West / Central India
Western region of India consists of Gujarat and Maharashtra, along with the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The climate varies between tropical wet, tropical wet and dry, and semi arid. The coastal regions experience little seasonal variations although the temperatures range between 20ºC to 38ºC. Mumbai and northern Konkan regions experience cooler winters with minimum temperatures hovering around 12ºC. Interior Maharashtra experiences hot summers with maximum temperatures averaging 40ºC and mild winters with minimum temperaturesaveraging about 10ºC. Gujarat also has a warm climate with hot summers and cool winters.
It is also the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the great iconic figures during India's Independence movement.
In the early 1980s, paleontologists' stumbled upon dinosaur bones and fossils during a regular geological survey of Balasinor in Kheda District. The find sent ripples of excitement through neighboring villages and many residents picked up fossilized eggs, brought them home and worshipped them. Since then excavations have thrown up a veritable trove of dinosaur remains - eggs, bones, a skeleton which is now kept in a Calcutta (Kolkata) museum - bringing hordes of scientists and tourists to the place.
Some of the picnic spots are :
Ahmedabad is the commercial capital of Gujarat and Seventh largest metropolitan area of India Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, 32 km from the state capital Gandhinagar.
Gujarat is the only home of Asiatic lions and outside Africa, Gujarat is the only present natural habitat of lions. Gir Forest National Park in the southwest part of the state covers part of the lions' habitat. Apart from lions, leopards are also found in state. They are spread across the large plains of Saurashtra and the mountains of South Gujarat.
Other National parks include Vansda National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar and Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch. Wildlife sanctuaries include: Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Porbandar Bird Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Anjal, Balaram-Ambaji, Barda, Jambughoda, Khavda, Paniya, Purna, Rampura, Ratanmahal, and Surpaneshwar.
Maharashtra encompasses an area of 308,000 km , and is the third largest state in India.
Several wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and Project Tiger reserves have been created in Maharashtra, with the aim of conserving the rich bio-diversity of the region. As of May 2004, India has 92 national parks, of which six are located in Maharashtra. A large percentage of Maharashtra's forests and wildlife lie in the Zadipranta (Forest rich region) of far eastern Maharashtra OR eastern Vidarbha.
Some of the picnic spots are :
Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India, houses the headquarters of all major banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies in India. India's largest stock exchange Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest in Asia, is also located in the city.
Maharashtra is the most visited state by foreign tourists in India and 4th most visited state by domestic tourists in country in 2010. Recently, Aurangabad was declared as Tourism Capital of Maharashtra. The eastern equivalent of New York City and Los Angeles and the financial capital and entertainment (Bollywood) capital of the country.
The cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra, is said to be the educational center of India. Pune has forts dating back to the seventeenth century such as Sinhagad, Purandar, Shaniwar Wada (a weekend residence of the Peshwas) and Lal Mahal (the red palace), residence of Chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj. Pune also has educational institutes of repute such as Fergusson College, a 200-year old college built by the British.
Aurangabad, Tourism Capital of Maharashtra
This city lies in the central parts of Maharashtra and is one of the most popular cities that figure on the international tourist map. On the outskirts lie the caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Both are internationally renowned for their intricate carvings of Lord Buddha in stone. Ancient Buddhist life has been depicted in delicate stonework.
This city lies on western Maharashtra. City is well known for tourist places like Mahabaleshwar, Wai, Panchgani and rivers such as Koyna and Krishna. Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are one of the famous tourist places of India. River Krishna rises at Mahabaleswar near the Jor village.
Nicknamed the "heart of India" due to its geographical location in India, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in the country by area.
Madhya Pradesh is home to 9 National Parks, including Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Satpura National Park, Sanjay National Park etc. There are also a number of natural preserves, including Amarkantak, Bagh Caves, Balaghat etc.
Three sites in Madhya Pradesh have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: the Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986) including Devi Jagadambi temple, Rewa, Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003). Other architecturally significant or scenic sites include Ajaigarh, Amarkantak, Asirgarh, Bandhavgarh, Bawangaja, Bhopal, Chanderi, Chitrakuta, Dhar, Gwalior, Indore, Ujjain etc.