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You could go for the food. You could go for the temples, the beaches, the epic train journeys, the tigers or to soothe your troubled soul in a land where spirituality is woven into the fabric of everyday life. You could go on a tour of India for all these things, and we’d forgive you for feeling a bit smug for ending up with so many ticks on your list.
In the end, though, you’ll go for the people. Because this is a nation that’s so inclusive, so utterly immersive, that within minutes of hitting the streets it feels totally normal to see rickshaw drivers breezily risking life and limb to go the extra mile, or holy men throwing themselves half naked from the banks of the Ganges (only those with cast iron stomachs should follow suit).
This is a place where the cup of the history buff, or the architecture nut, is full to overflowing. Steel yourself for the poverty, and the children in rags, but also marvel at the sunsets, the splendour of the national parks, and, of course, the tea (no-one does a cuppa quite like here). And you might want to abandon any notion of personal space during touring holidays to India too – this is a country that likes to do everything at very close quarters – but you’ll be amazed at how quickly you shrug off that cloak of Western reserve. The sooner the better, we say. A tailor-made holiday of a lifetime lies right around the corner.
Create your own tailor-made Indian holiday using our itinerary builder. First up: choose a base itinerary. This is the bit that includes all the places you really don’t want to miss. Don’t worry if you can’t see one that covers all your hot spots – you can add destinations as you tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.
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Navigating your way through bustling markets in Old Delhi, gazing in wonder at the illustrious Taj Mahal, riding through dense green valleys looking for tigers, or lying back and listening to the waves in Goa… however you want to do India, you can do it in style. Our Indian destinations are handpicked to showcase the best of what this thrilling and diverse country has to offer. It’s up to you now.
A one-time hippie traveller haven – now a loved-by-all beach getaway – Goa is not to be missed. It may be a tiny little state on India’s east coast, but it’s got a big heart. As well as being the undisputed king of sunbathing spots, sleepy traditional fishing villages, imposing colonial architecture and pumping nightlife also await in Goa.Discover More
Like Delhi, Mumbai is an all-encompassing city, being home to 18 million people, the world’s biggest slum and the most expensive house on Earth. From authentic street food to the Bollywood lifestyle, there’s much to see, and even more to do. Visit gigantic museums, historic train stations and watch hundreds of locals washing their clothes on the ghats.Discover More
Home to 17 million people, India’s capital city is chaotic, colourful and always full of surprises. It has two distinct sides to it, so you can spend the morning whizzing round the historic Old Town in a tuk tuk – bartering for treasures and dodging the cows – and the evening sipping cocktails in the hipster bars of New Delhi.Discover More
Also known as the Pink City, for the terracotta colour of its buildings, Jaipur is one corner of India’s Golden Triangle – and you’ll soon discover why it’s such a draw for visitors. It’s big, it’s bold, and there’s heaps to do and see. If you’re into history, this city has got you covered; you’ll be instantly transported back to another age as you wander around its palaces and forts.Discover More
The gleaming white city of Udaipur, arguably one of the most romantic settings in the country, sits on the edge of a lake, surrounded by a magnificent mountain range. Also known as the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur is renowned for its royal palaces – and is regal and relaxing in equal measure.Discover More
Most famous for the Taj Mahal, Agra is a city of imposing forts, marble tombs and romantic history – if you’re a fan of Mughal architecture, this is the place to come. And as well as the ancient splendor, there’s Old Agra, where you can get lost within the winding streets, barter with the locals at the late-night markets and peer into tiny temples.Discover More
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Wondering what to see in India? Iconic monuments, bustling markets and UNESCO World Heritage sites - this is a country that satisfies the most curious of minds and intrepid of travellers. From the Taj Mahal to India Gate – both built to commemorate those loved and lost – to the street market chaos of the Chandni Chowk or the sanctuary of Lotus Temple, a trip to India is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Why not enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle, to visit one of the states most beautiful beaches, take advantage of the breath-taking scenery to relax and unwind.Discover more
Beloved by locals and visitors to Mumbai alike – the Gateway of India is considered to be Mumbai’s top tourist attractionDiscover more
It’s seems unlikely that a six-lane concrete highway in South Mumbai should have earned its place as one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, but, as the saying goes, it’s a funny old world.Discover more
Elephant Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai Harbour named after the elephant statues that Portuguese settlers found on the island during their early exploration of India.Discover more
This magnificent monument to the second Mughal emperor was the first garden tomb in India, and set in motion an architectural trend that peaked 80 years later with the construction of the Taj.Discover more
This magnificent structure rises above its surroundings, and is even more impressive at night.Discover more
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You’ll need a visa to travel to India. Make sure it’s the right visa for your travel, that it’s valid for the length and purpose of your stay and that you have at least six months left on your passport from the date you arrive in India. You can travel to India on an e-Visa, which allows you to stay for up to 60 days. See indianvisaonline.gov.in for details.
Ask your doctor about the following: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, diphtheria, polio and tetanus (the last three are a 3-in-1 combined booster – music to the ears of the needle-phobic.)
Broadly speaking, India has three seasons – summer (March-May), monsoon (June-October) and winter (November- February). It sounds counter-intuitive but most people plan to visit during the winter season, when the climate is warm without being oppressive, and dry. In summer, the mercury rises to 40 degrees Celsius plus, and during monsoon season it rains a lot. Obviously. The choice is yours…
The currency is the Indian rupee (denoted as INR), and there are 90 rupees to the pound. For restaurant meals of between INR 300 and INR 1000, a tip of between 7-10% of the bill is considered appropriate. If you really push the boat out and spend upwards of INR 1,000, a tip of 5-7% will do nicely. At hotels expect to tip INR 100 per person per night. Tour guides should get between INR 100 and 300 per day, depending on the size of the group.
Indians like to dress conservatively, and any tight or revealing clothing is best saved for parts of the world that better appreciate a flash of midriff. Keep legs and shoulders covered, and always remove your shoes when visiting someone in their home and before entering a religious building. If in doubt, do as the Indians do. A quick look around at what the locals are up to will help spare your blushes. Other quick tips on how to fare well in India: don’t point (it’s rude), avoid being overly affectionate in public (considered obscene), and avoid eating or handling objects with your left hand. You know why.
Be mindful that India is a religious, spiritual country, and behave appropriately when you visit. The vast majority of people are Hindus (some 80 per cent), with around 15 per cent of the population following the Muslim faith. The remaining 5 per cent are Christian, Sikh, Buddhist or Jain. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism originated in India, and are also known as Dharmic faiths.
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Our tailor-made holidays to India will sweep you off your feet with glorious temples, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and the warmest welcome you’ll find anywhere on the globe. It’s impossible to return unchanged – and all the better for it.
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