India, it is often said, is not a country, but a continent. Stretching from the frozen summits of the Himalayas to the tropical greenery of Kerala, its expansive borders encompass an incomparable range of landscapes, cultures and people. Walk the streets of any Indian city and you’ll rub shoulders with representatives of several of the world’s great faiths, a multitude of castes and outcastes, fair-skinned, turbaned Punjabis and dark-skinned Tamils. On this tour, you will also be able to Indulge in some of the best Palace-Style hotels India has to offer and fancy the life of a Maharaja in the old days.
Start your India adventure in Mumbai, which is a cosmopolitan metropolis, earlier known as Bombay. It is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra State. Mumbai is undoubtedly the commercial capital of India and is one of the predominant port cities in the country.
Fly to Kochi (colonial name as ‘Cochin’), a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. Explore many sites that related to the long history of India maritime interaction with the rest of the world and of its colonial rule.
By vehicle and boat to Alappuzha – still more romantically known as Alleppey – is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats.
Set at an altitude of 6000ft in Idukki District, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations – pristine valleys and mountains – exotic species of colonial bungalows, flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests – aroma of spice scented cool air.
Wing on to Chennai and drive to Mahabalipuram, the major seaport of the ancient Pallava kingdom based at Kanchipuram. Explore the city’s many magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites – temples and carvings that inflame the imagination, especially at sunset.
Pondicherry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern India. The city has many beautiful colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and the well planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. Don’t miss this old world charm.
Travel by air to Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Benares, stretches along the River Ganges, its waterfront dominated by long flights of stone ghats where thousands of pilgrims and residents come for their daily ritual ablutions. Also explore the birthplace of Buddhism – Sarnath.
Your next stop is Agra – India’s capital under the Mughals – remains undiminished, from the massive Red Fort to the magnificent and eternal beauty – Taj Mahal. Then drive to the flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture in Jaipur, which has long been established on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s “Golden Triangle”.
Another drive takes you to Udaipur. Spreading around the shores of the idyllic Lake Pichola and back dropped by a majestic ring of craggy green hills, it seems to encapsulate India at its most quintessentially romantic, with its intricate sequence of ornately turreted and balconied palaces.
Fly back to Mumbai and connect your homebound flight.