Often called the 'Gateway to the Heart of India', Maharashtra is quite larger than most states 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.
Maharashtra, the land of everything unlimited invites you into it's widespread plethora of attractions. The second most populous state sits majestically right next to the heart of India. Adorned by the beautiful Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats with high mountains that disappear in the morning mist, while the sprawling belt of the Konkan Coast mesmerizes by it's white beaches. The ruins of the ancient forts and palaces in Pune and Ratnagiri among others, proudly narrates the story of the then mighty rulers of Maharashtra. <br/> Centuries old temples situated in places like Pandharpur, Ozar are still rooted in their traditions, offering sanctuary to pilgrims. As do the humble hill stations of Mahabaleshwar, Lonavla, Matheran, nestled cozily in nature, offer respite to travellers from the hustle and bustle of the cities. People of diverse culture and religion 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 the other cultures that have come to call this state their home. <br/> Apart from being rich in history, traditional arts and culture, it is also famous for it's economy primarily because Mumbai -the financial capital of India is situated here and the entertainment hub - the film industry also finds its origin in this state. The amalgamation of these variety of things that this state offers makes a visit here absolutely worthwhile.
Maharashtrian cuisine is one which can tickle and surprise your taste buds, with food ranging from mild to really spicy food as well as flattering deserts 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.
The staple diet includes, rice, Dal, chapattis and a vegetable dish generally accompanied by pickle for taste. A heterogeneous and vibrant mix of cultures derived from the people with diverse backgrounds who move here, gives the cuisine here countless varieties, with absolutely nothing that you cannot find here. Each of these diverse and colourful elements and cuisine styles find themselves a unique place in the state's menu. Typically, a South-Indian breakfast will lead to a Maharashtrian lunch, a Gujarati snack and end with a Punjabi Dinner. Add a Bengali sweet if you want. This is how Maharashtra borrows food cultures from all over and makes them its own.
Though influenced by the culture of Mumbai - the capital city and the largest metropolitan coupled with the fact that the Cinema industry resides here, the people of Maharashtra are still deeply rooted in their traditions and age-old customs. With the fast paced advances of technology in the state, they play the balancing act pretty well. The simplicity of the people is glimpsed through every little things they do and even though they may embrace fashion, their lifestyle is largely on the theme of simplicity. Marathi is the native language that is widely spoken in different dialects. However, Hindi is also a popular language used with a more slanged altercation. Marwari, Gujarati, tribal languages in the more central part of Maharashtra are other languages that are broadly spoken. People of all religions reside here, though populated primarily by Marathis, Gujaratis and Marwaris, one may find Parsi's, Christians, South Indians, among others.