Cities of Maharashtra play significant roles in Indian history as they were important centres of the Maratha Empire. However post Anglo-Maratha wars, between 1777 and 1818 AD; the British established themselves in these cities. Many rivers like the Godavari and the Krishna wash the cities. The Western Ghats Mountain Range in India which, embraces a large number of cities, forms one of the three watersheds of India. The main inhabitants of the cities of Maharashtra are the Marathis. Other cities of Maharashtra are Thane, Brahmapuri, Birwadi, Ambejogai, Ambarnath, Akola, Kusgaon Budruk, Erandol, Faizpur, Gadchiroli, Gadhinglaj, Ganeshpur, Kolhapur, Nashik City, Alibaug, Aurangabad, Uran, Anjarle along with many other cities.
Mumbai is located at the west coast of India, and is world's 5th most populated metropolitan city holding about 19 million people approximately. The city has a deep natural harbour and handles most of India's passenger traffic and cargo. Out of the cities of Maharashtra, Mumbai is the financial and commercial hub of India and holds the largest amount of taxpayers and about 70% country's share transaction takes place in the city stock exchange. The affluent lifestyle and entertainments, which the city offers, is akin to that of the international capitals.
The state's cultural capital, Pune, was the citadel of the Maratha Empire. It is the major industrial harbor, undergoing rapid developments. It is the core of the world's largest 2 wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto. The other leading companies are Tata Motors, DaimlerChrysler. Recently Pune has been emerging as a software hub. IT parks like Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Magarpatta Cybercity and MIDC Software Technology Park at Talawad etc contribute to the country's upliftment. Software firms like Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Cognizant, Tata Elexi, Satyam etc have their centre in the city.
The BPO industry is also emerging as one of the principal backbones of Pune, due to the supply of skilled English speaking youth in abundance. Convergys, Wipro BPO, Infosys BPO, EXL, vCustomer, Mphasis have their operations mainly based in the city. Several Power plants have been constructed in Pune to meet the explosive demands of electricity all over the country.
Nagpur, the "Orange city," is currently emerging as the largest trading centre of certain goods and services. The city, however, suffers an economic set back when merged with Vidarbha, due to some political sentiment. In the recent period, state and central government offices are the principal sources of employment. But attracting an investment of 5000 crores, the city has managed to come out of its losses. A project named Multimodal International Hub Airport (MIHAN) at Nagpur now houses the heavy cargo ships from South-east & Middle-East Asia. Nagpur is a renowned educational center in Central India. Nagpur University, founded in 1923, is the oldest University having its affiliation over hundreds of colleges. The city is the abode of three principal medical colleges - the Government Medical College, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and privately run NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre. The famous Animal Sciences Research University has been established there, named as Maharashtra Animal and Sciences University. The city is well-known for its engineering colleges as well.
Ahmednagar is a city of Ahmednagar District in the state of Maharashtra, on the west bank of the Sina River, about 120 km northeast of Pune and 120 km from Aurangabad. Sugar, milk and bank co-operatives thrive here. Ahmednagar is home to 19 sugar factories and is also the birthplace of the cooperative movement. Due to scarce rainfall, Ahmednagar often suffers from drought. Ahmednagar has recently published a plan of developing the city by year 2031.
Ulhasnagar is a city located on coast of the West India, approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) northeast of the city of Mumbai, in the Thane district in the state of Maharashtra. Ulhasnagar is also referred to as Sindhunagar and has an estimated population of 472,943 people (2001). The name derives from the Ulhas River, which flows through it. Kalyan is situated near Ulhasnagar. Over the years, the city has grown a reputation for all types of business.
The pride of central Maharashtra, the historic city of Aurangabad is known as the city of caves. The world famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora caves are in Aurangabad along with the Bibi Ka Maqbara, which is also known as the Taj of South India. The city was once a major silk and cotton textile production centre. Aurangabad is famous for Mashru and Himroo fabrics made of cotton and silk with the lustre of satin. Himru is an age-old weaving craft, and was originally known as kum khuab.
The city of Nashik is located in the northern part of the state and is a holy pilgrimage city for not only Maharashtrians but also for the whole Hindu population of India. Kumbh mela is organized for every 3 years in this city. The city of Nashik is dependent on the tourism, textile, cement industries, wine and iron and steel industries. Nashik is also enriched in agriculture.
Then there are the cities down south of Maharashtra, like the city of Kolhapur which is famous for its saaj, chappals, sarees, har and malas, mohanmal, bormal, chaplahar, kolhapuri saaj, pohehar and putlihar.
The cities of Maharashtra are well connected by railways, road ways and airways.