India, in all its vast extraordinary glory, is an overspilling treasure-trove of magnificent travel experiences. There's so much to take in that it can seem overwhelming, but breathe deep - our thoughtfully tailored India holidays will let you glide through the colourful chaos like a Bengal tiger through the forests of Rajasthan.
Your expert guide will be on hand to translate, elucidate, show you the shortcuts and escort you straight to the sights you really ought to see. Our well-oiled logistics will handle all the bureaucratic bits, such as securing hard-to-acquire permits for a tiger sanctuary, and introducing you to the family who’ve run your guesthouse for generations. All you have to do is open your senses, your heart, and your sense of adventure - it’s time to let India in.
From the glorious sensory overload of Delhi to the glinting towers of Mumbai, India’s cities are all a-bustle, with humdrum humanity buzzing around monumental buildings that are anything but everyday. These ornate palaces and temples are a major attraction for many visitors, and they’re certainly astonishing - but we are just as entranced by the chai wallahs, the wandering cows, and the nooks and niches where people are getting by.
The chance to see wild Bengal tigers is a huge draw for many who visit India, with a number of large jungle reserves protecting breeding populations of these magnificent animals. There's nothing quite like sighting tiger cubs in their natural habitat to put the crowning moment on your holiday! You can explore these tiger-filled jungles in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (which inspired Kipling's Jungle Book), and Uttar Pradesh, which is also where you'll find the Taj Mahal.
By the sea, you’ll find laid back Goa with its much-loved hippy vibe, and neighbouring Karnataka with its yoga scene and historic sites. Indulge in superb seafood on Kerala's Malabar Coast, and wander amongst historic architecture in Cochin, the region's colonial trading post.
Immerse yourself in the extraordinary city of Jaipur, stepping beyond the standard tourist sites to mingle with locals as you taste regional sweetmeats, admire working goldsmiths, meet a local family, and enjoy Indian hospitality at its warmest. Our walking tour takes 2-3 hours, and you'll be accompanied by an expert local guide who can show you the hidden gems, translate conversations with the people you meet, and point out the tastiest (not to mention safest) streetfood.
Experience the graceful generosity of a traditional family-run haveli, where you can enjoy dinner with your hosts, receive cookery instruction from senior family members, and relax against a backdrop of historic architecture or stunning landscape. Once the exclusive domain of aristocratic families, these ancestral homes are examples of some of India's most comfortable properties. Now open to paying guests, they are nonetheless run with a traditional sense of hospitality, and often by their original families.
The Dharavi slum is hugely significant, and at the centre of considerable controversy. The community grew up a hundred years ago around polluting industries outside town, and is home to thousands - but Mumbai has grown out to encircle the slum, which now sits atop the city's most valuable land. Your thoughtfully guided visit will show you the realities of life and work here, letting you explore the slum's potteries, soap-makers and bakeries, before sharing a home-cooked lunch with a resident family.
Built to provide fresh water for drinking, bathing and crops, India's stepwells can be up to 1,600 years old, and their architecture is nothing short of extraordinary. Rather like inverted step-pyramids, they descend into the ground in a series of ever-decreasing stone terraces, finally reaching the water table deep below. Offering a cool place for people to gather, the wells were once a focal point of community life, and are still very much worth a visit.
Make it yours
Call an India specialist on 01273 670 001
“Simply a country like no other, India just keeps giving. Its immense scale is matched only by the vast variety of experiences. Despite having visited on five occasions, at times its feels like I've barely scratched the surface.”
Karl – Product Director and India Specialist
When India's national side plays a big game, about 400 million watch it on TV
One of the world's largest rail networks keeps the country rolling
You could visit India 20 times and never see the same place twice
Diversity in everything
From faiths to food, scenery to species, and - notoriously - people's incomes
India is the world's largest spice producer, & grows the most varieties
Encircling local dishes prepared in countless ways, the word 'curry' was coined by 16th century European merchants
From Diwali's festival of lights to Holi's explosion of colour, Indian culture hinges on a full calendar of festivities
Perhaps only a country so populous needs a word to mean 'ten million'! India's number-word system is worth reading up on...
India has no state religion, but embraces many, from popular Hinduism to rare tribal faiths entwined with local ecology
Overtaking Hollywood back in the 1970s, India remains the world's largest film producer
Superb accommodation awaits, from opulent palaces and imposing fortications, to ancestral havelis and historic family farms
Capital: New Delhi
Flight time from UK: 8.30 hrs
Currency: Indian Rupee