Maharashtra encompasses an area of 308,000 km
(119,000 m), 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, 5080
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.
Konkan 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.
There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development,
including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects.
The plateau is composed of black basalt soil, rich in humus. This soil
is well suited for cultivating cotton, and hence is often called black
Ghats of Maharashtra spread from the Satpura Range to the north, and
continue south past Goa to Karnataka. The major hill range of the
sector is Sayadhri range, which is home to the hill stations of
Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. The Biligirirangans southeast of Mysore
in Karnataka, meet the Shevaroys (Servarayan range) and Tirumala range
farther east, linking the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats. This
range is also known as the Sahyadri mountains in Maharashtra and
Karnataka, Nilagiri malai in Tamilnadu, and Sahya Parvatam in Kerala.
The Jog Falls in Karnataka is one of the most spectacular waterfalls
in India.The Western Ghats form one of the three watershed of India,
feeding the perennial rivers of peninsular India. Important rivers
include the Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri. Rivers that flow to the
west drain out into the Arabian Sea. These rivers are fast-moving,
owing to the short distance travelled and steeper gradient. Important
rivers include the Mandovi, Zuari, and Periyar. Many of these rivers
feed the backwaters of Kerala and Maharashtra. Rivers that flow
eastwards of the Ghats drain into the Bay of Bengal. These are
comparatively slower moving and eventually merge into larger rivers
such as the Kaveri and Krishna. Smaller rivers include the Chittar
River, Bhima River, Malaprabha River, Manimuthar River, Kabini River,
Kallayi River, Kundali River, Pachaiyar River, Pennar River, and the
Fast running rivers and steep slopes have provided sites for many
large hydro-electric projects. There are about major 50 dams along the
length of the Western Ghats with the earliest project up in 1900 near
Khopoli in Maharashtra.