Best of 2013: Our favourite travel destinations

Hidden escape > Wildernest, Chorla Ghat, Goa

This scenic location in the Chorla Ghat sector of the Western Ghats is home to over 55 species of reptiles and amphibians. The area covers Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. Pic Courtesy/Nirmal Kulkarni.

Success Story > Chandoli National Park

In 2010, the Chandoli National Park was declared as a part of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. This missing piece of a green jigsaw fell into place, finally, ensuring that a large tract of forests in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra fall into one continuous stretch. Pic Courtesy/C Gangadharan Menon.

Diversity > Kutch, Gujarat

Kutch is the only district in India where four distinct ecosystems (desert, coastal, grassland and upland) exists within a span of 100 kms.Pic Courtesy/Urmi Popat.

Urban Heritage > Vasai Fort, Thane

A slice of history in our backyard, this fort was built during the Portuguese rule over this region, in 1535. Seven churches can be found inside this citadel. The Marathas won over this European power and took over the fort in 1739; they built three temples in it. Pic/Nimesh Dave.

Unknown Wonder > Saptakunda Waterfall, Aurangabad

This waterfall is in full splendour during the monsoon as it gushes strongly and drops into the river from almost 150 feet. Drop by this stunning natural wonder while doing the Ajanta-Elora circuit.Pic Courtesy/Jayesh Paranjape.

Scenic Beach > Xendrem Beach, Goa

This beach, untouched by commercial activitiy, will remind you of Goa from its pre-tourist boom times. At this scenic stretch in South Goa, feni is still homemade, and Fish Curry and Rice is as authentic as it gets. Pic Courtesy/C Gangadharan Menon.

Natural Wonder > Kaas Plateau

Kaas is considered to be Maharashtra’s very own Valley of Flowers and is one of the 39 World Natural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO along the Western Ghats. Pic Courtesy/C Gangadharan Menon.

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