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Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. It is the second-most populous state and third-largest state by area. Spread over 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi), it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa to the south, Telangana to the southeast and Chhattisgarh to the east, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to the north, and the Indian union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu to the north west. It is also the worlds second-most populous subnational entity.

Maharashtra was formed on 1 May 1960 by splitting the bilingual Bombay State, which had existed since 1956, into majority Marathi speaking Maharashtra, and Gujarati speaking Gujarat respectively. It has over 112 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population around 18.4 million making it the most populous urban area in India. Nagpur hosts the winter session of the state legislature. Pune is known as the Oxford of the East due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions. Nashik is known as the Wine Capital of India as it has the largest number of wineries and vineyards in the country. The Godavari and the Krishna are the two major rivers in the state. The Narmada and Tapi Rivers flow near the border between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Maharashtra is the third-most urbanised state of India. Prior to Indian independence, Maharashtra was chronologically ruled by the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Deccan sultanates, Mughals and Marathas, and the British. Ruins, monuments, tombs, forts, and places of worship left by these rulers are dotted around the state.

They include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The numerous forts are associated with the life of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Maharashtra is the most industrialised state in India while state capital Mumbai is Indias financial and commercial capital. The state continues to be the single largest contributor to the national economy with a share of 15% in the countrys gross domestic product (GDP). The economy of Maharashtra is the largest in India, with a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of ₹28.78 lakh crore (US$400 billion) and has the countrys 13th-highest GSDP per capita of ₹208,000 (US$2,900). Maharashtra has the 15th highest ranking among Indian states in human development index.

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