Geography Home > Maharashtra > Land Of Rocks > Geography


  • Area:

3, 07,713 sq km

  • Capital:


    • Population:

9, 67, 52,247

  • Principal Languages:


The state of Maharashtra got its name from the word Maharastri which in turn is derived from Prakrit. Some of the people even consider it as a combination of term 'Maha Kantara' (the Great Forest) and that is why, it is known as Dandakaranya too. This state ranks at the third position in terms of area with Rajasthan being on the first followed by Madhya Pradesh. With an area of 307,713 km2, the state is bounded by Madhya Pradesh on its north, Andhra Pradesh in southeast, Goa to its southwest, Chhattisgarh in the east and Karnataka in the south. Gujarat is located to the northwest of the state with Dadra and Nagar Haveli forming the borders. The entire western coast of the state is surrounded by the Arabian Sea with two relief divisions being an important part of the state. It also consists of Deccan tableland as well as Konkan coastal strip which are an integral part of the Maharashtra state.

Land in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is known for its great geographical features. Firstly, it is located at the centre of Peninsular Part of India and surrounded by the Arabian Sea as well. One of the highlighting features of this state is its plateau character which catches the attention of many people. The coastal plains of Maharashtra including Maharash western parts rise to become a part of Sahyadri Range and finally sloping towards the east as well as the southwest directions, even the major rivers as well as its tributaries are responsible for the curve ends of the plateau and thus overriding regions like Buldana, Ahmednagar and Yavatmal.

Sahyadri Range is considered to be the backbone of the state having a height of 1000m. The range falls to different steep cliffs like the Konkan in the west and Malwa at its eastern ends. A huge crest of 1564 forms to be a distinctive feature of this range and that is why it is one of the most attention grabbing features of this state.

A narrow coastline of Konkan is located between the Sahyadri Range and Arabian Sea. It is a 50 km wide coastal lowland and known for its steep sides, laterite plateau and broken areas. Unlike the other states which have a plain area, Maharashtra is slightly different with dissected areas surrounding it.

The Satpura Hills and Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri Ranges form to be the barriers of this state and act as natural limits too.

Maharashtra Topography

Maharashtra is known for its flat and uniform skyline that differentiates it from other states and regions. This topography has resulted from the geographical structure of this state. The area is mostly surrounded by the Vidarbha region, Deccan Traps, Sindhudurg and Kolhapur. About 60 to 90 million years before, the lava fissures formed the horizontal basalt over several areas. The basalt areas not only differ in composition but also in structure and that are why the huge grey cliffs, ash layers and amygdaloid lava are responsible for the plateaus as well as pyramid shaped hills. The earth sculpturing easily defines the excellent landform features, the semi arid climate and the hilltops. The river valleys and plateau interfluves are the result of the fluvial action caused by the Wardha-Wainganga River, Krishna, Godavari and Bhima. Even, the 100 km long hill torrents flow down as loud streams thus putting an end to the tidal estuaries also.

Climate of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is known for its tropical monsoon climate due to which the summers are really hot and humid starting from March with the monsoons arriving during the month of June. The greenery of the monsoon season continues in the winter season as well with the lots of tourists coming here and having a great time in Maharashtra. As soon as the winter ends, the summers are again back with barren areas and no greenery. The state receives a heavy rainfall of 400 cm owing to the western sea clouds. Even the windward side of the Konkan region is responsible for the heavy rainfalls that make the atmosphere pleasant. In Sahyadri region, the rainfall is limited to only 70 cm with the Solapur-Ahmednagar being the dry regions. The Marathwada and Vidarbha areas receive the rainfall a little later in the season.

The pulsating nature of the monsoons followed by droughts and floods create unfavorable conditions for the local residents.

Protected Areas of Maharashtra

With a motive to preserve the wildlife of the state, the government has taken strict actions to create sanctuaries and national parks so that the biodiversity can be kept alive by protecting the wildlife species. According to the facts in 2004, India had about 92 national parks, out of which 5 were located in Maharashtra. Even the Vidarbha region is open for conserving the wildlife. The government has also initiated the Tadoba Andheri Tiger Project through which it aims to protect the different species of tiger. The Sagareswar Wild life sanctuary is also a popular place which is located close to the ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Maharashtra is one of the biggest national parks in the world. Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park is also working on projects to preserve the tigers. Navegaon National Park which is the home to many unique species is also supporting the government. Chandoli National Park is also one of the finest places to explore flora and fauna along with enjoying the views of Chandoli Dam.

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