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west india tourism



South West India Tourism:
India's western gateway is Mumbai , with a mjor international air port and harbour.The city's rise from the dowry of a portuguese queen to the foremost sea port, commercial center and producers of films has been nothing short of meteoric.Mumbai's gothic architecture is embodied in the gateway of India, Bombay high court , old secretariate, university buildings and victoria terminus. Open spaces in the crowded city include Chowpatty beach, Juhu beach, and sanjay Gandhi Natonal park, the later a fine wild life park at Borivili. Mumbai is the country's premiere cultural center.jahangir art gallery attracts regular art exhibitions ; prithvi thetre is well known for its theatrical performances, and the national centre for performing arts periodically host indian and international concerts of music and dance.The city's shopping embraces informal fashions and accessories at Colaba cause way, Antiques- at Chor bazzar, Gold and dimond jewellery at Jhaveri Bazzar, high fashion at Kemps corner,Bhulabhai Desai road and the air conditioned shopping plaza at the oberoi.

Aurangabad 400 kms from Mumbai is linked by indian airlines flieghts .Spectacular rock cuts caves and cave paintings exist at two nearby places,Ajanta and Ellora .The most notable feature of these caves temples is that entire hillsides were cut away with the artisan chisel to produce some of the most exquisite sculpture.Ellora's 34 caves are over 10 centuries old and represent elaborate sculptures of Hindu, Buddhists, and jain faiths.The caves at Ajanta date back to the 5th century and contain paintings and sculptures of major events in the life of the Lord Buddha.

Goa is the most comprehensive beach resort in the country.Goa is approachable from Mumbai by air.Goa's coastline provides endless sun drenched crescents of sand.Vegator,Anjuna,Baga,Calangute, and Candolim stretch out in an unbroken palm fringed line.

Other beaches are at Miramar and Colva. Parasailing ,Yachting, windsurfing and deep sea diving are some of the more popular water sports, facilities for which are available.In addition every sort of accommodation fringes the beaches, from deluxe resorts to budget lodgings.Inland , a 451 years of portuguese rule has imbued Goa's towns and villages with a unique culture. white washed chapels, and churches that dot the landscape are sorrounded by sleepy villages and rice fields.Panjim, tha capital city, and Margao , an impotant town, have private houses and government buildings that date back to the portuguese times.Old Goa now deserted ,has a collection of Goa's largest churches; Se cathedral with its iberian exterior, Bom jesu which enshrines the mortal remains of St francis Xavier and the starkly beautiful , convent of saint Monica are a few of these.Mapusa , a market town comes alive every friday with a quaint pavement bazzar.

The most convenient entry point into Gujurat is through the metropolish of Ahmedabad.The city contains some very fine museums, the calico museums of Textile being considered among the world's finest.Ahmedabad 's walled city is a living testimony to its heritage of crafts as women walk by in dazzling embroidered garments and flashing ethnic silver jewellery.Traditional Ahmedabad combines mosques of inspired workmanship, wooden jain temples, unique stone stepwells and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies and window screens. Modern Ahmedabad , just accross the river sabarmati spanned by four bridges, a show piece of contemporary architecture with designs by Le cobusier, Louis Kahn and the best known Indian architects.

Modhera just 106 kms from Ahmedabad , is one of the very few sun temples in the country.Palitana ,215 kms away,is a hilltop place of pilgrimage for jains.863 temples of all sizes crowd the hill which has to be approached on foot.Stone and marbel spires with their rich detail of carving make for palitana 's very special appeal.

Portuguese rule in india included the territories of Goa , Daman and Diu. The last two lying within the state of Gujurat.Diu ,a tiny island off the extreme south of the mainland, is even now a secluded beach resort near a colonial town of great charm, with whitewashed churches and tile roofed villas.

Gujurat's loveliest beach - and the state is a well endowed with them -- is Ahmedpur Mandvi whose chief attraction is the ethnic beach resort. Cottages modelled on rural Gujurati architecture look out onto a secluded beach, one of the state's chief centres for watersports.

Udaipur and its environs ,easily accessible by road and air from Mumbai, are another facets off rajasthan.far from being sorrounded by flat arid desert , Udaipur is situated in the lap of the thickly wooded Aravalli hills..Three lakes form an attraction of the city whose focal point is the towering cluster of honey coloured palaces that go to make up the complex of the city palace and other palatial apartments..The domed cupolas of Rajasthan 's largest and oldest palace complex look out onto Lake Pichola whose twin islands , house, respectively, a palace hotel and a pleasure palace.Parts of the city palace itself have been converted into a luxury hotels and into a museums.Lake pichoala's banks are cluttered with a myriad of white washed houses that once belonged to courtiers and palace retainers.

112 kms from the Udaipur , is the fort of chittaurgarh, enclosing an area of 24 kms.Crumbling ruins and desolate palaces were once the centre of intrigue, valour and romance of Udaipur's ruling family.Even more romantic is Kumbhalgarh which the local swear touches the clouds.Indeed it does, being the hieghest of all the forts in rajasthan.On a clear day, when it is not 'touching clouds; it affords an unbroken view until jaisalmer..Kumbhalgarh has a comfortable little hotel near it where facilities offered include horseback safaries to the many places of interest that sorround the fort.

Mt Abu is Rajasthan 's only hill resort , high in the Aravalli that run through the whole area , well conneced by road from Udaipur.The Dilwara jain temples are the town 's greatest attraction, being among the finest examples of jain temple art in India.Each temple has a forest of white marble pillars where not a centimeter is left uncarved.Mt Abu also has a large lake sorrounded by the summer palaces of the earstwhile rulers of Rajasthan principalities.

Bhopal , the capital of the state of Madhya pradesh , has grown around a large lake.the ornamental newer part of the city being roughly opposite the labyrinthine lanes of the old town.Craft-- notably velvet handbags studded with stones, and lacy silver works --is paractised in narrow alleyways that lead off from doomed mosque in the old city.Bharat bhavan is a showcase of Indian art, folk tradions, sculpture and a centre for the performing arts as well.Bhimbetka, a few hours drive from Bhopal , is the site for spectacular cave paintings; udaygiri, another excursion from Bhopal has notable cave sculptures of religious themes.

Sanchi , is an unmatched repository of Buddhist art and architecture.Located on a secluded hill crowned by a group of Stupas and gateways, it occupies a unique position in the history of Budhism .Its Stupas, chaityas, temples, monasteries and gateways are embellished by the most delicate carvings that depicts various incidents in the Budha's life as well as important teaching .A 90 kms ride from Indore takes one accross a narrow gorge , after the horizon widens abruptly, to reveal the deserted city of Mandu. Built as a testament of love by a muslim ruler for his Hindu queens , mandu's air of serenity and spaciousness ,offsets to perfection its palaces, temple and mosque which lie scattered over the 75 kms Mandu's fortified area. Most interesting of all is the imaginative use that has been made of the sorroundings.Thus jahaz mahal or ship palace is actually built in a pond on which it appears to float , and hindola mahal or swing palace give every appearance of living up to its name. Please see our itinerary section to plan your trip.

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