MAHARASHTRA STATE- AN INTRODUCTION
The state of Maharashtra lies in the north western side of India with Goa as its south western border, the Arabian Sea on the western side, Gujarat and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu on the north western side, the state of Madhya Pradesh on the north and north eastern side, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south and Andhra Pradesh on its south eastern side. This state is the third largest and the second most populous state in India.
The state had been under the domination of various rulers. Records state that the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka had sent an embassy in 246 BC and later the Chalukyan domination has been recorded as per inscriptions dating back to 580 AD. The state had also been visited by the famous Chinese traveler, Huen Tsang in the 7th century. After that there has been a series of dynasties like the Sathavahanas, Western Satraps, Gupta Dynasty, Vakatakas, Kadambas, the Rashtrakuta Dynasty and the Cholas. The Delhi Sultanate, consisting of the Khiljis, the Thuglaqs and then the Bahmanis invaded this land in the 14th century. In 1535, Bombay, the present day Mumbai was ruled by the Sultanate of Gujarat who were defeated by the Portuguese. By late 17th century, Shivaji established the Maratha Empire. The East India Company dominated the area from 1819 till independence.
Maharashtra has a typical monsoon climate with winter in October till February, when the climate is cool and tolerable. Summer starts from March till May with temperatures varying between 220C and 390C. This is followed by monsoons from June till September, when the state experiences heavy rains with thunderstorms in July.
The state has the largest network of roads in Asia. Most of the cities, towns and villages are covered by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and there is no dearth of private buses plying between major cities and to other states. There are taxies, auto rickshaws and other modes of road transport. There are 48 minor and major ports that accommodate passenger traffic also. Railways too, dominate the transport system with railway stations in majority of the cities, towns and villages. There are airports in non-metro cities as well as other towns like Yavatmal, Latur, Nanded, Baramati, Osmanabad and in other major cities like Pune, Akola, Nashik and some other towns.
The Sahyadiri Mountains better known as the Western Ghats runs through the western part and the Satpura on the north part of the state. The east has the Deccan Plateau .The coastline is about 720 kms. long. The rivers that run through the state are Krishna, Bhima, Godavari, Tapi – Purna, and Wardha- Wainganga. Maharashtra has a large number of waterfalls that are wonderful and some of them are:
- Vajrai Falls: This is the highest falls in India towering at 1840 feet. This falls is located in Satara.
- Kune Falls: Located 10 kms. off the old Mumbai – Pune Expressway, it is in the Khandala-Loanavla valley. The water cascades down from a height of 659 feet.
- Pandavkada Falls: This falls is in Raigad district. The falls is situated near Kharghar near the Pune – Mumbai Expressway. The height of the falls is 350 feet.
- Rajmachi Waterfalls: In Pune district, this waterfall can be seen on the Mumbai – Pune Expressway, 5 kms. from Khandala.
- Vyaghreshwar Waterfalls: Near Mnche on the Mumbai – Pune Expressway this fall is 30 kms. from Tarale.
- Tiger Falls: In Pune district, the falls is 70 kms. from Pune and 80 kms. from Mumbai.
- Marleshwar Waterfalls: This is a series of around 38 falls that becomes active in monsoon and is situated in Ratnagiri District on the banks of Bav River. These falls are 5 kms. off Devrukh.
- Nivali Falls: The falls is in Ratnagiri District, 50 kms. from Sangameswar.
- Peb Waterfalls: Located 10 kms. from Neral railway station, on the way to Matheran, the falls is in Raigad district.
- Garambi Waterfalls: Also in Raigad district it is in close proximity to Murud and 5 kms. from Janjira. The falls has a height of 100 feet.
- Kandhar Waterfalls: Located in Sangli district, it is 65 kms. from Sangli town and 75 kms. from Miraj railway station.
- Lingamala Waterfalls: This 620 feet falls is in Satara district near the famous hill station of Mahabaleshwar, merely 6 kms. away.
- Chirkehind Waterfalls: In Satara district, it is on the lower slopes of the Ambeneli Ghat section about 6 kms. from the diversion to Ragtag.
- Thoseghar Waterfalls: This is a 1150 feet high waterfall in Satara district about 36 kms. from Satara town.
- Ale’s Falls: It is about 9 kms. from Satara.
- Khelgarh Waterfalls: In Satara district, the falls is in the Mahabaleshwar – Medha – Satara road.
- Dhobi Falls: The falls is on the banks of the Koyna River and is 450 feet high. The nearest town is Mahabaleshwar, which is only 3 kms. away.
- Nagartas Waterfalls: This fall has a height of 320 feet and it is 100 kms. from Kolhapur in Sindhudurg district.
- Chinchghar Waterfalls: The falls is located 10 kms. from Kudal village in Sindhudurg.
- NeedlePoint Waterfalls: This falls is about 20 kms. from Panchhgani.
- Gavlideo Waterfalls: This is located near the Thane – Belapur road, 5 kms. from Thane.
- Tigher Falls: In Thane district, it is 10 kms. from Karjat railway station.
- Malsej Ghat Falls: This is a 400 feet falls, 115 kms. from Thane city in Thane District.
- Chinchoti Waterfalls: In the district of Thane, this is a 100 feet falls on the Mumbai – Palghar road close to Vasai.
- Zenith Waterfalls: In Thane district, this is a 450 feet high waterfall, 10 kms. from Khopoli railway station.
- Tapalwadi waterfalls: In Thane district is a 350 feet waterfall. It is on the Matheran hill station road, 3 kms. from Neral railway station.
- Dhabosa Falls: In Thane district, the falls is 5 kms. from Javhar. The height of the falls is 300 feet.
- Bhivpuri Waterfalls: Located 8 kms. from Bhivpuri railway station, this falls is in Thane District.
- Usarvardhane Falls: In Thane district, this 300 feet fall is near Kansai village. There is a 45 minute trek to the waterfall.
- Ozarde Waterfalls: The falls is situated 10 kms. away from Koyna in Satara District.
- Chinmans waterfalls: The falls 2.5 kms. from Mahabaleshwar in Satara district.
- Napne Waterfalls: Located in Sindhudurg District, this is a 250 feet fall, 15 kms. from Vaibhavwadi.
- Amboli Ghat Falls: In Sindhudurg, this 400 feet falls is 1 km. away from Amboli.
- Savdev Waterfalls: The falls is in Sindhudurg district near Kankavli village ( 10 kms.).
- Sahastrakunda Waterfalls: In Nanded district, it is located on Painganga River near the town of Sahastrakund.
- Bhildari Waterfalls: The falls is 3 kms. from Kannad and 12 kms. from Chalisgaon in Aurangabad district.
- Barki Falls: 60 kms. from Kolhapur, it is in Kolhapur District.
- Ramathirth Waterfalls: The waterfall is located on the banks of River Hiranyakeshi near Ajara village.
- Palsambe Waterfalls: In Kolhapur District, this falls is 45 kms. from Kolhapur.
- Bhilar Waterfall : is in Satara district on the Mahabaleshwar – Panchhgani road near Bhilar village.
- Mandakini Waterfalls: This is in Satara district, 25 kms. from Mahabaleshwar.
- Randha Waterfalls: In Ahmednagar District, it is 50 kms. from Nashik. The falls has height of 350 feet.
- Vihigaon Waterfalls: Located on the Mumbai – Nashik Highway, the falls is 125 kms. from Mumbai.
- Umbrella Falls: This is an exotic falls in Ahmednagar district, 50 kms. from Nashik.
- Durgawadi Waterfalls: This falls is in Nashik district and is a 450 feet falls, 30 kms. from Nashik.
- Dudhsagar Waterfalls: Near the Someshwar Temple and about 8 kms. from Nashik, this 100 feet falls is in Nashik District.
- Ramdhameshwar Waterfalls: In the district of Raigad, it is 20 kms. from Alibaug.
- Sawatada Waterfalls: In Raigad district, it is near Alibaug.
- Dodhvne Tivre Falls: This is a 200 feet high falls 140 kms. from Someshwar.
- Tamhini Waterfalls: This falls is in Pune district near Tamihini Ghats.
- Sawatsada Waterfalls: Not to be confused with the one near Alibaug, this falls is in Ratnagiri district, 1 km. from Chiplun city.
- Berki Waterfalls: The falls is in Kolhapur district, 4 kms. from Gaganbawada.
It can be concluded that a large number of them are situated on the Western Ghat sector and visitors will have to choose in between to spend a splendid holiday.