Often called the 'Gateway to the Heart of India', Maharashtra is the third largest state in the country. Owing to its proximity to the Western Ghats, it is blessed with a picturesque backdrop of the mountains on one side and has the beautiful Konkan coastal belt on the other.

Culture

Inland lie the extraordinary cave temples of Ellora and Ajanta, undoubtedly Maharashtra’s greatest monuments, hewn by hand from solid rock. Matheran, a colonial-era hill station served by a toy train, has a certain allure, while pilgrims and inquisitive souls are drawn to cosmopolitan Pune, a city famous for its alternative spiritualism. Westwards, the romantic Konkan Coast, fringing the Arabian Sea, is lined with spectacular, crumbling forts and sandy beaches; some of the best are around pretty Malvan, which is fast becoming one of India’s premier diving centres.

People of diverse cultures and religions live amicably in this state, which is why there is much ado about the culture of Maharashtra which while retaining its original Marathi culture has beautifully embraced other cultures that have come to call this state their home. Apart from being rich in history, traditional arts and lifestyle, it is also famous for its economy primarily because Mumbai -the financial capital of India is situated here. The entertainment hub - the Bollywood film industry also finds its origin in this state.

Cuisine

Maharashtrian cuisine is one which can tickle and surprise your taste buds. The food ranges from mild to really spicy food as well as flattering desserts that you will love to indulge in. Vada Pav (Potato filled cutlets with Buns), Misal (A spicy gravy of pulses garnished with onions), Onion fries, etc. are the everyday food of the people here and are items with which the state cuisine is identified.

Festivals

The vibrant fairs and festivals of Maharashtra depict the crux of its culture, traditions and beliefs. Everyone celebrates all festivals with immense enthusiasm and energy. Some of the famous festivals celebrated here are- Ganesh Chaturthi, Nag Panchmi, Gudi Padwa and Narali Pournima.

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