The word Maharashtra, the land of the Marathi-speaking people, appears to be derived from Maharashtri, an old form of Prakrit. Some consider it a corruption of the term 'Maha Kantara' (the Great Forest), a synonym for 'Dandakaranya'. Maharashtra is the third largest state (in area) in India afterRajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It covers an area of 307,713 km2 and is bordered by the states of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Telangana 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 between the borders. The Arabian Sea makes up Maharashtra's west coast. Maharashtra consists of two major relief divisions. The plateau is a part of the Deccan tableland and the Konkan coastal strip abutting on the Arabian Sea.
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