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Map of Maharashtra (Source: India-WRIS)



Satavahans were the first well-known rulers of this state (230 B.C. to 225 A.D.), who were the founders of Maharashtra. The association with Satavahan rulers conferred many benefits on the region particularly in the field of literature, epigraphy, archaeology etc. Then came the Vakatakas. At that time Maharashtra witnessed an all-sided development in the field of learning, arts and religion. Ajanta cave paintings are the example of this regime. After Vatakas, the Kalachuri dynasty, the Rashtrakutas dynasty, Yadav dynasty came in this region one after another. In the ninth century Muslim rulers established their hegemony over the region although there were great Muslim kingdoms independent of Delhi in Nijapur and other places. Then came the Marathas with Shivaji, displaying his mlitary prowess, shrewdness and administrative ability. A new sense of Swaraj and nationalism was evolved by Shivaji. His successors were weak and the power passed into the hands of Peshwas. The Peshwas established the Maratha supremacy from Deccan Plateau to Attock in Punjab. After Peshwas, the British consolidated their possession over the region.
Maharashtra was in the forefront of the freedom movement. Tilak gave a new orientation to the freedom movement with his slogan, “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it”.He also exploited fully the scope of religious festivals to spread the message of the day. There were a number of provincial and princely state administrations under British rule. Bombay presidency included Bombay city, Konkan, Western Maharashtra, a number of Gujarat districts and four districts of north Karnataka. British also created provinces like Berar, whose capital was Nagpur. Finally, princely states like Kohlapur, Sangli and Aundh were merged with Marathi speaking regions of Bombay province and Berar, and the bilingual Bombay state was formed.On 1st May 1960, Marathi speaking Maharashtra was created by separating Gujarati speaking areas of Bombay province.


Maharashtra is located in the north centre of Peninsular India. It links the north to the south and the plains of India to the southern peninsula. The state is bounded on west by Arabian Sea, on north-west by Gujarat, on north by Madhya Pradesh, on southeast by Andhra Pradesh and on south by Karnataka and Goa. It is the third largest state in terms of area in the country. Dominant physical trait of the state is its plateau character. Physiographically this state may be divided into three natural divisions - the coastal strip (the Konkan), the Sahyadri or the Western Ghat and the plateau. The Konkan consists undulating low lands. North Konkan has the vast hinterlands. The Western Ghats running almost parallel to the sea coast. The average height of Sahyadri is 1,200 meters. The slopes of the Sahyadri gently descending towards the east and south-east. Tapi, Godavari, Bhima and Krishna are the main rivers of the state. Maharashtra receives its rainfall mainly from south-west monsoon. The rainfall in state varies considerably. There is heavy rainfall in the coastal region, scanty rains in rain shadow areas in the central part and moderate rains in eastern parts of the state.


Maharashtra state is India's third largest in terms of area and second largest in terms of population. In contrast to agrarian economy that characterizes India, Maharashtra stands out with highest level of urbanization among all Indian states. Mumbai being its capital is the largest metropolitan city. Other large cities include Pune, Nagpur, Nasik and Aurangabad. It is bounded in the north by Madhya Pradesh, in the east Chattishgarh, in south-east by Andhra Pradesh, in south by Karnataka and Gujarat in the north. The Arabian Sea makes up Maharashtra’s western coast, which is a vast stretch of 720 km. Mumbai is the state capital.


Maharastra has got variable climate from continental to typical maritime depending upon the location and physiography. The coastal districts of Konkan experience heavy rains but mild winter. The weather, however, is mostly humid throughout the year. The maximum and minimum temperature varies between 27°C and 40°C & 14°C and 27°C respectively. The maximum summer temperature varies between 36°C and 41°C and during winter the temperature oscillates between 10°C and 16°C. Rainfall starts in the first week of June and July is the wettest month. Rainfall in Maharashtra differs from region to region.

Water Resources

The State is mainly covered by the basins of Krishna, Godavari and Tapi except the west-flowing rivers of Konkan strip. A small portion on north comes under Narmada basin. The major rivers, which flow through Maharashtra state are Godavari, Krishna and Tapi. Indravati, Wardha, Mnajira, Penganga and Purna are other important rivers.

Irrigation Development

Interstate Agreements

Tapi Basin

  1. Agreement Dated 8th march 1964 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding inter-state irrigation and Hydel projects.Bagh Project,Pench Hydel,Karwand and Tapi view
  2. Agreement Dated 16th May, 1969 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding inter-state Irrigation and Hydel Projects: Pench Bagh Upper Tapi (Stage II) Sukhi Aner and Wai and Also regarding constitution of inter-state control board for Joint Irrigation and Hydel Project. view
  3. Agreement Dated 12th January, 1986 for sharing of Tapi water between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. view

Godavari Basin

  1. Summary record of decision taken at the inter-state conference held on 27th July and 28th July, 1951 among the states of Bombay, madras, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh and Mysore regarding the utilization of Krishna and Godavari waters. view
  2. Agreement Dated 8th march, 1964 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding certain inter-state irrigation and hydel projects: Bagh ,Pench view
  3. Agreement Dated 16th May, 1969 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding certain Inter-state irrigation and Hydel Projects: Pench,Bagh and also regarding the constitution of interstate control board for joint irrigation and hydel projects. view
  4. Agreement Dated 31st January,1975 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh regarding the swarn Project and other agreements between the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and regarding the following Projects: Bawanthadi,Bhapalpatnam Project I and II,Kalisarar Project,Nugur II Hydro-Electric Project,Kotri Nibra Hydro- Electric Project and Bandia Hydel Electric Project.view
  5. Proceedings of the meeting between the chief ministers of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh held at Hyderabad on the 6th October, 1975 regarding clearance of the projects on and the use of waters of Godavari River and its tributaries. (See vol-II of the series). view
  6. Agreement Dated 19th December, 1975 among the Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka , Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa regarding the projects in Godavari river basin.(see vol-II of the series) view
  7. Agreement Dated 7th August, 1978 entered into between the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. view
  8. Agreements on evidenced by the letters of exchange (Annexure I, II and III) regarding sharing of water between Maharashtra and Karnataka states proposed to be diverted from Godavari to Krishna.
    (a) Annexure I: D.O Irr. No. PWD 25, BRA Dated 29.1.1979 of shri B.C. Angadi, Special secretary to Govt., I&P Dept. Government of Karnataka, Bangalore addressed to shri V.R.Deuskar, Secretary to govt., Irrigation Deptt., Government of Maharashtra, Bombay.
    (b) Annexure II: D.O. Irr. ISW 5179 KG., Dated 30.1.1979 of shri V.R. Deuskar, Secretary to Government, Irrigation Dept., Government of Maharashtra, Bombay, Addressed to shri B.C. Angadi, Special Secretary to Government, Irrigation Department, Govt. of Karnataka, Banglore.© Annexure III: D.O. Letter No. PWD 25 BRA 78 dt. 31.1.1979 of shri B.C. Angadi, Spl. Secretary to Government, Irrigation department, Government of Karnataka, Bangalore, addressed to shri V.R. Deuskar, Secretary to Government, Irrigation dept., Government of Maharashtra, Bombay. (see vol-II of the series) view
  9. Final order of the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal view

Krishna Basin

  1. Agreement of april, 1976 among the Governments of Andhra pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra for supply of 5TMC each of Krishna waters to Tamil nadu for water supply to Madras city. view
  2. Agreement Dated 28th October, 1977 among the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu regarding conveying of 15TMC of Krishna waters to Tamil nadu for water supply to madras city. View
  3. Agreement between The Government of the state of Karnataka and The Government of the state of Maharashtra for execution and management of Dudhganga Irrigation Project View
  4. Final Order of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal View

West Flowing River Basin

1. Agreement Dated 6th April, 1990 executed between the Governments of Goa and Maharashtra for execution and management of Tillari Irrigation Project. view

Narmada Basin

  1. Final order and decision of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal View


  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Mines & Minerals


Although Maharashtra is a highly industrialised state of India, agriculture continues to be the main occupation of the people. About 61% of the people directly or indirectly depend on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. Principal crops of the state are rice, jowar, bajra, wheat, tur, mung, urad, gram and other pulses. Maharashtra is a major producer of oilseeds like groundnut, sunflower, soyabean etc. Major cash crops of the state are cotton, sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables. Horticulture has a very important place in this state. Varieties of fruits like mango, orange, banana, grape, cashew nut etc. are produced in this state. The Nagpur oranges and Alphonso mangoes are very famous. There were about 10.91 lakh hectares of land under horticulture. Fishing is an important activity of this state.


With its key location, linking the north and south India, Maharashtra established itself as the industrial backbone of the country. This state accounts 25 per cent of the industrial output of the country. Food products, breweries, tobacco and related products, cotton textiles, textile products, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, rubber, plastic, petroleum and coal products, basic chemicals and chemical products, metal products and parts, machinery (except electrical machinery), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automobiles and transport equipment and parts contribute substantially to the industrial production in the state. Small-scale industries have also come up in a big way in the state.
Industry contributes near about 25 per cent of Maharashtra's income. The state is a big magnet for investments from home and abroad. Information Technology sector is the major thrust area of the state. Bombay city, Pune, Nagpur, Thane and Aurangabad are among the major industrial centres of the state.Bombay city is also known as the home of the Hindi film world, which is often called Bollywood.

Mines & Minerals

Minerals of the State include coal, manganese, limestone, chromite, bauxite, iron ore, petroleum and ilmenite.


  • Transport



The first train steamed off from Bori Bunder to Thane, a distance of 34 km, on April 16th 1853. Major railway junctions are Bombay Victoria Terminus, Dadar, Thane, Nagpur etc.


Mumbai is the leading port of the country, which handles much of the exports and imports of the country. Besides Mumbai port there are 54 minor ports located in various parts of the state on the Arabian Sea.


Maharashtra has a lot of important tourist places. The world famous caves of Ajanta and the glorious rock cut temple of Ellora are situated close to major city of the Aurangabad. There are caves like Elephanta near Mumbai and Kanheri and Karla caves. In the Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar is the most important settlement. It is a fine hill station. Other important tourist centres are Matheran and Panchgani, Jawhar, Malshejghat, Amboli, Chikaldara, Panhala Hill Station etc. Some of the important religious places are at Pandharpur, Nashik, Shirdi, Nanded, Audhanagnath, Trimbakeshwar, Tuljapur, Ganapatipule, Bhimashanker, Harihareshwar and Shegaon. Mumbai is one of the major tourist attraction for its beaches, museums, parks, hotels, trade and industry and film city.

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