Reasons to Visit
India's central parks are home to a vast range of species - on any game drive you might see spotted and barking deer, sloth bears, Indian gazelle, numerous bird species and of course the majestic tiger. But India can boast a lot more than this - visitors to the Chambal Sanctuary might spot the rare Gangetic dolphin and the elusive Asiatic lion can be found at Sasan Gir.
Whether it's the bright saris and traditional jewellery worn by Indian women, the colourful mounds of spices adorning market stalls, or the soft, pastel pink of a sunset over Agra, every way you turn in India you are confronted by vivid and beautiful colours.
As Brits we are famously fond of a curry, but anyone who has been to India will tell you that traditional Indian food is in many ways very different. The subtle and expertly blended herbs and spices create an incredibly tasty meal and the variation of flavours and ingredients between each region is remarkable.
India has perhaps the greatest diversity of landscape of any country; from the mighty Himalaya range to arid lunar landscapes in Ladakh, forested foothills, tea and spice plantations, deserts, mangrove forests, vast plains, tropical backwaters and remote islands. You won't have to travel far to feel like you are in a completely different world.
From the Mughal forts of Jodhpur and Gwalior to the palaces of Jaipur and Udaipur, there are majestic buildings in every major city. There are also numerous smaller forts and palaces which have been carefully restored, providing an excellent place to stay and experience regal Indian life as it once was.
India is the meeting place of several different world religions. We can suggest the most important places to visit to enjoy the beauty of ancient Buddhist sculptures or marvel at Hindu temples adorned with the pantheon of colourful gods. Our guides will point out the intricacies of mosque design or explain the meaning of a ceremony in a Sikh gurdwara.
Any trip to India should include at least one journey by train. Rail travellers will experience a glimpse of a bygone era, and an overnight journey offers the excitement of waking in your private car to a new and vibrant landscape beyond the window.
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Locally known as 'kettuvallam', these traditional rice barges are a wonderfully relaxing way to see the backwaters.
Locally known as 'kettuvallam', these traditional rice barges are made by tying jackwood planks together with coir rope and then coating them with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. Today these giant 80ft long crafts have been converted into simple, furnished houseboats with one or two en-suite bedrooms, an open lounge and eating area, a deck, a kitchenette and a crew comprising captain and cook. Cold water showers are available but the crew can provide a bucket of hot water on request and the bedroom air-conditioning can be switched on at night.
You will board your houseboat for lunch and cruise the backwaters until the boat moors just before dusk. Soft drinks and beer (no other alcohol) are available to purchase on board. Check-out is after breakfast, usually at around 9.30 the following morning, but subject to change depending on your onward journey arrangements.
As lights lit on the deck at night attract insects dinner is usually taken early and guests retire early to bed.
Enjoy a relaxing river cruise and discover otherwise inaccessible areas as well as experiencing local culture from a different perspective.
A large part of Kerala’s considerable charm lies in the Backwaters, a network of canals that lead off Lake Vembanad.
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Include a stay at Keralan Houseboats (Rice barges) on your tailor-made trip around India by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in IndiaRegions of IndiaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasTrain journeys in IndiaPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout IndiaCountry Guides
Other countries in The Indian Subcontinent:BhutanNepalSri LankaThe Maldives
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