India is a huge, densely populated country with an intensity like nowhere else on earth. Due to its vastness, it would be a challenge to explore everything in one holiday to India but after your first visit, you will be keen to return - for this is a country that captivates and intrigues.
Delhi stands as the capital of modern India. The city is divided into two sections – New Delhi and Old Delhi. New Delhi is a spacious imperial city created by the British as the capital of India in 1911. By contrast Old Delhi is a 17th century walled city with city gates, narrow alleys, temples, mosques and bazaars. One thing the two areas of the city do have in common is their ability to charm.
India teems with breathtaking architecture and many India holidays will highlight just some of the impressive buildings and monuments. The most famous of these is undoubtedly the Taj Mahal. Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming beauty of this magnificent monument to love. Listen to the hype - the Taj Mahal really is as wonderful as you’ve been told. The structure and the picture-perfect grounds are even more striking when viewed early in the day before the heat and crowds descend.
Continuing with the architectural theme, a visit to the Amber Fort will not disappoint. The mighty fortress looms over a valley, creating an incredible spectacle. Step inside to discover amazing architecture; the tiling is intricate and ornate. It must have been a wonderful place in which to live. Another key centre is Jaipur, commonly referred to as the ‘pink city’. It’s the capital of Rajasthan and the main shopping city in India – so whatever your heart desires, you will find it here.
Kerala is arguably the most beautiful state in India, and it almost feels like you are in a different country altogether. The state is a narrow coastal strip with banana and rubber plantations, exotic beaches and a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. As you tour India on a cruise through Kerala’s backwaters - a weaving web of canals, lakes, channels and tiny narrow islands – you’ll see where families live and work. At the nearby Kovalam beach area you will uncover another aspect of Keralan life among the secluded beaches and fishing communities.
The sacred city of Varanasi is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. Situated on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre for learning and civilisation for more than 2,000 years. Its main attraction is the many bathing ghats – paved steps and clearings – which line the west bank of the sacred river. It is here that Hindus come to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges to rid themselves of sin.