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Maharashtra (/mɑːhəˈrɑːʃtrə/; Marathi: [məharaːʂʈrə] (About this soundlisten), abbr. MH) is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan plateau. It is the second-most populous state and third-largest state by area in India. Spread over 307,713 km2 (118,809 sq mi), it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa to the south, Telangana and Chhattisgarh to the east, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to the north, and the Indian union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the north west. It is also the world's second-most populous subnational entity. It was formed by merging the western and south-western parts of the Bombay State, Berar and Vidarbha, and the north-western parts of the Hyderabad State and splitting Saurashtra (in present-day Gujarat) by the States Reorganisation Act. It has over 112 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population around 18 million making it the most populous urban area in India. Nagpur hosts the winter session of the state legislature. Pune is known as the 'Oxford of the East' due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions. Nashik is known as the 'Wine Capital of India' as it has the largest number of wineries and vineyards in the country.

The Godavari and the Krishna are the two major rivers in the state. The Narmada and Tapi Rivers flow near the border between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Maharashtra is the third-most urbanized state of India. Prior to Indian independence, Maharashtra was chronologically ruled by the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Deccan sultanates, Mughals and Marathas, and the British. Ruins, monuments, tombs, forts, and places of worship left by these rulers are dotted around the state. They include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The numerous forts are associated with the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

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Marathi literature
Marathi literature is the body of literature of Marathi, an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra and written in the Devanagari script. The earliest known Marathi inscription found at the foot of the statue at Shravanabelgola in Karnataka is dated c. 983. However, the Marathi literature started with the religious writings by the saint-poets belonging to Mahanubhava and Warkari sects.

Bhaskarbhatta Borikar of the Mahanubhava sect is the first known poet to have composed hymns in Marathi. Mukundraj's Vivek Sindhu, with its 18 chapters and 1671 verses, is considered as the first major book in the Marathi language. Dnyaneshwar (1275–1296) was the first Marathi literary figure who had wide readership and profound influence. His major works are Amrutanubhav and Bhavarth Deepika (popularly known as Dnyaneshwari). Bhavarth Deepika is a 9000-couplets long commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.

The Warkari saint-poet Eknath (1533–1599), the main successor of Dnyaneshwar, was a major Marathi literary figure during his period. He made available an authentic, edited version of Dnyaneshwari, which had been forgotten after the Islamic invasion of Deccan. He also wrote several abhangs (devotional poems), narratives and minor works that dealt with the Bhagavata Purana. He wrote Eknathi Bhagwat, Bhavarth Ramayan, Rukmini Swayamwar Hastamalak, and Bharud. Dasopant was another minor but notable poet from this era. Mukteshwar (1574-1645), the grandson of Eknath, too, wrote several works in Marathi including a translation of the epic Mahabharata.

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Fishing boats parked at Anjarle Creek (Konkan), Maharashtra.

Fishing boats parked at Anjarle Creek (Konkan), Maharashtra.
Fishing boats used to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Traditional fishing is any kind of small scale, commercial or subsistence fishing practices using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, throw nets and drag nets, etc.

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Selected biography

Vishnu Vāman Shirwādkar (Marathi: विष्णु वामन शिरवाडकर) (27 February 1912 – 10 March 1999), popularly known by his pen name, Kusumāgraj (Marathi: कुसुमाग्रज), was an eminent Marathi poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, apart from being a humanist, who wrote of freedom, justice and emancipation of the deprived. In a career spanning five decades starting in pre-independence era, he wrote 16 volumes of poems, three novels, eight volumes of short stories, seven volumes of essays, 18 plays and six one-act plays.

His works like the Vishakha (1942), a collection of lyrics, inspired a generation into the Indian freedom movement, and is today considered one of the masterpieces of Indian literature, apart from his play, Natsamrat which has important place in Marathi literature. He was the recipient of several State awards, and National awards including the 1974 Sahitya Akademi Award in Marathi for Natsamrat, Padma Bhushan (1991) and the Jnanpith Award in 1987; he also remained chairperson of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in 1989.

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