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Maharashtra is a state located in India.

It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is also called breath of India being the richest state in India, contributing to 25% of the country's industrial output and 23.2% of its GDP in 2010-11. Maharashtra is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Gujarat and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast, and Goa to the southwest. The state covers an area of 307,731 km2 (118,816 sq mi) or 9.84% of the total geographical area of India. Mumbai, the capital city of the state, is India's largest city and the financial capital of the nation. Nagpur is the second capital of the state. Marathi is the official language. Maharashtra is the world's second most populous first-level administrative country sub-division. Were it a nation in its own right, Maharashtra would be the world's tenth most populous country. Maharashtra Traditional Costume For Men: Dhoti, Shirt With A headdress Pheta For Women: Sari & Choli or Blouse Mens Attire In Maharashtra, men wear dhoti and shirt with a headdress known as the "Pheta", and women wear sari with a short-sleeved `Choli` (blouse). The sari is 9m long and is worn tucked between the legs. The dhoti is a fine cotton cloth of about two and half to three metres long, with or without borders on both the sides. The headdress is a folded cap of cotton, silk or woolen fabric, or a freshly folded turban known as `Rumal`, `Patka` or `Pheta`. The pre-formed turban known as "Pagadi" is now rarely to be seen. Sometimes a waistcoat or jacket known as "Bandi" is also worn over a shirt. The Maratha Brahmans are very particular about the securing of their dhoti, which always had to have five tucks, three into the waistband at the two sides and in front, while the loose end is tucked in front and behind. Once Nagpur hand-made dhotis were famous for their durability. Among the urbanite young men the use of dhoti is practically getting extinct; it is in some evidence among the middle-aged. The Sendhi or scalplock is long discarded and they cut their hair short in imitation of the European. Women`s Attire Maharashtrian women wear the Maratha `Sadi` (saree) of nine yards and a short-sleeved `Choli` (blouse) covering only about half the length of the back. The nine yards Sadi is generally worn by elderly ladies and is known as "Lugade" or Sadi in Marathi. It is forty-five to forty-two inches in width and it has two lengthwise borders `Kanth` or `Kinar`, and also two `Breadthwise` borders, `Padar`, at the two ends, of which one is more decorated than the other. The mode of wearing the Lugade by Maratha Brahmans and other classes is with the hind pleats tucked into the waist at the back-centre and the decorated end (padar) thrown over the left shoulder. Maratha ladies allow it to hang form the waist down straight and round like a skirt and draw its end, which covers the bosom and back over the head. Sadis of five or six yards in length have now become fashionable among young ladies in the urban centres. These are worn cylindrically over a "Parkar" or "Ghagara" also called petticoat. The old fashioned Choli is also discarded by them, and the use of blouses, polkas, and jumpers has become quite common. A reversion to new type of Cholis in the form of blouses with low cut necks and close-fitting sleeves up to the elbow is noticed now a days. Women living in cities have become more westernised and working women these days wear `Chudidars`, pants, and skirts, which are more comfortable. With Bollywood in Mumbai, the city is the center of fashion and one can find the latest designs over here. One of the most commonly worn traditional dresses, it is essentially a rectangular cloth measuring about 6 yards, though in Maharashtra, women wear the nine yard sari which is passed through the legs and tucked in at the back. The sari comes in a profusion of colours, textures and designs, determined largely by the region. There are several ways of draping a sari, which is first wound around the waist, before being pleated seven or eight times at the centre and tucked into the waistband. These pleats are called the patli. The remaining sari, called the pallu is then pleated again and draped across the left shoulder to fall gracefully behind. There are regional variations, like in Gujarat, the pallu comes from the back, and drapes across the front over the right shoulder. The sari is worn with a tight-fitting choli or blouse. The style and length of the choli varies according to fashion trends and from region to region. Costumes Worn on Festive Occasions Though there is no special holiday dress on festivals or on days of family rejoicing, all who can afford it put on richer and better clothes than those ordinarily worn. For ceremonial occasions men prefer to dress after Indian style in a spacious looking long coat, called "Ackan", and "Chudidar Pyjama" or "Survar" slightly gathered at the ankles-end with bracelet-like horizontal folds. A folded woolen or a silk cap and "Cadhav" or pump-shoes perfects the ensemble.
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Food of Maharashtra

It is well known that the people of Maharashtra consider their food as Anna he poornabrahmameaning they consider anna, or food, equal to Brahma, or the creator of the universe. Food is God and should be worshipped. Apart from this, the people of this state also believe in offering their food first to the lord as a thanksgiving for all that He has given. Especially, on festive occasions, some specific mithais (sweets) are offered such as Ukadiche Modak (Ganesh Chaturthi) and Satyanarayan Puja Sheera. Even inside the state itself, one can find distinguishing flavors and food styles that make eating an interesting activity altogether. Maharashtrian cuisine is divided into two, Konkani, and Varadi. Though quite different, both use a lot of seafood and coconut. Grated coconuts spice up many kinds of dishes, but coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium. Peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut oil is the main cooking medium. Another feature is the use of kokum, a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste. Kokum most commonly used in an appetizer-digestive called the sol kadhi, which is served chilled. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal. In the vegetarian fare, the most popular vegetables are brinjals. A popular style of cooking brinjals is bharlivangi or baby brinjals stuffed with coconut. Maharashtrian fare is incomplete without papads, which are eaten roasted or fried. The most popular desserts of Maharashtra are the puran poli, which is roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour, and shreekhand, which is sweetened curd flavored with cardamom and saffron. Staple Foods As in most of the other states of India, rice is the staple food grain in Maharashtra too. Like the other coastal states, there are an enormous variety of vegetables in the regular diet and lots of fish and coconuts are used. Methods of Cooking Maharashtrian meals are scientifically planned and cooked-the golden rule being that the cooking medium must not be seen. The vegetables are more or less steamed and lightly seasoned so as to retain their nutritional value. There is almost no deep frying and roasting. Coconut is used in cooking and as an embellishment. Jaggery and tamarind are used in most vegetables or lentils so that the food has a sweet and sour flavor while the kala masala (special blend of spices) is added to make the food piquant. As opposed to the coastal cuisine, where fresh coconut is added to the dishes, in the Vidarbha region, powdered coconut is used for cooking. Specialities Among seafood, the most popular fish is bombil or the Bombay duck, which is normally served batter fried and crisp. Bangda or mackerel is another popular fish in coastal Maharashtra. It is curried with red chilies, ginger and triphal. Pomfret is another popular fish eaten barbecued, stuffed, fried or curried. Pamphlet triphal ambat is a traditional dish in which fish is cooked in creamy coconut gravy that greatly enhances its taste. Besides fish, crabs, prawns, shellfish and lobsters are also relished by the coastal Maharashtrians. A popular prawn dish is the sungtachi-hinga kodi, which consists of prawns in coconut gravy, blended with spices and asafoetida. In the vegetarian fare, the most popular vegetables are brinjals. A popular style of cooking brinjals is bharlivangi or baby brinjals stuffed with coconut. Another typical dish is the Pachadi, which is tender brinjals cooked with green mangoes and flavored with coconut and jaggery. Besides, common vegetables are greatly relished by the Maharashtrians. A typical dish is the patal bhaji, which is a sweet and sour dish flavored with groundnuts. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal. Maharashtrian fare is incomplete without papads, which are eaten roasted or fried. A typical feature is the masala papad in which finely chopped onions, green chilies and chat masala are sprinkled over roasted or fried papads. The most popular dessert of Maharashtra is the puran poli, which is roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour and is made at the time of the Maharashtrian New Year. Other popular sweets are the ukdiche modak, the panpole ras, and the shreekhand. Distinguishing features of the Varadi cuisine are the dishes made of besan (gram flour) like zunka bhakar and pathawadi and the vada-bhat. Nonvegetarian food is also very popular in this region. As seafood is not easily available here, chicken and mutton are commonly cooked. Special Occasions In Maharashtra, festivals and food go together. During Ganesh Utsav, every Maharashtrian welcomes Lord Ganesh into his home and offers Modak-a favorite sweet of Lord Ganesh that is made only during this festival. It has a rice flour casting that is fashioned like a large flower bud and stuffed with freshly grated coconut cooked with jaggery. The modak is placed on lightly greased banana leaves and steamed. Shreekhand, a sort of thick yogurt sweet dish, is a great favorite at weddings and the Dashera festival. Flavored with cardamom powder and saffron, this aromatic dish is served with piping hot puris. Traditionally, a wedding feast has to have five sweet delicacies of which a motichur laddu (sweetmeat balls made of gram flour) is a must. In Maharashtra, even an everyday meal consists of several accompaniments that are set out in a particular manner in the taat (platter). The taat vadhany (method of setting food on the platter) is an art. It starts with a bit of salt at the top center of the taat. On its left is set a small piece of lemon. Then follows the chatni (spicy accompaniment made of ground coconut and green chilies), koshimbir (salad), bharit (lightly cooked or raw vegetable in yogurt) in that order. The vegetable with gravy never precedes the dry vegetable because the gravy will run into it. Once everyone is seated the woman of the house will serve the rice, pour a little toop (clarified butter) and varan (lentil) on it and then the meal begins after a short thanksgiving. The people of Maharashtra are known for aesthetic presentation of food. In formal meals, the guests sit on floor rugs or red wooden seats and eat from silver or metal thalis and bowls, placed on a raised chowrang, a short decorative table. To avoid mixing of flavors, each guest is given a bowl of saffron scented water to dip fingers in before starting to eat the next delicacy. Snacking is a favorite pastime of this city of Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra. Chaat is probably the most widely eaten food in the city, followed by bhelpuri, pani puri, pav bhaji, and dosai. For those looking for non-vegetarian snacks, there are the Muslim kebabs, baida roti (an egg roti stuffed with minced meat), tandoori chicken, seekh kebabs, and fish koliwada. In Mumbai, the paan culture has been raised to an art form. An example of this is the Cold and Sweet paan in which the sweet filling is chilled. Food for festival Gudi Padwa, Holi, Haritalika, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Makara Sankranti are some of the festivals native to the state of Maharashtra. And some special foods during these festival times are as follows: Gudi Padwa: Holi: Haritalika: Ganesh Diwali: Shankarpali, Makar Sakranti: Shengdana Chikki Food Soonth Chaturthi: Badam Halwa, Panak, Puran Coconut Sprouted Karanji, Chakli, Chana Usal Poli Potali Chakli Karanji.

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Weddings

After the marriage ceremony is done with, guests sit down to a traditional meal served on a banana leaf. The meal is entirely vegetarian in nature and is created without any onion or garlic. It consists of a selection of vegetables in coconut gravy, green mango chutney, cucumber and peanut salad, rice, puris, golden dal called `varan and a sweet dish like jalebi, creamy basundi or saffron-scented shrikhand. `Mattha or coriander-flavored, salted buttermilk complements the meal, which ends with a sweet `paan called `vida. The cuisine of Maharashtra has its own distinctive flavors and tastes. It can be divided into two major sections-the coastal and the interior. A major portion of Maharashtra, which lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea, is loosely called the Konkan and boasts of its own Konkani cuisine, which is a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisines. Besides the coastal cuisine, the interior of Maharashtra-the Vidarbha area, has its own distinctive cuisine known as the Varadi cuisine.

Ajanta and Ellora are the pride of Maharashtra. The rock-cut caves of both these sites are world famous and illustrate the degree of skill and artistry that Indian craftsmen had achieved several hundred years ago. Ajanta dates from 100 B.C. while Ellora is younger by some 600 years. The village of Ajanta is in the Sahyadri hills, about 99 kms. From Aurangabad; a few miles away in a mammoth horseshoe-formed rock, are 30 caves overlooking a gorge, `each forming a room in the hill and some with inner rooms. Al these have been carved out of solid rock with little more than a hammer and chisel and the faith and inspiration of Buddhism. Here, for the Buddhist monks, the artisans excavated Chaityas (chapels) for prayer and Viharas (monasteries) where they lived and taught. Many of the caves have the most exquisite detailed carvings on the walls, pillars and entrances as well as magnificent wall paintings. These caves were discovered early in the 19th century quite by chance by a party of British Officers on manoeuvres. Today the paintings and sculptures on Buddhas life, belonging to the more mellow and ritualistic Mahayana Buddhism period, are world famous. Copies of them were shown in the Crystal Palace exhibition in London in 1866. These were destroyed in a fire there. Further copies were published soon afterwards and four volumes of reproductions were brought out in 1933 by Ghulam Yazdani, the Director of Archaeology of the then Hyderabad State. Ajanta has formed an epicentre of interest for those who appreciate and are eager to know more about Indian history and art. It is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India and has been listed in the World Heritage list of monuments.The 30 caves of Ajanta were created over a span of some 600 years. In their range of time and treatments they provide a panorama of life in ancient India and are a source of all kinds of information... hair styles, ornaments, textiles, musical instruments, details of architecture, customs etc. It was from this collection of classical Indian art that a particular style was formed that traveled with Buddhism to many parts of the world. Similar paintings can be seen in Sigiriya in Sri Lanka, Bamiyan in Afghanistan, temples and shrines in Tibet, Nepal, China and Japan. Royal patronage made Ajanta possible. Professional artists carried out much of the work and each contributed his own individual skill and devotion to this monumental work. Visitors often ask how the artist who painted the detailed frescoes and chiseled out the intricate carvings, managed to work in the dark interiors of the caves. It has been noticed that the caves are illuminated by natural light for part of the day and it is presumed that metal mirrors or sheets of white cloth were used to reflect sunlight into the inner recesses. Ellora The cave temples and monasteries at Ellora, excavated out of the vertical face of an escarpment, are 26 km north of Aurangabad. Extending in a linear arrangement, the 34 caves contain Buddhist Chaityas or halls of worship, and Viharas, or monasteries, Hindu and Jai temples. Spanning a period of about 600 years between the 5 th and 11 th century AD, the earliest excavation here is of the Dhumar Lena (Cave 29).The most imposing excavation is, without doubt, that of the magnificent Kailasa Temple (Cave 16) which is the largest monolithic structure in the world. Interestingly, Ellora, unlike the site of Ajanta, was never 'rediscovered'. Known as Verul in ancient times, it has continuously attracted pilgrims through the centuries to the present day. Ellora has been designed as a World Heritage Site, to be preserved as an artistic legacy that will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of generations to come. The Elephanta Caves (Marathi: , Gharapurichya Lenee) are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (literally "the city of caves") in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the east of the city of Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the god Shiva Mumbai Welcome to the city that never sleeps! Pulsating, Alive, On the Move, Vibrant, Fun -- this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to -- Bombay. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernisation. Once a cluster of seven islands, Mumbai was presented to King Charles II in 1661 as part of the dowry when he married Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal. Over the years, as colonialism gave way to independence, Mumbai has transformed itself into an entity with thriving markets, business houses and many different communities reflecting a cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere rarely seen elsewhere. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today's India -- the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values. It is the capital of Maharashtra state, and its official language is Marathi although English and Hindi are widely spoken and understood. The fast-paced life has given rise to hordes of "fast-food outlets" on almost every road, offering lip-smacking choices of Mumbai's very own pau bhaji, bhel puri and kababs. There is no dearth, though, of multi-culinary delicacies dished out in posh restaurants by expert chefs. Mumbai is a shopper's delight with bargain buys, exclusive boutiques, ethnic markets and mini bazaars. This busy city is also the hub of a thriving cultural life, with a constant stream of performances in music, dance and drama. The seat of the Hindi film industry, known locally as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. Mumbai caters to the adventurous and the romantic through its sporting activities, nightclubs, pubs, theatres, beaches and restaurants. Old and new, rich and poor, classical and modern -- its all here for you to savour and enjoy!

The Gateway of India (Marathi: ) is a monument in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. Located on the waterfront in Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai, the Gateway is a basalt arch 26 metres (85 feet) high. It was a crude jetty used by fisher folks and was later renovated and used as a landing place for British governors and other distinguished personages. In earlier times, the Gateway was the monument that visitors arriving by boat would have first seen in the city of Bombay. Marine Drive (Marathi: ) is a 3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Mumbai in the city of Mumbai. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. The road links Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hill. Marine Drive is situated over reclaimed land facing west-south-west. The bay is part of the Arabian Sea. Essel World is an amusement park in Gorai, Mumbai, India. It is spread over 64 acres (260,000 m2) of land[1] and attracts 10,000 visitors everyday[2]. It can be reached from the suburbs of Borivali or Malad. Essel world was started by Subhash Chandra of the Essel Group in 1986[3]. The Water Kingdom section was added in 1998[3]. There are 34 major rides not including the coin operated games and the rides involving water[1]. It actually consists of two parks - Essel world proper and Water Kingdom (a water park)[4]. It was the first amusement park in India[5]. After starting in 1986, it took five years for it to break even but its annual turnover in 2001 was 35-40 crores rupees[6] and is now called a "huge success"[2].
As a coastal city, Mumbai has many beaches along its western coast; however, most of the beaches are polluted, and are unfit for swimming. Here are the beaches listed from south to north.

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2.

Chowpatti (Girgaum) Dadar Chowpatti Juhu Beach Versova Beach Madh Island Aksa Beach Manori Beach Marv Beach Gorai Beach

3. 4. 5. 6.
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8. 9.

Shirdi
122 kms from Nashik is the abode of one of Maharashtra's most revered saint -- Sai Baba of Shirdi. Popularly known as the 'Child of God', Sai Baba preached tolerance towards all religions and the message of universal brotherhood. Every activity at Shirdi revolves around the vast temple complex dedicated to Sai Baba. Devotees start queuing up in the early hours of dawn to catch a glimpse and seek the blessings of the life-size statue of Sai Baba. Thursday is marked by special pujasand darshan of the Sai Baba statue. There are other places of interest that devotees can visit as well including Dwarkamani Mosque where the Baba meditated and slept on alternate nights. Near the mosque, in a corridor is the dhuni or eternal flame that burns day and night. Other places of importance are the Gurusthan, the Kandoba Temple, Shani Mandir, Narsimha Mandir, Changdev Maharaj Samadhi and the Sakori Ashram.

Dnyneshwar (or Jneshwar) (Marathi: ) (12751296), also known as Janadeva (Marathi: ), was born into a Deshastha Brahmin Kulkarni family.[1][2] He was a 13th century Maharashtrian Hindu saint (Sant - a title by which he is often referred), poet, philosopher and yogi of the Nath tradition whose works Bhavartha deepika teeka (a commentary on Bhagavad Gita, popularly known as "Dnyaneshwari"), and Amrutanubhav are considered to be milestones in Marathi literature Born 1275 AD Apegaon, Maharashtra, India Titles/honours Sant in Marathi, meaning "Saint" Guru Nivruttinath Philosophy Varkari, Hinduism Literary worksAbhanga poetry, Dnyaneshwari, Amrutanubhav, Haripath, Changdev Paasashti Lokmanya Tilak (Marathi: pronunciation (helpinfo) Born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak) 23 July 18561 August 1920 (aged 64), was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer,lawyer and independence fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called him "Father of the Indian unrest". He was also conferred with the honorary title of Lokmanya, which literally means "Accepted by the people (as their leader)". Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of "Swaraj" (self-rule)and a strong radical in Indian consciousness. His famous quote, "swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it!" is well-remembered in India even today. Born 23 July 1856 Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India Died 1 August 1920 (aged 64) Mumbai, India Other names Lokmanya Tilak Organization Indian National Congress Political movement Indian Independence Movement

Shivaji Raje Bhosle (Marathi: [iairae bos()le]; 19 February 1630 3 April 1680), with the royal title Chhatrapati (Emperor) Shivaji Maharaj (Marathi: ), was a Maratha aristocrat of the Bhosle clan who founded the Maratha empire.[5][6] Shivaji led a resistance to free the Maratha people from the Sultanate of Bijapur, and establish Hindavi Swarajya ("self-rule of Hindu people"[7]). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital,[6] and successfully fought against the Mughals to defend his kingdom.[5] He was crowned as Chhatrapati ("sovereign") of the Maratha kingdom in 1674. [5][6] Reign 16421680 CE Coronation 6 June 1674 Marathi (Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle) Titles Kshatriya Kulawatasana Born 19 February 1630[1][2] Birthplace Shivneri Fort, near Pune, India Died 3 April 1680 Place of death Raigad Fort Successor Sambhaji Wives Sai bai (Nimbalkar) Soyarabai (Mohite) Putalabai (Palkar) Laxmibai (Vichare) Kashibai (Jadhav) Sagunabai (Shirke) Gunvantibai (Ingale) Sakavaarbai (Gaikwad)[3][4] Offspring Sambhaji, Rajaram, and six daughters Sakhubai Nimbalkar, Ranubai Jadhav, Ambikabai Mahadik, Deepabai, Rajkunvarbai Shirke, Kamlabai Palkar. Father Shahaji MotherJijabai Religious beliefs Hinduism Sai Baba of Shirdi (Unknown October 15, 1918), also known as Shirdi Sai Baba (Marathi: , Urdu: ,) was an Indian guru, yogi, and fakir who is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim devotees as a saint. Many Hindu devotees - including Hemadpant, who wrote the famous Shri Sai Satcharitra - consider him an incarnation of Lord Krishna[1] while other devotees consider him as an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. Many devotees believe that he was a Satguru, an enlightened Sufi Pir, or a Qutub. No verifiable information is available regarding Sai Baba's birth and place of birth. Festivals Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi, a popular festival in the state. Aashadi Ekadashi is one of most important festivals celebrated across Maharashtra. It is also referred to as "WARI" and people from all over Maharashtra, Karnataka and other parts of India walk to Pandharpur from there respective villages. Lord Ganesha's devotion is celebrated by Ganesh Chaturthi in AugustSeptember of every year.[46] Town of Pen in Raigad district is famous for Ganesh Idols made of special Shadu Clay. Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, Lalbaugcha Raja, Shri Siddhivinayak Temple, Shri Ashtavinayaka's are the major holy places for Maharashtrians. Popular forms of God are Shiva, Krishna and Ganesha. Lord Shiva's devotion is celebrated by taking part in Maha Shivaratri (Great Night of Shiva) festival. In modern times, the Elephanta island in Mumbai, Lord's Shiva island in local mythology, originated the Elephant Festival. Lord Krishna's devotions are celebrated in the state-wide Gokul Ashtami (or Krishna Janmashtami, Krishna's birthday) whereby many devotees fast on the entire day until midnight. The Dahi-Handi (Matki-fod) is also observed on this day at many places.[47] Lord Krishna's devotion are also celebrated at Kaartik Aamawasya (or Diwali) and at Narak Chaturdashi as the killing of the demon Narakasura. The other festivals celebrated on a large scale are Vijayadashami or Dasara (Marathi: ), Navaratri, Holi, Diwali, Eid (Ramzan Eid). Simollanghan is a ritual performed on Dasara or Viajaya Dashami day in Maharashtra. Simollanghan is crossing the border or frontier of a village or a place. In ancient times, kings used to cross the frontier of their kingdom to fight against their rivals or neighbor kingdoms. They used to perform Ayudha Puja on Dasara and begin the war season. On Dasara, people cross the borders of their places (Seemollanghan) and collect the leaves of Apta tree ( ) and exchange among their friends and relatives as gold ( ).[48] People worship Shami tree and its leaves ( ) on this day. Krishna Janmashtami (Devanagari ka janmami), also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanthi or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu.[1] Janmaashtami, popularly known in Mumbai and Pune as Dahi Handi, is celebrated with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that is positioned at a convenient height prior to the event. The topmost person on the human pyramid tries to break the handi by hitting it with a blunt object. Mostly nariyal (coconut) is preferred being a sign of purity, truth etc. in Hinduism. When that happens the buttermilk is spilled over the entire group, symbolizing their achievement through unity. Handis are set up around the city, and groups of youngsters, called Govinda Pathaks, travel around in trucks trying to break as many handis as possible during the day. Many such Govinda Pathaks compete with each other, especially for the handis that dole out hefty rewards. The event, in recent times, has gathered a political flavor, and it is common for political parties and rich community groups to offer prizes amounting to lakhs of rupees. Some of the most famous handis are at Dadar, Lower Parel, Worli, Mazgaon, Lalbaug, Thane and Babu Genu, Mandai in Pune.[3] Cash and gifts are offered for Govinda troops to participate; for over 4,000 handis in Mumbai, 2,000 Govinda troops compete for the prizes

Koli Dance: Koli is one of the most popular folk dance form of Maharashtra State that derives its name from the fisher folk of Maharashtra - Kolis. These community people are famous for their distinct identity among others and for their lively dances. Their dances consist of elements from their daily work related to the fishing. Both men and women in a group perform this dance. Both of them make their single row or stand in pair. These fishermen portray the movement of the rowing of a boat in this dance form. Sometimes, they also portray the movements of waves and the casting of nets to catch the fish. It is said that despite their obvious hardships regarding their occupation, their dances bringing out the liveliness of the fisher-folk, who enjoy each moment of their life. And there is this dance of Joy, a celebration of valuable life, performed with sheer exuberance by the dance participants. The equipment used by fisherman is an oar. They hold small oars in their hands and move them to the rhythm of a song beat. Swaying of oars in backward and forward direction creates a scene of a boat tossing on the high sea-waves. The Koli dance takes different shapes and styles according to the different parts of the region. Generally, women participants wear green coloured sari in their Koli style coming upto knees while male wear a lungi kind of costume having triangular shape. This dance got the loudest cheers and wolf whistles. Performing a traditional dance named "Koli" was undoubtedly the sweetest experience. Dindi Dance: In Maharashatra, religious devotional dances are called as Dindi. The verses & poems form the vital part of Dindi. The musicians for this dance comprise of a `Mridangam` player and a vocalist who give the dancers the necessary musical background. Mridangam is a kind of instrument that is used for generating music. This dance is usually performed on the Ekadashi day in the

Dindi Dance

month of Kartik. Dindi is a widely popular in Varkari people. This is a religious devotional dance that describes the playful attitude of Lord Krishna. Dindi is a small drum, like a `Tamate` used for musical purpose. Men and women folk in together perform the dance on the rhythmic music.

Tamasha: This is a form of theatre called Tamasha, which came into being in Maharashtra in the early 16th century. The history of the Tamasha of Maharashtra presents a picture, which is somewhat different from the other folk forms in Maharashtra. The word Tamasha is a Persian of having meaning fun or entertainment. Some scholars even believe that this form of theatre has been strongly inspired by two forms of Sanskrit drama - the "Prahsana" and the "Bhana". The interspersed poetry and narrative writing in Tamasha tells us of the existence of many dance and music styles such as the themes of the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. This is obvious but one can not find a direct bearing of early and medieval writing in it. In Maharashtra, one can find a strong influence of the Sanskrit Literature in writing and on creativity of Marathi folk art. Ram Joshi

(1762-1812) is considered as the originator of the Tamasha, was as familiar with the Sanskrit puranas and the recitation and singing of the Kirtaniyas as with the popular forms of theatre common all over the countryside. His association later with Moropant, an outstanding name in contemporary Marathi writing, led to a transformation, which resulted in the Lavani singing being used to popularize the Aryas of Moropant.So, scholar still believe that Lavani is derived from Tamasha itself. This dance form is developed in 16th century. The love songs i.e. `Lavanis` are the heart of Tamasha and are very popular in common people. Instruments used are the Dholki drum, `Tuntuni` (a single string instrument), `Manjeera` cymbals, `Daf` (a tambourine-like instrument with a single leather surface), `Halgi` (smaller Daf), the metal triangle called `Kade`, the `Lejim` (an instrument with a jangling sound), the Harmonium and `Ghunghroos` (ankle bells). Tamasha is associated and performed with two of the communities of Maharashtra; they are Kolhati and Mahar. Besides, there were two other forms of Tamasha, which is important to mention in the context of the Tamasha. One was the ballad singing tradition of the Pawada and the other was the theatrical form known as the Dasavatara (ten carnation of Vishnu) that is common to Maharashtra and Karnataka and in many other parts of India and which survives today in Goa and the konkan region. Finally, there was one more form, which was anterior to these last two, and this was the Gavalana. The saint poets of Marathi, particularly the Vaishnavites have used them on wide scale. For the performance of the Tamasha no special stage is required with special arrangement. It can be anywhere in the Village Square, the courtyard of any house, an open ground or on an artificial stage. The overwhelming performance begins with the entry of the musicians as in other dance-drama forms. At the beginning two percussionists named the dholkiwala and the Halgiwala enter in the scene. While the dholkiwala provides the basic rhythm and the usual metrical cycles are played on the dholak, the Halgi provides the sharp accents and other piercing sounds. These add up in musical background of Tamasha. The beginning of the recital is announced loudly by them with accompaniment of two more instrumentalists, the manjirawala and the tuntune player. The entry of the singer held at last and he acquires position in front of the group. Sometimes, the Manjirewala and the tuntune player also make their contribution in singing. There is also the Surtya, the provider of the drone or the tonic who often joins in the singing. After the drumming is over and the main musician has entered and taken his position in the group, an invocation song to Lord Ganesha is sung, called the Gana. The Gana follows the Gavalana or the Gaulaniare. This is a Marathi counterpart of the Krishnlila in Marathi religious literature, in which different episodes of the life of Krishna were described, sung and enacted frequently. The poet singers in Lavni are known as "Shahirs" had composed many narrative and love songs that reflected artistic heights unthinkable for Tamasha. Apart from the dance sequences, movement enters into the Tamasha through considerable acrobatic play, which is executed, by the Natucni (female actress), Songadya and other characters. In this respect ,the Tamasha is a close to the Bhavai. Also some of the acrobatic movements have close affinities with the several folk dances known to Maharashtra.

The musical compositions of the Tamasha manifest the typical phenomenon of a simultaneous use of the Raga and the incorporation of many folk and indigenous melodies. Amongst the Hindustani Ragas used for Tamasha Tamasha Yaman, Bhairavi, and Pilu are common. All this rich fare of elementary ritual, farce, satire, sarcasm, dance and music concludes with something, which is akin to an Aarti. In any case, the finale is always on a high moral note that the good wins, evil perishes, truth is victorious and falsehood is self-destructive. The costumes of the Tamasha players, who are called by various names like the Gammat, Phada etc, are not fixed costumes. In the most of the part, they are everyday dress of the different sections of the Maharashtra society. Maharashtra has a lively tradition of song, dance, music and theatre. The Lavni performed only by women is sometimes called the gem of Marathi folk music and dance. It is incorporated in slapstick Tamasha, and is perhaps one of the most popular folk forms. In short, content determined by the nature of their performances and the chiseling of the conventions in the folk forms like the Tamasha gave a new dimension to the theatre art in Maharashtra. Today, Marathi theatre itself has evolved over the years, and now it has become an awareness weapon, which can challenge norms and often embraces rebellious issues for the common man. A new, obscenityfree version of Tamasha has evolved nowadays which is known as the Loknatya theatre.