Maharashtra is India’s third largest state in area (about the size of Italy) and second largest in population. Maharashtra encompasses an area of 308,000 km² (119,000 mi²), and is the third largest state in India. Maharashtra is bordered by the states of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast, Karnataka to the south, and Goa to the southwest. The state of Gujarat lies to the northwest, with the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli sandwiched in between. The Arabian Sea makes up Maharashtra’s west coast.
The Western Ghats better known as Sahyadri, are a hilly range running parallel to the coast, at an average elevation of 1,200 metres (4,000 feet). To the west of these hills lie the Konkan coastal plains, 50 – 80 kilometres in width. To the east of the Ghats lies the flat Deccan Plateau. The Western Ghats form one of the three watersheds of India, from which many South Indian rivers originate, notable among them being Godavari River, and Krishna, which flow eastward into the Bay of Bengal, forming one of the greatest river basins in India.
The Ghats are also the source of numerous small rivers which flow westwards, emptying into the Arabian Sea. To the east are major rivers like Vainganga, which flow to the south and eventually into the Bay of Bengal.
Maharashtra is divided into thirty-five districts, which are grouped into six divisions: Aurangabad Division, Amravati Division, Konkan Division, Nagpur Division, Nashik Division, and Pune Division. These are official revenue divisions of government of Maharashtra.
Geographically, historically and according to political sentiments Maharashtra has five main regions: Vidarbha or Berar ( Nagpur and Amravati divisions), Marathwada (Aurangabad Division), Khandesh and Northern Maharashtra (Nashik Division), Desh or Western Maharashtra (Pune Division), and Konkan (Konkan Division).
Maharashtra is the sole producer of corundum and is the second largest producer of manganese ore after orissa. The principal mineral bearing belts in Maharashtra are Vidarbha area in the east and Konkan area in the west. Important mineral occurrences are bauxite in Kolhapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sindhudurg and Thane districts; china clay in Amravati, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Nagpur, Sindhudurg and Thane districts; chromite in Bhandara, Chandrapur, Nagpur and Sindhudurg districts; coal and dolomite in Chandrapur, Nagpur and Yavatmal districts; fireclay in Amravati, Chandrapur, Nagpur and Ratnagiri districts; fluoriteand shale in Chandrapur districts; iron ore (hematite) in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Sindhudurg districts; iron ore (magnetite) in Gondia district; kyanite in Bhandara and Nagpur districts; laterite in Kolhapur district; limestone in Ahemadnagar, Chandrapur, Dhulia, Gadchiroli, Nagpur, Nanded, Sangli and Yavatmal districts; manganese ore in Bhandara, Nagpur and Ratnagiri districts; corundum, pyrophyllite andsillimanite in Bhandara district; quartz and silica sand in Bhandara, Gadchirloi, Gondia, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts and quartzite in Gondia and Nagpur districts.
Other mineral that occur in the state are barytes in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts; copper in Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Nagpur districts; feldspar and graphite in Sindhudurg district; gold and marble in Bhandara and Nagpur districts; granite in Bhandara, Chandrapur, Dhulia, Gadchiroli, Nagpur, Nanded, Nasik, Sindhudurg and Thane districts; lead-zinc in Nagpur district; ochre and tungsten in Chandrapur and Nagpur districts, silver and vanadium in Bhandara district; steatite in Bhandara, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts; and titanium minerals in Gondia and Ratnagiri districts.