It is often said that India 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 be able to Indulge in some of the best Palace-Style hotels India has to offer and step into the shoes of a Maharaja of the old days.
Start your India adventure in Mumbai, 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 relate to the long history of India’s maritime interaction with the rest of the world.
Take a vehicle and boat to Alappuzha – still more romantically known as Alleppey. This is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters and home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats.
Set at an altitude of 6000 ft. in the Idukki District, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. An unending expanse of tea plantations, pristine valleys and mountains, exotic species of colonial bungalows, flora and fauna are found in its wild sanctuaries and forests.
Wing on to Chennai and drive to Mahabalipuram, the major seaport of the ancient Pallava kingdom. Explore the city’s many magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites including 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 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. This city stretches along the River Ganges as its waterfront is dominated by long flights of stone ghats where thousands of pilgrims and residents come for their daily ritual ablutions. You can also explore Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhism.
Your next stop is Agra, India’s capital under the Mughals. It remains undiminished, from the massive Red Fort to the magnificent and eternal beauty – the Taj Mahal. The Taj is said to be like “a teardrop on the cheek of time.” You will 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 romantic. With its intricate sequence of ornately turreted and balconied palaces, you’re sure to feel love in the air.
Fly back to Mumbai and connect to your homebound flight.
Access Asia Tours (AAT) was founded by Joseph Sinisi and Mark Huang with offices in Denver, USA, and operation centers in Beijing, China, Bangkok, Thailand and New Delhi, India.