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India States - Maharashtra
Maharashtra is India's third largest state in terms of area and second largest in terms of population after Uttar Pradesh. It is bordered by the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Arabian Sea makes up the state's western coast. Mumbai (Bombay), India's largest city, is the capital of Maharashtra. Maharashtra was known as "Rashtra" in the Rig Veda, "Rashtrik" in Ashoka's inscriptions, and "Maha rashtra" afterwards, as attested by Huein-Tsang and other travellers. The name appears to have been derived from "Maharashtri" in an old form of Prakrit, an ancient Indian language.
Maharashtra the third largest state in India after Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra is bordered by the states of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast, Karnataka to the south, and Goa to the southwest. The state of Gujarat lies to the northwest, with the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli sandwiched in between. The Arabian Sea makes up Maharashtra's west coast. The Western Ghats are a hilly range running parallel to the coast, at an average elevation of 1,200 metres (4,000 feet)). To the west of these hills lie the Konkan coastal plains, which is 50 – 80 kilometres in width. To the east of the Ghats lies the flat Deccan Plateau. The Western Ghats form one of the three watersheds of India, from which many South Indian rivers originate. To the north of the state, near the Madhya Pradesh border, lies the Satpura Range. The Western Ghats form the source of several major rivers of Maharashtra, notable among them being Godavari and the Krishna. The rivers, along with their tributaries, flow eastwards into the Bay of Bengal, irrigating most of central and eastern Maharashtra. The Ghats are also the source of numerous small rivers which flow westwards emptying into the Arabian Sea. To the north of the state, the rivers Tapi and Narmada flow westwards into the Arabian Sea, irrigating most of northern Maharashtra.
Maharashtra's is India's leading industrial state contributing 23% of India's industrial output. 64.14% of the people are employed in agriculture and allied activities. Major industries in Maharashtra include chemical and allied products, electrical and non-electrical machinery, textiles, petroleum and allied products. Other important industries include metal products, wine, jewellery, pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, machine tools, steel and iron castings and plastic wares. Food crops include mangoes, grapes, bananas, oranges, wheat, rice, jowar, bajra, and pulses. Cash crops include groundnut, cotton, sugarcane, turmeric, and tobacco. The net irrigated area totals 33,500 square kilometres. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra houses the headquarters of almost all major banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and mutual funds. Within Mumbai is located Bollywood, the centre of India's Hindi film and television industry. The Bombay Stock Exchange, India's oldest and largest stock exchange is located in the city. After successes in the information technology in the neighbouring states, Maharashtra has set up software parks in Pune, Mumbai, and Nashik.
The Indian Railways covers most of the Maharashtra and is the preferred mode of transport over long distances. Almost the entire state comes under the Central Railways branch which is headquartered in Mumbai. Most of the coast south of Mumbai comes under the Konkan Railway. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation buses, popularly called ST or MSRTC, link most of the towns and villages and have a large network of operation. These buses, run by the state government are the preferred mode of transport for much of its populace. In addition to the government run buses, private run luxury buses are also a popular mode of transport between major towns. Mumbai has the biggest international airport in Maharashtra. Pune has a limited capacity international airport with flights to Dubai and Singapore. Other large towns such as Nagpur, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur and Solapur are served by domestic airlines. Ferry services also operate near the capital, linking the city to neighbouring coastal towns. Other modes of public transport, such as a seven-seater tempo have gained popularity in semi-urban areas. Maharashtra has a large highway network and recently built the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the first controlled-access toll road project in India. Maharashtra has three major ports at Mumbai (operated by the Mumbai Port Trust), the JNPT lying across the Mumbai harbour in Nhava Sheva, and in Ratnagiri, which handles the export of ores mined in the Maharastra hinterland.