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.
What to do in India : discover our hand-picked experiences & highlights
Immerse yourself in the extraordinary city of Jaipur, stepping beyond the tourist sites to taste regional sweetmeats, admire working goldsmiths and enjoy Indian hospitality at its warmest. Throughout you'll be accompanied by a local guide who can show you the hidden gems, translate conversations with the people you meet, and point out the tastiest streetfood.
There's nothing quite like experiencing the the graceful generosity of a traditional family-run haveli, enjoying meals with your hosts and relaxing 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.
Mumbai's Dharavi slum is hugely significant, and at the centre of much controversy. The community grew up hundred years ago around polluting industries outside town, and is home to thousands - but Mumbai has now encircled the slum, which now sits atop the city's most valuable land. Learn about the realities of life here, exploring the slum's potteries and bakeries, before sharing 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.
Discover your India
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The Selective difference
With us, you are taken care of from enquiry until your reluctant homecoming. Your holiday is designed by a specialist who knows your destination first-hand. Throughout your travels, you'll have expert personal guides where requested & our full logistical support. And, it goes without saying, we'll be waiting to hear all about it once you're home.
Our Brighton-based Destination Specialists spend each day working closely with colleagues and partners across Asia. This ensures we stay several steps ahead when designing inspiring holidays, staying up to date and overcoming obstacles, which means your holiday will be crafted using both local and international expertise.
The welfare of our destinations and their communities is incredibly important to us. We are focused on ensuring that your money makes a positive impact, as often as possible, by supporting communities and wildlife conservation through dedicated initiatives and by very carefully choosing our partners in Asia.
We may be partial to the occasional bad pun, but we don’t joke around when it comes to designing first class travel experiences. Over 90% of our clients rate us 5/5 after their holiday, and we're not ashamed to crack a proud grin on behalf of our award-winning teams in the UK and Asia.
We know your time is precious, before and during your trip. We want you to have a smooth and relaxing experience so that your main concern on holiday will be whether to order noodles or rice. There will be no hidden extras, and your holiday will be orchestrated seamlessly by your Destination Specialist plus our local guides and behind-the-scenes crews in your destination.
Explore India's highlights
Ask our team of India specialists to name their favourite region and you're likely to hear Madhya Pradesh mentioned more than once. A state that the bright lights and bustle of modern India are yet to reach; fill your days exploring ancient temples, crumbling hill forts and getting to within a comfortable distance of tigers.
An ancient paradise of spice groves, sultry jungle and golden stretches of sand, Kerala has enthralled visitors for centuries in part due to the ease of travel in these parts. This is India on a manageable scale. Most focus their attention on the southern state, however we would encourage you to head north for a more raw, undeveloped Keralan experience.
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