Maharashtra

Map of Maharashtra, Republic of India

Maharashtra (महाराष्ट्र) in Western India is the third-largest state of India by size and the second-largest by population. It stretches from the west coast to the interior regions and its climate varies with its geography. Maharashtra contains India's most industrialized region, the Mumbai-Pune belt. Agriculturally, too, the state is one of India's more advanced and well-irrigated. The state is also quite important historically.

Regions

For administrative purposes, the state is sub-divided into six divisions and further into 35 districts. Officially, all divisions save one are named after the district where the headquarters of the division is located. But the divisions are also popularly known by other names and that is how they are listed here.

Cities

Here are nine of the most notable cities.

Other destinations

National Parks

Talk

The principal language spoken is Marathi. Hindi and English are widely spoken and understood. Mumbai is fairly cosmoplitan, with many languages, including English being spoken. Konkani is a minority language closely related to Marathi, spoken by the eponymous Konkani community. Though Konkanis are common in the Konkan region, they are a minority everywhere.

Get in

All the cities of Maharastra all well connected by rail, air and road.

By plane

Maharashtra has the following important airports:

1. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (IATA: BOM): The main air hub of the state and the country. It has excellent service to all major cities of the world as well as most Indian cities. International non-stop flights are available from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Atlanta and other cities. Domestic flights connect to Delhi, Bangalore, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai,Nagpur and many other cities in India.

2. Pune International Airport (Lohagao Airport), Pune (IATA: PNQ): Pune airport is connected mainly to other Indian airports (Delhi, Goa, Bangalore).

3. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur (IATA: NAG): Well connected to other Indian cities. Some international flights are available.

There are other, smaller airports in the cities of Aurangabad, Nashik, Kolhapur, Nanded. Except for Aurangabad's Chikhaltana Airport (IATA: IXU), which has regular flights scheduled, other airports have only occasional flights. If you do intend to fly to these cities anyway, make sure you have good knowlwdge of your flight details, because flights are rare. It is much easier to reach these cities by road or railway.

By train

Maharashtra is also well connected with other parts of India by the Indian Railways. Maharashtra is served by the Western Railways, Central Railways and the Konkan Railway divisions of the Indian Railways.

Train travel is quite cheap compared to travelling by road. Trains in India, although faster than cars/buses, are quite slow due to the terrain and also due their sheer length (it is not unusual for a train to have up to 24 coaches). Therefore, do not expect high-speed railway connections. Travelling a distance of about 600 km takes about 10-12 hours.

Mumbai is the headquarters of the Central and Western railways. Trains to Mumbai from other parts of India are abundant and you should have no difficulty to find one which suits you if you check the Indian Railways time table. If you intend to travel through the coastal region (Konkan) to Mumbai, it is highly recommended to take one of the several trains on the Konkan railway line. The journey is full of beautiful scenery, from sea coasts and rivers to mighty waterfalls and green forests amidst farming villages and towns. The line also has the highest railway viaduct in Asia and the longest railway tunnel in India. The journey from Margao, Goa to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai takes about 12 hours. However, do not make this journey during the monsoons (June-September) as landslides are frequent and the railway tracks frequently sink in the soft, wet ground. Pune is an important railway junction on the Cental Railways and receives trains from all parts of India. It is also an important terminus for trains leaving to many cities.

Nagpur is another important junction on the Central Railways. Being close to the geographical centre of India, trains travelling north-south as well as east-west pass through Nagpur and stop there. Therefore, Nagpur is pretty much reachable directly by train from most of the major cities of India.

Most other major cities in Maharashtra also have direct rail connectivity with other parts of India, but trains may be fewer in number. An alternative is to change trains from one of the major junctions/termini in Maharashtra, from where there are many trains to other parts of Maharashtra. Major railway junctions are Manmad, Bhusawal, Wardha, Purna and Kurduvadi, apart from the cities mentioned above.

By car

10 National Highways connect Maharashtra to other parts of India.

1. NH 3 connects Mumbai and Agra. Passes through Thane, Dhule, Nashik.

2. NH 4 connects Thane and Chennai. Passes through Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur.

3. NH 6 connects Hazira (Gujarat) and Kolkata. Passes through Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur, Bhandara.

4. NH 7 connects Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Kanniyakumari (Tamil Nadu). Passes through Nagpur.

5. NH 8 connects Mumbai and New Delhi.

6. NH 9 connects Pune and Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh). Passes through Solapur.

7. NH 13 connects Solapur and Mangalore (Karnataka).

8. NH 16 connects Nizamabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh). A tiny length passes through Sironcha on the eastern tip of Maharashtra.

9. NH 17 connects Panvel and Kochi. Passes through Mahad, Chiplun, Sawantwadi.

10. NH 222 connects Kalyan and Nirmal (Andhra Pradesh). Passes through Ahmednagar (Nagar), Parbhani, Nanded.

There are numerous other roads but the National Highways are the best maintained of all. Some highways may require you to pay tolls at the state border. Many highways have a police checkpost at the state border, although they will not stop you if you don't arouse their suspicions.

By bus

Bus services are provided by State Road Transport Corporations as well as by private bus companies.

Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) runs a comprehensive network of buses, popularly known as ST buses, within and outside the state. There are 3 classes of buses. The commonly seen red buses are inexpensive, non-AC buses intended for cheap travel. They run between various cities in Maharashtra and adjacent states. Particularly, they connect all the capitals of adjacent states (Gandhinagar/Ahmadabad, Bhopal, Raipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Panaji) to at least one city in Maharashtra. But these buses are not very comfortable, especially for long distance travel as they stop at many villages en route. Another class is of semi-luxury, non-AC buses having separate cushioned seats per passenger. These are popularly known as 'Asiad' buses and have a green or purple top. The new fleet of luxury buses (Shivneri and Ashwamedh) provide more comfortable , air-conditioned travel at slightly higher prices, although the price is lesser compared to private buses. Look for blue coloured (Shivneri) or orange-brown coloured (Ashwamedh) buses bearing the MSRTC logo. (Some buses may have 'M.S.R.T.C.' written on the front windshield.) Typically, semi-luxury and luxury buses will stop only at a few places indicated on the route information in the front.

Tickets can be purchased on boarding the bus, but it is more convenient to reserve a ticket in advance (at a bus depot, authorised agent or online) to save the trouble of finding a seat for yourself.

State owned bus companies of some adjacent states (GSRTC, MPSRTC, APSRTC, KSRTC, KTC) also provide similar types of bus services to Maharashtra.

Many private buses also ply between major cities of Maharashtra and adjacent states. The service offered is quite similar to state-owned semi-luxury and luxury buses, but at higher (typically about double, or more during tourist season) prices. Seats in such buses can be booked from one of the numerous bus agents that run small agencies in any medium-sized (or larger) city.

Get around

See

Beach resorts

Coastal Maharashtra (Konkan) has some of very beautiful beaches. With a 720 km coast line, there are beautiful beach destinations almost every 50-100 km, starting from Dahanu in the Northern part of the State to Sindhudurg, at the Southern tip.

Some popular beaches are:

While the beaches in Bordi, Gorai, Juhu, Alibag, Kashid and Murud-Janjira are well-developed, with multiple accommodation choices, the rest remain still off the tourist circuit. The primary reason is lack of good accommodation choices. At most of the other beaches, the only decent stay options are properties owne and managed by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), a govt. organisation. These MTDC resorts have amazing location with great views, but being govt. run, these are not among the best in service, activities and food.

Hill Stations

Popular hill stations in Maharashtra are -

Other sites

Do


Trek the Sahyadri

The Sahyadri range of mountains is an impressive hill range int he western parts of maharastra running north to south. There are many peaks in these ranges with medium height, highest being 'kalsubai' peak. Many of the hills have been converted into Forts by Chatrpati Shivaji and later maratha rulers, some forts are even older. Many of the forts are in ruins, but still there is a lot to see and experience. Every fort has its own importance & interesting bravery stories of Shivaji & his soldiers(मावळे). Hence trekking the forts and hills in the sahyadri's has a charm of its own. Especially in the monsoons, its a place to die for, with lush greenery and pure waterfalls abundant in the hills. The treks range from very simple to absolutely tough. These western ghats are accessible from major cities like mumbai, pune and nashik.

Eat

Vada with Chatni is popular in Maharashtra

There are lots of snack and side dishes in Maharashtrian cuisine. Some quintessentially Maharashtrian dishes are:

Surali Wadi: Chick pea flour rolls with a garnishing of coconut, coriander leaves and mustard. Lots of items actually..further delicacies can be obtained in any typical maharastrian home.

Pav bhaji: This speciality dish from lanes of Mumbai has mashed steamed mixed vegetables (mainly potatoes, peas, tomatoes, onions and green pepper) cooked in spices and table butter. The vegetable mix is served with soft bun shallow fried in table butter and chopped onion. Sometimes cheese, paneer (cottage cheese) are added.

Saoji curry is special gravy mainly used in preparing non-vegetarian (chicken and mutton dish); But can also be used to prepare vegetarian dish (Potato, Paneer or Soya Chunk). Saoji chicken or Mutton is famous for its spicy taste and is highly recommended to all the spicy food lovers. Nagpur is famous for 'Saoji chicken'.

Soups

Pickles


Sweets

Drink

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.