Located in the West region, Maharashtra  is the third largest state of India by size and the second largest by population. It stretches from the west coast to the interior regions and its climate too varies with its geography. Maharashtra contains India's most industrialized region, the Bombay-Pune belt. Agriculturally too, the state is one of India's more advanced and well-irrigated. The northern and eastern parts of the state, however lag behind the western region.
For administrative purposes, the state is sub-divided into six divisions and further into 35 districts. Officially, all divisions save one are named after the district where the headquarters of the division is located. But the divisions are also popularly known by other names and that is how they are listed here. The official names of the divisions are given alongside in brackets.
Maharashtra is well known for its hill forts which helped Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to combat many a strong opponent by means of guerrilla warfare. Some of the important forts are
The principal languages spoken are Marathi and Konkani. Konkani is spoken in the Konkan region, while the rest of the state speaks Marathi.
In most parts of the state peopl will understand Hindi too as the two dialects bear some similarities to each other.
English is spoken in all major cities and towns like Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Aurangabad (home to Ajanta and Ellora), Nagpur etc.
Coastal Maharashtra (Konkan) has some of very beautiful beaches. With a 720 km coast line, there are beautiful beach destinations almost every 50-100 kms, starting from Dahanu in the Northern part of the State to Sindhudurg, at the Southern tip.
Some popular beaches are:
While the beaches in Bordi, Gorai, Juhu, Alibag, Kashid and Murud-Janjira are well-developed, with multiple accommodation choices, the rest remain still off the tourist circuit. The primary reason is lack of good accommodation choices. At most of the other beaches, the only decent stay options are properties owne and managed by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), a govt. organisation. These MTDC resorts have amazing location with great views, but being govt. run, these are not among the best in service, activities and food.
Popular hill stations in Maharashtra are -