Monday, January 26, 2009

Maharashtra Culture :: Regional Culture :: Indian Culture

Maharashtra - The great Land. As the name itself suggests, Maharashtra is diverse in its riches. It has been reflected through its, forts, caves, palaces known for its rich history, its Saints, philosophers, music, handicrafts and its festivals with all their colourful rituals and traditions, all of which amalgamate together to give a true reflection of Maharashtrian Culture.

Religious diversity
Some of India's greatest movements, religious, reformist and ecumenial, were born here. Ranging from SriChakradhar and his Mahanubhavs, Sri Jnanadev, Sri Tukaram, and their Warkaris, Samartha Ramdas, Mahatma Phule, Lokmanya Tilak, Baba Amte, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, and a host of philosophers, reformists, and writers have immensely enriched the life,

Dance and Music
Maharashtra has been equally well known for its music. Its vibrant folk forms like lavnis, povadas, gondnals and bharuds are a true reflection of the society. Besides India's greatest treasure on classical music of medieval times the "Sangitratnakara" was written by Sharang Dev in the 13th century. Many of India's greatest stalwarts of music reside and perform here like Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Lata Mangeshkar, Bal Gandharva, Kishori Amonkar etc. Maharashtra also has a flourishing theatre tradition. Two of the most well-known handicrafts of Maharashtra are Kolhapuri Chappals and the Paithani Sari; its silk bordered with opulent zari.

Maharashtrians consider anna, or food equals to Brahma, the creator of the universe. Maharashtrians believe in offering their food first to the God as a thanksgiving. Especially on festive occasions, specific mithais (sweets) are offered such as ukadiche modak (Ganesh Chaturthi) and satyanarayan puja sheera.

Maharashtrian cuisine has two major styles - Konkan and Varadi. A major portion of Maharashtra, which lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea, is called the Konkan having its own Konkani cuisine, which is a combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin and Goan cuisines. The cuisine for the interior Maharashtra or the Vidarbha area is called Varadi cuisine.

Maharashtrian cuisine is packed with the subtly flavoured vegetarian delicacies and hot aromatic meat and fish curries, while the crunchy, crisp sweets are made mostly from rice and jiggery are also their favourite. The Konkan food has a lot of coconut in it and strong in masalas, red chillies and coriander.

The spicy Kolhapuri food emphasizes on mutton. The food of the Vidarbha region is prepared strong in red chillie powder and garlic. Mumbai has its own pot-pourri of dishes like vada pav, misal and pav bhaji, which are immensely popular across India.

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