Last Updated: November 20, 2019 Nidhi Singh
You can travel to Western India any day of the year and you won’t feel the charm reducing even an inch. Luffed primarily by rich culture, these western states proffer a vivid picture that easily beguiles travellers from around the world. The potpourri makes it a perfect destination to learn better about the vividness of the country. Since winter is about to knock on the door in Northern India, the western part of the country becomes a more promising region to be visited. While entire Northern region will be covered in mist and snow, you can see the states in the West indulging into Sunburn Festival, Rafting Expeditions, Water Sports, Rann Utsav and several other big and small activities and celebrations. So, if you haven’t yet decided which places to visit in India this winter, our list here of best places in Western India can help you make up your mind.
A destination for all, Goa easily makes the list of best winter tourist destination in Western India. If you choose Western India for your winter travel, I will assume that you are not much of a hill and snow person and wrapping yourself in a warm blanket is certainly not your thing! You must then YOO-HOO out loud and THANK Goa for offering you a fabulous winter break. The lengthy shoreline, the golden sand, the cheap flowing alcohol, lively music and the heavenly atmosphere waits to give you the time of your life! And if that is not enough; think about the opportunity of water sports, yoga, delectable sea food and impeccable spa and massages. Old Goa, on the other side takes you back in time and when you reach in that era, the clock stops ticking further! I know you are convinced, but before we move further I would like to give you another reason why you should visit Goa in winter season… SUNBURN FESTIVAL, India’s biggest music fest is also held during the winter in Goa, so all you party animals cannot miss out Goa at this time of the year! The bottom line is you are spoilt for choices in Goa and it’s your call whether you go for a quiet and isolated holiday or one that includes adventure and going on an offbeat track.
Whoever said that Mumbai is the city of dreams, he was absolutely correct! AND you will also realize the same once you will cut and run through the treacherous alleys of Mumbai. The city is the dwelling of two extremes, where the rich plunge into the best of leisure world and the poor celebrates earning two proper meals a day. Well, what can we say that’s LIFE! Anyways getting back to the reason why one can have a fabulous holiday in Mumbai – the city offers ample of options that range from going on a sightseeing tour (Mumbai Darshan) to partying late into the night in a high-end club in a luxury hotel, from visiting the caves of Elephanta to watching a film shoot in Film City. Mumbai also proffer its visitors a chance to get the taste of Maharashtra’s delectable cuisine, not to forget the street food which is the pride of the city. Shop till you drop at the ever so trendy Fashion Street or drop down at Colaba, where you will learn the secret of cheap shopping. Mumbai has multiple faces and each one is delightful!
Sure enough, there won’t be any snow but visiting Mahabaleshwar in winter season can be an exhilarating experience. Known for being a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, it definitely makes for an deal holiday destination in India. This beautiful hill station is about 120kms from Pune and about 247kms from Mumbai. Since it is a hilly area, you can hope for sightseeing and trekking opportunities. Mount Malcom, Holy Cross Church, Pratapgarh Fort, Lodwick Point, Arthur’s Seat, Babington Point, Wilson Point, Kate’s Point, Bombay Point (Sunset Point), Elephant’s head Point and Lingamala Falls are some of the major attractions in Mahabaleshwar. As for the activities, along with some hiking, one can go boating and horse riding at Venna Lake. Do not miss out on watching the sunset and sunrise from Wilson Point or Kate’s Point. There are quite a few good options for hotels in Mahabaleshwar that ranges between budget and luxury, so according to your pocket and preference, you can get a comfortable accommodation here.
If Panchgani had to be described in one word, then it will be ‘GORGEOUS’. A small hill station that is full ofnature’s beauty, Panchgani is for those who want to spend some time in solace and utter peace. At a short distance from another beautiful hill station (Mahabaleshwar), Panchgani flaunts its lush green forests and a few pretty sightseeing points like Table Land, Parsi Point, Pandavgadh Caves, Wai, Devil’s Kitchen, Sydney Point and Rajpuri Caves. Visiting the caves is one of its kinds of experiences; on the other side you will simply love taking the tour of Wai, which is situated on the bank of River Krishna. Most of the people prefer coming to Panchgani for its indescribable peace and beauty and if you you agree with their reasons, then Panchgani is the ideal destination for you as well!
Whenever, I think about Khandala, I somehow start to hum ‘Aati Kya Khandala’, the song from the Bollywood flick Ghulam featuring Amir Khan and Rani Mukherjee. This beautiful place in Maharashtra has been a popular getaway. Popular for its salubrious climate and Kune Waterfall, this is one of the best waterfalls to visit in India, this beautiful Sahyadri’s hill station is a nature lover’s paradise and offers some gorgeous places to see. Pavana Lake, Rajmachi Fort, Bhaja Caves, Lohagad Fort, Shooting Point, Nagphani (Duke’s Nose) and Reversing station are amongst the major attractions in Khandala. A quiet walk through the alleys can be the best way to explore the real charm of Khandala. AND yes, do not forget to get a little crazy and do a little gig on Aati Kya Khandala, when you reach there!
AHH, I just can’t get the song out of my head now! Right after Khandala Ke Ghat, Lonavala Mein Chikki Khaana to Banta hai! Merely at a distance of 3kms from Khandala, Lonavala is yet another wonderful place that you can visit during the winter. The cool breeze and the Mountain View are things that you may not forget about Lonavala. Its unpolluted environment and the undisturbed serenity are the reasons why you should come here. Lohgarh Fort, Tiger Point, Lion Point, Tungarli Lake, Karla Caves and Korigad Fort are the major attractions in Lonavala. Hiking is one of the best activities to pick in Lonavla; however, if you are looking for more fun, the recently opened Della Adventure Park offers adventure like never before!
Dandeli National Park
Winter is the perfect time to visit wildlife reserves in India and since you are planning a holiday in Western India, it is a good idea to visit Dandeli National Park. The park is nestled in the Western Ghats, which are recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The national park is maintained by Karnataka state and is home to wildlife species like Bonnet Macaque, deer (barking, mouse and spotted), Indian bison, Malabar giant squirrel, Malabar Civet, pangolin and sloth bear The Black Panther, elephants and tigers are rare species to be found in the Dandeli National Park. King Cobra, Python, Krait, Rat snake and Viper can also be seen here. There are more than 200 species of birds found in the region including Malabar Trogon, Pompador Pigeon, Paradise Fly Catcher Ceylon Frogmouth, Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Emerald Dove and Lesser Adjutant Stork. A rich national park, Dandeli is the perfect place to visit in winter season in West India.
Marked as an important site in India’s heritage, Aurangabad is famous for Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad in Maharashtra can be an excellent place for history lovers. AND yes it is the same place where you can find the replica of the famed Taj Mahal, which is called Bibi Ka Maqbara. A tour back in the history adds the charm of being in a country that is enriched with glorious past and I believe there is no better place than Aurangabad to relive the past. There are many places for sightseeing in Aurangabad like Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Caves, Panchakki and Darwaza. Winter is the perfect time to visit Aurangabad as it is otherwise very hot here. It is a developed city, so you can expect a large number of hotels here and according to your pocket, you can book a good place to stay.
You don’t need a reason to visit Shirdi, do you? This sacred place is the hometown of the most holy Sai Baba. Frankly speaking, Shirdi is not a tourist destination; it is more of pilgrimage that people often visit in India. About 122kms from Nashik, Shirdi is a quiet little village, where the crowd is made up of devotees. I doubt you will find many places for sightseeing as temples are the prime attractions here. Dwarkamai Mosque where Sai Baba meditated and slept on alternate nights; Gurusthan, the Kandoba Temple, Shani Mandir, Narsimha Mandir, Changdev Maharaj Samadhi and the Sakori Ashram are the main attractions here. Since it is reckoned as a holy place and one is likely to feel the divine presence of Baba; Shirdi can be an exhilarating experience that can pull you off your daily worries and help you retain the inner peace.
I always wanted to see Pune, for the fact that it has the coolest campus crowd and it is safe for women! Apart from Mumbai, Pune is the second city in Maharashtra that has gain immense popularity amongst tourists. One of thr most vivacious cities in India, Pune invites the young at hearts to plunge into a land that is replete with fun and adventure. Along with being the modern face of Maharashtra, the city also puts the limelight on the glorious history of the state. There are a number of monuments that one can see here including Shaniwarwada, Shinde Chhatri and Vishrambaug Wada. There are a number of parks and malls that add to the beauty of the city. The city also has a large number of restaurants that serve the best of Maharashtrian cuisine (Something that one must try in Pune!). A cheerful city, Pune is capable of offering tourists a whole new kind of experience in India.
Meet the only hill station in Gujarat, Saputara which is one beautiful place to see in winter in West India. Sometimes you just wish to break the chains of clichés and the routine of visiting popular hill stations, that’s where when places like Saputara comes in to spotlight. In fact this small little town has ample of places that can attract any traveller, from national parks to temples, from gardens to museums, you actually have the opportunity learn better about Gujarat in Saputara. Artists Village, Boating Club, Echo Point, Forest Nursery, Forest Log huts, Hatgadh Fort, Honey Bees Centre, Lake View Garden, Museum, Nageshwar Temple, Purna Sanctuary, Pandava caves, Ropeway, Rose Garden, Step Garden, Saputara Lake, Sunset Point, Sunrise Point, Step Garden, Snake of Saputara, Town view Point, Vansda National Park, Valley view point, Religious Attraction, Shopping Malls, Mini-Aquarium, Millenium Garden, Table Point, Governor Hill, Swami Narayan Mandir, Brahmakumari’s Art Gallery, Jain Temple are the attractions that keep the tourist engaged in Saputara.
Daman had a remained a lesser known place on the map of India for many decades, however, recently it has come up as a big thing in a small package. AND if you are considering a holiday in West India, I believe Daman can be a good choice! It is a quaint little place with a serene and beautiful beach, where you can spend some quality time with your loved ones. It is a small port in the Gulf of Cambhat near the city of Vapi (12kms) and is an excellent place for sunbathers and swimmers. One can find several monuments and churches and two major beaches. St. Jerome Fort, Old Fort, Church of Our Lady of the Sea, Jain Temple, Fort, Church of our Lady of the Rosary, Devka beach and Jampore Beach are quiet popular amongst the tourists.
Diu has emerged as a popular getaway in West India, especially from Gujarat. It is one utterly gorgeous beach destination in India and the best part is it is still away from the clasp of commercialization. Maintaining its pristine beauty, Diu offers a great hideout away from the clamour of the city. The city is best known as a place that blends tradition with modernity. One shall fall in love with its architecture and historical monuments and structures. Diu is a small place and also has some of the most warm-hearted people, who love peace and show good hospitality. They are fun loving and that is why you can expect a wonderful night life in Diu. Bunder Chowk, Fort, Panikota, St. Paul’s Church, INS Kukri, Nagoa beach, Jalandhar beach, Ghoghla beach are some of the places that you will love to explore in Diu.
Modern yet delightfully quaint, Ahmedabad is truly inspirational. One of the prime cities in Gujarat, Ahmedabad can be a wonderful place to holiday in Gujarat. This city gives you the right opportunity to learn about the rich culture and history of the state and lets you splurge in the Gujju lifestyle! Prepare yourself for a like-never-before treat and explore the city of vibrance. Offering you the best Gujrati cuisine, Ahmedabad is a place where you can treat your appetite on a platter full of sumptuous meal. Kankaria Lake, Chandola Lake, Sardar Patel National Memorial, Sabarmati Ashram, Hussain Doshi Gufa, Calico Museum of Textiles, Bhadra Fort, Dada Hari Vav, Jhulta Minar, Sarkhej Roza, Teen Darwaza, Ahmed Shah Mosque, Akshardham Temple, Hathee Singh Temple, Jama Masjid, Rani Rupmati Mosque, Sidi Sayed Mosque and Swaminarayan Temple are the places that will make your trip ever so wonderful!
Gir National Park
Welcome to one of the few places in India where Asiatic lions can be seen. The proud habitat of lions in India, Gir National Park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. Situated 360kms from Ahmedabad, Gir is one national park in India that one must visit. Apart from being a safe habitat for the Asiatic Lion, Gir is home to leopards, Sambar and spotted deer (chital), blue bull (nilgai), chousingha (the world’s only four-horned antelope), chinkara (Indian gazelle) and wild boar. Jackal, striped hyena, jungle cat, rusty-spotted cat, langur, porcupine, black-naped Indian hare are among the other mammals of Gir. There are also 250 species of birds, which also makes it an appropriate place for bird watching in West India. Gir is also one of the best places for wildlife photography in India. Winter can be perfect season to visit Gir National Park as one has more chances of spotting lions that come out in open for sunbathing.
If you have been postponing your trip to Dwarka due to hot weather, then winter is the best time to hit the road to the Kingdom of Lord Krishna! Situated on the western tip of the Kathiawar Peninsula, Dwarka is more likely to be a pilgrimage than a tourist place. Divinity is prominent here and one can feel the inner peace for sure. So, if you are looking for an offbeat destination, Dwarka is simply perfect! Although Dwarka has quite a few places to visit like the famed Dwarkanath Temple, Lighthouse and Sharanam that one can see, the real charm is just being there and contemplating the surroundings. Dwarka is divine and thus it should be visited at least once in a lifetime!
Another jewel from West India, a quite little pleasant destination, where pilgrims seem to throng irrespective of the season, Somnath is truly magical. Somnath is situated near Veraval, which is 80kms from Jungadh. Known as one of the important Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, this small town can be a perfect place to escape from the hectic life of the city. Somnath is so small that one can explore the entire place on foot. Ample of temples dot the city and each temple offers a unique experience. Somnath Temple, Bhalka Tirth and Prabas Pata Museum, Lakshminarayan Temple, Panch Pandav Gufa, Kamnath Mahadeva Temple and Gita Temple are some of the best places to see in Somnath.
A historical city in the beautiful state of Gujarat, Junagarh is the one of the best places to see in the state. The city offers timeless monuments like Junagarh Fort. Get awed by the architecture brilliance and capture each moment in your camera. Junagadh speaks articulately of the rich culture of Gujarat and lets you take a glimpse of the traditions that set the state apart from others. A trip to Junagadh can be an exhilarating experience for any history lover and honestly will offer them more reasons to be proud of their country, India. Mahabat Maqbara, Durbar Hall Museum, Narsinh Mehta’s Choro, Mount Girnar, Upperkot Fort, Jama Masjid and Ashoka’s Rock Edicts are the main attractions in Junagarh.
Little Rann of Kutch
Reality Check: There are two different regions, one is the Little Rann of Kutch, which has India’s largest wild ass sanctuary and the second one is Great Rann of Kutch that has the famous white salt desert. Most of the Little Rann of Kutch is occupied by the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary and thus one can say that this trip will be to the wildlife destination. Apart from being home to the rare India wild ass, the sanctuary shelters endangered Ghudkar, Blue-Bull, Chinkara, Hedgehog and carnivores such as Panther, Wolf, Jackal, Fox, Jungle and Desert Cats. Houbara Bustard, Falcons, Cranes and Flamingoes constitute the avian species seen in the sanctuary. The reptilian members include snakes, tortoises and lizards. Watching the sunset and sunrise is yet another highlight of this place. So, if you are a nature or wildlife lover, Little Rann of Kutch can be a great place for a winter tour in West India.
Blackbuck National Park
Adventure in winter certainly sounds like a good idea, I mean so what if we are not playing in snow and throwing balls at each other?! We have found a better way to make the winter vacation a bit more adventurous. Drop in to Gujarat and then to the Bhal region, where you have the opportunity to spot the rare species of blackbuck in India. Sprawling across an area of about 34 sq km, Blackbuck National Park offers visitors the opportunity get closer to nature. It is home to Wolves, Macqueen’s bustard, Hyenas and Lesser Floricans; foxes, jackals and Jungle Cats are the main carnivores species. Other species include wild pigs, hares and rodents. If adventure is in your head and West India is your preference, this national park in Gujarat can be the right place to unwind yourself!
“So, you know that you have plenty of options to choose from. Decide what you want to do during your winter break and hit the road that leads you to West India! However, if you still have trouble deciding where you want to go; give us a call on +91-9212553106/07 and we will help you come up with the right winter holiday plan! Check out the best India holiday packages.”
Published: 29 Sep, 2014