5th January 2018
India is a vast and varied country with much to experience, which is why many travellers keep returning time and time again. From the frenetic cities of Delhi and Kolkata to the rural idyll of village India, the beaches of Goa to the mountains of Kashmir, tribal communities, religious ceremonies and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there’s something to appeal whatever you interests. However, with so much to see and do, it can be difficult to decide which area to focus on and which sights to visit. To help you choose the perfect India tour, we’ve put together a guide to some of our most popular trips.
Most first time visitors focus on the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and with good reason. India’s capital, Delhi, throws you straight into the country’s gloriously chaotic street life and offers sights such as the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid and Humayun’s Tomb. Agra is home to the majestic Taj Mahal, which manages to live up to expectations, especially when seen at sunrise or sunset, while the stunning pink city of Jaipur is bursting with forts, palaces and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our Rajasthan: Taj, Temples and Tigers tour takes in these three cities, as well as a visit to Ranthambore National Park in the hope of seeing some of India’s most famous animal residents and the chance to experience rural India with stays in Bhenswara and Castle Bijaipur.
The jungles and hills of Central India, the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories, are a treat for any animal lover. Our Jungle Book tour visits three of India’s largest and most pristine national parks in search of the elusive Bengal tiger as well as a host of other wildlife including leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs and crocodiles. Starting in Mumbai, our first stop is Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve where you’ll hopefully be lucky enough to spot some of the reserve’s magnificent tigers. As well as a vast array of wildlife, our next stop at Kanha National Park offers the opportunity to visit a local village, while in Satpura National Park there will be the chance for both vehicle and walking safaris, jungle treks and a canoe trip. This national park is also home to the rare Indian giant squirrel.
It’s almost impossible not to have a wealth of cultural experiences on a trip to India, no matter where you visit. However, as the name may suggest, our Rajasthan: Deserts, Forts and Palaces tour makes the state’s cultural highlights a particular focus. Begin by exploring the colonial elegance of Delhi, visiting Humayun’s Tomb and India Gate, before continuing on to Khandela, an ancient town with history stretching back more than two millennia. Visit Nagaur, a city with a turbulent history, having been sacked by the Mongols in 1306 and at the heart of the power struggles between the Rajputs and the Mughals for centuries, and spend a night in a camp in the Thar Desert. Explore the desert city of Jaisalmer with its mix of palaces, temples and havelis before ending the tour in the blue city of Jodhpur with a visit to the imposing Meherangarh Fort.
A walking holiday is the perfect way to fully engage with your surroundings when travelling, and India offers some truly stunning walking routes for everyone from novices to avid trekkers. Our Walking in Ladakh and Kashmir tour is suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure. Starting in Srinagar, you’ll enjoy a few days of relaxation on a houseboat on Dal Lake before trekking from Aru to Sonomus and from Kargil to Likir. The first trek will take you through forests into the open mountains and sweeping valleys of Kashmir, while on the second you’ll cross several of Ladakh’s passes, enjoying incredible scenery and visiting towns and villages en route. The tour ends with visits to Leh and Delhi.
If you’ve already taken the plunge and visited India, we’re sure the country has won your heart and left you wanting more. For a different side of India, our Gujarat and Rann of Kutch tour could be just what you’re looking for. Gujarat is largely free from mass tourism, and offers undiscovered gems from the wildlife and salt flats of the Rann of Kutch to the Jain temples in Bhavnagar. This tour also offers the chance to experience rural Indian life, with visits to the villages of the Garacia, Adivacyi and Bharad tribes, and opportunities to see the colourful textiles that the region is famous for.
India has so much to offer that you could spend a year exploring the country and still leave with much undiscovered. However, if you have the time, our 31 day Great Indian Adventure covers may of the highlights across the country, from the capital Delhi to the holy city of Varanasi, the home of the Bengal tiger to the beaches of Goa and the ruins of Hampi to the Taj Mahal. You’ll stay in accommodation varying from heritage hotels to houseboats, and travel by bus, boat and train. This truly is the trip of a lifetime!