LIST OF CHEIF MINISTERS OF MAHARASHTRA
|Yashwantrao Chavan||01 May 1960||19 November 1962||INC|
|Marotrao Kannamwar||20 November 1962||24 November 1963||INC|
|Vasantrao Naik||05 December 1963||01 March 1967||INC|
|Vasantrao Naik||01 March 1967||13 March 1972||INC|
|Vasantrao Naik||13 March 1972||20 Feberuary 1975||INC|
|Shankarrao Chavan||21 Feberuary 1975||16 April 1977||INC|
|Vasantdada Patil||17 April 1977||02 March 1978||INC|
|Vasantdada Patil||07 March 1978||18 July 1978||INC|
|Sharad Pawar||18 July 1978||17 Feberuary 1980||Progression Democratic Front|
|President's Rule||17 Feberuary 1980||08 June 1980|
|10||Abdul Rehman Antulay||09 June 1980||12 January 1982||INC|
|11||Babasaheb Bhosele||21 January 1982||01 Feberuary 1983||INC|
|12||Vasantdada Patil||02 Feberuary 1983||01 June 1985||INC|
|13||Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil||03 June 1985||06 March 1986||INC|
|14||Shankarrao Chavan||12 March 1986||26 June 1988||INC|
|15||Sharad Pawar||26 June 1988||25 June 1991||INC|
|16||Sudhakarrao Naik||25 June 1991||22 Feberuary 1993||INC|
|17||Sharad Pawar||06 March 1993||14 March 1995||INC|
|18||Manohar Joshi||14 March 1995||31 January 1999||Shiv Sena|
|19||Narayan Rane||01 Feberuary 1999||17 October 1999||Shiv Sena|
|20||Vilasrao Deshmukh||18 October 1999||16 January 2003||INC|
|21||Sushil Kumar Shinde||18 January 2003||30 October 2004||INC|
|22||Vilasrao Deshmukh||01 November 2004||04 December 2008||INC|
|23||Ashok Chavan||08 December 2008||15 October 2009||INC|
|24||Ashok Chavan||07 November 2009||09 November 2010||INC|
|25||Prithviraj Chavan||11 November 2010||Incumbent||INC|
ELECTED POLITICAL OFFICIALS OF MAHARASHTRA
Lok Sabha Members of Maharashtra
|S.NO.||NAME OF MEMBER||PARTY|
Rajya Sabha Members of Maharashtra
|S.NO.||NAME OF MEMBER||PARTY|
|Balavant Apte||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|03||Prithviraj Chavan||Indian National Congress|
|04||Vijay J. Darda||Indian National Congress|
|05||Murli Deora||Indian National Congress|
|06||Rajkumar Dhoot||Shiv Sena|
|07||Prakash Javadekar||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|08||Manohar Joshi||Shiv Sena|
|09||Sharad Anantrao Joshi||Swatantra Bharat Paksh|
|10||Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil||Nationalist Congress Party|
|11||Shivraj Vishwanath Patil||Indian National Congress|
|12||Bharatkumar Raut||Shiv Sena|
|13||Sanjay Raut||Shiv Sena|
|14||Vilasrao Deshmukh||Indian National Congress|
|15||Rajeev Shukla||Indian National Congress|
|16||Govindrao Adik||Nationalist Congress Party|
|17||Tariq Anwar (politician)||Nationalist Congress Party|
|18||Y. P. Trivedi||Nationalist Congress Party|
|19||Dr.Janardhan Waghmare||Nationalist Congress Party|
|20||Avinash Pande||Indian National Congress|
|21||Ishwarlal Jain||Nationalist Congress Party|
|22||Piyush Goel||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Although Maharashtra is a highly industrialized state of India, agriculture continues to be the main occupation of the state. Principal crops include rice, jowar, bajra, wheat, pulses, turmeric, onions, cotton, sugarcane and several oil seeds including groundnut, sunflower and soyabean. The state has huge areas, under fruit cultivation of which mangoes, bananas, grapes, and oranges are the main ones. Irrigation facilities are being extended so that agriculture could be made less dependent upon rain water. The net irrigated area totals 33,500 square kilometres.
Ajanta & Ellora Caves-
One of the most outstanding specimens of ancient Indian heritage are the Ajanta & Ellora group of caves. Maharashtra state treasures this mesmerizing caves which were accidentally discovered in the 19th century by the British. Ellora houses 34 caves while Ajanta houses 29 caves. Each cave depicting a tale from the Jatakas or depicting stories of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
The Elephanta island is known for its great cave shrine, excavated in the 6th century. The island lies 10 km northeast to Apollo Bunder or Gateway of India. The island which was known as Gharapuri earlier is the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. This is land was renamed, Elephanta by the Portuguese who landed here, after the majestic carved elephant on this island.
Sea Forts like the Siddi fort of Murud Janjira and Jaigad near Ganpatipule, the famous pilgrimage place belong to the Maratha period.Many other prominent forts of the Maratha period still exist- Panhala, Purandhar where Baji Prabhu laid down his life holding back the forces of Siddi Johar at a narrow pass, since christened Pavankhind, and Lohagad.
Lonavala and Khandala-
On the way to Pune from Mumbai come the two pleasant hill stations of Maharashtra, Lonavala and Khandala. Set at a height of 625 m they are located on the western slopes of the Sahyadri mountain range. The two hill stations are 5 kms apart. Fascinating panoramic beauty adorns these places. Khandala being the smaller of the two is relatively calmer. The lush greenery of the mountains especially during the monsoons and the misty paths attract tourist like honey bees here. The silver waterfalls amidst the lush greenery are extremely magical. Lonavala's bazaar is filled with surprises. The beauty of this place is a refreshing experience.
Located just 55 kms. (a 90 min. journey) away from Bombay, is Bassein, one of the most important sea forts of Maharashtra. The last bastion of the first sea-faring foreign power in India, the Portuguese. Built by Bahadur Shah -Sultan of Gujarat from 1526-1537, it was initially one of a chain of forts intended to guard the coasts against the Portuguese and pirates. The Portuguese however captured it and remodelled the fort, building a citadel inside.
Raigad also known as Durgadeshwar is the lord of all the 360 odd forts in the state of Maharashtra. Now you may wonder why is Raigad the king of all forts - but there is a very good reason behind Raigad being crowned thus. It is because Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who roused the patriotic fervour by his guru mantra, Hindavi Swaraj, which later, became his war cry, chose this fort as his capital. The fort was originally named Raigiri. It was renamed Raigad by Shivaji who was coronated on June 6, 1674
Situated at an altitude of 1334 mts it lies just 38 m below Mahabaleshwar. It gets name from the 5 hills around it. The way to Panchgani from Mahabaleshwar which is 18 kms is absolutely spectacular. The Krishna river that meanders through the farms, ravines and hamlets on one side and the coastal plains on the other side has a mesmeric charm. Panchgani has been a retreat for a long time. It displays architecture of Old British building. Parsi houses and the boarding school which would be almost a century old.
This place was discovered in 1850 and due to its greenery & shade it was immediately taken as the nearest hill station from Mumbai. Matheran is sightly above the plains so it is cool and provides respite from the heat of Mumbai. The place provides very nice views of the near by places, particularly on a clear day one can even see Mumbai from the Hart point. Though the local population of Matheran is very less but the visitors pour at this place frequently. Matheran has maintained the tranquility and peace by banning any kind of motor vehicle. The best season to visit this place is between November to June but the place is worth visiting any time of the year. During the monsoon the trails become very dirty and the place virtually shuts down.
Sinhagad, is one of the important Maratha forts having a colourful history linked with it. A history that echoes with the bravery of the Maratha conquest of Kondana fort by Tanaji Malasure. Today. 24 kms. south-west of Pune, battle-scarred, it rises intimidating, amidst the Bhuleshwar range.
In Hindu mythology, the cobra has a special significance and the earth, it is believed, rests on the head of 'Shesha' - the thousand-hooded cobra. Snake worship is an important ritual of the Maharashtrians, and on the festival of Nag Panchami, clay icons of cobras are venerated in homes. People offer sweets and milk to the snake deity and the day is celebrated with folk dances and songs, especially in the countryside. Snake charmers carry cobras in baskets and collect offerings from the public in the streets. A small village near Sangli, Battis Shirale, is famous for its snake catchers, and people throng the streets to watch the thrilling performances of expert snake charmers.
The full moon day of the month of Shravan is celebrated with characteristic fervor in different parts of Maharashtra and is known variously as Narali Pournima, Shravani Pournima, Rakhi Pournima or Raksha Bandhan. 'Naral' means 'coconut', and Narali Pournmia is thus called because offerings of coconuts are made by people to the sea-god on this day. Narali Pournima also marks the advent of the new fishing season and fishermen appease the sea-god before sailing out in their gaily-decorated boats. The festival is a day of singing and dancing.
Raksha Bandhan is also observed on this day. Sisters tie 'rakhis' or beautifully decorated threads on their brothers' wrists. The ritual renews the bond of affection between siblings and signifies the brother's responsibility of protecting his sister all her life.
The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated on Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami. Most devotees fast till midnight and when the birth of Lord Krishna is announced, they eat a festive preparation of rice, butter, yogurt, puris and potatoes. This meal, according to Hindu mythology, was relished by Lord Krishna and his playmates in Gokul. Another fun-filled ritual performed on this day is dahi-handi - clay pots filled with curd, puffed rice and milk are strung high up above the streets and groups of enthusiastic young men (and even women) form human pyramids to reach these and break them open, the way Lord Krishna and his friends would, after sneaking into the houses of gopis (milkmaids) to steal and eat butter.
Lord Ganesh, the patron deity of Maharashtra, is the God of wisdom. Come August, preparations to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi - the auspicious day when Lord Ganesh was born - begin with great enthusiasm all over the state. The 11-day festival begins with the installation of beautifully sculpted Ganesh idols in homes and mandaps (large tents), colorfully decorated, depicting religious themes or current events. The Ganesh idols are worshipped with families and friends. Many cultural events are organized and people participate in them with keen interest. After ten exciting days comes the time to bid farewell to the beloved God. People take Ganesh idols in procession to the accompaniment of music and dance for immersion in the sea or nearby river or lake. Emotions run high as people chant 'Ganpati bappa moraya, pudhachya varshi lavkar ya' (Oh Lord Ganesh, please come back soon next year).
'Gudhi' - the bamboo staff with a colored silk cloth and a garlanded goblet atop - symbolizes victory or achievement. Maharashtrians erect gudhis on Padwa, the first day of the Hindu new year. People welcome the new year with gudhi worship and distribute prasad comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. Gudhi Padwa heralds the advent of a prosperous new year and is considered as a shubh muhurat - one of the most auspicious days - by Hindus.
The harvest festival is celebrated by farmers all over Maharashtra. On this day bullocks, which are an integral part of the agricultural chores and consequently the village economy, are honored. They are bathed, colorfully decorated and taken out in processions across the village, accompanied by the music of drumbeats and lezhim (a musical instrument made of a wooden rod and an iron chain full of metallic pieces). Pola brings out an important facet of Hindu culture, which does not look upon cattle as mere beasts of burden, but treats them with dignity and gratitude.
According to the great Hindu epic Ramayan, Dussehra is the day on which Lord Ram killed Ravan, the evil king of Lanka. It is considered as a shubh-muharat - a very auspicious day - to start a new venture. It is a symbol of the victory of good over evil. People decorate the entrances of their homes with torans, flower studded strings, and worship the tools of trade, vehicles, machinery, weapons and even books. As the evening falls, the villagers cross the border, a ritual known as Simollanghan, and worship the Shami tree. The leaves of the Apta tree are collected and exchanged among friends and relatives as gold.
Diwali or Deepawali means a row of lights. The most beautiful of all Indian festivals, Diwali is a celebration of lights. Streets are illuminated with rows of clay lamps and homes are decorated with rangoli (colored powder designs) and aakash kandils (decorative lanterns of different shapes and sizes). People rise at dawn, massage their bodies and hair with scented oil and take a holy bath. Diwali is celebrated with new clothes, spectacular firecrackers and a variety of sweets in the company of family and friends.
Dhanatrayodashi; Narakchaturdashi, Amavasya (Laxmi poojan), Balipratipada and Yamadvitiya (Bhaubeej) are the five days which comprise Diwali, and each day has a peculiar religious significance. This joyous celebration is, on the whole, symbolic of dispelling the darkness of misery and bringing the light of prosperity and happiness into human life.
Sankrant means the passing of the sun from one Zodiac sign to the other. People exchange greeting and good wishes on this day, which marks the Sun's passage from the Tropic of Dhanu (Sagittarius) to Makar (Capricon). Sweet and crunchy ladoos made of sesame and jaggery are the favorite treats.
Each year, after a successful winter harvest, people get ready to welcome the spring with Holi - the festival of colors. Holis or bonfires are lit in the night and people gather to worship the fire-god, who is believed to burn away all evil. On the next day, people of all ages come outside and playfully drench each other with colored water. Brightly colored powders are applied on faces, and there is plenty of music, dance and sweets to fill the rest of the day. The exuberant display of colors symbolizes the advent of a colorful and prosperous spring season.
Modern Festivals of Maharashtra
Every year, MTDC seeks to present the myriad facets of Maharashtra's rich heritage of the performing arts through a series of festivals held at important cultural centers. The years have added a mesmerizing allure to these events, now avidly awaited by lovers of Indian music, art and culture, who appreciate the artistry of India's leading exponents of classical music and dance who come from all over the country to perform at the festivals.
The Pune Festival-
Lord Ganesh, or Ganpati as He is popularly called in Maharashtra, is among the most beloved of Hindu Gods. As Ganesh Chaturthi - his day of birth - approaches every year in August-September, so does the Pune Festival, a celebration of art and culture, song and dance, custom and tradition.
Originally conceived as a localized cultural event, the Pune Festival has, over the years, gained national and international stature and evolved into one of India's landmark cultural happenings. It is one of the few festivals that has been consistently and actively promoted abroad by the government of India, as a major tourist attraction.
Some of the country's internationally renowned artistes have gathered at Pune, and regarded it as a privilege to be invited to perform at the festival. While it has provided a unique platform for exponents of classical music and dance it has, keeping pace with changing times, also helped to promote modern trends in the performing arts, notably the dramatic arts and the traditional art of rangoli.
A rare treat, the week-long Pune Festival provides a feast of entertainment for visitors who can participate and revel in traditional and modern sports events, shop for exquisite textiles and handicrafts, relish the delectable cuisine and rejoice in the colorful customs of Maharashtra.
The Banganga Festival-
Legend has it that Lord Ram, on his way to Lanka in search of his wife Sita, stopped on the hillock of Malabar Hill. His followers were worshippers of Shiva and they fashioned a shivalinga from sand and called it Walluka Ishwar - 'walluka' meaning 'sand' and 'Ishwar', 'the God'. Though surrounded by water, the people could not find fresh water to quench their thirst or perform daily puja. Seeing this, Ram shot a ban (arrow) into the ground and the fresh waters of the holy Ganga sprang from that spot. Centuries later, the Shilahara kings built a large and beautiful tank in stone, to store the water of the Banganga. Settlers through the ages built numerous, beautifully sculpted temples to various deities around the tank.
Every year, in January, a cultural extravaganza is organized at Banganga, where top artistes from around the country perform live classical music concerts. Cultural enthusiasts attend the festival and feast the soul as well as the mind as the sun sets.
The Elephanta Festival-
In February Elephanta, a small island near Mumbai, is a favored destination for culture lovers. It is the site of the Elephanta Festival, the tranquil abode of Lord Shiva, just one-and-a-half-hour's journey by motor launch from Mumbai. Once known as Puri or Gharapuri, the island was the proud capital of a powerful coastal kingdom. It was named Elephanta by the Portuguese, who took possession of it several centuries later, and found a monolithic stone elephant at the place they first landed.
The Elephanta caves are a showcase of legends created around Lord Shiva, beautifully presented here in all his splendor in the rock cave temples. Every year, renowned dancers and musicians perform outside the caves, beneath a star-studded sky, to a select and appreciative audience. Special launch services and catering arrangements are provided for visitors.
The Ellora Festival near Aurangabad-
There was a time when the Gods grew bored in their celestial abode. They asked the Lord if they could visit the earth. That evening, He said they could, but on condition that they returned by dawn. The Gods set up a city at the place they fancied and, lost in their pleasures, they let time pass by. Since they failed to return by dawn, they were turned to stone - in the magnificent monolith called Ellora, the heavenly abode of the Gods on earth. MTDC organizes the Ellora Festival here in December, inviting in renowned artistes who display their virtuosity in music and dance. Surrounded by 1,400-year old caves and rock carvings, artistes perform in this magnificent ambiance to enchant the gods, goddesses and human lovers of art. The Kailas temple, sculptured out of one huge rock, is one of the most beautiful backdrops for an event such as this.
The Kalidas Festival at Nagpur-
Kalidas was a great Sanskrit poet and dramatist, famous for his historical drama, Shakuntalam, and for the epic poem, Meghdoot. The Kalidas Festival brings back memories of the golden period of the Vidarbha region. Ramgiri, or Ramtek as it is popularly known today, is the place that inspired Kalidas and its beauty features predominantly in his literary work.
Every year, in November, some of the greatest exponents of music, dance and drama perform in the picturesque setting of Ramtek, celebrating its glorious heritage over two exciting days and nights.