Maharashtra is one of the 28 states of India, and is located in the southwest of the country. It is the richest state in India  by quite a long shot, thanks in no small part to the state's capital, Mumbai, which is also the financial capital of India.
Events and Festivals
- Holi is quite popular in the Indian sub-continent and is traditionally celebrated on the day after the full moon in the month of Phalguna (early March), according to Hindu calender. Holi is a thanksgiving festival, where people offer prayer to God for good harvest and fertility of the land. Holi is a festival of freedom from social norms and caste inhibitions are shed for a day as people indulge in fun and merry-making. Colors and 'gulal' are showered on the people dressed up for the occasion and the whole community seems to merge into one big family under the guise of colors, without any distinction whatsoever. Children with face smeared with colors run around with 'pichkaris' (big syringes to splash colored water) and play amongst themselves. People exchange good wishes, sweets and gifts. Holi is also marked by vibrant processions which are accompanied by folk songs, dances and drum beating. Parties are also organized where snacks and the traditional milk-based drink “Thandai” is served which is often intoxicated with “Bhang”. Of late, lots of foreigners have started taking interest in this festival and they even enjoy the colors and the intoxicating drink. It is advised to cover your hair with a cap and eyes with sunglasses to avoid the colors splashing the eyes and damaging the hair.
- Republic Day - Republic Day is a national holiday in India every January 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution in 1950 and the declaration of independence in 1930. The capital of New Delhi is the focus of the celebrations, including a flag raising ceremony, wreath laying, 21-gun salute, Presidential speech, and presentation of awards for selflessness and bravery. A massive military parade includes elephants ridden by children who have received national accolades.
- Gandhi Jayanti - Gandhi Jayanti is a national public holiday commemorating the birth of the peaceful activist, Mohandas Gandhi on October 2, 1869. The celebration coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence. In India, Gandhi is remembered through statues, flower and candle offerings, prayers and singing the devotional hymn Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram. The Indian government issues special mint rupees and postage stamps bearing his picture.
- Diwali - Diwali is the five-day festival of lights held in India in late October or early November each year. The widely celebrated Hindu event marks Lord Rama’s victory over the demon Ravan. Homes and streets are decorated with lights, candles and small clay lamps, and new clothes are worn and sweets are exchanged.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) is the main airport in Mumbai. It has regular and direct air links with the major cities of India, like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai, among dozens of other destiantions. It is also linked by air to many major cities of the world. Destinations include London, Tokyo, Bangkok, Bahrain, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Muscat, Singapore, Tehran, Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, Nairobi, Frankfurt, Munich, Kathmandu, Doha, Brisbane, Colombo, Zürich, Istanbul, Paris, Mauritius, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, Addis Ababa, Seoul, Amman, Shanghai, Johannesburg and Sana'a. The international airport terminal is located in Andheri and is one of the busiest in South Asia. The domestic terminal is located at Santa Cruz and handles flights from all parts of the country. Keeping in view the growing number of flights and India's fast growing economy, a new integrated airport terminal is being planned at Panvel and is scheduled to be completed by 2012-2013. Taxis, auto rickshaws, the Mumbai Suburban Railway, BEST bus and rental cars are possible ways to get to/from the airport. Free shuttle service between the international and domestic terminals, running every half hour or so. Pre-paid taxi service is also available between the international and domestic terminals.
- Pune International Airport (PNQ) offers flights to Delhi, Dubai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur, Shirdi, Indore, Goa, Frankfurt, Kochi and Coimbatore.
- Sonegaon airport connects Nagpur to Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Bhubaneswar and Raipur. International flights include destinations such as Sharjah, Bangkok and Doha.