India is indeed a blessed land. Take a look at any part of the country and you’ll find so much to explore. There is no dearth of enchanting hill stations, pristine beaches, rustic villages, exotic flora and fauna, sandy deserts, and gushing waterfalls in India. Add to this the man-made wonders: temples, lakes, forts, gateways, monuments, tombs, and what not. India is indeed a tourist’s ultimate destination with a lot to offer him and the cultural diversity of the country only adds more charm to the offering. The list of options for a tourist is indeed never-ending.
Despite being an innate component of the Indian ethos, each part of the country has its own distinct identity and flavour. Below we have tried to devise a tourist itinerary for the Western India.
Begin in Gujarat
With the entire length and breadth of the state speckled with amazing tourist destinations, Gujarat is a truly mesmerizing land. It’s a beautifully painted canvas of art, culture, architecture, folk dance and music. The main attractions of Gujarat are Sun Temple in Modhera, Lord Krishna’s Temple in Dwarka, Temple of Somnath, National Park in Jamnagar, and the Temple of Ambaji. You can also travel back in time at Lothal where you find some stunning remains of the Indus Vally Civilization. Gujarat is also a dream destination for a wildlife enthusiast. Rann of Kachchh is the only place where the wild ass can be spotted. Then we have the Gir Forests, the home to the colossal Asiatic lions, a sight truly overwhelming. The latest attraction is India’s first Marine National Park in the Rann of Kachchh.
Move to Maharashtra
Maharashtra is another magical land in India which is sure to delight the traveller. Mumbai, the capital of Maharastra and the commercial capital of India, is the city of dreams, a metropolis which never sleeps. It denotes the new, emerging cosmopolitan India which is pulsating, vibrant, multicultural and always on the move. The city is known for its big businesses, nightlife, roadside delicacies, colonial hangover, Elephant caves, Bollywood, ethnic bazaars, and beaches and for grand temples like Siddhi Vinayak and Mahalaxmi Temple.
After Mumbai, you can head to Pune, the historic capital of the magnificent Maratha Empire which is presently a bustling megalopolis and an emerging IT and student city. Maharashtra’s 720 km long affair with the Arabian Sea provides for an exhilarating experience for the beach lover. Major beaches include: Dahanu Bordi, Ganapatipule, and Mandwa and Kihim. The hills of Maharashtra, though not as high as the peaks in the Himalayas, have their own unique appeal. The Western Ghats run North to South, parallel to the Arabian Sea. Nestled slyly in these ghats are the splendid hill stations of Maharashtra like Mahabaleshwar, Khandala-Lonavala, Panchgani, etc. These towns offer clean, calm and a thoroughly refreshing alternative to city life. Maharashtra is also home to some 350-odd forts standing tall as testimonials to the grand history of the land. Major forts in Maharashtra are: Murud-Janjira Fort, Sindhudurg Fort, Raigarh Fort, Panhala Fort, and the Vijaydurg Fort.
Finally, Go Goa
Goa is a definitive tourist destination of the country. It’s the destination for vagabonds seeking beach delight and a Bohemian lifestyle. Goa is an idyllic blend of traditional and uber-modern aspects of Indian life which makes it a perfect destination for a lively vacation. Goa is not just about parties and nightlife, it’s also a nature-lover’s most-loved haven. Plush landscapes, windy palms, sun-kissed beaches with the adjacent Arabian Sea tapping on its shores are enough to take your breath away. Goa is also renowned for its gothic style churches and mansions. The beaches in Goa are also venues for some amazing water sports like parasailing, paragliding, water skiing, surfing, etc. Goa is also home to some colourful wildlife and natural vegetation. Foxes, wild boars, kingfishers, different species of myna and parrots, marine animals like crabs, lobsters, jellyfish, catfish, oysters, etc. are found in abundance.