From the energetic mega-cities of Delhi and Kolkata, and captivating fortress towns of Rajasthan to remote rural villages and the sacred River Ganges, North India is a region of ever-changing contrasts. Whether you choose to roam on camels across the Thar Desert, trek through remote Himalayan passes, or drive by jeep into the heart of tiger territory, North India will leave you spoilt for choice and dying to come back for more.
For a private and personal experience we can arrange a bespoke itinerary to cater specifically to your needs. As well as the options available on our group tours, please read on for more ideas which we could incorporate on a private tour.
Luxury & Wellness
Live like royalty in a heritage palace or a luxury camp in the desert of Rajasthan. Nibble on snacks whilst looking out for wildlife from the veranda of your exquisitely crafted jungle lodge. Sip tea fresh off the plantation in your Darjeeling colonial tea bungalow. Or disappear to a boutique resort in the far reaches of the Himalayas. Sweeping panoramic views of the worlds mightiest mountain range come as part of the package!
Retreat to one of Indias many deluxe spiritual sanctuaries and tear yourself away from the stresses and demands of modern life. Get in tune with your inner self by taking part in a yoga programme or detoxify with organic food, natural treatments and rejuvenating massages. Otherwise simply roll out your mat, assume the lotus position, close your eyes and chant aum enveloped by the serenity of the Himalayas or the spirit of the Ganges.
Take a whistle-stop tour through Indias iconic cities and rural landscapes by train. There are a range of comfort options and itineraries available, whether youre seeking a first class experience on the opulent Maharaja`s Express or the Palace on Wheels in Rajasthan; the colonial charm of the old toy train through the lush mountains of Darjeeling; or travelling amongst the locals on regular trains, a rail journey in India is as rewarding as the destination itself.
Discover India from the comfort of a boat whilst drifting down the holy River Ganges watching pilgrims come to worship. Glide along the River Hooghly in East India where you can witness daily life unfold in Indias rural villages and manoeuvre the creeks of the nearby Sunderbans, the worlds largest mangrove forests and home to swimming Royal Bengal Tigers.
Perhaps pulling on some walking boots and chasing the horizon is what youre looking to do on your Indian adventure. North India is blessed with terrains to suit all walkers, from challenging treks through whispering Himalayan valleys and mountain peaks in Ladakh and Sikkim, to more gentle village treks amongst the evergreen Kumaon Hills in Uttaranchal or one of Indias many hill stations.
FESTIVALS OF NORTH INDIA
Whether just watching on or taking part, your trip to India should incorporate a festival or fair if possible. With a country as large and diverse as India, where religion is so intricately intertwined with daily life, there is a good chance at any given time, even in the remotest part of India, people will sing, dance, worship, exchange gifts, feast and celebrate. Below are just some festivals worth experiencing on your India trip.
Ladakh (Jun/Jul) Situated in the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh, the Hemis Festival is renowned for its elaborate masked dance performance celebrated at the 300 year-old Buddhist monastery in Leh. Join our Kashmir Explorer tour to experience this colourful festival.
Festival of Lights (Oct/Nov) By far Indias biggest and most widely celebrated festival, Diwali commemorates the triumph of good over evil and heralds the start of the Indian new year. Crowds gather to watch plays telling the story of Diwali, houses are lit up with diyas, gifts and sweets are exchanged and firecrackers can be heard for miles.
Kolkata (Oct/Nov) Bengals biggest festival, Durga Puja sees Bengalis compete to construct the most elaborate pandals (pop-up temples) and thousands gather to immerse idols of Goddess Durga into the River Hooghly. Visit the alleyways of Kumartuli where thousands of clay idols are made each year.
Festival of Colours (Mar/Apr) Beginning with bonfires on the eve of Holi, people gather the next day to celebrate the start of spring with a riot of colour. Mirroring the hues of this colourful season, vibrant rainbow splashes of powder and water-dye are thrown at anyone, and for one day, everyone is fair game!
Watch thousands of animals being traded at the various Camel Fairs which take place in Rajasthan or at the lesser-known Bateshwar Animal Fair in Chambal.
For those with a passion for music, be entranced by Indias rich musical heritage at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) and the World Sufi Festival, both set within Jodhpurs majestic Mehrangarh Fort. Watch the Khajuraho Dance Festival in Madhya Pradesh, where classical Indian dance is perfomed against the backdrop of Khajurahos erotic temples.
North India Tours