8 Dream Destinations to Visit in India

When we talk about India, the first image that comes to our mind is the scenic beauty of multi religions people living together happily. The snow-capped mountain ranges in the north, lush green Sundarbans in the east, golden city Rajasthan in the west and Indian ocean in the south. India itself is a treasure that holds several treasures inside her womb.

Being a secularist country, India is a place with different culture and treasure some of the magnificent scenic beauty of the world. If you ever plan to visit India there are a number of places that grab your attention and you may get confused about which one to choose for your first visit. Do not worry about the visa, as India's visa can easily be accessed via the e-visa service.

Dream Destinations in India

Let's plan for the tour. After reading about some of the most visited places in India you must be really excited to have a look at these places with your own eyes. Let's not make you wait any longer:

1. Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra

There are many places of Shani Dev in Maharashtra, but Shani Shingnapur has different importance in them. There is Shani Dev at this place, but they do not have a temple. There are many houses of people here but no house has a door. Yes, this Shinganapur village of Shani has a population of about three thousand, but no house has a door.

Locking is not done by latch and link anywhere. Not only this, the people here do not keep the cupboards, suitcases, etc. It is said that Saturn is done by the command of God. People use bags and cans or strings to keep valuable household items, ornaments, clothes, rupees, and money.

2. Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

Ratnagiri proudly adorns the birthplace of the most dynamic leaders India has ever seen – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Lokmanya Tilak’s native home has been turned into a museum which showcases the life of young Tilak. The 400 hundred years old temple Swayambhu Ganpati Temple is one of the major pilgrimage centers. The idol of Ganesha is a self-created monolithic, made from pule (white sand) and it is said that it was discovered 1600 years ago.

Prachin Konkan celebrates the rich history and cultural heritage of Konkan. It is one of the few open-air museums that depict the life of Konkan 500 years back. Experience the authentic lifestyle of Ratnagiri at Prachin Konkan.

Jaigad Fort symbolizes victory. The intelligent and brilliant planning used in constructing this fort is simply amazing. The vivaciousness of this architecture makes Jaigad a prominent tourist destination of Ratnagiri.

The amazing architecture and the scenic beauty around the Thiba Palace is beyond the imagination of any tourist. This luxurious palace was in fact the place for house-arrest of King Thiba. When in Ratnagiri, don’t forget to appreciate this architectural masterpiece.

If adventure sports leave your adrenaline pumping, then you will fall in love with the thrilling water sports of Ganpatipule. The raging waves of Ganpatipule beach and the roaring winds make the atmosphere blissful.

The loud rumbling sea waves and howling breeze surround the beach of Velneshwar. This crescent-shaped beach never fails to mesmerize the tourists with its crystal clear water and clean, sandy coastline.

Going for a short hike, savouring some delicious cuisine or just enjoying some privacy in the room from the height of a luxury hotel, Lavasa is simply the place to be. In Lavasa, there is something for each type of party. With lush miles landscapes, some of the best restaurants and bars in Maharashtra, glamorous Bollywood sites and the sun almost all year round, Lavasa is simply romantic and you will never get bored of this city.

Situated on the banks of Karwha river, Saswad holds history of the Peshwa era.

Khandi Waterfalls in Maval is one of the most unexplored places near Pune. Khandi is located to the north of Pune, which is around 80 kms from Pune and 35 kms from Kanhe phata. This place is beautiful and greenery all around, the scenery of the mountains is so delightful with its dense forest.

If you are planning for Khandi then you have to take old Pune-Mumbai highway towards Mumbai and then take a turn from Kanhe phata, after travelling for 5 kms you will see one bridge over Indrayani river. In monsoon the water will be at good level to create awesome scenario for your photo background.

It is a first point to click few pics and shoot video when you take your turn towards Khandi waterfall Road. You will be in control of nature wherever you see and you will see greenery and streams. Khandi is not a single waterfall. There are more than 40 waterfall you will see while the major one is Jagtap waterfall.

The other waterfall points are also damn good. One can do camping and can enjoy natural shower under waterfalls and few people carry their own cooking arrangement to enjoy cooking and eating amidst nature. Homemade food by local people are also available there.

Jagtap waterfall is a private property. The display board at the entrance to the Jagtap waterfalls says it is for 'families only'. There is also a charge for entering into the waterfall area. Parking facilities are available. Entry fee for adults is 150 INR and for children it is 100 INR. Changing room facility is available. Highly recommended during peak monsoon and specially when its raining heavily. Go during weekdays to avoid rush.

At a distance of 2 mins from Jagtap waterfalls there is Mau waterfall. There is a road which leads to the Mau waterfall.

Lalwadi waterfalls is at a distance of around 16 kms form Jagtap waterfalls. You can see a water reservoir made by a tiny dam. This is the best place where you should stop and park your vehicle. From here you can see 3 huge waterfalls on the surrounding mountains at the same time. And depending on the monsoon and water levels, you can see the water cascading from this tiny dam.

There’s a small road from nearby this tiny dam or reservoir. This road takes you all the way up to the base of two waterfalls. Here you have to climb uphill. After a short hike, the road evens out and gets a bit flat. At this place, you can see 3 huge waterfalls and numerous small ones.

From Lalwadi waterfalls Bendewadi Waterfalls is 2–3 mins by drive. One can go beyond this waterfall and enjoy the falls.

Just 11 km ahead of Bendewadi waterfalls, is the most beautiful Khandi Point. The road twists around the Thokarwadi dam backwaters. And after some point, the waterfalls can be seen on the other side of the dam waters. There are a few more tiny dams on the way and numerous more mountains on your left.

After you pass through the Khandi village you have to drive a bit to reach the Khandi waterfall. At Khandi waterfalls, there is a dead-end viewpoint. The views into the surrounding valleys, mountains and waterfalls from here are ultimate.

4. Yavatmal, Maharashtra

Located in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary derives its name from Goddess Tipai located near Tipeshwar village in the sanctuary area.

5. Nashik, Maharashtra

Occupying the northern end of Maharashtra, Nashik is the legendary as well as the wine and vineyard destination of India. Located on the banks of Godavari River, Nashik is very well known for being the stage for the Maha Kumbh Mela. Nashik is one of the fastest growing cities of India. Nashik plays a significant role in the development of Hindu mythology, history and culture.

According to historical sources, Nashik is said to be the place where Lord Ram, Laxman and Sita had spent their 14 years after getting exiled from Ayodhya. Blessed with rich scenic natural beauty, tourist attractions here include: Pandav Leni Caves, Muktidham Mandir, Sula Vineyards, Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga etc.

The city is green and clean. There are hill stations like Saputara and valleys like Kasara where you can spend a quality time with your friends and family. Nashik is most beautiful while it rains. Don't forget to visit Sula Vineyards if you come down to Nashik. Few words to say about is that you may go in a deep sense of nature in just a one visit.

Nashik has temples, kalaram, goraram, caves and many more to explore. The very first thing one would like about Nashik is it's all time cool climate compared to other cities. Nashik is also known as capital of wine, as the major portion of wine in the country is produced here. Half of the wineries in India are in Nashik. SULA, SOMA among others are worth visiting.

Other than this Nashik have a pleasant climate. Nasik has also HAL (Fighter plane production unit), currency note press, Thermal power station and a Railway maintenance workshop. Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is one of the finest bird sanctuaries of India. Rich in forest cover and surrounded by cool water bodies, this place has become an ideal home for various bird species. It is also described as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra.

Misal Pav of Nashik is not something you can have in your nearby restaurant. Misal Pav is considered as one of the spiciest cuisines of Maharashtra and no doubt Nashik has excelled in the preparation of this dish.

6. Raigad, Maharashtra

From having a romantic walk along the coastline, to enjoying water sports right in the middle of the sea; Alibaug's pristine beaches has got everything for you. Situated in the laps of the vast Arabian sea, explore these surreal beaches of Maharashtra. Driving along Konkan beaches in monsoon is an unforgettable bitter-sweet experience.

With roaring sea on one side and lush greenery on the other, it is pure bliss! The major attractions are Alibaug beach and fort, Kashid beach, Murud janjira fort, Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar beach and temple etc.

7. Sindhudurg, Maharashtra

Dotted with cashew and coconut trees, Redi is small coastal village situated in Sindhudurg. In the small village lies the abode of a divine and supernatural power – Ganpati. The divinity of this place attracts many devotees every year.

Sindhudurg Fort even after 300 years, still proudly flares the victory flag of Maratha Empire. The mighty walls of the fort hold the glorious history of Maharashtra. The construction of this enormous masterpiece still amazes today’s engineers.

Rock Garden is one of the many prime attractions of Sindhudurg. Surrounded by huge boulders, this place stands strong against the continuously crashing waves of the Arabian sea. This garden is decorated by the presence of rich marine life.

If you are a beach person, then Vengurla is a must-visit destination for you. Along with sublime beaches, the unending coastline of Vengurla is blessed with many pilgrim places and magnificent temples. Located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Vengurla is a charming city known for its temples, white and clear sand beaches, Vengurla rocks, mango and cashew plantations, and its folk art called Dashavatra.

The famous temples here are Shri Vithoba Temple, Sageshwar Shiva Temple, Mauli Devi Temple and Sateri Devi Temple. Bharadi Devi Mandir is predominantly known for its vibrant festival – Anganewadi Jatra. Situated in the village of Anganewadi, this pilgrimage is considered to be the one with high spiritual power. The popularity of this temple attracts many tourists every year.

The popular beaches are Shiroda Beach, Nivati Beach, Vayangani Beach, Mochemad Beach and Sagareshwar Beach.
A variety of water sports is also available, along with delicious Konkan delights and seafood. Located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Parule village is sandwiched between the most popular Tarkarli beach to the north and the crystal clear waters of Bhogave to the south.

But what really sets Parola apart and has led to a surge of interest in recent years is the rich Konkan culture, which is both welcoming and enriching. Several popular farms and nature-friendly experiences have sprung up nearby and promise holidays that are both therapeutic and fun. Head to Maachli for a magical experience in the farm stay, or go for a lazy stay in the bamboo chalets of Bhogave.

With the Arabian Sea to the west and Sahyadri Hills to the east, Sawantwadi is a lovely but unconventional day trip option from Goa. The unique feature of this place is the old card game called Ganjifa and the art of making wooden toys. In fact, wooden items are the best purchases here.

Other features that make the two-hour trip from Goa to Sawantwadi worthwhile include the tranquil atmosphere, the majestic Lake Moti Talao, the Sawantwadi Palace and quintessential Konkani food. Konkani cuisine is by far the most unexplored and unvisited cuisines in India.

Konkani cuisine is know for its fish and use of coconut and not many like that but the most commercialised dish among all dishes in Konkani cuisine are prawn curry, vindaloo and sorpotel. The sorpotel one gets in these multi-cuisine restaurants is no where like the sorpotel which is made in the house of the konkani people.

Vindaloo is another lip-smacking Konkani dish which is traditionally made by the Konkani people and its praises are heard world wide. The prawns curry called sungtachi kodi is an emotion which all konkanis foster.

Solkadhi is an appetizer drink usually served along with a regular meal in parts of Konkan and Goa. A blend of dried kokam and shredded coconut goes well with non-vegetarian cuisines.

Hot and spicy chicken curry, when combined with crisp and thick vade (typical bread of Konkan region) results into an amazing and drool-worthy dish – Komdi Vade. It is an iconic dish of Sindhudurg and is truly enjoyed by many foodies. Shark curry is another lip-smacking dish that Sindhudurg has given to the state of Maharashtra.

The aroma of the meat of baby sharks perfectly molded into thick and strong curry mesmerizes every person on the dining table.

Dosa is an essential part of South Indian cuisine and is very famous among Konkani people as well. It is a very important breakfast dish in Konkani households and is usually accompanied with chutney or sambhār, some konkanis love to have dosas with ambott (tangy Konkani gravy) and they are perfect accompaniment with fish curries and sukkhes (stir fired side dish similar to Kannada gojju or pallya).

Masala dosa literally has demi-god status in the whole of South India relished by Tamilians, Malayalis, Telugus, Kannadigas and Konkanis. This is so popular that even among the North Indians it has a huge fan following. The red chutney inside the dosa is called tambdi bhaji in Konkani and the potato stuffing of dosa is called batata bhaji and this is a very special dish prepared by konkanis for breakfast.

Udid Maidya Polo is made chiefly of maida or wheat flour and urad dal. This is a typical konkani dosa and is a common sight in a Konkani household early in the morning. Pan Polo literally coconut dosa in Konkani, well known neer dosa from Tulunadu, is commonly had with chutney or ghee roast(chicken ghee roast, prawns ghee roast, paneer ghee roast and what not). Pan in Konkani means leaf and polo means dosa so literally pan polo means dosa which is as thin as a leaf which is literally how the dosa is.

Sanna Polo is a spicy dosa variety usually eaten at lunch accompanied by rice and daalithoy (konkani daal). This is a stark orange colour dosa which is extremely flavorful and sumptuous.

Patolli is a variety of sweet dosa usually prepared as offerings during any auspicious occasion in Konkani households. The special thing about this dosa is that it is steamed in turmeric leaves and not pan fried like other dosas. Surṇaḷi is another variety of sweet dosa prepared in Konkani households. These are really rich and sweet dosas usually had as breakfast or late evening snacks.

Doddak is a thick dosa made of urad daal. Unlike other dosas which one can eat 3 to 4 at a time,this Doddak is so filling that at a time you can eat only one. Phanna Doddak is a type of Doddak where they put even sesame seeds.

8. Konkan Coast

This route starts from Alibag to Dapoli and all the way goes through west coast of India. The feel you get while riding near the coast and beautiful small beaches you cross in dim sunset is just great.

The coastal route from Diveagar beach to Harihareshwar is one of the best routes of all time. Another feel good factor here is the ferry rides. You will get 2 ferry rides in this route where you have to carry your bikes/cars in ferry boat from one shore to another due to gulf area and its a nice thing to experience. And last but not the least, you can savour some tasty Konkan food.

So, what are you waiting for, grab your things, pack them up, and tour these places to experience the heritage and culture of India.
Kalyan Panja