For the first time traveller to India, arriving into cities such as Delhi or Mumbai can be challenging; the smells, the humidity and the sheer amount of people can take some getting used to. However, if you scratch the surface you will discover some of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. Here are a few of our favourites!
Delhi is a city that brings together two worlds, that of Old and New Delhi, and offers an eclectic mix of chaos and modernity. Old Delhi is a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with havelis where you can get a glimpse of daily life, whereas the imperial city of New Delhi is spacious, with many of the avenues lined with trees and stylish cafes and bars.
Varanasi, located further west, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and is an unapologetic assault on the senses. Endlessly fascinating, you can explore the bright and bustling bazaars as well as witness the many Hindu pilgrims bathing themselves in the holy River Ganges.
A few hours south of Delhi is the historic city of Agra where you can witness the majestic Taj Mahal – a pinch yourself moment where you really do get swept up in all its glory. The city of Jaipur, also the capital and largest city of the state of Rajasthan is known as ‘The Pink City’. You will be amazed by the beautifully carved and ornate palaces, forts and museums showcasing artefacts from ancient times.
Alternatively, you can slip into second gear and travel to Southern India where you will be transported to another time and place. Southern India is very different from the north, providing exceptionally stark contrasts between spices, food, cultures and climate.
Lush countryside with tea plantations and rolling hills, serene tropical waterways of the Kerala Backwaters and calm beaches await you. Discover the heritage and history of Kochi with a visit to the Dutch Fort, and travel to Munnar, a former hill station and home to the country’s highest tea plantations.
If you are in search of somewhere a little more off the beaten track, head to Sikkim, a region dedicated to sustainable community-based tourism. Sikkim is India’s cleanest state, and the government also plans to turn it into a fully organic state, setting new benchmarks for responsible travel in the country. Located in northeast India, this state sits in the shadow of the world’s highest mountains. Life is conducted at a slower pace in comparison to the other parts of India, yet is still incredibly fascinating.
India is a country of astonishing diversity, presenting travellers with experiences that stir the soul and ignite the imagination. Travelling through this remarkable country is a constant exploration and those that travel with an open mind will be truly rewarded.
We have a number of group and independent tours still available for travel in 2015. Book today and embark on an eye-opening experience exploring incredible India with its amazing cities and sites.