindu temples. This ancient sacred site is of great spiritual significance in the Hindu religion. It is also one of all 4 locations where Kumbh Mela, every 12 years, is organized. Nasik is adorned with several natural sites that will blow your mind from its beauty. From the sprawling magnificence of the Sahyadri range giving rise to streams of Western Ghats to lovely vineyards spread over the hills, Nashik's beauty is unbeatable and offers relaxation of mind. The Anjneri Hill, Pandavleni Caves, and others are some of the main attractions for sighting natural beauty.
Situated in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, the Raigad district is majorly known for its historical significance and awe-inspiring beauty. Earlier, the place was named Coolaba, but with the growing popularity of its Raigad fort, it was renamed Raigad. Cradled amidst the mesmerizing Sahyadri ranges, this district welcomes you with a unique combination of beaches, religious temples, and historic forts.
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