The story of Maharashtra of yore, is the story of the great warrior class of the Marathas, who like Rajputs, another warrior class, fought the entry of the Muslim invaders into India, though they later fought each other for supremacy, until the British entered the scene.
Maharashtra is one of the largest, most affluent and well populated states of India. Its capital, Mumbai- Bombay, which is almost an island is the busiest and most westernized among Indian cities and is the hub of almost every economic and commercial activity in India.
It is estimated that the city of Mumbai alone, produces around 25% of the economic wealth of India. It is a major point for overseas visitors with headquarters of many national, international and multinational organizations and companies.
Maharashtra state stands high on the Deccan Plateau and historically, this was the main centre of the Maratha Empire, which under the aegis of the great warrior, Shivaji Maharaj, fought the Mughals for long. For all Indians, more particularly to Maharashtrians, the name of Shivaji Maharaj, touches a chord in their minds and hearts, as a brave warrior. They spontaneously reel out his historic deeds in the days of yore.
Though Maharashtra is a highly industrialized and urbanized state, agriculture is widely spread in the districts. Rivers Bhima, Godavari and Krishna originate from here and serve as life-line for the people of Maharashtra. Geographically, it consists of the narrow Konkan coast backed up by the Sahyadri hills range of Western Ghats which ascends to the Deccan Plateau and a series of river valleys.
In ancient times, this region supplied the ports on the western coast and eventually to the markets of ancient Mesopotamia and Rome. Numerous rock-cut temples like Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves and Elephanta caves, including the largest in India, are scattered along the ancient trade routes. There are many Buddhist temples in Maharashtra, which are comparatively the older ones. Some are temples and some monasteries.