Maharashtra

Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states of India, it occupies the western and central parts of the country and extends over the Sahyadri mountains; a vast stretch of 720 kilometers of the Arabian sea coast providing it a beautiful backdrop. The present state of Maharashtra was formed on May 1, 1960 on uni-lingual principle by carving it out of the erstwhile Mumbai state, which included the predominantly Marathi-speaking areas as the former princely state of Hyderabad as well as the Central Provinces and Berar.

Jorwe in the Ahmadnagar district provide many evidences of ancient civilization in Maharashtra. The Chinese traveler Hiun Tsang, who visited this region in 640-641 BC, was quite appreciative of the prosperity of the region in his writings. During third and fourth centuries BC, the region of Konkan remained under the control of the Mauryans, whose policies led to great advancements in the fields of trade and Buddhist learning in the region. After the disintegration of the Mauryan Empire, the Satwahanas (230 BC – AD 225) came to rule this region. Pratishthan or modern Paithan was their capital. This great empire crumbled because of internal feuds in the ranks of vassals. In succession came the great rulers of the Vakataka, Chalukya, and Rashtrakuta empires making Maharashtra a great center of culture and art.

Yadavas were the last of these kingdoms that lost their power in the early 12th century and a long period of Muslim rule started in Maharashtra. Allauddin Khilji was the first ruler to understand the value of the Deccan as the key to extending influence over south India and consecutive rulers from Delhi till the 17th century tried their best to keep this region under their control. From the middle of the 17th century, a new group of warrior people came to dominate the scene in Maharashtra and elsewhere in India called Marathas.

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