Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India and is the nation’s as well as the world’s second-most populous sub-national entity. It has over 110 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population of approximately 15.2 million people. Mumbai is also the financial capital of the nation and the headquarters of all major banks, financial institutions and insurance companies in the country. India’s Hindi film industry, Bollywood, and Marathi film and television industry are also located in this state. Maharashtra’s business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India.
Ancient and medieval Maharashtra included the empires of the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Mughals and Marathas. Spread over 118,809 sq mi (307,710 km2), it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian states of Karnataka, Telangana, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The major rivers of the state are Godavari, Krishna, Narmada and Tapti. The state has several tourist destinations including religious places such as the Vithal temple at Pandharpur, Hazur Sahib Nanded at Nanded, Gajananmaharaj shrine at Shegaon, and Saibaba shrine at Shirdi. Popular Hill Stations in the state include Mahabaleshwar, Chikhaldara and Panhala. Places such as Pune, Satara and surrounding area have many historical places associated with the Maratha Empire to visit. The state is also dotted with Caves from ancient Buddhist, Jain and Hindu Era. Some of them such as Elephanta Caves, Ajanta and Ellora caves are UNesco World Heritage Sites. Most of state’s regions are not suitable for agriculture, causing the rural people to migrate to the urban areas, which is the main reason for it having more populated cities than any other Indian state. Maharashtra also has the highest level of urbanisation. The large cities in the state include Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Thane, Solapur, Amravati, Sangli and Nanded.
Maharashtra is the wealthiest and most developed state in India, contributing 25% of the country’s industrial output and 23.2% of its GDP (2010-11). As of 2011, the state had a per capita income of INR1.0035 lakh (US$1,600), more than the national average of INR0.73 lakh (US$1,200). Its GDP per capita crossed the INR1.20 lakh (US$1,900) threshold for the first time in 2013, making it one of the richest states in India. Agriculture and industries are the largest parts of the state’s economy. Major industries include chemical products, electrical and non-electrical machinery, textiles, petroleum and allied products.