Top places to visit on the west coast of India

If you're wondering what's west of India, then wonder no more, as India gives you a perfect blend of tradition and contemporary culturalism. A place where not only you can find the most exceptional colonial-era architectures but also the people who practice the most fun and upbeat livelihood. To experience its diversity and versatility, you can visit the 'Silent Noise Disco' in the Palolem Beach of Goa or encounter the migrant communities in Kutch, Gujarat. Whatever you may choose or do, one thing is certain- you cannot get enough of all the adventurous places in west India! Here are some significant places that you can explore on your journey to the west coast of India.

  • 30-Oct-2019
  • Written By: Naila Arif
Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur, Rajasthan-

Udaipur, 'the Venice of India,' known for its peaceful lanes and romance setting unmatched not only in Rajasthan but all in India. Snuggling beside tranquil Lake Pichola, Udaipur rolls down its charm from fantastical palaces, Havelis, temples to the uphill and downhill, narrow and timeless streets. 

To begin the touring of this peaceful city, start with the City Palace- one of the majestic marvel of Rajasthan. Here you can explore a beautiful blend of the Medieval European, and Chinese architecture. 

There are two lakes that you must explore- Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake. Take a boat ride in Lake Pichola & Fateh Sagar Lake for experiencing the serene atmosphere and the unforgettable sunset. In Lake Pichola, you can explore the infamous Jag Mandir along with the Lake Palace aka Jal Mahal, which is now a 5-star hotel. And in Fateh Sagar Lake, you can enjoy the motorboat and speed boating.

If you're in Udaipur and you haven't been to Bagore Ki Haveli, then you are majorly missing the essence of the Rajasthani culture. This one-hour cultural dance show is supremely famous amongst tourists from all over the places. Make sure you get your tickets before 6 p.m. 

Other popular attractions in Udaipur are Jagdish temple & Monsoon Palace. Jagdish temple near the City Palace, built-in by Maharana Jagat Singh in the 17th-century, known for its unique architecture. And the Monsoon Palace, built for Maharana Sajjan Singh on the top of the hills, over-viewing the beauty of Chittaurgarh.

Gujarat

The White Desert of Kutch in Gujarat-

Kutch, Gujarat, a region described as India's 'Wild West' is well-known for its most barren and harsh desert landscapes. Kutch is a great place to encounter diversity- comprising many migrant communities. It not only includes migrants from Pakistan and the Marwar region of Rajasthan but also from Persia (Iran). With a great history of being ruled by the oldest Hindu dynasties, Kutch successfully maintains harmony among the various religions and communities.

Gujarat, Kutch

The Great Rann of Kutch and Salt Desert-

The Great Rann of Kutch-an arid expanse that lies to the North of the Tropic of Cancer. Stretching close to the border of Pakistan, this salt desert covers around 10,000 square kilometers. It is famous for the majestic sunset and the night-view under the stars on a full moon. 

Apart from its panoramic views and handicrafts, it is famous for the barren landscape of the Little Rann of Kutch and its Wild Ass Sanctuary. Also known to be the largest Wildlife Sanctuary in India. Similar to its name, it is home to Indian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus Khur), locally known as Ghudkhar

The Great Rann also inhabited by various village communities migrated from Pakistan and the Marwar region of western Rajasthan. It's worth visiting to witness the traditions and the local production of handicrafts like- block printing and embroidery.  The best season to visit this wetland is Monsoon.

Goa

Goa-

No one can ignore the 'Queen of Indian beach town' that is- Goa. If you're visiting India, it binds you to visit Goa- a land of sand, sun, and spices. It is a perfect blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures only sugarcoated with sea, spirituality, and susegad

While in Goa, the savvy Goaphiles head towards the southern Beach- Palolem Beach. It is well-known for the "Silent Noise Disco" as the night-owl love this place, it is less crowded and more fun. 

There are other excursions that you can pursue in the daytime like- Dolphin-sighting tour around the Arabian Sea. Or you can explore the various Wildlife Sanctuaries to spot a few monkeys, tigers and deer. Beyond its shores, you can also explore nearby waterfalls, Fort Aguada and its lighthouse overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Mumbai

Mumbai-

Mumbai, formerly known as 'Bombay' is the front door of India. It is home for all the hard-working labors, artists, dreamers, gangsters, and Crorepatis (Millionaires) among many others. 

Mumbai is the center of India's booming 'Bollywood' film industry, and some of Asia's biggest slums along with world's most expensive housing. And not to mention, it also has India's largest tropical forest in an urban zone. Mumbai represents India's fashion epicenter and financial powerhouse. People flock to this place for its furious energy and fast city life. 

When visiting Mumbai, you'll get to explore some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet. Explore a little more, and you'll encounter the unique bazaars, Dhobi Ghat- a sizeable open-air laundry, hidden temples, and India's premier restaurants and nightlife. 

Mumbai has a stronghold on its sightseeing attractions. Whether it is about touring the largest slum areas or relaxing on the Chowpatty beach, this city of dreams features a dreamlike encounter to all the tourists. 

You can also visit Lonavala- one of the best places to visit in Maharashtra during winter. It is a hill station near Pune and Mumbai for a misty weekend getaway. But the best time to visit this place is Monsoon for a better view of the waterfalls, lakes, and hills around.

Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu-

If you have had your time in Mumbai and Goa and you're still looking for what's west of India, then Daman and Diu is a paradise you should visit next. On the western coast of India and surrounded by Gujarat, Daman and Diu is a perfect place to enjoy isolation.

As history speaks, Daman, Diu and Goa administered as a single union territory until 1987, when Goa became a state. And now with Daman, it is a separate union territory with its own rules and government.

In Daman, the number one tourist attraction is the Devka beach, and it looks astonishing, but it is not safe for swimming. If you're big on swimming, then head to the Jampore beach which is only 3 kilometers south of Daman. It also has a 17th century St. Jerome Fort as an attraction worth visiting on the north side of the Daman Ganga River.

While the tiny island of Diu; linked by a bridge to Gujarat's Southern coast-still preserves the Portuguese history and architecture. Many families in Diu have joint Indian-Portuguese citizenship, and some places still remnants the Portuguese culture. 

The streets of the town are clean, quiet and colorful with many decaying Portuguese villas and churches. But the main reason for tourists flocking here is because of its sandy beaches — uniquely the horse-shoe shaped Nagoa beach, which is safe for swimming and boating. The Ghoghla beach also offers some incredible opportunities for surfing, swimming, and parasailing. 

The best season to visit Daman and Diu is throughout the year, but from November to February, you'll get the most excellent views.

Ooty

Ooty, Tamil Nadu-

Ooty, the 'Queen of Hill Stations' nicknamed as 'Snooty Ooty' established by the Britishers in the early 19th-century as the summer headquarters of the Madras Government. And now it became one of the best places to visit in west India in summer. It is a combination of Indian bustle and Hindu temples with serene gardens and beautiful Raj-era bungalows, which provides the most atmospheric accommodations. 

The highlight of the Ooty tour is the Toy Train excursion by the Nilgiri Mountains Railway. It covers all the incredible sceneries and mountains of Ooty. For someone who is a fan of nature and picturesque views, Ooty gives a plethora of it. To explore further, visit the Botanical Garden to witness the fresh floral paradise and Avalanche Biosphere Reserve for some panoramic scenes. 

Doddabetta Peak is a lovely spot for trekking and exploring its park for varieties of teas. You can also visit the Pykara Lake for boating and experiencing its clean backwaters along with greenery and breath-taking sights around the lake.

If you prefer long walks with nature around you, then you should give Pine Forest and its lake on the downhill a chance. It will without-a-doubt make your day with its enjoyable atmosphere. For more scenic views, visit Halashana waterfalls and Toda Huts to have some off-beat experience. 

As the Queen of the Hill Stations in western India, Snooty Ooty is excellent to visit all year round. But to get the complete picturesque scenes, you can visit it in the summers- April to June. In this time of the year, the temperature remains 20 to 25 degree Celsius. So if you’re planning to spend your summer vacation in India, Ooty is your answer.

Kerala

Kerala-

Kerala, 'God's Own Country' has everything for you to delve. Whether it is the rich history, landscapes, and backwaters or the scenic waterfalls and kayak rides, Kerala is the epitome of a tourist desires. This dusky and beautiful land of coconuts has many places that you cannot skip. But to cover the major ones, start with Munnar

This idyllic hill station is one of the most significant tea plantation areas of South India. And not only that, but it is also home to serene waterfalls, mountains, and opulence of greenery. 

Visit Kochi, 'The Queen of the Arabian Sea' - a delightful place to explore the Uber-cool cafes, traditional & modern Keralan art. And if you enjoy getting on to some backwaters cruises, beaches or boat races, then you should try the 'Venice of the East' aka Alleppey. Another major tourist attraction of this place is the 19th century built- lighthouse, which gives some pictorial scenes of the coast from the top. 

To savor yourself in the natural habitat, you must visit the 'Wonder of Wildlife' aka Thekkady. Here you can visit the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary along with Athirapally Waterfalls to get some 'Niagara Falls' kind of experience.

Last but not least, what you cannot skip is the- Jatayu Earth's Center. It's a giant bird sculpture inspired by the legendary Hindu mythology and is quite famous among the tourist places in India. This bird is lying flat on the surface with wings spread across 150 feet, stretching 200 feet from tail feathers to the head. The Jatayu sculpture built on top of the 1000 feet high Jatayupara- towers above the green expanses of Chandayamangalam.