In one of our prior blogs, we’ve covered some of the best places to visit in India, and now, we will be focusing on western India in particular.
Fittingly, we start with the jewel of the west – the city of Mumbai. It’s popularly known as the financial capital of India but Mumbai has many monikers. From the City of Dreams to Tinseltown – a reference to it being the hub of Bollywood.
There are famous monuments to visit, not least of all the majestic Gateway of India. And just across the water, you can ferry over to the ancient Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta Caves and admire their centuries old rock-cut architecture.
Then there are the many beaches. In fact, visiting Mumbai without sampling some of the exquisite pav bhaji at Juhu Beach is almost a sin!
And the nightlife in this city is second to none, right up there some of the most happening party spots of the world.
Located on the west coast of India, the city of Daman is a heady mixture of Indian and Portuguese cultures. It has perfect climatic conditions and pristine beaches such as Jampore and Devka. Jampore Beach isn’t too crowded most of the time, making it the ideal place to kick back, relax and have a picnic. At Devka, you can enjoy musical fountains as well as an amusement park.
If you’re more into sightseeing, then you can check out the majestic architecture of structures such as Fort Jerome and Zampa Gateway. Then head over to the longstanding lighthouse near Daman Ganga Bridge. We recommend visiting it at night, as a canopy of stars light up the seascape in front of you.
Located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, Bhuj is a historically significant city. It saw out the Indus Valley civilization and was also where the Pandavas were exiled in the legendary epic Mahabharata. Also, it was invaded by none other than Alexander the Great. As you can surmise, Bhuj has seen it all.
Complementing its history are its many striking monuments. One we particularly recommend is the Aina Mahal. Constructed nearly 350 years ago, it’s an elaborate European-style palace. You can spend hours admiring its fountains, the intricate tile work and the hall of mirrors.
For the shopper in you, check out the exquisite handicrafts, leatherworks, printed textiles and saris, especially during the Rann Utsav, which is an annual attraction celebrated between December and January. Be sure to bargain, though!
Nestled between rolling hills, Udaipur, in Rajasthan, was, in the words of British administrator James Tod, "The most romantic spot on the continent of India." With white marble palaces, beautiful gardens and sedate lakes everywhere, it’s hardly an undeserved compliment.
Also referred to as the City of Lakes, one of the biggest draws to Udaipur is the lake palace, situated bang in the middle of Lake Pichola and made up entirely of marble. It truly looks like something out of a fairytale from the days of yore.
Then, on the banks of the Pichola, there’s the City Palace and its grand architectural construct from where you can take in a wide view of the entire city and its surrounding region.
Other places in Udaipur worth visiting includes Fatehsagar Lake, the monsoon palace, and the rock garden.
Last but most certainly not least, we get to Goa, the fun-and-frolic capital of India. Renowned the world over for its beaches, heritage structures and carnival atmosphere all year round, tourists from all corners of the globe flock to Goa for its sun-draped beaches and wafting breezes.
As a former bastion of the Portuguese, the signs of colonization are dotted all around the landscape. The churches in Goa are some of the oldest and grandest. In fact, the Basilica of Bom Jesus housing the 500-year-old remains of St. Xavier is listed by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.
Another major draw to Goa, as if more were needed, are the Dudhsagar Falls. One of the most spectacular sights to see in Goa, it’s best enjoyed whilst on a safari through the surrounding jungle or on a train ride which passes over the nearby bridge.
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