Maharashtra is a state in the western sea coastline of India. It is surrounded by Goa and Karnataka states in south, Andhra Pradesh in southeast, Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Madhya Pradesh in north, Chhattisgarh in east, and the Arabian Sea in west.
Maharashtra is the third-largest state of India, both in area and
population. Its coastline is 330 miles (530 km) long along the Arabian
Sea. Rice is the dominant crop of the state, but cashews, mangoes,
vegetable cotton, oilseeds, and tobacco are also important.
The state has tropical monsoon climate with seasonal rains as heavy as
over 400 cm in some regions. Warm summer starts from March onwards up to
late October, while winters are mild. Forests comprise 17% of the total
area of the state. Majority of the forests are in the eastern and
Sahyadri regions of the state. Main Rivers of the state are Krishna,
Bhima, Godavari, Tapi-Purna and Wardha-Wainganga.
Maharashtra is divided into five geographic regions. Konkan is
the western coastal region, between the Western Ghats and the sea. Major
cities include Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi, Ratnagiri and
Chiplun. Kandesh is the northwestern region lying in the valley
of the Tapti River. Jalgaon, Dhulia and Bhusawal are the major cities of
this region. Desh is in the centre of the state. This is the
most significant region of the Maratha state. Pune was the capital of
the Maratha Empire. Other important cities include Nasik, Sangli,
Sholapur, and Kolhapur.
Marathwada, which was a part of the princely state of Hyderabad
until 1956, is located in the southeastern part of the state. Aurangabad
is the main city of the region. Vidarbha is the easternmost
region of the state, formerly part of Central Provinces and Berar.
Nagpur is the main city in the region.
Physical features of Maharsahtra 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. Lying 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.