Oh, India. Is there any country more enchanting, more memorable and more truly unique than you? Between the unparalleled natural beauty, vibrant colourful culture and irresistible aromas that hit you from every angle, this is the destination to visit if you’re in the mood to be captivated by chaos. This is the land where every mountaintop, majestic palace complex and bustling bazaar tells its own unique story, and you’ll soon fall head over heels for the diverse blend of languages and cultures that make up the rich tapestry of this sprawling Asian paradise. With every region offering you a new breadth of colour, flavour and energy, an India tour is bound to tease you, teach you and surprise you at every turn - setting your imagination alight the second you step off the plane.
India trips are all about uncovering ancient secrets, unearthing eclectic sub-cultures and awakening your soul to new adventures, experiences and tastes. From the lush tranquillity of Mumbai’s hanging gardens to the lively street vendors of Old Delhi, the spiritually-infused yoga vibes of palm-tree lined Goa to the pink hues of Jaipur’s Amber Fort, India’s pure scale will have you spoilt for choice, no matter what brought you there. Self-confessed shopper? India’s markets will provide you with an endless stream of lehengas, scarves, saris and spices in colours you didn’t even know existed. Wildlife enthusiast? Ranthambore National Park will have your insta shots filled with tigers, monkeys and lush flora. City dweller? Let the guided tours of Delhi’s winding backstreets and the roaring ruckus of Mumbai show you a new side of city life.
Of course, much of India’s allure is attributed to one very important part of travelling: the food. Indian cuisine brings the flavour; countering the heat of spicy meat and sizzling non-veg dishes with the soothing creaminess of raita, kulfi and of course lassi. No better interlude to wandering the legendary streets of Udaipur with some Indian snacks, namely kachoris or parathas. Or perhaps gliding on Kerala's backwaters will work up an appetite for South Indian dosa. One thing’s for sure, after a trip to India, your palette will never truly be the same.
Language: Hindi, English
Currency: Indian rupee
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There’s no better way to set your wanderlust alight than with a tour around the gob-smackingly magnificent palace complex of Udaipur, with its intricate decor, arches that can be seen anywhere and cupolas that tower over the city’s lake. What could top that? Perhaps a visit to the stunning serenity of Jagdish Temple, a 16th-century Hindu temple. With the Hindu god Vishnu carved into black stone and steps flanked by tiny elephants, this is a temple like no other. A little follow-up sightseeing will ignite your love for India and tap into the enigmatic past of this ancient city.
In India, Bollywood is king - so much so that’s it’s become part and parcel of Indian heritage. Its influence is felt everywhere, with the music blasted through the streets and the Bollywood stars sitting at the very apex of Indian celebrity life. India and Bollywood go hand in hand, so whether musicals are your thing or not, you’ll want to get the low-down on the booming film industry that gives Mumbai its glamorous side. You’ll learn who’s who and what’s what in the world of Indian celebrity-dom. If you’ve got a flair for the dramatic, you’ll feel right at home…
Mumbai, India’s powerhouse city and the nation’s nightlife capital. At dusk, Mumbai is bustling and busy, lit up by street lights, candles and partygoers. But at dawn is when its true beauty reveals itself, the city transforms and the breaking sunlight illuminates its unique Indian charm. You’ll rise with the locals and labourers, and see the city come to life as you visit the fish market, newspaper stand and flower market. You might not be a morning person now, but we guarantee you’ll never have a morning like it. A cup of of warm chai to hit your soul, and your day’s already off to an awesome start.
The small state of Goa sets itself apart from the rest of India for being a hub of international influence and a hotspot for trance-lovers. But most of all, Goa is decidedly zen-tastic. You can’t talk about Goa without spirituality, and you’ll get in touch with yours with yoga on the gorgeous sandy Goan beach, recharging, clearing your mind and giving a well-deserved stretch to those travel-tired limbs. Far from the trappings of your phone (leave it in your room) and surrounded by baroque architecture, hippie markets and palm trees, this is self-reflection the Goan way.
Some sites are just worth trekking for, and Jaipur’s famous Amber Fort is no exception. This gorgeous 16th-century fort is the jewel of Jaipur, and an absolute must visit. The extensive complex is made up of palaces, stairways and balconies, and the amber hues and pink sandstone of this stunning site will have you utterly captivated. Perusing its romantic courtyards and trekking up to its turrets will offer unparalleled views of the surrounding ancient city of Jaipur, immersing you in the world of king’s and concubines. If you’re not totally head over heels for India yet, you probably are now.
If there's one thing India does well, it's throw a party. And we’re not just talking crowds and music, oh no. Bright hues, rhythmic drums, and of course no Indian party is complete without a feast fit for a king. Indian festivals aren’t ones to miss if you want the true essence of the Indian spirit.
Japanese, Chinese and Thai food - in India? Damn right, and it’s absolutely delicious at that. This al-fresco food fest will have you questioning whether you accidentally wandered into the market-lined streets of South-East Asia. A melting pot of flavours and a symphony of sounds, a trip to the Asian Hawkers Market is an experience like no other.
If you like to let your imagination run wild when it comes to food, Bhukkad Flea will change your life. This is where all of India’s most beloved, unknown and emerging cuisines come to party, and chefs showcase their talents. You can find everything from Chinese food to BBQ, homemade classics to quirky creations.
So much to do, so much to see, and you can get the low-down on it all the National Museum. This Museum celebrates India’s artistic and historical achievements, getting you well and truly clued up on all the cultural layers that make up India as we know and love it today.
Self-confessed history buff? The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is your one-stop shop for India’s fascinating ancient history. Featuring relics, artefacts, natural history and archaeology as part of its 50,000 exhibits, you’ll be so overwhelmed with things to do and see that you’ll want to choose carefully. The stunning decor juxtaposed against the lush grounds of the museum is a photo op in itself, so make sure your camera has ample space.
Forget everything you think you know about Indian food, because you’re in for an absolute explosion of flavours with not one chicken tikka masala in sight. Indian cuisine is a true reflection of the country itself: complex, full of heat and packed with surprises. Best start testing your spice limits now…
At surface level, parathas are a humble flatbread enjoyed on the side of curry. But in reality, they’re so much more than that. A Delhi favourite, these oily breads can be filled with vegetables, meat or spices, and is easily Delhi’s most addictive snack. Tucked away in the backstreets of bustling Old Delhi lies Paranthe Wali Gali, the ideal spot to get you inducted into these yummy breads.
Vegans, this one's for you! This delectable dish is comprised of pea split beans and rice, turmeric and cumin - a Goan classic, but enjoyed nationwide. What better environment to tuck into this regional delight than in a Peshwa Palace setting, which is why Diva Maharashtracha should be your restaurant of choice…
A fried, spicy snack made with delicious lentil stuffing, kachoris are a speciality in the fantastical pink city of stunning Jaipur. Head to LMB to sample their world-renowned Mava Kachori's as a welcome interlude to your gawking at gorgeous architecture, but be warned: they may be small, but boy are they filling…
There is no better prime example of Goan cuisine than chicken cafreal. Originating in the Portuguese colonies of Africa and now infusing Portuguese style with Indian flavours, cafreal is a rich and tantalisingly spicy green curry enjoyed as a local favourite in the sunshine state. Catch it at this quintessentially Goan restaurant with rice or roti.