The state of Maharashtra is one of the largest in India. Most of the state stands on the high Deccan plateau which stretches east some 800 km. from the Western Ghats.. Historically this was the main centre for the Maratha Empire, which defied the Mughals for so long,
and which, under the fearless rule of Shivaji , carved out a large part of central India as its domain . Maharashtra's many inland and coastal forts are a legacy of Shivaji and, to a lesser extent, the portuguese.