Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Gulbarga, Karnataka, India
Tuk Tuk, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Hampi, Karnataka, India

India

Experiential Tours of India

From teeming colorful cities to sleepy hill stations, from the mighty peaks of the Himalayas to tropical island paradises, from emerald green backwaters to sweeping desert plains, India's diversity enthralls all tourists. A vacation to India leaves lasting impressions. An ancient land populated by an eclectic people whose rich history and traditions are still ingrained in daily life.

Throughout India Mughal monuments, elaborate Hindu temples and imposing colonial architecture contrast with a rural patchwork of villages and farms, making this an inspiring, beguiling and unique country to explore. Away from the main routes we know a number of families who will invite you into their homes, where you can learn about everything from the price of tea to cooking chapattis.

In the north of the country the deserts and rolling Aravalli hills remains the realm of the Rajputs, whose ancestral forts and palaces dominate the landscape. Away from the plains the rolling foothills, dotted with colonial hill stations, have long provided respite from the summer heat, while beneath the stunning backdrop of the mountain peaks vast tea plantations grow the 'Champagne of the East'.

The centre of India is a mysterious land with cave temples, lost cities, and national parks rich in birdlife and healthy tiger populations, and the unique tribal groups of Orissa. To the south, the Keralites maintain a lifestyle seemingly in keeping with the languid pace of the backwater canals, while the towering temples of Tamil Nadu are a vibrant display of colour and devotion.

 

Special Knowledge

Accommodation

Its rich history has bequeathed India with a wonderful choice of hotels, and our regular visits allow us to find the best accommodation to enhance your experience.

Many of the royal families of Rajasthan have opened their doors, and converted palaces in the cities as well as those throughout the Aravalli Hills allow you to absorb the regal atmosphere.

Such has been their popularity; 'new palaces' have been constructed - largely by the Oberoi group - with an emphasis on luxury and high quality service.

As well as the luxury hotels there are boutique spas, converted tea planters’ cottages, hill station retreats and beach bungalows.

 

Food & Drink

There is a huge variety of dishes across India, with combinations of spices giving each region its own distinctive flavour. Seafood is a specialty in the coastal areas and coconut is used in many Keralan dishes in the south. A variety of European and Chinese dishes can usually be found at 4-5 star hotels. Local brands of drinks are widely available and international brands in larger hotels although these can be expensive, so you might like to bring additional duty free to combat this. Alcohol is not available in certain holy towns such as Pushkar and Hampi and the first day of each month is a 'dry' day in Cochin.


Language

The official language is Hindi which is spoken by about 30% of the population. English is often used for official or commercial purposes. In addition, there are 17 regional languages which include Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati and Oriya which are widely used in the north and Tamil and Telegu which are common in the south. Other regional languages are Marathi, Kannada and Malayalam. The northern Muslim population largely speak Urdu.


Social Conventions & Etiquette

Smoking is banned in all public areas of hotels including restaurants and bars. Anyone found violating the rule faces a punishable offence and is likely to meet with a monetary penalty.

Scant, tight clothing will draw unwanted attention and offend local sensibilities. Displays of intimacy are not considered acceptable in public. Visitors to all religious places should be dressed in clean, modest clothes; shorts and vests are inappropriate.

Always remove shoes before entering a temple or mosque (and all leather items in Jain temples) It is a good idea to carry a pair of socks to wear on hot stone floors.

In Buddhist shrines, turn prayer wheels in a clockwise direction. In Sikh gurudwaras, everyone should cover their head, even if it is just with a handkerchief. Tobacco and cigarettes should not be taken in.

Do not take pictures of people without asking permission. Photography within airports, of military installations, bridges and at "sensitive" border areas are not permitted.

 

 

 

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