Monsoon is the best time to visit West India
The Rann of Kutch is a salty- marshy white stretch of land occupying the northern tip of Gujarat in the Thar Desert. Spread over the Kutch district of the state, it is divided into Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. Extreme desert sands on one side and the salty sea on the other side, makes this area likely to be inhabited by a variety of ecosystems including mangroves and desert vegetation. Apart from the affluent Handicrafts exhibitions, Chir Batti phenomenon and the most popular Rann Utsav; the area plays a very important role in the commercial salt panning and shrimp farming. Besides, it is home to a number of wildlife sanctuaries and grassland reserves.
One other important aspect of Rann of Kutch is the Rann Utsav which is the most grandly celebrated festival in the region. The festivities go on for a period of 3 months during the winter season every year. The event marks a remarkable increase in the influx of tourists and is a big boost to the tourism industry of the state. The tourists are invited to witness the shimmering silver sands in its different forms. In addition to that, there is the arrangement of a plethora of activities, handicrafts fairs, folk-dances, local cuisines, adventure activities, travel clubs; in short, a taste of the local culture. A tent city is temporarily set up to accommodate hundreds of incoming tourists. All in all, it is a fairly grand and splendid affair and a must experience event.
Best Time to Visit
The Rann of Kutch remains under water for four months during the peak monsoon season. For the other eight months, the silver sands shine under the moonlight presenting a heavenly picture. Although the most ideal time to visit the Rann is during the 3 months of Rann Utsav, held during the winter season. Besides the scintillating moonlit landscape, you are invited to witness the striking architecture expertise of the locals, the sumptuous local delicacies, traditional folk songs and dances and the flamboyancy of the fairs.
However, in order to visit the Rann, you will need prior written permission and a permit drawn in your name. This is done as a precautionary measure due to the close proximity of the region to the Pakistan border. It can be obtained on the way to Bhirandiyara village, around 55 kms from Bhuj. You will require your ID cards for the same. You can also obtain the permit Gujarat Police DSP office in Bhuj near Jubilee Ground. This office is closed every Sunday and the second and fourth Saturday of every month. You will be required to present this permit at the army checkpoint at the entry to the Rann.
Western Ghats - Maharashtra, Gujarat
The Western Ghats, also known as the ‘Great Escarpment of India’ start from the edge of Gujarat and ends in Kanyakumari panning the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu. Sprawling over a huge area in Maharashtra, the Western Ghats here are known as Sahyadris and they form the popular hill stations of the state which include Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Amboli and Panchgani. Blessed with plethora of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, hill ranges, dense forests, woody grasslands, enchanting waterfalls, clear streams and a rich variety of flora, fauna and avifauna; the region has also been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Among the popular places of the Sahyadris in the Western Ghats, the most popular ones include Kaas Plateau, Matheran Hill, Malshej Ghat, Lonar Lake etc. for amazing landscape and panoramic vistas. Visit the Sandhan Valley for adventure activities, Bhimashankar Forest for the rich wildlife, Mangrove ecosystem found in Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban and Thane and Nighoj potholes. Mahabaleshwar is a picturesque hill town and Mollem is another dainty village in Goa.
Best Time to Visit
The climate in the Western Ghats varies depending on the distance from the Equator. Parts of Maharashtra receive heavy rainfall followed by long dry spells whereas regions closer to the equator receive less annual rainfall. Therefore, the most ideal time to visit the hill towns will be during the monsoon season when the vegetation is blooming lush green, the waterfalls are properly fed and the streams are running all clear and blue. Summers will also be a good time to visit the Sahyadris as temperature is pleasantly cool and it provides a respite from the heat of the plains. Winters, on the other hand, sometimes experience temperatures close to freezing points.
Deccan Plateau and the Satpura Range- Maharashtra
Deccan Plateau is the plateau occupying the area between the Western and the Eastern Ghats. Spread over most of South India, the plateau is crowned by Satpura Range on the north and it runs over the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Mumbai is the most happening city on the list with its queue of heritage monuments, glitzy bungalows, leisurely beaches and star-struck fandom, it never fails to surprise its visitors any time of the year. Next important stops are the famed caves of Ajanta and Ellora that have also been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Other popular destinations on the Deccan Plateau include Pune and Goa. Once the seat of the flourishing Maratha Empire, Pune is the eighth largest metropolis of the country. Next you can visit the alluring abode of scenic charm and beauty- Goa. The dainty city is dotted with tiny Portuguese style houses, lined with magnificent beaches and is sprinkled with gorgeous churches and convents. On the other hand, the Satpura Range rises at Eastern Gujarat. Besides the mighty hill peaks, dense forests and criss-crossing rivers, you can also tour the cities of Ahmedabad (Amdavad), Champaner & Pavagadh, Modhera, Patan and Vadodara.
Best Time to Visit
Winter Season is considered the ideal time to visit the cities on lying on the Deccan Plateau. Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad is best visited between November to February as the weather is most pleasant and a soothing cold wind blows throughout. Starting the month of March, the humidity level starts rising and as the summers approach, the heat is at its peak and the humidity at its highest. Monsoons are also not considered a good time to take a trip due to the infamous Maharashtra rains. The region receives a heavy rainfall. Besides the discomfort, there are also risks of floods and downpours. Similarly, for the Eastern Gujarat cities of the Satpura Ranges, the best time is November to February due to the pleasant climate. Summer Season is extremely hot and dry and monsoons on the other hand are too wet and humid.
Western Coastal PlainsMaharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Daman & Diu and Dadar & Nagar Haveli
The Western Coastal Plains is lengthy stretch of land running for over 1500 kms with a width of 50 kms, between the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea. Starting from the city of Surat in the state Gujarat, the coastal plains cover the states of Maharashtra and Goa, union territories of Daman & Diu and Dadar * Nagar Haveli; and run over till the end to the state of Kerala. Besides the two gulfs- Gulf of Khambhat and Gulf of Kutch, the coastline also forms several estuaries and provide ideal conditions for practising pisciculture. The northern coast spanning over Goa-Maharashtra is called the Konkan coast. The diverse geographical terrain and the broken coastline makes for perfect ports and harbours where ships can be docked. Besides, Gujarat boast of several beaches ideal for friends and family vacations.
Beach culture is also top-notch in Maharashtra with some of the most popular beaches present in the state like Juhu, Bandra, Marine Drive etc. However, none can beat the charm and the quaintness of Goa. With a completely distinct hippie culture of tiny docked houses, clean-green environment and free flowing alcohol; Goa has a full flourishing tourism industry. From the quiet serene beaches to the loud shacks on the shore, a pleasant cityscape, green islands, indigo waters and amazing cuisine, Goa has got it all. Daman & Diu is another name which needs mention here which is tucked between the state of Gujarat, and Arabian Sea. The territory although has a Portuguese lifestyle and architecture; however, it follows a Gujarati culture. The language is also the mother-tongue. The last on the list is Dadar & Nagar Haveli, which again has a Portuguese culture and is inhabited primarily by tribal groups.
Best Time to Visit
The most ideal time to visit any beach or coastal area is after the late monsoon season or during the winters season. This is true even for the Western Coastal area of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat coasts. The summer season from April to July is exceedingly hot with temperatures soaring as high as 48-50 degrees celsius which can cause serious sunburns other than being immensely unpleasant. The monsoons are damp, humid and very uncomfortable. The water level also rises during the rainy season and makes it unsuitable for swimming for any other water sports or activities. Winters on the other hand are pleasant with a cool wind blowing. The sun is also not very hot; hence, the sunny days are also warm and comfy.