India Group Tours & Short Stay holidays
India evokes images of colourful religious festivals, deserts lined with historic forts, tented camps nestled in sand dunes, delicious food and royal palaces. Abundant wildlife such as the Asian Elephant and the Royal Bengal Tiger can be found in the numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. All of these images of India may be experienced on our tours, but the most enduring memories that you will take away with you is of the happy, smiling people.
Time – India is 4½ hours behind Australian EST
Language – Hindi is the official national language of India, however, there are 22 official languages. English is also widely spoken
Entry Requirments – Passports must be valid for six months beyond the length of stay. Visas are required for Australian travellers. The Indian visa application is an online form. This must be completed online, printed and submitted in person by the applicant to the applicable VFS office, along with your passport, checklist and applicable photos. This is due to changes in Indian Visa Submissions now requiring applicants to make online appointments in order to collect Biometric Data at the time of submitting their applications. The application process frequently changes and you will be advised of the current procedure at booking stage.
HOLI FESTIVAL IN INDIA
Holi Festival in India is celebrated on the full moon in the month of March. People celebrate by rubbing and throwing gulal and abeer (coloured powder and dyes) on each other. If travelling during the Holi Festival please be patient during times when touring is affected or delayed. If you experience allergies, please bring a dust mask with you.
The city of Delhi consists of two parts. The first is Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries. It retains legendary bazaars such as Chandni Chowk and monuments and forts relating to India’s Muslim history. The other is New Delhi, which was created by the British.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of Mughal India. Agra has a magnificent fort and is home to the building that so many people travel to India solely to see – the Taj Mahal.
The capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the ‘Pink City’ because of the painted exterior of the buildings in the old walled city. In Jaipur you will experience the authentic India as you are welcomed by camel carts and bustling bazaars.
Standing on the edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan. The city is dominated by the huge Meherangarh Fort built in 1638 and is situated on a hill located in the centre of the Old City.
Located along a traditional trade route, Jaisalmer acquired great wealth. The merchants and townspeople built magnificent houses and havelis, exquisitely carved from wood and golden-yellow sandstone.
Udaipur is known as the ‘White City’ or ‘City of Lakes’. The drawcards of modern day Udaipur include the massive City Palace and Lake Pichola. It is on this lake that Jag Niwas Island, also known as the Lake Palace Island, is located.
The temples of Khajuraho are one of India’s major attractions, built around 950AD during the Chandela Dynasty. The temples here are excellent examples of Indo-Aryan architecture and depict scenes of Royal battles and everyday life over 1,000 years ago.
Nowhere in India is there a more important pilgrimage site for Hindus than Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the holy River Ganges, thousands of pilgrims flock to the bathing ghats (steps) every day to conduct their ritual ablutions.
Whilst Delhi is the political capital of India, Mumbai is the commercial and economic capital. The city is famous for its film industry known as ‘Bollywood’.
Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka and one of the finest in southern India. Small, relaxed and famous for its silks and sandalwood, it is a city of fine gardens, tree-lined boulevards and the intriguing Maharaja’s Palace.
Kochi is the most laid-back of Kerala’s cities, with one of the finest natural harbours on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The city once served as a port of call for the Chinese, Arabs, Jews, British, French and the Portuguese. From combining the cultures of each nationality, Kochi formed its cosmopolitan character.
Also known as Alappuzha, Alleppey is a town in the middle of the backwaters of Kerala. Described as the ‘Venice of the East’, Alleppey is comprised of canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons and is a very popular tourist attraction. A leisurely backwater cruise on a traditional houseboat is the best way to discover Kerala’s exceptional scenic beauty.
Until the 1960s, Kovalam was just a sleepy fishing village with narrow lanes and thatched dwellings. Once its spectacular beach and crystal-clear waters were discovered, it became a favourite with travellers around the world. The beachside is dotted with both luxury and budget resorts, as well as cafés and several government-approved Ayurveda centres that offer anything from a simple massage to three-week treatments.
Munnar is a hillstation sitting at an altitude of 1,524m that is surrounded by vast expanses of tea plantations. Located on the Western Ghats, Munnar is a very popular resort town. Many travellers that are attracted by the mountain mist, waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries and tea estates travel here every year.
In 1639 the construction of Fort St. George marked the settlement of the British and the birth of a new city known as Madras. Today, Chennai is India’s fourth largest city and is known as the ‘Gateway to the South’. A city famed for its temples, Chennai gives a sense of serenity, enhanced by one of the world’s largest and most beautiful beaches, Marina Beach.
Perched amongst the clouds at 2,134m in the lower Himalayas, Darjeeling lies in the heart of rolling hills of premium tea plantations and retains its old colonial charm.
Located in the eastern Himalayas, Pelling is famous for its views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, which the locals worship as a protecting deity, as well as its proximity to a number of significant old Tibetan monasteries.
Located atop a ridge of the mighty Himalayas, Gangtok is the capital of the state of Sikkim in northeast India. It is a bustling town serving as a perfect base for exploring Sikkim.
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