India Itinerary: How to See Western India in 12 Days

Explore the best of western India’s beautiful beaches, deserts, and salt flats, wildlife-filled national parks, archaeological discoveries, and ancient temples and forts. Our local insider Devorah shares her itinerary for experiencing all the region’s highlights in 12 days.


Photo © Devorah Lev Tov

Days 1-3: Goa

Day 1: Goa

Start in peaceful Arambol Beach in northern Goa.

Day 2: Goa

Head to Ashwem or Candolim Beach, or go further south to Baga Beach to enjoy water sports.

Stop at Chapora Fort for amazing views. If it’s Wednesday, head to the flea market at Anjuna.

Day 3: Goa

Visit Ries Magos Fort and Church.

Head to Mapusa Market for regional delicacies like sausages, dried fish, and Goan sweets.

In Panjim, see the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and explore the old town.

Sunset from Goa. Photo credit: Devorah Lev-Tov

Days 4-9: Maharashtra

Day 4: Pune

In Pune, visit the Aga Khan Palace, which is now a memorial to Gandhi, whose ashes are in the garden.

Other highlights include Shaniwarwada fort and the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple.

For a spectacular view, climb up Parvati Hill.

Day 4: Mumbai

Rise early and visit Mumbai’s Sassoon Docks to see fishermen bringing in the morning’s catch.

Walk to the Gateway of India for a photo op, and then through the Oval Maidan, perhaps catching a cricket game.

Head to Chowpatty Beach to munch on chaat (Indian street snacks).

Day 5: Mumbai

Go to the Dhobi Ghats and see the gigantic laundry operation, where most of the city gets its clothes washed.

Grab a chai tea before going to bargain for antiques at the Chor Bazaar.

Catch a beautiful sunset at Haji Ali Dargah.

Day 6: Ajanta

UNESCO World Heritage Site Ajanta, which is best reached from first traveling to Aurangabad, is 30 ancient caves with Buddhist monuments and artwork.

Upon returning to Aurangabad, visit Bibi Ka Maqbara, known as the Mini Taj.

Day 7: Ellora and Daulatabad Fort

Visit Ellora, which contains ancient Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments and artwork, including the monolithic Kailasha Temple.

From Ellora, stop at the 14th century Daulatabad Fort before returning to Aurangabad.

Day 8: Mumbai

Return to Mumbai for the night.

Days 9-12: Gujarat

Day 9: Ahmedabad

See Sabarmati Ashram (Ghandi's former home), Jama Mosque, and the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city.

In the evening, stroll along the Sabarmati Riverfront.

Day 10: Bhuj

Take the train to Bhuj. Visit the palaces of Aaina Mahal and Prag Mahal and the Shri Swaminarayan Temple.

Day 11: Kutch

Hire a driver to take you to the villages of Kutch, rural communities dotting the desert that specialize in various handicrafts.

Visit Ludiya, with its brightly painted circular huts, to see intricate embroidery.

Head to Khavda for beautiful pottery, Hodka, which is famous for its decorative mirrors and silver jewelry, and Jura for its copper bells.

Day 12: Little Rann of Kutch

Go on a jeep safari through the Little Rann, a salt desert that’s also a wildlife sanctuary, home to the Indian Wild Ass and many bird species – including flamingos!

You can also see salt miners at work.

Salt miner at work in Little Rann of Kutch. Photo credit: Devorah Lev-Tov

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