The language, culture, and levels of economic development of West India greatly differ from other Indian regions. Comprising the states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat; it also has union territories of Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli under its ambit. Spanning over an area of 508,052 Sq Km, the western states offer innumerable destinations to tourists of distinct tastes.
Between its Portuguese past and fishing village feel, world famous beaches and ancient temples, the paddy fields and plantations; Goa has something for everyone. Portuguese left their mark on the language, culture, cuisine, music and heritage of this coastal state. Tourism gave birth to water sports whereas migrants brought alternative ways of life along with beer. While the Goan resident remains laidback and easy, they are also well known for hospitable nature.
Another state boasting a long coastline is Gujarat that seems to project out into the Arabian Sea. Its northern region - Kutch, with its distinct pastoral communities and exquisite crafts, is a salty desert-cum-marshland. The coast cradles the old port-town of Mandvi and constitutes the revered temples of Somnath and Dwarka. Gir National Park in Gujarat is a major tourist hot-spot because Asiatic Lions can only survive here. The most industrialised state in West India, Ahmedabad and Surat are business hubs with a large presence in textiles and petrochemicals.
In West India, Maharashtra is the state that houses the only city for which the word 'megalopolis' is used in the country - Mumbai. Known as the maximum city, it is the financial, film and fun capital of India. On its waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch. The Chowpatty, Marine Drive, Juhu Beach and Victoria Terminus are other touristy hotspots here. You also find Maratha Forts in Raigad, and the World Heritage frescoes of the rock-cut Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad, that entice tourists globally. Many beautiful hill stations like Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Khandala and Matheran serve as cool green retreats with abundant adventurous trails and thrilling activities in Maharashtra.
Wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat is Dadra and Nagar Haveli - another union territory which is replete with mesmerising mountain ranges, meandering rivers and lush green forests.
Having a population of over 147 million, the western region boasts distinctive cuisines as well. From bland to fiery hot, you find a range of delicacies. Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji, and Poha are popular street side munchies in Maharashtra. Gujarat is an alcohol-free state with predominantly vegetarian cuisine and its well-known Gujarati thali has a distinct flavour. The party lovers of Gujarat find solace in Daman and Diu, on the beaches of which alcohol flows freely. The real party destination of all of India however is Goa, where beer and wine come in large variations, and seafood is a staple.
West India is a magnificent kaleidoscope of cultures where distinct religions, traditions, and lifestyles mingle to thrive and prosper.
If you want to do something different this year, we suggest you take off to one of these places for an extraordinary Holi celebration.
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