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Definition of MAHARASHTRA
region W cen India S of the Narmada; the original home of the Marathas
state W India bordering on Arabian Sea, formed 1960 from SE part of former Bombay state ∗ Bombay area 118,637 square miles (307,270 square kilometers), pop 96,752,247
State (pop., 2008 est.: 106,894,000), west-central India. It lies on the Arabian Sea and is bordered by the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Goa and the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli; its capital is Mumbai (Bombay). Occupying an area of 118,800 sq mi (307,690 sq km), it covers much of the Deccan plateau, containing the valleys of the Krishna, Bhima, and Godavari rivers. The population is a mixture of ethnic groups; Marathi is the state language. The region was divided into Hindu kingdoms in the 8th–13th centuries; they were followed by a series of Muslim dynasties. A Maratha kingdom ruled by 1674, and by the 18th century a Maratha empire had been established. The British gained control early in the 19th century. When India won independence in 1947, the area was known as Bombay state; it was divided on linguistic lines in 1960, creating Gujarat in the north and Maharashtra in the south. Its economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing; industries include oil refining and cotton textiles.