One of India’s most vibrant and diverse cultures is the Maharashtra Culture. Today, we will explore India’s rich heritage and the events where people gather, often without regard to religion or community. We will also discuss the unique aspects of the state and their importance in India.
Tradition, Art and Music. Food and Festivals
Maharashtra, the third-largest Indian state, occupies a large portion of the Deccan plateau. It sits on the Konkan coast with views onto the Arabian Sea. Mumbai, which was formerly Bombay, is the capital and industrial hub of the state. Marathi is the most common language in the state. This literary endeavor has survived despite being plunder and oppressed by the British Raj.
Maharashtra Culture, Traditional Dress
Maharashtra’s traditional dress can be worn for festive occasions or in all weather conditions. The traditional nine-yard-long saree, called the ‘Nauvari’, is rich in vibrant colours and has unique designs. Women often wear a ‘choli’ (or blouse) as a top. These sarees are renowned for their unique draping patterns that allow for easy movement and have become a symbol of Maharashtrian culture. Women wear stunning jewellery, such as the ‘nath’ (or nose ring) and the adorning necklaces called “saaj” as accessories.
Men, on the contrary, wear a shirt, kurta, or a combination thereof, paired with the dhoti, which is usually made of cotton and drapes around the waist and ends at the ankles. A sleeveless jacket known as ‘bandi’, which is sometimes worn by men, is often worn. The men often wear Ackan, Churidar and Pyjama during festive seasons.
Maharashtra Culture art and craft
Maharashtrian craftsmen and artisans are among the most prolific cotton-producing states of India. Combining silk and cotton in a special handloom machine creates the luxurious ‘Mashru and ‘Himroo fabrics. Narayan Peth sarees are made from silk and cotton. They were woven in Solapur. These sarees are decorated with small motifs that run across the body, which create a striking contrast to its border.
Kolhapur’s handmade leather slippers have been part of traditional footwear since the 13th century. These ‘chappals,’ which are also known as ‘chappals, have intricate designs that complement their rustic look and offer great durability. Kolhapur is known for its jewelry, including the Mohanmal, Bormal and Putlihaar. Sawantwadi lacquer crafts uses motifs from mythology and nature to paint different objects, such as furniture, figurines, and showpieces.
The Warli tribe of Thane still thrives in the core of nature, despite being surrounded by modernization and the hustle of urban life. The simple wall paintings depict the daily lives of the inhabitants and are rich in poetic and spiritual imagery. These paintings, also known as Warli Paintings, are based on basic shapes such as squares, circles and triangles. They symbolically represent nature and creative energies.
Architecture of Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, the first caves that have historical records were discovered by Buddhist monks during their search for a peaceful and suitable place to live and meditate. In the Ellora and Ajanta caves, you will find the famous rock-cut carvings that make up some of the oldest wall painting. These Hindu cave temples have been deemed cultural icons all across India and around the globe.
Wada architecture is a style of temple and housing planning that reflects the rich heritage, culture and traditions of the Maharashtra Culture. Maratha architecture is also evident in Shaniwar Wada in Pune and Lal Mahal. Raigadi and Sinhagadi are the three most significant fortresses of the state. Mumbai was home to many styles of architecture during the British Raj. These included Gothic, Victorian and Art-Decos. These styles can be seen in prominent monuments such as the Gateway of India or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
The most prominent places of worship in a state that is home to many religions and cultures are Kalaram Temple and Hazur Sahib, Mount Mary Basilica and St. Thomas Cathedral.
Cultural Festivals in Maharashtra
Maharashtra Culture peoples celebrate festivals that portray vivid and varied colours. It is an occasion for cultural tribute and fun. Maharashtra Day, which is observed on the 1st May, marks the date that the state was established in 1960. Nag Panchami, which is the fifth day in the holy month Shravan, is celebrated where people offer milk and sweets to the snake god and pray for their well-being and good harvest.