States of India
The state of Maharastra is one of the largest in India . Most of the state stand on the high Deccan plateau which stretches east some 800 km. from the Western Ghats.Historically this was the main centre for the Maratha Empire,which defied the Mughals for so long , and which , under the fearless rule of Shivaji , carvedout a large part of central India as its domain . Maharastra's many inland and coastal forts are a legacy of Shivaji and, to a lesser extent, the portuguese.
Mughal power dominated much of central and southern India in the 16th century until the Deccan became the epicentre of the Maratha empire in the 17th century. With a relatively small army, Shivaji established a base at Pune and later Raigad. From the early 18th century the the Maratha empire was controlled by the Peshwas who retained power until they upset the British in 1817.
Maratha also has a strong links with Gandhi & India's Independence. Gandhi was interned by british in Pune for two years after the Quit India declaration, and his ashram is at Sevagram in the state's far east. After Independence, western Maharashtra and Gujarat were joined to form Bombay state. Today's state, with Mumbai as capital, was formed in 1960 when the Marathi and Gujrati-speaking areas were again separated.
Physical Features :
As far as the geography of Maharashtra goes, much of the state consists of the high Deccan plateau, which is separated from the straight Konkan coastline by 'Ghats'. The Ghats are a succession of steep hills, periodically bisected by narrow roads, and which are often crowned by medieval forts. Given their altitude, it is not surprising that the Ghats are home to the state's hill stations.
One of the three major regions of the state is the Sahyadri range with an elevation of 1000 meters. The unique feature of this region is a series of crowning plateau.
Lying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range, Konkan is narrow coastal lowland, just 50 km wide and with an elevation below 200 meters.
The third important region is the Satpura hills along the northern border, and the Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the eastern border form physical barriers preventing easy movement. These ranges also serve as natural limits to the state.
The climate of Maharashtra is moderate, with variations in temperature ranging between 16°C and 35°C. July to September are the months when monsoon lashes this state with good rainfall. This does not mean that the whole state gets uniform rainfall; a large part of inner Maharashtra remains dry in comparison to other areas under the rain shadow of the Sahyadri.
Best Time to Go : September to April (coast); September to mid-June(hills).