Neatly tucked into the Western coast of India, Goa is the state associated most with touristy beaches, a happening nightlife and over 300-year old Portuguese architecture.
Referred to as the city of churches by many, the culture of Goa has the lingering effect of being a Portugal colony. Visibly different from the rest of the country, Goa has characteristic colourful houses, lush green fields and a soothing languidness in the atmosphere. The charming villages of Goa are ideal for a laidback morning walk or an aimless evening stroll. North and South regions of the place are strikingly different - the former is a cultural hub with traditional eateries and markets, while the latter makes for an idyllic vacation with its 5-star hotels, private beaches and a mix of white sand and clear blue water. Under the star-laden skies, each festivity becomes more alive. Goa greens and wildlife makes for a nature lover's ideal hotspot. If you are a food adventurer, you may want to visit the gorgeous spice gardens and try a glassful of cashew feni. Goa provides a respite, not just for the tourists on an appointment with nature, it is also the place for crazy parties and a vivacious night-life. The ultimate tourist destination of India, Goa promises to be something special for all types of travellers.
Home to two-thirds of the world's one horned rhinoceros population, this national park has been declared as a World Heritage Site.
Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is the crown jewel of the state of Rajasthan. It is surrounded by the beautiful Aravalli Hills in all directions, making this city as lovely as it is. This 'Venice of the East' has an abundance of natural beauty, mesmerising temples and breathtaking architecture which makes it a must-visit destination in India. A boat ride through the serene waters of Lake Pichola will be enough to prove to you why Udaipur is the pride of Rajasthan.
Located in a valley and surrounded by four lakes, Udaipur has natural offerings with a grandeur multiplied by human effort, to make it one of the most enchanting and memorable tourist destinations. It justifies all names ever offered to its charm from 'Jewel of Mewar' to 'Venice of the East'. And though the entire city's architecture is flattering, the Lake Palace hotel is something that offers the city a visual definition. The revered Nathdwara temple is about 60 km from Udaipur.
Majuli is a lush green environment-friendly, pristine and pollution free fresh water island in the river Brahmaputra, just 20 km from the Jorhat city.
With a total area of 1250 sq. km, Majuli is the world's largest river island and it attracts tourists from all over the world. Among one of the most surreal places in India, Majuli is also a strong contender for a place in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Mostly inhabited by Tribals, the culture of Majuli is unique and quite interesting and is one of the key reasons why people love this place so much. It is also called the cultural capital of Assam. The festivals celebrated here are all joyous and vibrant. The main festival in the town of Majuli is called Raas and witnessing it is an interesting spectacle.
Virtually an island that resembles the shape of a tortoise, Kutch is an erstwhile princely state of India holding onto its grandeur nature from the past.
Kutch is probably one of the most beautiful, yet surreal places in India. With the vast expanses of white salt desert in the Rann of Kutch area, this is an amazing experience to witness. One would be able to see just stretches of pure white land as far as the eyesight goes. The place comes to life during the winters when the Rann Festival is held during December-February everywhere in which there are huge camp settlements with cultural programs, functions and adventure activities like hot-air ballooning. Kutch is also among the largest district of India with a terribly low population density. Also, Kutch lies on the India-Pakistan border and you can see parts of Pakistan from Kutch. Kutch is also famous for crafts and embroidery works, Flamingo Sanctuary and Wild Ass Sanctuary. Bhuj is an ideal starting point to visit the Rann of Kutch.
Located near the port of Veraval, Diu is a small island which was earlier a Portuguese colony, and is now guarded by beaches all around.
Diu takes up most popularity given the ample number of beaches, along with Gujarat's southern coast such as the Nagoa beach, but has a lot more to offer too. Alcohol is legal in Diu. The Diu Fort, a primary imprint of the Portuguese on the area's heritage and architecture makes up a popular tourist attraction. Another interesting place is the Vanakbara, a small fishing village whose charm has tints of colourful fishing boats and humming of day to day activity. This perfect add-on to a visit to Gujarat will complete your experience with interesting museums such as the Sea Shell Museum, temples and churches.
Situated close to the Pakistan Border, Jaisalmer is a major tourist spot located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in India. It is called the 'golden city' due to its bounteous golden dunes flowing in the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is adorned with lakes, ornate Jain temples, havelis and castles clad in golden yellowish sandstone. Climb on to the camel saddle and make your way through this desert or camp under the night sky in this golden land for an unforgettable experience.
The Jaisalmer Fort stands as a crown atop the city and provides a beautiful contrast to the landscape. It also has a lake and many magnificent temples, all made of sandstone. The narrow alleys surrounding the fort are inhabited by people residing there for generations. Jaisalmer is a sublime amalgam of exotic Indian desert culture, heritage and adventure.
Often referred as the 'Eastern Gate of Rajasthan', Bharatpur is located in the Braj region of state Rajasthan. The city is drenched by its culture, chivalry and romance woven into ballads and folklore can be heard from miles. An exotic offbeat destination that serves tourists with authentic Rajasthani traditions, religious occasions mark devotion of the state people. Also known as Lohagarh, it is a part of the golden tourism triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, this place attracts a considerable number of national and international tourist every year. It is also the home of Keoladeo National Park, which habitats over 370 species of animals and birds. It is recognised as one of the most popular birds feeding and breeding grounds. In 1982 the park was marked as a National Park, and later in 1985, it came on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The Bharatpur National Park, better known as Keoladeo National Park, is a beautiful bird sanctuary. Named after the Keoladeo temple located in its enclosure, the place was set up as a national park on 10th March 1982.
This is one of the best tiger reserves of the country, known to have "friendly" tigers and chances of sighting one here is reasonably better than many other tiger reserves of India. Along with this Ranthambore has one of the richest flora and fauna making it an absolutely must visit area
Nestled in the foothills of Vindhya and Aravali Hills, Ranthambore is famous for its tiger reserves and the variety of flora and fauna found. The Ranthambore National Park, along with the Ranthambore Fort and the surrounding hills and valleys, altogether make Ranthambore a traveller's delight. The place is a boon for wildlife photographers and is perfect for excursions and sightseeing. Safari Rides add to the adventure along with hot Rajasthani picks for shopaholics.
Ajanta and Ellora caves are considered to be one of the most important tourist destinations in the world owing to the magnificent paintings of Ajanta and well-carved sculptures of Ellora. The rock-cut caves containing carvings are the finest example of Indian paintings and sculpture.
For those who love to travel the past to get a panorama of life in ancient India, Ajanta and Ellora caves by the river Waghora, are the best sites to visit. Adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes Ajanta and Ellora caves are an amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu monuments as the complex includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples. They are the queen of Sahyadri hills buried by thick forests all around. The greenery that surrounds the caves keeps the atmosphere pleasant and fresh. This visit will induce a sense of discovery, a discovery of the self, and of the divine.
'The City that Never Sleeps', 'The City of Dreams' and 'The City of Seven Islands' are just a few of the epithets used to describe the wonderful city of Mumbai or Bombay, as it was known before. Located along the Konkan coast and home to India's film industry, the capital of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India is multi-faceted and provides a lot of exciting experiences. And it demands to be experienced!
The most striking feature about Mumbai is its rich diversity. The rich and the poor, movie stars and daily wage labourers, dazzlingly tall skyscrapers and large slum areas, grand cosmopolitan malls and local street bazaars all exist side-by-side in this city. The city of Mumbai offers everything to the bustling crowds that make up its heartbeat - beautiful lakes, beaches, parks and both impressive modern and historically significant architecture. The old city or the south of Mumbai has sprawling areas which are great for heritage walks.
With close to 40 look-out points offering great sunrise and sunset views in the smallest hill station in India with, Matheran offers sceneries that can refresh one to the very core.
Located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, this beautiful hill station is untouched by the busy city life surrounding it. It has pleasant weather throughout the year, though this place is most beautiful during the monsoon season and is also just 54 km and two hours away from Mumbai. Matheran has been declared as an Eco sensitive region by the government and automobiles are not allowed inside the town. It is therefore a very tranquil place with no buzzing of cars and other modes of transport. The best thing to do here is enjoy your stay with the most picturesque view of the place and rest your eyes & soul. One can also find a great variety of medicinal herbs & plants. There are about 28 points, 2 lakes, 2 parks & 4 major worship places in Matheran.
Also Known as the "Gateway to Thar", it is famous for its Mehrangarh fort, blue houses, temples, sweets and snacks. Apart from the fort, there are multiple temples, lakes, shopping streets that are like a mirage from a bygone era.
Jodhpur is one of the most enchanting cities of Rajasthan, with its mighty Mehrangarh fort overlooking the city. An architectural masterpiece in itself, Mehrangarh Fort is a magnificent fort and is among one of the largest forts in Rajasthan. The city is called the Blue City as it looks completely blue in colour from an aerial view because of its blue walls and blue houses. Also seen in the backdrop of the movie, The Dark Knight Rises, Jodhpur attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Nearby Jaswant Tada and Umaid Bhawan Palace are also among the top attractions in Jodhpur. Apart from the old blue city, Jodhpur has grown as a city with wider and cleaner roads in some parts. However, the magic lies in the old city itself with hundreds of shops, guesthouses, eating joints and vendors make it a chirpy bustling city, especially near the landmark clock tower and Sardar Market.
Gir National Park is the only remaining home for the Asiatic Lions that are almost a definition to this park in Gujarat, which has a lot more to offer.
Gir provides you with the unique experience of visiting a place which almost singularly plays a crucial and defining role in the preservation and sustaining of a certain species. The preservation of these lions was initiated by the Nawab of Junagadh when these were just about to enter the phase of extinction due to hunting. Official count said that there were 411 lions in 2010. Also, there are roughly different 2375 species of fauna here with 38 species of mammals, over 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and over 2000 species of insects.Other important wildlife forms found here are leopard, chausingha, spotted deer, hyena, sambar deer and chinkara.
Pushkar, the city often referred to as the ?rose garden of Rajasthan? is a city of culture and intellect. Nothing can describe this iconic city better than a sought-after destination that provides the essence of Pushkar roses, the charm of culturally vibrant atmosphere and the dynamic festivities make it one hot cultural spot. The west wind of Pushkar gives an easygoing vibe of Westwood lifestyle in the hot sandstone town. The home of the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the world, it is one of the ultimate pilgrimages for Hindus to attain divine spiritual bliss. A place of holy spirit for Hindus, ample ghats are flooded with devotees, closing eyes in the serenity of chants coming from temples around. A soothing and calm place with the glitter of spirituality makes Pushkar a must visit.
The only hill station of Rajasthan, its cool atmosphere and lush green surroundings make it a major tourist spot within the state. The most important attraction, however, are undoubtedly the Dilwara temples, which is one of the most stunning piece of architecture in the country. If you are a history or architecture buff, this is one of the places you should absolutely not miss out in India.
The exceptionally intricate architecture of the Dilwara temples are of course the main attraction here, and you can easily spend hours wondering how these temples were built over 2 centuries, almost a 1000 years back. The temples were specifically made so that they are plain from the outside to avoid attraction of plunderers, and have withstood the test of time extremely well. If architecture is not your thing, then there are various lakes and viewpoints such as the Honeymoon Point, Sunset Point, etc. Tourists enjoy calm and relaxed boating in the Nakki lake, and a view of the sunset from the Sunset point. The highest peak of the Aravali Range also lies in Mt. Abu, surrounded by dense green forests. Mt Abu will offer you all you can demand from a popular and typical destination of a romantic and simpler nature.
A princely state for a princely stay, in the northwest of India, lies the district of Bundi, in the Hadoti region of the royal state of Rajasthan. In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes.
Bundi was previously called 'Bunda-Ka-Nal"; Nal meaning 'narrow ways'. It is said to derive its name from a former Meena tribe man called Bunda Meena. Later the region was governed by Rao Deva Hada who took over Bundi from Jaita Meena in 1342 and established a princely state Bundi renaming the surrounding area called Hadoti the land of great Hada Rajputs. Bundi is home to some of the most magnificent palaces, majestic forts, its baolis (meaning water wells or step wells), haves, temples and chhatris with carved pillars.
A beautiful hill station with its numerous lakes, waterfalls and mountains, Malshej Ghat is popular among hikers, trekkers and nature lovers.
Malshej Ghat is an ideal retreat from the clamor of city life and is a heaven abode full of natural beauty. With uncountable number of waterfalls to beautifully structured dams and steep, lofty forts, the ghat is a perfect place for nature lovers delight. This place is especially beautiful during monsoons and is one of the favorite weekend getaways for youngsters fromÊMumbai,ÊPuneÊand Thane. Harishchandragad fort is a fort in this area and is very popular among trekkers. The temples in this area dates back to 16th century AD and are great examples of architectural marvel. Malshej falls, the beautiful Pimpalgaon dam and Ajoba Hill fort are some of other attractions here which will be spellbinding for any tourist.
Known for its very popular Mandawa Fort, Mandawa is a quaint little town in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. Popularly known as the Open Art Gallery, the town is replete with paved archways and magnificent havelis and fortresses. It is located in the heart of the Shekhawati region and is dotted with palaces and splendid mansions (havelis). The aura and vibe of the place reflect the social and cultural environment of the place in the bygone era. Owing to its royal rendition, it is also a hot spot for movie shoots and is filled in by media on and off the year.
An easy road trip from Delhi, a beautiful city suitably located in the heart of Shekhawati region, often called as an open art gallery, Mandawa is a good getaway for people fond of art and culture.
Fondly known as "the land of Havelis" or "open air art gallery", this miniature town of Nawalgarh is located around 30 kms away from the town of Jhunjhunu and does absolute justice to the name given to it.
It is said that the Marwaris who were off to cosmo cities like Bombay and Calcutta in search of work, used to send their hard earned money back to their homes in Nawalgarh. When their businesses started to flourish, they sent back artists to Nawalgarh in order to build plush palaces and show off their wealth. This lead to the rich architecture of this little town in Rajasthan.
Tarkarli is famous for its long and narrow stretch of beach, with its pristine water, white sand, and of course Singhudurg, Maharashtra's popular sea fort.
Tarkarli with a series of pristine beaches made up of white sand makes it an ideal choice for a holiday weekend. If lucky enough, you might spot Dolphins too. Tarkarli boasts of the finest talcum-powder sand to be found along Konkan. It could be called the most beautiful beach in all of Maharashtra, if not in India. As this place is just being discovered, you might be in time to find it untarnished by commercialization. The pristine white beaches shrouded with suru trees are a perfect place to relax, get in touch with nature and eat amazing Malvani food. The choice ranges from a long stroll along pristine white sand beaches to revisiting the past glory of Maratha bastion and forts.
A hill town in Western Ghats, apart from its strawberries, Mahabaleshwar is also well known for its numerous rivers, magnificent cascades and majestic peaks.
Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located in the Western Ghats, in Satara district of Maharashtra. Known for its captivating beauty and the beautiful strawberry farms, the city comprises of ancient temples, boarding schools, manicured and lush green dense forest, waterfalls, hills, valleys. The city is definitely among the most sought after weekend getaways from Mumbai. Charming views, enticing valleys, serene lakes and a refreshing delight for your taste buds - the best way to summarize this natures gift.
Manori beach, along with Gorai beach is a growing favourite among back packers and people who just want to cross over to the peace and quiet of the country side for a while.
One day off from work. No time to travel too far. Low on petrol and just enough hours to pack up and leave for a refreshing day out. Manori offers much more than just a day's getaway to the beach. The two kilometer long beach in Manori is the nearest to the hustle and bustle of the city of dreams, yet far away from it. Manori is home to fishing communities, and a culture very reminiscent of Goa, the whole area given ample shade by a carpet of coconut and cashew trees that line the beach, hammocks tied to them, making you want to switch to your vacation side immediately. Other than the picnickers, the spiritually inclined will find Manori truly satisfying with places like the two Nath Sampradaya Ashrams, The Samudreshwar temple and the Global Vipassana Pagoda to go to.
Alwar is the first major city that comes while travelling from Delhi to Rajasthan and is uniquely located at 150 km south of Delhi and 150 km north of Jaipur. Alwar is a hub of tourism with a wide range of forts like Bhangarh fort, lakes, nature reserves like Sariska Tiger Reserve and heritage havelis. Apart from being a popular tourist centre, Alwar also draws pride from its reputation of being featured in a number of Bollywood movies. It is also famous for the Mega Alwar Trade fair held at Dussehra Ground every year and handmade Papier-mâché (literally 'chewed paper'). Alwar has a unique recognition because of Sariska Tiger Reserve, Bala-Quila, Bhangarh Fort, Pandu Pol and other temples and its importance of the food map because of the heavenly Kalakand.
Being included in the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe, this marvellous archaeological park set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills is one of the most sought after places in Gujarat.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park holds a lot of historical as well as mythological significance in itself. The Park comprises of umpteen number of splendid architectural wonders consisting of both Hindu & Islamic styles of design. Another interesting piece of trivia regarding this place is that the hill of Pavagadh is believed to be a chunk of the Himalayas that was originally carried by Hanuman to Lanka in the Ramayana epic. With such rich history to its name, this makes up for a really intriguing place to visit.
Alibaug is a coastal town in the Konkan region well known for its sandy beaches, clean water and fresh, unpolluted, rejuvenating air.
Just 100 km away from Mumbai, this place is a popular weekend getaway for Mumbai and Pune folks. Alibaug is a subdivision in the Raigad district of Maharashtra and it has many serene and beautiful beaches, known for its mesmerisingly calm weather and dense coconut groves. Apart from the beaches, there are many historical and intricate temples in this region which are also interesting for tourists here. A walk amidst dense, refreshing coconut groves could also be very enchanting and relaxing if you are looking for some solidarity. Kihim beach, Alibaug beach, Kanakeshwar devasthan temple, Kanakeshwar forest, Kolaba fort, Hanuman temple are among the popular spots here for the tourists to enjoy. Murud is also very nearby to Alibaug and Janjira fort is just 1-2 hours away from Alibaug.
Amboli lies in the Sahyadri hills in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. It is the last hill station of Maharashtra before the plains of Goa begin and is a relatively unexplored one.
Amboli receives the highest rainfalls in Maharashtra and thus remains pleasant all round the year. It attracts a lot of weekend visitors from Goa and Belgaum.
Located in close vicinity to the city of Bharatpur, Deeg is a small town in the state of Rajasthan. Founded by Maharaja Suraj Mahal in the 18th century, Deeg served as the summer resort to the Royal family. Popular for its magnificent palaces, exquisite fortifications and desi bazaars, the town is an escape from the regular din of city life. You can soak in the rural landscape and laze in the culture. Not far from here is also located the famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary which is a must visit.
Most of the travellers go on a vacation in the search of a break from their regular lives, some seek a change of culture and not just relief, Deeg could be one such place. Away from the huge crowd, it is a small and peaceful village with unbeatable landscape and opportunities to see the wonderful play of nature. Some kilometres away is Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, where you can find rare species of birds. Back in Deeg, you can spend a day lazing in the rural backdrop, living the desi way and enjoying the change in lifestyle.
Murud is known for it widespread sandy beaches adorned with majestic forts and outlined by palms and coconut trees, creating a perfect holiday scenery.
Murud, in the Raigad district with resorts and natural beauty beckoning you, is the place to be for a relaxed, modest vacation, with sparkling golden beaches. Murud has adventure and spirituality, infused into its pristine landscapes. Apart from the world class beaches, there is the Murud Janjira Fort, Kasa Fort, Gol Gumbaz and a few others. The nearby hills of Murud-Janjira are home to a beautiful shrine dedicated to Lord Dattatreya.
Beach town on the Konkan coastline, Ganpatipule has temples of Lord Ganesha as major attractions apart from the beautiful virgin beaches.
Ganpatipule is a small town in the Ratnagiri district in Konkan region with a long stretch of pristine beaches, Ganpatipule is a perfect idyllic getaway in the slip of nature. Confluence of beach with river could be witnessed along with a hill shaped like Ganpati, the Hindu God of worship. The village of Ganapatipule is famous for its 400-year-old Ganesha temple. The idol is said to be a self-created monolith of Lord Ganesha, allegedly discovered 1600 years ago. Untouched by commercialism Ganapatipule makes for a great destination for peace-seekers, beach lovers and pilgrim alike. Ganpatipule also has water sports to offer between the months of November-May. Ganpatipule is typically clubbed with Ratnagiri and other smaller villages like Velneshwar, Malgund and Pawas for a perfect 2-3 day trip.
Kamshet is a picturesque hill station in Western Ghats, renowned for paragliding and flying schools. Surrounded by Western Ghats, this place is regularly featured in the top 10 must visit destinations of India for an adventurous junkie.
Located inÊPuneÊdistrict, just 45 km from the main town, Kamshet is a paragliders paradise. It's a beautiful place with small villages with natural scenery and fresh air. You can enjoy the surroundings and also have a closer look at the village life of India with muddy huts and village markets. The area is surrounded by paddy and sunflower fields and it provides an awesome view while you are enjoying the world class paragliding facilities here. Among other important attractions in this region are the Bhairi caves, Bhedsa caves, Khondeshwar temple, Pavana lake and Shinde wadi hills. Due to its proximity to other hill stations like Lonavla andÊKhandala, one can include those places in this trip as well.