Intoxicating India

India is vast, culture-rich and brimming with treasures. And there are few better ways to discover it than on a private tour

Team Wanderlust
15 September 2014
Promoted by
Hayes and Jarvis

If you’re looking for that trip of a lifetime, look no further than India. A vast and vibrant country, with tantalising cuisine aplenty, India offers an overwhelming number of things to see and do. From bustling cities to exotic jungles, snow-capped mountains and misty plantations, it is an incredibly diverse natural and cultural feast. But where do you begin?

Delhi is a great, and easily accessible, starting point for your Hayes and Jarvis trip. Here, two cities collide: the grand, imperious architecture of New Delhi, the beating heart of modern India, is contrasted with the chaotic allure of Old Delhi, a pulsating labyrinth of people, rushing rickshaws, wandering cows and even the odd elephant. 

Don’t miss the chance to sample the traditional Mughlai dishes of Old Delhi, from tandoori chicken to seekh kebabs. And visit the crimson-sandstone splendour of the Red Fort – once the residence of India’s Mughal emperors, the stronghold now houses a number of museums; enter through the Lahore Gate, a powerful symbol of the nation’s identity.

Delhi, and the cities of Agra and Jaipur, combine to form India’s Golden Triangle, so named for the wealth of cultural and historic sites encompassed by the three spots. While Delhi is big and brash, Jaipur is all about busy bazaars and spectacular shrines, and Agra is home to the captivating Taj Mahal.

Agra is a lively town, with an impressive fort, but of course most people visit for the peerless Taj. Towering over the Jamuna River, this marvel-in-marble was recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; its reflective pools and jewel-encrusted arches are Indian architecture at its best.

For something completely different, our experts at Hayes and Jarvis suggest escaping the buzz of the big cities with a detour down south to the Kerala Backwaters. Amid this confection of lush jungle, tropical waterways and rural landscapes you can get in touch with traditional Indian customs, by visiting local villages, temples, markets and paddy fields.

If this all sounds overwhelming, it is – but that’s the joy of India. This huge country calls for more than one visit – and its distinct, varied culture will keep enticing you back for more.

Insider secret

“When in Rajasthan, if you have time, head to the towering sand dunes of Lakhmana to get a taste of desert life from atop a camel. Watching the sunset as you ride along the tumbling hills and ridges is an unforgettable experience” Stephanie Armsby, Travel Designer

Practical information

WHEN TO GO: The weather in India varies by region. In general, October-February is coolest and driest, then the heat builds in March-May before the monsoon hits in June.
VISAS: Required by UK nationals – a six-month visa costs £82 plus a £10.20 service charge. Apply at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk.
FLIGHT TIME: Around 8.5 hours London to Delhi; 10.5 hours London to Kolkata.
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT+5.5
MONEY: Indian rupee (Rs), currently Rs102 to the UK£.


Speak to the expert

Get immersed in the history and romance of India with the ten-day Hayes and Jarvis ‘Golden Triangle with Rajasthan’ tour. You’ll discover hillside villages, fortress ruins and rich culture in abundance – and all with a personal tour guide for £1,199pp in April 2015. To find out more, please give us a call on 01293 738041 to speak to our India experts, or visit: www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk/discover


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