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Information about states in India

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Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India. It is the second most populous state after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India. Maharashtra is the wealthiest state in India, contributing 15% of the country’s industrial output and 13.3% of its GDP (2006–2007 figures). 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 north and northeast, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast and Goa to the southwest. Population:

As per the 2001 census, Maharashtra has a population of 96,752,247 inhabitants making it the second most populous state in India, and the second most populous country subdivision in existence, and third ever after the Russian SFSR of the former Soviet Union. The Marathi-speaking population of Maharashtra numbers 72,481,681 according to the 2011 census. Only eleven countries of the world have a population greater than Maharashtra. Its density is 322.5 inhabitants per square kilometre. Males constitute 50.3 million and females, 46.4 million. Maharashtra’s urban population stands at 42.4%. Its sex ratio is 922 females to 1000 males. 77.27% of its population is literate, broken into 86.2% males and 67.5% females. Its growth rate between 1991–2001 was pegged at 22.57% The total fertility rate in 2001 was 2.23. Hindus – 2.09, Muslims – 4.09, Christians – 1.41, Jains – 1.41, Sikh – 1.57, Buddhist – 2.24, others −2.25, Tribals – 3.14.[51] In this state,[when?] 36.7% of children are underweight, 27.0% of the population is undernourished and 4.7% of children who die under the age of 5 die from hunger. Literacy

Festivals
Aashadi Ekadashi is one of most important festivals celebrated across Maharashtra. It is also referred to as ‘Wari’ and pilgrimage from all over Maharashtra, Karnataka and other parts of India walk to Pandharpur from their respective villages. Lord Ganesha’s devotion is celebrated by Ganesh Chaturthi in August–September of every year. 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 is also observed on this day at many places.[58] 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: दसरा), 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 neighbour 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 (आपट्याची पाने) and exchange among their friends and relatives as gold (सोने म्हणून आपट्याची पाने देतात).[59] People worship Shami tree and its leaves (शमीची पाने) on this day. Shiv Jayanti started by Lokmanya Tilak is also celebrated on a large scale in Maharashtra as well as out of Maharashtra. Languages[edit source | editbeta]See also: Languages of India Marathi is the official language of Maharashtra. According to the 2001 census, it is the native language of 68.89% of the population. Other languages that are the native language of more than one per cent of the population are:[63] Language Percentage in state:

Marathi 68.89
Hindi 11.50
Urdu 7.13
Kannada 2.39
Gujarati 1.45
Telugu 1.3
Other languages 4.6
Religion
Hinduism[edit source | editbeta]Hindus form 82% of the state’s total population and Hinduism plays an important role in the lives of the Maharashtrian people in their day-to-day life. Ganesh is the most popular deity amongst Marathi Hindus, followed by Krishna in the form of Vithal. They also worship the Shiva Family deities such as Shankar and Parvati. The Warkari tradition holds a strong grip on the local Hindus of Maharashtra. The public Ganesh festival started by Lokmanya Tilak in the late 19th century is very popular. Marathi Hindus also revere Bhakti saints, such as Dnyaneshwar, Savata Mali, Tukaram, Namdev and Chokhamela and Banjara, Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj(Sant as well as Philosopher),Sant Gadge Maharaj(Sant as well as Philosopher). Islam[edit source | editbeta]Islam is the second largest religion in the state, with 15 million adherents comprising 12.8% of the population, per estimates. Eid-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Eid) and Eid-ul-Azha (Bakra Eid) are the two most important Muslim festivals in the state. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in the state are Sunnis. The population in the state is both highly urbanised, and is spread across different regions. Significant Muslim populations can be found in Marathwada, Khandesh, and Mumbai-Thane belt. The Vidarbha, Western Maharashtra and Konkan regions also house sizeable Muslim populations. The urban character of the community in Maharashtra can be seen from the fact that Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, is approximately 18.8% Muslim per the Census.[54] Similarly, Nagpur, the second capital of Maharashtra, has population that is 11% Muslim. In Aurangabad, Muslims form 39% of the population.

Muslims also form a majority in towns like Malegaon and Bhiwandi. Buddhism[edit source | editbeta]Buddhism is the third largest religion in the state. Most Marathi Buddhists are followers of the Dalit Buddhist movement, a 19th and 20th-century Buddhist revival movement in India that received its most substantial impetus from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar who called for the conversion of Dalits to Buddhism to escape a caste-based society that considered them to be the lowest in the hierarchy.[55] Buddhism accounts for nearly 5% in Maharashtra’s total population. Jains[edit source | editbeta]Main article: Jainism in Maharashtra Jainists are a major group in Maharashtra. Jain community census for 2001 in Maharashtra area was 1,301,843. Cultural roots on Maharashtra for Jainism explain this numbers, as this more than 2,500-year old religion has some ancient temples in Maharashtra. Christians[edit source | editbeta]Christians account for 1,058,313 of Maharashtra’s population. Most of the Christians are Catholics and Protestants. There are also Goan, Mangalorean, Keralite and Tamilian Christians in the urban pockets of Mumbai and Pune. There are two ethnic Christian communities in Maharashtra: East Indians – Majority Catholics, concentrated in Mumbai and in the neighbouring districts of Thane and Raigad. St Bartholomew preached to the natives of this region in the 1st century AD. Marathi Christians – Majority Protestants found specially in Ahmednagar and Solapur. Protestantism was brought to these areas by American and Anglican missionaries during the 18th century.

Marathi Christians have largely retained their pre-Christian cultural practices. Sikhism[edit source | editbeta]There is a sizeable Sikh population in Maharashtra, with the 2001 census indicating 215,337 adherents.[56] Nanded, the second largest city in the Marathwada region (after Aurangabad), is an important holy place for the Sikh faith and is famous for the Hazur Sahib Gurudwara. Hazūr Sāhib (“presence of the master”), also spelled Hazoor Sahib, is one of the five takhts (seats of temporal authority) in Sikhism. Located on the banks of the River Godavari, it is where the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh died. The Gurudwara within the complex is known Sach-Khand, “Realm of Truth”. At a stone-throw distance from the Hazoor Sahib Gurudwara, there lies the Langar Sahib Gurudwara which is very famous for its grand Langar. In all the city has 13 major Gurudwaras with historic significance. Zoroastrians[edit source | editbeta]There are two Zoroastrian communities in Maharahtra. Parsis, mainly found in Mumbai, have descended from a group of Iranian Zoroastrians who immigrated to Western India during 10th century AD, due to persecution by Muslims in Iran. Iranis, are comparatively recent arrivals, and represent the smaller of the two Indian-Zoroastrian communities. Their descendants culturally and linguistically closer to the Zoroastrians of Iran, in particular to the Zoroastrians of Yazd and Kerman. Consequently, the Dari dialect of the Zoroastrians of those provinces may also be heard amongst the Iranis. Judaism[edit source | editbeta]

The Bene Israel (“Sons of Israel”) are a strong community of Marathi Jews originally from villages in the Konkan region who migrated in the late 17th century to the nearby cities, primarily Mumbai, but also to Pune, and Ahmedabad. Prior to these waves of emigrations and to this day, the Bene Israel formed the largest sector of the subcontinent’s Jewish population. The native language of the Bene Israel is Marathi and Hebrew. Most Bene Israel have now emigrated to Israel, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. Before the great migration after Indian Independence this community numbered at least 80,000. Food

Maharashtrian cuisine is of two kinds – Konkani and Varadi. Despite its difference in style of preparation, both the style use lot of seafood and coconut. Peanut oil is the main cooking medium, and grated coconuts, peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetarian dishes. Kokum is the most commonly used digestive-appetizer and sol kadhi is served chilled. Butter fried and crisp bombil or bombay duck is the most popular seafood. Rice and bhakris are the main starch intake for Maharashtrians. Bharlivangi or baby brinjals stuffed with coconut is very popular. Maharashtrian food is incomplete without papads. Roti-stuffed puran poli, with a sweet mixture of jiggery and gram flour, and shreekhand is the most popular dessert in Maharashtra.

Food for Festival

Soonth panak and sprouted chana usal are prepared for Gudi Padwa, puran poli for Holi, coconut potali in Haritalika, karanji and chakli for Ganesh Chaturthi, shankarpali, badam halwa, chakli and karanji during Diwali, shengdana chikki in Makar Sakranti. Food for Weddings

Vegetarian food prepared without garlic and onion is served on banana leafs on marriages. The menu includes 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-flavoured, salted buttermilk complements the meal, and sums up with a sweet paan called vida.

Important Attractions
Maharashtra is a diverse state that attracts visitors with ancient cave temples, forts, mountains, wineries, spirituality, and beaches. Of course, there’s cosmopolitan Mumbai as well.

Kerala Festivals are unique of its kind with full of colors. They unfold the rich and varied culture of the God’s Own Country by combining mirth and joy. People of Kerala are known for simplicity and inherent religious nature. Kerala is actually the land of festivals where as some appears to have adopted from the cultures of other states. Kerala has brilliantly transformed the customs and then developed a unique and special flavor of Kerala. Onam :

The Hindhu festival Onam is considered as the state festival of Kerala. This biggest festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug – Sep) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali. The celebration of Onam lasts for over ten days which brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition. Ambrosial Onasadya, intricately decorated Pookalam, breathtaking Snake Boat Race and exotic Kaikottikali dance are some of the most remarkable features of Onam. As this festival comes during the harvest time, it is called as the harvest festival in Kerala. Thiruvathira :

Thiruvathira is a religious festival of Kerala celebrated during the asterism Thiruvathira in Dhanu, the fifth month of Malayalam calendar (Kolla Varsham). Thiruvathira is essentially the festival for women. Ladies worship Lord Shiva and pray for conjugal harmony and marital bliss on this day. Thiruvathirakkali dance is the other very interesting facet of the festival enchantingly performed by women on this day. Vishu :

The Hindu festival, Vishu is celebrated with joy and mirth on the first day of Malayalam month of Medam. It is actually the New Year festival of Kerala which holds a lot of significance for Hindus as Vishu marks the Astronomical New Year Day for Kerala. There are lots of colorful rituals and customs practiced by the people of Kerala on Vishu. These traditions are based on the belief that Vishu must be celebrated well as the good things of the first day of the New Year will continue for the rest of the year too. Thrissur Pooram :

The most spectacular festival of Kerala, Thrissur Pooram is aptly called Pooram of all Poorams where Pooram means ‘the meeting point of all the arts’. The 36 hours festival combines the rich art and culture of the state of Kerala can be seen in its entire splendor. This festival is celebrated in the asterism Pooram in the month of Medam according to Malayalese calendar. Pooram was first introduced by the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi, Rama Varma. The entire celebrations are held at Thekkinkadu ground encircling the Vadakunnathan temple. Large number of spectators and devotees assemble in this ground to witness the meeting of deities of ten different temples. The dazzling display of fireworks and procession of decorated elephants are the major attractions of this festival besides several other enthralling musical programmes and events. Theyyam Festival :

The popular ritual art form, Theyyam is mainly confined to north Kerala. This traditional festival is rich in culture and is essentially a dance festival. Thje word Theyyam is assumed to be derived from the word ‘Deivam’ meaning God and ‘Aattam’ means dance. Thus Theyyam literally means the ‘God’s dance’. People worship deity and dancer is also considered as the deity. Devotees worship Mother Goddess in this art form. Theyyam is usually performed for six months beginning from the Malayalam month of Thullam (October-November) and continues till Edavam (May-June). These festivals are commonly held in the region of Kannur and Kasargod. Theyyam of Malabar region in north Kerala is the most prominent among all. Mandala Pooja :

The celebrations of Mandala Pooja continues for a period of 41 days beginning from first day of the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam (November-December) and culminating on eleventh day of Dhanu (December-January). The devotees make a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala during this period. This celebration signifies 41 days of austerities. On the 41st day after the 1st of Vrichikam this prominent Mandala pooja is conducted. Makaravilakku at Sabarimala Festival :

The seven-day festival, Makara Vilakku Pooja is conducted annually in the famous Ayyappa Temple of Sabarimala. The entire festival begins on the auspicious day of Makara Sankranthi, when the sun is in summer solstice (vernal equinox). It is also the first day of the Malayalese month of Makaram. On the day of Makara Vilaku Pooja the idol of Lord Ayyappa or Dharma Sastha was enshrined in the temple and is the most important event to be conducted at Sabarimala. Numerous devotees gather in the temple premise to participate in the celebrations of Makara Vilakku every year. Attukal Pongala :

The extremely popular Attukal Pongala is essentially women’s festival celebrated in ancient Bhagavathy temple (Mudippura) at Attukal in the Kaladi ward of Thiruvananthapuram district. This ten-day-long event commences from the Bharani day (Karthika star) of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (February-March) and comes to an end with the sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam at night. The biggest day of the festival is the ninth day when the famous Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam takes place. Plenty of women regardless of castes and creed make offerings for the Goddess by cooking pongala in the vicinity of the temple. Kettukazcha :

The colorful event Kettukazcha, also called Kutirakettu, is celebrated in Nooranad village located in Kollam district of South Kerala. It is usually celebrated during the months of August-September or September-October. The Oachira Temple located nearly 32 kms from Kollam on the way to Alappuzha is the centre of activity of this festival. The absence of idol is the special feature of this temple. Here significance is given to the concept of ‘Parabrahmam’ (Cosmic Consciousness). The procession of decorated effigies of Lord Shiva’s vehicle ‘Nandi’, the bull is carried out from this temple. This picturesque festival of rural Kerala attracts thousands of people every year. Puthari :

The joyous harvest festival, Puthari also called as Huthari is celebrated at its best in South India. Puthari is actually celebrated after the paddy harvest in the Malayalese month of Chingam (August-September). Rice is just formed during this time and is brought to the house from the field and de-husked. It is basically the festival of toil and rejoices by dancing and singing. Villagers gather in temples to celebrate Puthari, which is the centre of cultural activities and make merry. Ashtami Rohini :

Ashtami Rohini is the religious celebration of Hindus on the birthday of Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami in the north India is the same with some regional variations. It comes in the Malayalese month of Chingam (August-September) under the fourth lunar asterism or Rohini Nakshatra.

Religion
Kerala is known as God’s own country because of its geographical and sociological features. Kerala is bordered by long coastline in the west and mountain ranges in the east. Religion has made a special impact on Kerala’s culture. Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the main religions in Kerala. The origin of the religion of Kerala is traced to Hinduism. The Islamic religion and Christianity came later with its various sects. Some religions had influenced the Hindus and people worshipping those religions are also found in Kerala. Those religions include Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. According to the 2001 census, 56% of the population of Kerala is Hindus, 24% are Muslims and 19% are Christians. Christianity

In Kerala, a sect of Christianity called the Syrian Christians believed that one of the direct disciples of Christ named St. Thomas had landed near Muziris in 52 AD and established 7 churches. Out of the 7 churches 4 exist today. In 180 AD, another theologian from Alexandria also came to Kerala for preaching the gospel. Similarly in the 4th century, about 400 people had migrated from the Middle East. There are evidences for all these. In 1498 AD, the Portuguese came to India and it was them who introduced the Latin rites. Later, during the rule of the British, the Church Mission Society of London started their work in India. At present, there are five sects in Christianity in Kerala. They are the Roman Catholic Church following either Syrian, Latin or Malayalam liturgies, the Orthodox Syrian Church, the Mar Thomas Syrian Church, the Church Of South India and the Nestorian Church. Hinduism

Hinduism is considered as the world’s oldest religion and it date backs to about 5000 BC. Vedas, Epics and Puranas are the sacred texts of the hindus along with other philosophical treatises. This religion is a way of life and is based on the principle of Sanathana Dharma. There are many idols which the hindus worship and the three main forms are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are considered as the creator, preservator and destroyer respectively. Dravidians who were the earlier inhabitants of Kerala believed in primitive animism where they believed that the spirits exist in each and every object other than humans. They also believed in spirit worship. Later when the Aryans from north India arrived here, the idea of human forms of worship and caste division evolved. In Kerala, the devotees mainly worship goddess Baghavathy but there is no history about the reason for worshipping this goddess. Baghavathy is the main deity in most of the families in kerala.

Islam

Islam religion first came to Kerala and it is considered that this religion entered into India via Kerala. During the 7th century, Kerala and Middle East had trade relations. The Jews and Arabs were the pioneers in spice trade. The Islam religion was spread through these traders who came from Middle East. The muslims are very efficient in the field of trade and commerce. Like the Muslims elsewhere in the world the people in Kerala are also very orthodox in their beliefs.

Population[edit source | editbeta]Population density of Kerala Kerala is home to 2.76% of India’s people, and — at 859 persons per km²;[10] its land is three times as densely settled as the rest of India. However, Kerala’s population growth rate is far lower than the national average. Whereas Kerala’s population more than doubled between 1951 and 1991 — adding 15.6 million people to reach a total of 29.1 million residents in 1991 — the population stood at 31.8 million by 2001 and 33.3 million in 2011.[10] Kerala’s people are most densely settled in the coastal region, leaving the eastern hills and mountains comparatively sparsely populated.[11] Hinduisim is followed by the majority of Keralites (56.2%).Kerala is home to Hindu saints and swamis of all castes. Jagatguru Sree Adi Shankaracharya, Sree Narayana Guru, Sree Chattambi Swamikal and Vaikunda Swami were the first among the saints of Kerala. The major religions followed in Kerala are Hinduism (56.2% — Hinduism of Kerala), Islam (24.7%) and Christianity (19.0%).[12] Kerala also had a tiny Jewish population until recently, said to date from 587 BC when they fled the occupation of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.[13] The 2001 Indian census recorded only 51 Jews in Kerala. The synagogue in Kochi is the oldest in the Commonwealth of Nations. The state has many famous Temples, Mosques, and Churches. The oldest church in India is found

Literacy
Kerala ranks highest in India with respect to social development indices such as elimination of poverty, primary education and healthcare.[citation needed] This resulted from significant efforts begun in 1911 by the erstwhile Cochin and Travancore states to boost healthcare and education among the people. This central focus — unusual in India — was then maintained after Kerala’s post-independence inauguration as a state.[14 Kerala, a state in India, is a bizarre anomaly among developing nations, a place that offers real hope for the future of the Third World. Though not much larger than Maryland, Kerala has a population as big as California’s and a per capita annual income of less than $300 mn dollar. But its infant mortality rate is very low, its literacy rate among the highest on Earth, and its birthrate below America’s and falling faster. Kerala’s residents live nearly as long as Americans or Europeans. Though mostly a land of paddy-covered plains, statistically Kerala stands out in social development; there’s truly no place like it.

Kovalam Beach – The Kovalam beach situated 16 Km. south of Trivandrum city, is one of the best beaches in India. It’s a must see destination of India. On account of it’s natural location, it affords facilities for safe sea bath. Chowra Beach – The soft white sand is what that draws visitors to this beach and it is ideal for beach volleyball. The long stretch of beach is dotted by many cattamarams; a country fishing boat, which is three logs tied together in the shape of a boat.

Alleppey ( alappuzha ) – Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerela as one of the major centers for backwater boat trip Kumarakom – The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Thekkady ( Periyar ) – The pride of Kerela and a testimony to nature’s splendor and human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar lake – an artificial lake, at Thekkady. Here the high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. Kochi ( Cochin ) – The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European township in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.

Munnar Hills – one of the most popular hill stations in India is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 m above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi , which towers over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking. Wayanad – Wayanad lies at an altitude varying from 700 – 2100 metres above the sea level. The district has the highest number of tribal settlements in Kerala. The sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna. The management lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the tribals and others who live in and around the forest region. Trivandrum ( Thiruvananthapuram ) – The Capital city of Kerala. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the eastern and northeastern borders give Thiruvananthapuram some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make it a much sought after tourist destination. Cherai Beach – This lovely beach near Kochi, bordering Vypeen island which is a major centre for commerce, is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction of this beach

Literacy of Maharashtra
The literacy rate is well above the national average at 82.9%.[35] University of Mumbai, one of the largest universities in the world in terms of the number of graduates.[36] The Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai),[37] Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI),[38] and University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT),[39] which are India’s premier engineering and technology schools, and SNDT Women’s University are the other autonomous universities in Mumbai.[40] Mumbai is home to Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research (SIMSR) and several other management schools.[41] Government Law College and Sydenham College, respectively the oldest law and commerce colleges in India, are based in Mumbai.[42][43] The Sir J. J. School of Art is Mumbai’s oldest art institution.[44] College of Engineering Pune, established in 1854 is the third oldest college in Asia.

Mumbai is home to two prominent research institutions: the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).[45] The BARC operates CIRUS, a 40 MW nuclear research reactor at their facility in Trombay.[46] The University of Pune, the National Defence Academy, Film and Television Institute of India, National Film Archives, Armed Forces Medical College and National Chemical Laboratory were established in Pune after the independence of India. ILS Law College, established by the Indian Law Society is one of the top ten law schools in India. Established medical schools such as the Armed Forces Medical College and Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College train students from all over Maharashtra and India and are amongst the top medical colleges in India. Military Nursing College (affiliated to the AFMC) ranks among the top nursing colleges in the world.[47] The University of Nagpur, established in 1923, one of the oldest universities in India, manages more than 24 engineering colleges, 43 science colleges and many colleges in the Arts and Commerce faculties. Nagpur is the home for Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) (also referred to as NIT, Nagpur, formerly known as Visvesvaraya Regional College of Engineering (VRCE), Nagpur) is one of the first six Regional Engineering Colleges established under the scheme sponsored by Government of India and the Maharashtra State Government and is one of the Institutes of National Importance.

Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya is at Wardha which is famous for Mahatma Gandhi’s Sewagram Ashram. This is world’s sole Hindi university and is managed directly by Govt. of India. President of India is it’s ex-officio chancellor. Students of this university are all over world. Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti has it’s headquarter at Wardha. This institute was founded by Mahatma Gandhi. It also has branches worldwide.

The geographical centre of India lies at Nagpur, known as Zero Mile Stone. Nagpur is the headquarter for Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and an important location for the Dalit Buddhist movement.Nagpur is also called as orange city of India as it has largest productions of oranges. Nagpur is also the home for National Fire Institution, Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti (promotion of and for spreading the national language, Hindi) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC-Western zone).

Maharashtra in total, has 50% India’s Internet users and 45% of PC penetration in the country.[Rajasthan (/ˈrɑːdʒəstæn/; Hindustani pronunciation: [raːdʒəsˈt̪ʰaːn] ( listen)), known as “the land of kings”,[1] is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It comprises most of the area of the large, inhospitable Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, which parallels the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan to the west. Rajasthan is also bordered by Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers 10.4% of India, an area of 342,239 square kilometres (132,139 sq mi).

Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization, which are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent discovered so far.

One of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, famous for Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan has the world famous Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site[2] known for its bird life. It also has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska Tiger Reserve, and a famous temple in Khatu, Sikar district, dedicated to Khatu Shyam Ji. Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when the region known until then as Rajputana, consisting of erstwhile 18 princely states, two chiefships and the British district of Ajmer-Merwara.

Religion in RajasthanFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rajasthanis are predominantly Hindu, Muslims and Jains. However, regardless of their religious segments, Muslim, Hindu and Jain Rajasthanis mingle with each other socially. Most Rajasthani Hindus are vaishnavas, however, Durga and her avatars are equally worshiped throughout Rajasthan. Osvãls are predominantly Jains but small section of vaishnava Osvãls are also found.[1] Jats are mostly Hindus and Muslims. Meenas of Rajasthan till date strongly follow Vedic culture which usually includes worship of Bhainroon (Shiva) and Krishna as well as Durga.[2] The Rajputs generally worship the Sun, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Bhavani (Goddess Durga).[3] The Gurjars (Gujars or Gujjars) worship the Sun God, God Devnarayan, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Bhavani.[4][5][6] Historically, The Gurjars were Sun-worshipers and are described as devoted to the feet of the Sun-god.[6] Marathi Bhakti movement by Mahanubbavis and Virakaripanthis of Maharashtra had immense influence on the development of Rajasthani Bhakti movement.[7] Meerabai (मीराबाई) was an important figure during ‘Rajasthani Bhakti movement.

Rajasthani Muslims are predominantly Sunnis. They are mainly Meo, Mirasi, Qaimkhani, Manganiar, Muslim Rangrez, Merat, Sindhi-Sipahi, Rath and Pathans.[8] With the introduction of Islam, many community members converted to Islam voluntarily . However, community Identity persists. They share lot of socio-ritual elements. Rajasthani Muslim communities, after their conversion, continued to follow pre-conversion practices (Rajasthani rituals and customs) which is not the case in other parts of the country. This exhibits the strong cultural identity of Rajasthani people as opposed to religious identity.[9]

Some other religions are also prevalent such as Buddhism, Christianity, Parsi religion etc.[3] Over time, there has been an increase in the number of followers of Sikh religion.[3] Though Buddhism emerged as a major religion during 321-184 BC in Mauryan Empire, it had no influence in Rajasthan for the fact that Mauryan Empire had minimal impact on Rajasthan and its culture.[10] Although, today Jainism is not that prevalent in Rajasthan but historically Rajasthan and Gujarat areas were strong centres of Jainism in India.[11]

Food
Rajasthani cooking was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. Scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables have all had their effect on the cooking. It is known for its snacks like Bikaneri Bhujia, Mirchi Bada, Pyaaj Kachori and ghevar. Other famous dishes include bajre ki roti (millet bread) and lashun ki chutney (hot garlic paste), mawa kachori from Jodhpur, alwar ka mawa, malpauas from Pushkar and rassgollas from Bikaner. Originating for the Marwar region of the state is the concept Marwari Bhojnalaya, or vegetarian restaurants, today found in many part of India, which offer vegetarian food of the Marwari people.

Festivals
The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Gogaji, Shri Devnarayan Jayanti, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami, as the main religion is Hinduism. Rajasthan’s desert festival is held once a year during winter. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing ballads. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels play a role in this festival.

Spirit possession has been documented in modern Rajasthan. Some of the spirits possessing Rajasthanis are seen as good and beneficial, while others are seen as malevolent. The good spirits include murdered royalty, the underworld god Bhaironji, and Muslim saints. Bad spirits include perpetual debtors who die in debt, stillborn infants, deceased widows, and foreign tourists. The possessed individual is referred to as a ghorala (“mount”). Possession, even if it is by a benign spirit, is regarded as undesirable, as it entails loss of self-control and violent emotional outbursts.[28] Literacy

During recent years, Rajasthan has made significant progress in the area of education. The state government has been making sustained efforts to improve the education standard.

In recent decades, the literacy rate of Rajasthan has increased significantly. In 1991, the state’s literacy rate was only 38.55% (54.99% male and 20.44% female). In 2001, the literacy rate increased to 60.41% (75.70% male and 43.85% female). This was the highest leap in the percentage of literacy recorded in India (the rise in female literacy being 23%).[29] At the Census 2011, Rajasthan had a literacy rate of 67.06% (80.51% male and 52.66% female). Although Rajasthan’s literacy rate is below the national average of 74.04% and although its female literacy rate is the lowest in the country (closely followed by Bihar at 53.33%), the state has been praised for its efforts and achievements in raising male and female literacy rates.[30][31]

Rajasthan has nine universities and more than 250 colleges, 55,000 primary and 7,400 secondary schools. There are 41 engineering colleges with an annual enrollment of about 11,500 students. The state has 23 polytechnics and one-hundred and 52 Industrial Training Institute (ITIs) that impart vocational training.[32]

Important Attraction
Rajasthan attracted 14 percent of total foreign visitors during 2009–2010 which is the fourth highest among Indian states. It is fourth also in Domestic tourist visitors.[33] Endowed with natural beauty and a great history, tourism is a flourishing industry in Rajasthan. The palaces of Jaipur and Ajmer-Pushkar, the lakes of Udaipur, the desert forts of Jodhpur, Taragarh Fort (Star Fort) in Bundi, and Bikaner and Jaisalmer rank among the most preferred destinations in India for many tourists both Indian and foreign. Tourism accounts for eight percent of the state’s domestic product. Many old and neglected palaces and forts have been converted into heritage hotels. Tourism has increased employment in the hospitality sector.

Pushkar Lake is a sacred lake of Hinduism, and is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats.Rajasthan is famous for its forts, intricately carved temples, and decorated havelis, which were built by Rajput kings in pre-Muslim era Rajasthan.[citation needed] Rajasthan’s Jaipur Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake Palace, miniature paintings in Bundi, and numerous city palaces and havelis are an important part of the architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. In Bundi, maximum houses are painted blue. At Ajmer, the white marble Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain Temples dot Rajasthan from north to south and east to west. Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu, Ranakpur Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath in Pali District, Jain temples in the fort complexes of Chittor, Jaisalmer and Kumbhalgarh, Lodurva Jain temples,Mirpur Jain Temples, Sarun Mata Temple kotputli, Bhandasar and Karni Mata Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.

Population
Rajasthan has a mainly Rajasthani population of approximately 68,621,012. Rajasthan’s population is made up mainly of Hindus, who account for 88.8% of the population.[24] Muslims make up 8.5%, Sikhs 1.4% and Jains 1.2% of the population.[24] The state of Rajasthan is also populated by Sindhis, who came to Rajasthan from Sindh province (now in Pakistan) during the India-Pakistan separation in 1947.

Rajasthani (constitutional status is pending) is the main spoken language of the state, although Hindi and English are used for official purposes.[25] It is spoken by 13 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India.[26] A number of “tribal” languages are also spoken in Rajasthan.[27] Some other languages used in Rajasthan are Gujarati, Sindhi and Punjabi.

Largest cities of Rajasthan with population

1.Jaipur- 30,73,349
2.Jodhpur- 10,33,918
3.Udaipur- 4,51,735
4.Kota- 10,01,365
5.Bikaner- 6,47,804
6.Ajmer- 5,42,580
7.Sriganganagar-3,70,768
8.Bhilwara- 3,60,009
9.Alwar- 3,15,310
10.Bharatpur – 2,52,109

Jammu and Kashmir (i/dʒɑːmuː/ & /kæʃmɪər/; Urdu: جموں و کشمیر‎; Dogri, Hindi: जम्मू और कश्मीर; Kashmiri: जोम त कशीर (Devanagari), جوم تِ کشیر (Nastaliq); Ladakhi: ཇ་མུ་དང་ཀ་ཤི་མིར།) is a state of India. It is mostly in the Himalayan mountains and shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with the People’s Republic of China in the north and east while Line of Control separates it from Pakistani controlled territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively.

Formerly a part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, which governed the larger historic region of Kashmir, this territory is disputed among China, India and Pakistan. Pakistan, which claims the territory as disputed,[1] refers to it alternatively as Indian occupied Kashmir or Indian held Kashmir, while some international agencies such as the United Nations[2] call it Indian-administered Kashmir. The regions under the control of Pakistan are referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK within India, as ‘Azad’ Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan, and as Pakistan-administered Kashmir or Pakistan-controlled Kashmir generally.[3][4][5][6][7]

Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu’s numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as “Little Tibet”, is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture.

Population
Jammu and Kashmir has a Muslim majority population. Though Islam is practiced by about 67% of the population of the state and by 97% of the population of the Kashmir valley,[45] the state has large communities of Buddhists, Hindus (inclusive of Megh Bhagats) and Sikhs.[46]

In Jammu, Hindus constitute 65% of the population, Muslims 31% and Sikhs, 4%;
In Ladakh, Buddhists constitute about 46% of the population, the remaining being Muslims. The people of Ladakh are of Indo-Tibetan origin, while the southern area of Jammu includes many communities tracing their ancestry to the nearby Indian states of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the city of Delhi. In totality, the Muslims constitute 67% of the population, the Hindus about 30%, the Buddhists 1%, and the Sikhs 2% of the population.[46]

Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and a few Christian, Jain, and Zoroastrian communities were once natives and made up a vast majority of the whole Kashmir province, as well as neighboring states, and ancient and modern northern half of what is today India and Pakistan, but because of economic changes, riots, political tension, military involvement, and foreign extremists resulted in vast majority of the followers of these religions to settle in the growing and advancing neighboring regions and major cities in India over the years, oftentimes during no present borders or records.[47][48][49][50] Hindu pandits were specifically affected in this region due to their status in the local society. [51][52][53][54]

Vaishno Devi temple located in the state is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti.According to political scientist Alexander Evans, approximately 95% of the total population of 160,000–170,000 of Kashmiri Brahmins, also called Kashmiri Pandits, (i.e. approximately 150,000 to 160,000) left the Kashmir Valley in 1990 as militancy engulfed the state.[55] According to an estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits from the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir have been internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.[56]

Literacy
In 1970, the state government of Jammu and Kashmir established its own education board and university. Education in the state is divided into primary, middle, high secondary, college and university level. Jammu and Kashmir follows the 10+2 pattern for education of children. This is handled by Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education (abbreviated as JKBOSE). Private and public schools are recognized by the board to impart education to students. Board examinations are conducted for students in class VIII, X and XII. In addition, there are Kendriya Vidyalayas (run by the Government of India) and Indian Army schools that impart secondary school education. These schools follow the Central Board of Secondary Education pattern.

Notable higher education or research institutes in Jammu and Kashmir include Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura Srinagar, National Institute of Technology Srinagar, Government College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu and the Government Medical College of Jammu. University-level education is provided by University of Jammu, University of Kashmir, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Islamic University of Science & Technology, Baba Ghulam Shah Badhshah University, Institution of Technicians and Engineers (Kashmir), and Government Degree College Kathua.

Food
Kashmiri cuisine (Kashmiri: कॉशुर खयॊन / کأشُر کھٮ۪ن; Kashur khyon) is based on the ancient tradition of this area. The Rigveda mentions the meat eating traditions of this area.[citation needed] The ancient epic of Kashmir, namely the Nilmatapurana informs us that Kashmiris were heavy meat eaters. This habit persists in today’s Kashmir.

The most notable ingredient in today’s Kashmir cuisine is mutton, of which there are over 30 varieties. Kashmiri cuisine includes dum aloo (boiled potatoes with heavy amounts of spice), tzaman (a solid cottage cheese), rogan josh (lamb cooked in heavy spices), yakhiyn (lamb cooked in curd with mild spices), hakh (a spinach-like leaf), rista-gushtaba (minced meat balls in tomato and curd curry), danival korme, and the signature rice which is particular to Asian cultures.

The traditional wazwan feast involves cooking meat or vegetables, usually mutton, in several different ways. Alcohol is strictly prohibited in most places.

There are two styles of making tea in the region: Noon Chai, or salt tea, which is pink in colour (known as chinen posh rang or peach flower colour) and popular with locals; and kahwah, a tea for festive occasions, made with saffron and spices (cardamom, cinamon, sugar, noon chai leaves), and black tea. Tea drinking forms a very important of Kashmrii Pandit cuisine and is often used in place of dessert. Two very important types of tea are Kehwa (Sweet Green tea with Cardammom and almonds) and Sheer Chai (salty pink tea with almonds). Such teas are usually taken with Baked Breads like Kulcha and Katlam. Tea drinking is a very important part of Kashmiri Pandit culture. Two of the most important types of tea that the Pandits drink are “Sheer Chai”(salted pink tea with almonds) and Kehwah(sweet green tea with almonds and cardamom).

With tea, they often eat certain types of bread/bakery such as “Katlam” and “Kulcha” topped with Kashmiri Butter made from fresh milk. Kashmiri cuisine has had the earliest influence on Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. Usually, Pandits do not eat meat, however the Pandits of Kashmir have always eaten all meats except beef. Beef is strictly forbidden in Pandit cuisine and in Kashmiri Muslim cuisine, in keeping with the age old Kashmiri tradition known as Kashmiriyat[1] The Wazwan of Kashmiri Muslims never allows for the usage of Beef. However, the Kashmiris have always been heavy meat eaters(lamb, mutton, goat). The Nilamat Purana records that the Brahmins of Kashmir have always been heavy meat eaters (lamb, mutton). The two most important saints of Kashmir, Lalleshwari and Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali were vegetarians for spiritual reasons. Meat is cooked in Kashmiri Pandit festivals and forms an extremely important part of Kashmiri Pandit identity. Some noted Kashmiri pandit dishes include:

1) Rogan Josh

2) Yakhni

3) Matschgand

4) Qeleeya

5) Mujh Gaad

6) Goshtaba

7) Monji Haak/Gogji Haak

8) Nadir Yakhin

9) Syun Pulaav

10) Dum Olav

11) Gogji Raazma

12) Modur Pulaav

13) Tschok Wangan

14) Lyodur Tschaman

Kahwah[edit source | editbeta]At marriage feasts, festivals, and religious places, it is customary to serve Kahwah, or Qahwah (originates from a 14th-century Arab coffee, which, in turn, was named after an ancient beverage of the Sufis) – a green tea made with saffron, spices, and almonds or walnuts. Over 20 varieties of Kahwah are prepared in different households. Some people also put milk in kahwah (half milk + half kahwah). This chai is also known as “Maugal Chai” by some Kashmiri Pandits from the smaller villages of Kashmir.

Festivals
The religious festivals of the Brahmins of Kashmir have Rigvedic and Proto-Indo-Iranian roots. The Kashmiri Pandits share most of their festivals with other Hindu communities and some with the Zoroastrians, Shin of Hindukush, and other Persian and Central Asian peoples, the pre-Islamic elements of whose cultures are derived from the Proto-Indo-Iranian religion.

Some Kashmiri Pandit festivals are Herath (Shivaratri), Navreh, Zyeath-Atham (Jyeshtha Ashtami), Huri-Atham (Har Ashtami), Zarmae-Satam (Janmashtami), Dussehra, Diwali, Pan (Roth Puza / Vinayaka Tsoram / Ganesha Chaturthi), Zyeth Atham (Jyeshtha Ashtami), Khetsimavas (Yakshamavasya), Kava Punim, Mitra Punim (Mehregan), Tiky Tsoram, Gengah Atham, Tila Atham, Vyetha Truvah, and Anta Tsodah.

Religion
Three major faiths are clearly dominant in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir. However, in terms of total population, Islam clearly dominates the Kashmir valley. You will find the valley brimming with Muslim population. In addition to that Hinduism and Buddhism also constitute a part of the religions in Kashmir. The followers of Buddhism inhabit the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir State.

Islam
The predominant religion of Kashmir valley is Islam. Muslims constitute more than 90% of the total population of Jammu and Kashmir. Even in Jammu, Kargil and some other districts, Islam forms a substantial part of the population. The Muslims are broadly divided into two sects – the Sunnis and the Shias.

Hinduism
Hinduism is the second most dominant faith in Kashmir. The majority of Hindus consist of Kashmiri Pandits and Gujjars. Majority of the Kashmiri Pandits migrated from the Kashmir valley because of the constant terror threat and are now present in a minority. On the other hand, many Gujjars got converted to Islam.

Buddhism
Buddhist population is mainly found in the Ladakh region of Kashmir, where it predominates. In the main Kashmir valley, however, Buddhists are present in a negligible numbers.

Tourist Attractions in Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir is one of the most visited states of India and has various facilities to offer to the visitor. Kashmir has a superb summer climate and glorious scenery, and increasing opportunities for skiing in winter. Gulmarg and Pahalgam draw large numbers of visitors and offer outdoor activities such as trout fishing and trekking. Adventure sports such as white water rafting and trekking are offered in Ladakh. In both regions, tourism is an important source of income. Most of the visitors to Ladakh are also attracted by its Buddhist and Tibetan culture.

Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state in India. In the seventeenth century the Mughal emperor Jahangir set his eyes on the valley of Kashmir. He said that if paradise is anywhere on the earth, it is here, while living in a houseboat on Dal Lake. “Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” If there is ever a heaven on earth, its here, its here, its here. In Jammu and Kashmir the most important tourist places are Kashmir, Srinagar, the Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Jammu, and Ladakh. Some areas require a special permit for non-Indians to visit.

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