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West India Region

The industrial powerhouse of the India, Western Indian region which comprises of Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, occupies almost a third of India's area and is home to a quarter of her people. Almost all of the country's petroleum comes from here.

There are dense tropical forests in Madhya Pradesh, unending salt marshes in Rann of Kachchh where nesting flamingos, pelicans, and avocets stretch out as far as the eye can see and, in Maharashtra, precipitous hill topped by impregnable fortresses from where the marathas and the legendary Shivaji fought the mighty Mughal rulers in the 17th century.

This is the region where you can see incredibly beautiful stone sculptures at Khajuraho, Ajanta and Ellora caves, relax at the famous beaches in Goa and Diu or, may be, run in to some of India's most glamorous film stars when you visit 'Bollywood', as Bombay (renamed Mumbai), is often called.

Western India Culture, Jain Pilgrims Centres Gujarat - Tucked away on the north-western sea board of India, off the regular tourist beat, and sharing a border with Pakistan, is Gujarat, the land of the gentle Gujaratis (people of Gujarat). This is the hallowed land where the 'Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi, was born in 1869. He won India's freedom in 1947 after a relentless, peaceful struggle through the early part of the century. And the simple, but unique weapon that he used was 'ahinsa' (non-violence). This is the foremost religious vow of the peace-loving Jains who form a sizable and influential part of the population of the State. Gujarat boasts of a number of Jain pilgrims centres, including, Shatrunjaya, one of the holiest. The crest of 'Shtrunjaya' hill (Shtrunjaya- 'the place of Victory', over hatred and worldly things) is dotted with as many as 863 beautifully carved marble temples build over a period of 900 years.

Goa - With a coastline of 105 km and measuring just 60 km at its widest, this 'Emerald' on the west coast of India lies on the slopes of the Sahyadri Ranges. A number of rivers (Zuari, Mandovi, Tiracol, Chapora etc.) flow westward into the sea breaking the coast into fascinating bays and estuaries and marking off picturesque palm-fringed beaches. Hills and rivers, lakes and waterfalls, serene villages amidst lush green fields, miles and miles of famous silver beaches and, above all, friendly, hospitable people who seem ever ready to break into song. That is the magic of Goa! Little wonder that, after rushing helter-skelter across this vast country, the dusty traveller usually heads for this 'Oasis of many incarnations', to rest his cares and let the waves nibble at his toes.

Indeed, Goa is to India as Hawaii is to the world.

Maharashtra - Industrial State, Gateway of India at Maharashtra India's third largest and third most populous State, Maharashtra, lies on the west coast of India. Providing more than 20% of the value of India's industrial output, it is amont the most economically important States.

It's history goes back bearly 2500 years. Numerous Buddhist and Hindu rock-cut caves lie scattered across the land. In more recent times, it was the domain of the Marathas whose legendary hero, Shivaji, challenged the might of the Mughals in the 17th century. To suit the hurly-burly of his guerrilla warfare, Maratha women modified the 'saree' to nine yeards from the traditonal six, wearing it to look like pants. This distinctive and unique style is still retained.

Madhya Pradesh - Madhya Pradesh, India's largest state, lies sprawled across her very heart, occupying an area as large as Iraq or Sweden (443,446 A land of contrasts, it has the Malwa plateau in the north-west covered with black cotton-soil, rolling plains interspersed with hills of the Vindhyanchal range which run east-west across the middle, river valleys (notably of the holy Narmada river), and thick forests. Many areas of this huge State continue to live in relative isolation making it a fascinating land to explore. Twenty-three of the forty-five districts have a predominantly tribal population.

Indian States:

» North India - Jammu and Kashmir - Himachal Pradesh - Punjab - Uttaranchal - More...
» West India - Rajasthan - Gujarat - Goa - Maharashtra - Madhya Pradesh - More...
» East India - Sikkim - Assam - West Bengal - Arunachal Pradesh - Orissa - More...
» South India - Karnataka - Andhra Pradesh - Kerala - Tamilnadu - Pondicherry - More...