India: As seen on screen
India has been stealing the limelight in a number of television series recently. With the release of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel film, our specialists have put together a list of their favourite experiences, hotels and excursions, inspired by the locations seen on screen.
(Main image: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Copyright © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox)
Top five Jaipur experiences
As the setting for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the Rajasthani capital of Jaipur creates a beautiful backdrop for the unfolding story on screen – which is even more impressive in person. Here our specialists share the must-see sights and top experiences in the Pink City. Catch the film in cinemas now.
Evening Bazaar, Cuisine & Crafts walk
Get off the beaten track on this evening tour of the oldest part of Jaipur and immerse yourself in the local culture. Watch the busy craftsmen at work with traditional Zardozi embroidery, Gota work, Kinari, silver and stonework.
Just outside the city, take a tour of the magnificent Amber Palace which lies high on a hill overlooking the beautiful Maota Lake. Here you'll find a number of impressive public rooms, beautifully decorated with marble, mirror work and mosaics.
This observatory can be visited as part of a city tour of Jaipur. The collection of impressive astronomical structures provides a fascinating insight into its creator, Sawai Jai Singh, the Rajput king. Home to the world’s biggest sundial and instruments with the ability to predict eclipses, it’s hard to believe they were built in the early 18th century.
Join the host family for a delicious thali meal in the traditional Rajasthani surroundings of Dera Mandawa. Tucked away from the main roads, it is a haven of tranquillity and makes for an unforgettable evening meal experience.
We know that the fascinating city of Udaipur featured in some of the scenes in the first film and given its impressive, picturesque landscapes, we can see why. We always recommend bolting on an extra couple of days here to explore.
View from Restaurant, Ameti Ki Haveli, Udaipur
Indian Summers: Colonial history
Channel Four’s fantastic new ten-part drama, Indian Summers, has got our specialists thinking about their favourite properties which reflect the decadence and share the colonial history of those featured in the series. Don’t miss the third episode on Channel Four this Sunday at 9pm.
The Cecil, Shimla – As the chosen setting for the drama series, Shimla epitomises the splendour of northern India’s colonial history. Originally built in 1884, the Cecil has been beautifully renovated by the Oberoi group and even hosted Mahatma Gandhi. Its location at the end of The Mall is ideal for a stroll around the local town and shopping for traditional handicrafts.
Glenburn, Darjeeling – Darjeeling was also used as a summer escape during the Raj Empire. This 150-year-old plantation bungalow is surrounded by 1,000 acres of private forest and a working tea estate. Glenburn is a wonderful place for birdwatching, with a resident naturalist guide, it boasts fantastic views of the Himalayas and offers tours of the surrounding tea plantations.
Himalayas, Darjeeling, India
Favourite foodie excursions
The first episode of the BBC’s A Cook Abroad series kicked things off in style in India, covering Delhi and the state of Punjab, with a particular focus on Amritsar. Watch the episode on BBC iPlayer and follow the rest of the series in destinations including Argentina and Egypt. Here we list our favourite Indian foodie excursions.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar
As seen in the very first episode with chef Tony Singh, Audley travellers can volunteer in the kitchens of the Golden Temple to help feed the thousands of worshippers who come to pray here daily. Explore the temple on our 'Discover Amritsar' tour.
Family Cooking Brahmin Style, Jodhpur
Join the Thakur family in one of the iconic blue houses of the city for a hands-on cooking lesson and take away traditional Brahmin recipes to try at home.
Delhi Night Food Walk, Delhi
Eat your way around the narrow streets and bazaars of Old Delhi, in the noisy and busy areas of Chawri Bazaar and Chandni Chowk. Get your fill of soul-satisfying street food where the locals do on this night food walk.
Dewalokam Homestay, Kerala
Stay with friendly husband and wife duo, Jose and Sinta, for a taste of the Keralan coast. We’ve received consistently excellent feedback from travellers here and would recommend a visit to Dewalokam Homestay for those after an authentic foodie experience.
To find out more information about trips to India, please contact our team of specialists on 01993 838 330 or view our India holiday ideas to start planning your trip.