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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The village houses you will stay in are lovely colourful little properties you see in this region but have been adapted to suit western needs.
The village houses you will stay in are lovely colourful little properties you see in this region but have been adapted to suit western needs. You will enjoy comfortable beds with pillows and duvets. The rooms are well kept and decorated in the local style but also retain the charm found in the remote Kumaon hills region. There is a separate toilet/shower block where you will be provided with hot water in a bucket and soap. Although simple it is the perfect way to end your day.
Food is prepared on a wood stove in the house usually by the men of the house and the guide that will also accompany you. It is superb food, spice is toned down and there is plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. For the majority of the time you will eat outside and if it is a bit cold they will provide rugs and hot water bottles but you really get the chance to enjoy the stunning stars and the peace.
You are encouraged to interact with the village families as you go along; they are happy for you to help particularly at the village of Jawalabanj or just watch in the kitchen, they are just as intrigued by you as you are of them and welcome the interaction. You will have a host with you throughout to provide any assistance.
Almora itself occupies a horseshoe-shaped ridge and is an important market town and administrative centre. It is also considered to be the cultural capital of the area, also known for Jim Corbett's tiger escapades. Its stone paved roads and wooden houses reflect its rich heritage.
Our rating: Medium
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