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The state of Maharastra is one of the largest in India . Most of the state stand on the high Deccan plateau which stretches east some 800 km. from the Western Ghats.Historically this was the main centre for the Maratha Empire,which defied the Mughals for so long , and which , under the fearless rule of Shivaji , carvedout a large part of central India as its domain . Maharastra's many inland and coastal forts are a legacy of Shivaji and, to a lesser extent, the portuguese.
As far as the geography of Maharashtra goes, much of the state consists of the high Deccan plateau, which is separated from the straight Konkan coastline by 'Ghats'. The Ghats are a succession of steep hills, periodically bisected by narrow roads, and which are often crowned by medieval forts. Given their altitude, it is not surprising that the Ghats are home to the state's hill stations.
One of the three major regions of the state is the Sahyadri range with an elevation of 1000 meters. The unique feature of this region is a series of crowning plateau.
Lying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range, Konkan is narrow coastal lowland, just 50 km wide and with an elevation below 200 meters.
The third important region is the Satpura hills along the northern border, and the Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the eastern border form physical barriers preventing easy movement. These ranges also serve as natural limits to the state.
The climate of Maharashtra is moderate, with variations in temperature ranging between 16°C and 35°C. July to September are the months when monsoon lashes this state with good rainfall. This does not mean that the whole state gets uniform rainfall; a large part of inner Maharashtra remains dry in comparison to other areas under the rain shadow of the Sahyadri.
Flora and Fauna
Total area under forest cover in Maharashtra is only 17%. Majority of the forests are in the eastern and Sahyadri regions of the state. Maharashtra has five national parks, three game reserves, and 24 wildlife/bird sanctuaries. These range from the Borivili National Park, surrounded by the Mumbai suburbs, to the Melghat Tiger Reserve, high up in the north of the state
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