The name Maharashtra first appeared in a 7th century inscription and in a Chinese traveler's account. Its name may have originated from rathi, which means, "chariot driver". At that age Maharashtra was full of builders and drivers of chariots who formed a maharathis, a "fighting force." In 90 A.D. king Vedishri made Junnar, thirty miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom. In the early fourteenth century the Devgiri Yadavs were overthrown by the northern Muslim powers. Then on, for the 900 years ending, no historical information in this region is available. In 1526, first Mughal king, Babar, established his prominence in Delhi and soon the Mughal power spread to the southern India. The Mughals were to dominate India till the early eighteenth century.Shivaji Bhosle, founder of the Maratha Empire, was born in 1627. He took the oath to make the land free at the fort Torna at the age of sixteen. This was the start of his lifelong struggle against Mughals and other Muslim powers. By 1680, the year of Shivaji's death, nearly whole of the Deccan belonged to his kingdom. He had developed an efficient administration and a powerful army. He also encouraged a spirit of independence among the Marathas that enabled them to withstand for 150 years all attempts to conquer them. Shivaji's achievements amongst monumental difficulties were really spectacular and that is why he holds the highest place in Maratha history.
Crafts of Maharashtra
The growth of crafts in society is a sign of the cultivation of sensitivity and the stirring and mellowing of humanism. It stands for man's endeavour to bring grace and elegance into an otherwise harsh and drab human existence. Actually, man's elevation from gross animal existence is marked by his yearning for something beyond the satisfaction of mere needs and creature comforts. It is the yearning that found natural expression in crafts.
- Kamaladevi ChattopadhyayCrafts do not grow in isolation. They are basically in the service of the society. Society's culture can be measured from the arts and crafts it lived with. Arts and crafts find unhindered patronage and wide appreciation in a society that has been elevated to great cultural heights. Such society establishes values and norms that give the guidelines of life to all its members, rich and poor. Artists and craftsmen in such society exist as an integral part of it and crave to achieve excellence and reach to perfection in their work.
From the law-books, the Niti-Shastra, from the writings of Manu and Kautilya, we learn the responsibility of the state and the public to protect and patronize the artists and craftsmen. The system of taxation makes it compulsory for society to foster and support the artist and craftsmen Matsya Purana mentions that every home should have a door frame in carved wood as a sign of welcome to visitors.
This tradition of carved wooden frames and carved wooden balconies supported by brackets of animals, birds, and human forms is a part of architectural design of homes, palaces and temples as well as other community places built all over India.There are many palaces, temples and private homes in Maharashtra, in which we see plenty of intricate and charming woodwork. In places like Pune, Wai, Satara, Nasik Chandwad, Palshi, Paithan there ar Wadas (havelis) full of excellent wood carvings. Several temples in Konkan (Sindhudurg), in places like Achre, Kunkeshwar, Sawantwadi, Aakeri have pillars and projected beams very intricately carved by the local craftsmen.Since our contemporary architecture is totally changed and has no place for any carvings or others crafts, the craft of wood carving gradually disappeared and with that vanished all our craftsmen.
When we probe into the cultural history of Maharashtra of the last three hundred years, we come across very interesting accounts of our crafts and craftsmen which have been meticulously recorded in gazetteers and reports of various collectorates during the British rule. Our crafts were shown in several exhibitions in the Western counties and they were highly praised. George C. M. Birdwood published his book, 'The Arts of India' in 1880, in which he had given plenty of information about, the then prevailing crafts in Maharashtra. Several crafts mentioned by him are not being executed today. But some major which have survived or have been revived and handed down to the present generation of craftsmen were also going through a difficult period due to lack of patronage, because under the British rule, the lifestyle of patrons of arts and crafts was also undergoing a great change.George Birdwood had paid high tributes to the craftsmen of Maharashtra as he had given several examples of their crafts in great detail. It is very interesting to know that the Thakurs and Katharies of Matheran Hill were imaginative craftsmen who could design ornaments. Birdwood records. "Mr. W.G.S.V. Fitz Gerald sent to the Annual International Exhibition of 1872 a collection of grass ornaments worn by the wild Thakurs and Katharies of Matheran and the Western Ghats of Bombay, which had been made by Dr. T. Y. Smith, the accomplished Superintendent of that hill station, and by the side of these grass collars, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and girdles, were exhibited also examples of the gold jewellery of thick gold wire, twisted into girdles, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, and collars worn all over India and which are fashioned in gold exactly as the Matheran ornaments are fashioned in grass."
Writing about the gold jewellery, Birdwood has mentioned that, "the repousse gold jewellery of Sawantwadi in mythological design is the best in Western India." He has also stated that "the hemispherical golden ornament worn by women, both at Bombay and Cairo, on top of their heads, of which ones sees in collection such fine specimens from Sawantwadi and Vizianagram". No goldsmiths in Sawantwadi make such ornaments today.Some reference about wood carving in Maharashtra has already been made. From the documentation of Birdwood we come to know that the craftsmen from Sindhudurg (Ratnagiri) were experts in designing and executing carved articles for various purposes. They used Sinsapa (Shisam) or Bombay black wood and teak for various carving purposes. According to Birdwood, "teak for the beams and pillars, brackets, and door-posts and doors of native houses is carved in
Rajapur and Deogarh talukas of the Ratnagiri Collectorate."
A good deal of inlay work was being conducted in Bombay in the latter part of the 19th Century. This inlay was made up of tin wire, sandal-wood, ebony, sappan (Brazil) wood, ivory, white, and stained green, and stag horn. "Bombay inlaid work" was familiar for ornamental furniture such as book-stands, work-boxes, blotting- cases, ubiquitous glove, boxes and card cases, which go by the name of "Bombay boxes".
Festival Of Maharashtra
Maharashtra is the canter of many religious and cultural traditions. In Maharashtrian villages, life revolves around fairs and festivals. Each festival comes with its own colors and Cuisine. People do up their houses and surroundings and there is an air of celebration. The festival time is surely a must visit time in India.While the most hugely visible festival maybe the Ganesh Chaturthi, due to the large processions and the colourful images of Lord Ganesha, there are many festivals celebrated with as much enthusiasm and spirit.Each festival signals the passing of old and beginning of new, and this in most cases is signifies by the victory of good over evil. Each festival has a significance and its mark is always felt in the daily lives of the people in India, specially in rural India.
It is well known that Maharashtrians consider their food as 'Anna he poornabrahma' meaning they consider 'anna', or food, equal to 'Brahma', or the creator of the universe. Food is God, to be worshipped. Apart from this, the people of this state also believe in offering their food first to the lord as a thanksgiving for all that He has given. Especially, on festive occasions, some specific mithais (sweets) are offered such as Ukadiche Modak (Ganesh Chaturthi) and Satyanarayan Puja Sheera. Even inside the state itself, one can find distinguishing flavours and food styles that make eating an interesting activity altogether. Maharashtrian cuisine is divided into two, Konkani, and Varadi. Though quite different, both use a lot of seafood and coconut. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of dishes, but coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium. Peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut oil is the main cooking medium. Another feature is the use of kokum, a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste. Kokum, most commonly used in an appetizer-digestive called the sol kadhi, is served chilled.
Among seafood, the most popular fish is bombil or the Bombay duck, which is normally served batter fried and crisp. 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.
In the vegetarian fare, the most popular vegetables are brinjals. A popular style of cooking brinjals is bharlivangi or baby brinjals stuffed with coconut. Maharashtrian fare is incomplete without papads, which are eaten roasted or fried. The most popular desserts of Maharashtra are the puran poli, which is roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour, and shreekhand, which is sweetened curd flavored with cardamom and saffron.
Food for festival
Gudi Padwa, Holi, Haritalika, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Makara Sankranti are some of the festivals native to the state of Maharashtra. And some special foods during these festival times are as follows:
Gudi Padwa: Soonth Panak, Sprouted Chana Usal
Holi: Puran Poli
Haritalika: Coconut Potali
Ganesh Chaturthi: Karanji, Chakli
Diwali: Shankarpali, Badam Halwa, Chakli, Karanji.
Makar Sakranti: Shengdana Chikki
Food in Weddings
After the marriage ceremony is done with, guests sit down to a traditional meal served on a banana leaf. The meal is entirely vegetarian in nature and is created without any onion or garlic. It consists of a selection of vegetables in coconut gravy, green mango chutney, cucumber and peanut salad, rice, puris, golden dal called `varan' and a sweet dish like jalebi, creamy basundi or saffron-scented shrikhand. `Mattha' or coriander-flavoured, salted buttermilk complements the meal which ends with a sweet `paan' called `vida'.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE MUSEUMS
Name and Address :
Reserve Bank of India Monetary Museum
Amar Building (Ground Floor)
Opposite Apna Bazar
Sir Pherozesha Mehta Marg,
Fort, Mumbai - 400 001
Telephone : 91-22-2261 4043/ 2266 1644 extn. 4005
Fax : 91-22-2270 2820
Website : http:\\www.museum.rbi.org.in
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for organising conducted tours:
Shri P.V.Radhakrishnan, Curator - Tel :91-22-2261 4043 / 2266 1644 extn. 4005
Maharashtra's per capita income - 60% higher than the National Average.
Contributes 22% of India's net value-added output in the organized industrial sector-way ahead of any other state.Navapur is a railway station that is half in Maharashtra and half in Gujarat (the boundary between the states is marked next to the tracks within the station). The official language of Maharashtra, Marathi, has four alternative names - MAHARASHTRA, MAHARATHI, MALHATEE, MARTHI, MURUTHU and has 42 dialects.
Is situated on an island - Salcette Island. Mumbai's suburban rail systems carry a total of 2.2 billion passengers every year. Incidentally, the world's population is 6 billion.Mumbai single handedly handles about 25% of the domestic and 38% of the international air passenger traffic in the country.Mumbai's per capita income is Rs 48,954. This is almost three times the national average!At the end of financial year 2002-03, Mumbai paid Rs 28,000 crore in taxes, 35% of India's collection of Rs 82,000 crore!The famous architect George Wittet designed several landmark buildings in Mumbai, including the Prince of Wales Museum and the Gateway of India.The Hanging Gardens at Malabar Hill was built over three reservoirs, which can store up to 300 lakhs gallons of water.Mumbai originally was a cluster of seven separate islands, and the southernmost island was called Old Woman’s Island.It took 60 years to merge the seven islands of Bombay into one landmass between 1784 and 1845.The name Bombay was derived from Bom Bahia (The Good Bay), a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508.Former English cricket captain Douglas Jardine of Bodyline fame was born in Malabar Hill, Mumbai, in 1900.Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling who wrote Kim and The Jungle Book was born in Mumbai.The wooden pole in the centre of the Banganga Tank in Mumbai signifies the centre of the earth. Legend has it that Lord Ram created the tank by piercing the earth with his arrow.The Lumiere brothers introduced Motion Pictures to India with six soundless short films at Bombay’s Watson’s Hotel in 1896.Mahatma Gandhi began his political career in Mumbai in 1915 after returning from South Africa.In 1995, Nariman Point had the highest land price in the world.Mumbai has 3 lakes - Tulsi, Powai, Vihar, 3 rivers - Mithi (Mahim), Dahisar, Oshiwara and 4 forts - Sewree, Bandra, Mahim & Worli.Tallest building in India, The Shreepati Arcade (45 floors) is in Bombay.
Pune has been known by a plethora of sobriquets. Popular among them: Queen of the Deccan, cultural capital of Maharashtra, pensioner's paradise and Oxford of the EastThe city hails back to the mythical age of the Ramayana and is mentioned as a township called Punakha, which was located in the dense Dandaka forest.
Forts of Maharashtra
Standing as silent sentinels to history are the 350-odd forts of Maharashtra. Beaten by the sea waves, lashed at by the torrential Deccan rains, or scorched in the blazing sun, stand imposing ramparts and crumbling walls . the last lingering memories of Maharashtra's martial times. Nowhere in the country would you encounter such a profusion of forts. And such variety. Sited on an island, as at Murud-Janjira or guarding the seas as at Bassein, or among the Sahyadri hills, as at Raigad, whose zig-zag walls and rounded bastions sit like a sceptre and crown amidst hills turned mauve. Most of the forts in Maharashtra whether up in the hills or near the seas are associated with Shivaji --the great Maratha warrior and an equally great fort builder. Moreover, these forts were treated as mini-cities, such as Panhala, which is now a hill station. The concept of the fort-city was, however, not peculiar to Shivaji alone. The Portuguese who came to India as traders and missionaries, built within a century of their coming, Bassein, a garden city to rival many a European capital.Today, these forts numbed by sun and sleet, have not only been witness to changing times, but have also shaped them and within their walls throb the heart-beat of history.Maratha Forts Beyond the walls.View the Articles.
Ballalpur, Chandrapur and Manikgarh Forts
Tryambak and Chakan Forts
Narnala, Akola and Achalpur Forts
Pauni and Nagardhan Forts
Beaches of Maharashtra
Maharashtra's 720 km long affair with the Arabian Sea extends from Dahanu and Bordi in the north up to Goa proceeding southwards. If you've got a penchant for sand, sea and surf, this state has a great many interesting options in store.
Any place you choose is conveniently linked to Mumbai -- a good starting point. All these places are well connected by State Buses. The coastal climate of Maharashtra makes travelling pleasant all round the year. Seas are rough only during the monsoon which strikes between
Discover the real Maharashtra while you soak up the sun on soft sands or explore intriguing sights.
Mandwa and Kihim
Marve, Manori & Gorai
Vengurla - Malvan
Caves of Maharashtra
Dating back to the 2nd BC and artistically built over a few centuries, the Caves of Maharashtra have an extraordinary appeal and aura. Nestled in the formidable Sahayadri Mountain Range, these caves have been home to monks of different religions.
Be it the paintings in the Ajanta caves or the sculpture of the Ellora caves, or the divine presence in the Elephanta caves, the visitors have always and will always continue to be spellbound. These caves offer a visit that is truly unforgettable. A visit that will induce a sense of discovery, a discovery of the self, and of the divine.
Hill Stations of Maharashtra
The geography of Maharashtra shows evidence of a divine hand. Running north to south, throughout its length are the steeply rising Western Ghats. The foothills sometimes approaching the seashore and sometimes withdrawing 40 or 50 kms away seem to be playing an eternal game with the Arabian Sea.
Nestling shyly in these mountains, some at an altitude of 2000 metres, are the hill stations of Maharashtra. These towns offer clean, calm and a thoroughly refreshing alternative to city life. They are probably the only places in India where you can observe the fall of the land all the way to the shimmering sea. Mumbai, India's commercial capital, and easily the most accessible city in this country, is the perfect gateway to Maharashtra's hill country, with convenient and comfortable links by road, rail, and air.
Khandala, Lonavala and Karla