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ce">[133] The Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) was set up in 2002 to take up development of airports in the state that are not under the AAI or the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). MADC is playing the lead role in the planning and implementation of the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) project.[134] Almost all the major cities of Maharashtra have airports. CSIA (formerly Bombay International Airport) and Juhu Airport are the two airports in Mumbai. The two other international airports are Pune International Airport and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (Nagpur). Flights are operated by both private and government airline companies. Additional smaller airports include Aurangabad, Akola, Amravati, Baramati, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gondia, Jalgaon, Karad, Kolhapur, Latur, Nashik, Nanded, Osmanabad, Ratnagiri, Solapur and Yavatmal.[135]

Education and social development

Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, was one of the institutions established after the Indian independence movement

Maharashtra schools are run by the state government or by private organisations, including religious institutions. Instruction is mainly in Marathi, English or Hindi, though Urdu is also used. The secondary schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) or the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Under the 10+2+3 plan, after completing secondary school, students typically enroll for two years in a junior college, also known as pre-university, or in schools with a higher secondary facility affiliated with the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education or any central board. Students choose from one of three streams, namely liberal arts, commerce or science. Upon completing the required coursework, students may enroll in general or professional degree programs.

Maharashtra has 24 universities with a turnout of 160,000 Graduates every year.[136][137] Maharashtra has played a pioneering role in the development of the modern education system in India. The University of Mumbai, is the largest university in the world in terms of the number of graduates and has 141 affiliated colleges.[138] People like, Jyotirao Phule, Scottish missionary John Wilson, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dhondo Keshav Karve and Bhaurao Patil played a leading role in the setting up of modern schools and colleges in the state.[139][140][141][142] The Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute was established in 1821. The Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University, the oldest women's liberal arts college in South Asia, started its journey in 1916. College of Engineering Pune, established in 1854, is the third oldest college in Asia.[143]

Nagpur University campus
Entrance gate of Nagpur University, which is nationally renowned

School children in Maharashtra (one laptop per child project)

According to prominent national rankings, 5 to 7 Maharashtra colleges and universities are ranked among the top 20 in India.[144][145][146] Maharashtra is also home to such notable autonomous institutes as Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, Institute of Chemical Technology, Homi Bhabha National Institute , VNIT (Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology Nagpur ) and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI).[147] These autonomous institutes are ranked as the most difficult colleges in Maharashtra to gain admission to. At the undergraduate level admission to autonomous institutes is extremely competitive. The University of Pune, the National Defence Academy, Film and Television Institute of India, National Film Archives, Armed Forces Medical College and National Chemical Laboratory were established in Pune after the Indian independence movement. Maharashtra has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions. Most of these were set up in the last thirty years after the State Government of Vasantdada Patil liberalized the Education Sector in 1982.[148] There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition.

Besides these, the state also has Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, North Maharashtra University, Shivaji University, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University and Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, all well established and nationally renowned, to cover the educational needs at the district levels of the state. Apart from this, there are a number of deemed universities in Maharashtra: the Symbiosis International University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tilak Maharashtra University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.[149] Notable scholars who were born, worked or studied in the geographic area of the state include prominent Varkari saint and spiritual poet Tukaram, Dalit Leader and Father of Indian Constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Indian Nationalist leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the father of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke and Social reformer Jyotirao Phule.



In 2011, the health care system in Maharashtra consisted of 363 rural government hospitals,[150] 23 district hospitals (with 7,561 beds), 4 general hospitals (with 714 beds) mostly under the Maharashtra Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and 380 private medical establishments; these establishments provide the state with more than 30,000 hospital beds.[151][152][153] It is the first state in India to have nine women's hospitals serving 1,365 beds.[153]

Maharashtra has a life expectancy of 65.48 years at birth, up from 67.2 years in 2011, ranking it third among 29 Indian states.[154] The total fertility rate of the state is 1.9.[155] The Infant mortality rate is 28 and the maternal mortality ratio is 104 (2012–2013), which are lower than the national averages.[156][157] Public health services are governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), through various departments. The Ministry is divided into two departments: the Public Health Department, which includes family welfare and medical relief, and the Department of Medical Education and Drugs.[158][159]

In Maharashtra, health insurance includes any program that helps pay for medical expenses, whether through privately purchased insurance, social insurance or a social welfare program funded by the government.[160] In a more technical sense, the term is used to describe any form of insurance that provides protection against the costs of medical services.[161] This usage includes private insurance and social insurance programs such as National Health Mission, which pools resources and spreads the financial risk associated with major medical expenses across the entire population to protect everyone, as well as social welfare programs such as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the Health Insurance Program, which provide assistance to people who cannot afford health coverage.[160][161][162]


Current functioning units of Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station
Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station, the state's power production source

Although its population makes Maharashtra one of the country's largest energy users,[163][164] conservation mandates, mild weather in the largest population centres and strong environmental movements have kept its per capita energy use to one of the smallest of any Indian state.[165] The high electricity demand of the state constitutes 13% of the total installed electricity generation capacity in India, which is mainly from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.[166] Mahavitaran is responsible for distribution of electricity throughout the state by buying power from Mahanirmiti, captive power plants, other state electricity boards and private sector power generation companies.[165]

As of 2012, Maharashtra was the largest power generating state in India, with installed electricity generation capacity of 26,838 MW.[164] The state forms a major constituent of the western grid of India, which now comes under the North, East, West and North Eastern (NEWNE) grids of India.[163] Maharashtra Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) operates thermal power plants.[167] In addition to the state government-owned power generation plants, there are privately owned power generation plants that transmit power through the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company, which is responsible for transmission of electricity in the state.[168]



state popular food
Misal Pav, served with a wheat bread bun

Maharashtra cuisine covers a range from mild to very spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit form staple food of the Maharashtrian diet. Some of the popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, and batata wada.[169] Meals (mainly lunch and dinner) are served on a plate called thali. Each food item served on the thali has a specific place. In some households, meals begin with a thanksgiving offering of food (Naivedya) to the household Gods. Maharashtrian cuisine has many regional varieties including Malvani (Konkani) and Varadhi.[170] Though quite different, both use a lot of seafood and coconut.[171]

The bhaajis are vegetable dishes made with a particular vegetable or a combination. They require the use of goda (sweet) masala, essentially consisting of some combination of onion, garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, green chillies and mustard.[169] Depending on the caste or specific religious tradition of a family, onion and garlic may not be used in cooking.[170] A particular variant of bhaaji is the rassa or curry.[172] Vegetarians prepare rassa or curry of potatoes and or cauliflower with tomatoes or fresh coconut kernel and plenty of water to produce a soup-like preparation rather than bhaaji. Varan is nothing but plain dal, a common Indian lentil stew. Aamti is variant of the curry, typically consisting of a lentil (tur) stock, flavoured with goda masala, tamarind or amshul, and jaggery (gul).[169]

Among seafood, the most popular fish is bombil or the Bombay duck, which is normally served batter fried and crisp.[171] All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal.[170]


 Traditional Maharashtrian dresses
Women wearing lugade (nauwar), a traditional nine yard sari

Traditionally, Marathi women commonly wore the sari, often distinctly designed according to local cultural customs.[173] Most middle aged and young women in urban Maharashtra dress in western outfits such as skirts and trousers or shalwar kameez with the traditionally nauvari or nine-yard lugade,[174] disappearing from the markets due to a lack of demand.[175] Older women wear the five-yard sari. In urban areas, the five-yard sari is worn by younger women for special occasions such as marriages and religious ceremonies.[176] Among men, western dressing has greater acceptance. Men also wear traditional costumes such as the dhoti and pheta[177] on cultural occasions. The Gandhi cap is the popular headgear among older men in rural Maharathra.[173][178][179] Women wear traditional jewelleries derived from Marathas and Peshwas dynasties. Kolhapuri saaj, a special type of necklace, is also worn by Marathi women.[173] In urban areas, many women and men wear western attire.[179]

Music and dance

Maharashtra has given major contributions to Indian Classical music. Its vibrant folk form includes Powada, Bharuds and Gondhals.[85] Cities like Kolhapur and Pune have been playing a major role in preservation of music like Bhavageet and Natya Sangeet, which are inherited from Indian classical music. The songs from Hindi films and Marathi films are popular in urban areas.

Marathi dance forms draw from folk traditions. Lavani is popular form of dance in the state. The Bhajan, Kirtan and Abhangas of the Varkari sect (Vaishanav Devotees) have a long history and are part of their daily rituals.[180] Koli dance is among the most popular dances of Maharashtra. As the name suggests, it is related to the fisher folk of Maharashtra, who are called Kolis. Popular for their unique identity and liveliness, their dances represent their occupation. This type of dance is represented by both men and women. While dancing, they are divided into groups of two. These fishermen display the movements of waves and casting of the nets during their koli dance performances.[181]


Maharashtra’s regional literature is about lives and circumstances of Marathi people in specific parts of the state. The Marathi language, which boasts a rich literary heritage, is a Sanskrit-derived language and is written in the Devanagari script.[182] The earliest instances of Marathi literature is by Sant Dnyaneshwar with his Bhawarthadeepika (popularly known as Dnyaneshwari). The compositions, written in the 13th-century, are spiritually inclined. Other compositions are by Bhakti saints such as Tukaram, Eknath, Namdev, and Gora Kumbhar.[183] Their compositions are mostly in poetic form, which are called Abhang. Maharashtra has a long tradition in spiritual literature, evidenced by the Amrutanubhav, Bhavarth Deepika, Bhagavata Purana, Eknathi Bhagwat and Bhavarth Ramayan.[184]

19th century Marathi literature icludes the works of authors such as Balshastri Jambhekar, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Gopal Hari Deshmukh, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Hari Narayan Apte, and Keshavsuta. 20th century notable writers include Mahadevshastri Joshi, Kusumagraj, Pu La Deshpande, Prahlad Keshav Atre, Sane Guruji, and Laxmanshastri Joshi. Varjesh Solanki, Manya Joshi, Hemant Divate, Mangesh Narayanrao Kale and Saleel Wagh are some of the more recent authors.


Maharashtra is a prominent location for the Indian entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there.[1] Mainstream Hindi films are popular in Maharashtra, especially in urban areas. Mumbai is the largest center for film and television production and a third of all Indian films are produced in the state. Multi-million dollar Bollywood productions, with the most expensive costing up to 150 billion (US$2.4 billion), are filmed there.[185] The Marathi film industry, previously located in Kolhapur, has spread throughout Mumbai. Well known for its art films, the early Marathi film industry included acclaimed directors such as Dadasaheb Phalke,and V. Shantaram. Dada Kondke is the most prominent name in Marathi film. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema, given annually by the Government of India for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.[186]


Theatre in Maharashtra can trace its origins to the British colonial era in the middle of the 19th century. It is modelled mainly after the western tradition but also includes forms like Sangeet Natak (Musical drama). In recent decades, Marathi Tamasha has been also been incorporated in some experimental plays.[187] Today, theatre continues to have a marked presence in Mumbai and Pune with an educated loyal audience base, when most theatre in other parts of India have had tough time facing the onslaught of cinema and television. Its repertoire ranges from humorous social plays, farces, historical plays, musical, to experimental plays and serious drama. Marathi Playwrights such as Vijay Tendulkar, P. L. Deshpande, Mahesh Elkunchwar and Satish Alekar have influenced theatre throughout India.[188] Besides Marathi theatre, Maharashtra and particularly, Mumbai, has had a long tradition of theatre in other languages such as Gujarati, Hindi and English.[189]


More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in this state and the book-publishing industry employs about 250,000 people.[190] Lokmat, published from Mumbai with 1,588,801 daily copies, has the largest circulation for a single-edition, regional language newspaper in India.[191] Other major Marathi newspapers are Maharashtra Times, Loksatta, Nava Kaal, Pudhari, and Sakal.[192] Popular Marathi language magazines are Saptahik Sakaal, Grihashobhika, Lokrajya, Lokprabha and Chitralekha.[193] Major English language newspapers which are published and sold in large numbers are Daily News & Analysis, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Mumbai Mirror, Asian Age, MiD-DAY and The Free Press Journal. Some prominent financial dailies like The Economic Times, Mint, Business Standard and The Financial Express are widely circulated.[194] Vernacular newspapers such as those in Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati and Urdu are also read by a select readership. The television industry developed in Maharashtra and is a significant employer in the state's economy.[195]

Numerous Indian and international television channels can be watched in Maharashtra through one of the Pay TV companies or the local cable television provider. The four major India broadcast networks are all headquartered in Maharashtra: The Times, STAR India, CNN-IBN and ZEEL. Doordarshan is the state-owned television broadcaster and provides two free terrestrial channels. Multi system operators provide a mix of Marathi, Bengali, Nepali, Hindi, English and international channels via cable. The wide range of cable channels available includes sports channels like ESPN, Star Sports, National entertainment channels like Colors, Sony, Zee TV and Star Plus, business news channels like CNBC Awaaz, Zee Business, ET Now and Bloomberg UTV. Marathi 24-hour television news channels include ABP Majha, IBN-Lokmat, Zee 24 Taas, TV9 Maharashtra, ETV Marathi, TV9 Maharashtra and Jai Maharashtra.

All India Radio is a public radio station. Private FM stations are available in all major cities. Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Uninor, Aircel, MTS India, Tata Indicom, Idea Cellular and Tata DoCoMo are available cellular phone operators. Maharashtra has the highest share of the internet market at 18.8% of total households internet users in India.[196] Broadband internet is available in all towns, villages and cities, provided by the state-run MTNL and BSNL and by other private companies.[197] Dial-up access is provided throughout the state by BSNL and other providers.


 Anjali Bhagwat also referred as greatest Indian women athletes of all time.
Anjali Bhagwat, professional Indian shooter

The most popular sports in Maharashtra are Elite Football League of India.[200] Mumbai Gladiators and Pune Marathas[201] are teams based in Mumbai and Pune respectively.[202]

Wankhede Stadium, which has a capacity of 45,000, hosted the final match of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.[203][204] It is home to the Mumbai Indians and Mumbai cricket team.[204] Mumbai and Pune hold derby races at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse and Pune Race Course respectively.[205][206] The wrestling championship Hind Kesari is widely popular in the rural regions and is affiliated with the All India Amateur Wrestling Federation (AIAWF).[207] Maharashtra Chess Association is the apex body for the game of chess in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Tennis League is India's first league format in tennis.[208][209] Other notable sports include hockey, Kho kho, fencing, archery and shooting.

Notable athletes from Maharashtra include Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar who were part of the Indian national cricket team;[210][211] Asian Games silver medalist Hiranna M. Nimal, wrestler Khashaba Jadhav, chess player Rohini Khadilkar, tennis player Gaurav Natekar, former hockey players Dhanraj Pillay, Viren Rasquinha and badminton player Aparna Popat.[212]

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External links

  • Maharashtra travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Maharashtra at DMOZ
  • Maharashtra Government Website
  • Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra

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