Holiday Travel offers Tour of India and Rest of the India Package tours for its customers. When you visit india, India's memories & experiences will stay with you forever. You could visit Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the palaces and desert landscapes of Rajasthan, Mumbai, the beaches and Portuguese relics of Goa etc.
Key attractions are the enchanting Taj Mahal in Agra, the holy Ganges river at Varanasi, the Indian Himalayas in the north, the palaces and desert landscapes of Rajasthan in the west, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the beaches and Portuguese relics of Goa and the former capital Calcutta in the east. Hundreds of religious and cultural festivals each year provide a fascinating and colourful spectacle.
The exotic India touted in travel brochures features women in richly coloured costumes, the Taj Mahal and age-old buddhas. But the India you see on movie and computer screens today is more about Bollywood, Slumdog Millionaire and call centres in Bangalore. The "world's largest democracy" is a blend of ancient civilisations and exploding modernity, juxtaposing startling poverty and youthful millionaires, now more numerous here than in the United States. From the Himalaya's peaks to the tropical landscapes of Kerala, or "coconut country", this land that has inspired so many explorers is one destination that is sure to have a strong impact on you.
It's hard to see everything here in a mere few weeks. That said, whether you're going for a fortnight or for six months, your trip will be filled with unforgettable experiences: watching the full moon rise over Pushkar Palace, visiting the Dalai Lama high up in Dharamsala, or simply accepting a spontaneous invitation to tea.
Its 7,000 kilometres of coastline and ecosystems that are unique in the world thrust travellers into a world apart. This huge subcontinent composed of 28 States, over a billion inhabitants and 23 languages can be disconcerting for the average European, unaccustomed to such magnitude. Learning about its many customs and religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, is a job for several lifetimes. May your karma be good!
India’s weather is extremely varied, something you must take into account when planning your trip. The most influential feature of the Subcontinent’s climate is the wet season, or monsoon. This breaks on the Keralan coast at the end of May, working its way northeast across the country over the following month and a half. While it lasts, regular and prolonged downpours are interspersed with bursts of hot sunshine, and the pervasive humidity can be intense. At the height of the monsoon – especially in the jungle regions of the northwest and the low-lying delta lands of Bengal – flooding can severely disrupt communications, causing widespread destruction. In the Himalayan foothills, landslides are common, and entire valley systems can be cut off for weeks.
By September, the monsoon has largely receded from the north, but it takes another couple of months before the clouds disappear altogether from the far south. The east coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and the south of Kerala, get a second drenching between October and December, when the “northwest” or “retreating” monsoon sweeps in from the Bay of Bengal. By December, however, most of the Subcontinent enjoys clear skies and relatively cool temperatures.
Mid-winter sees the most marked contrasts between the climates of north and south India. While Delhi, for example, may be ravaged by chill winds blowing off the snowfields of the Himalayas, the Tamil plains and coastal Kerala, more than 1000km south, still stew under fierce post-monsoon sunshine. As spring gathers pace, the centre of the Subcontinent starts to heat up again, and by late March thermometers nudge 33°C across most of the Gangetic Plains and Deccan plateau. Temperatures peak in May and early June, when anyone who can retreats to the hill stations. Above the baking Subcontinental land mass, hot air builds up and sucks in humidity from the southwest, causing the onset of the monsoon in late June, and bringing relief to millions of overheated Indians.
The best time to visit most of the country, therefore, is during the cool, dry season, between November and March. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ideal at this time, and temperatures in Goa and central India remain comfortable. The heat of the south is never less than intense but it becomes stifling in May and June, so aim to be in Tamil Nadu and Kerala between January and March. From this time onwards, the Himalayas grow more accessible, and the trekking season reaches its peak in August and September while the rest of the Subcontinent is being soaked by the rains.
Where to go in India? Well, the best Indian itineraries are the simplest. It just isn’t possible to see everything in a single expedition, even if you spent a year trying. Far better, then, to concentrate on one or two specific regions and, above all, to be flexible. Although it requires a deliberate change of pace to venture away from the urban centres, rural India has its own very distinct pleasures.
In fact, while Indian cities are undoubtedly adrenalin-fuelled, upbeat places, it is possible – and certainly less stressful – to travel for months around the Subcontinent and rarely have to set foot in one.
The most-travelled circuit in the country, combining spectacular monuments with the flat, fertile landscape that for many people is archetypally Indian, is the so-called Golden Triangle in the north: Delhi itself, the colonial capital; Agra, home of the Taj Mahal; and the Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Rajasthan is probably the single most popular state with travellers, who are drawn by its desert scenery, the imposing medieval forts and palaces of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Bundi, and by the colourful traditional dress.
East of Delhi, the River Ganges meanders through some of India’s most densely populated regions to reach the extraordinary holy Hindu city of Varanasi (also known as Benares), where to witness the daily rituals of life and death focused around the waterfront ghats (bathing places) is to glimpse the continuing practice of India’s most ancient religious traditions. Further east still is the great city of Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital until early last century of the British Raj and now a teeming metropolis that epitomizes contemporary India’s most pressing problems.
The majority of travellers follow the well-trodden Ganges route to reach Nepal, perhaps unaware that the Indian Himalayas offer superlative trekking and mountain scenery to rival any in the range. With Kashmir effectively off the tourist map since the escalation of its civil war.
Himachal Pradesh – where Dharamsala is the home of a Tibetan community that includes the Dalai Lama himself – and the remote province of Ladakh, with its mysterious lunar landscape and cloud-swept monasteries, have become the major targets for journeys into the mountains. Less visited, but possessing some of Asia’s highest peaks, is the niche of Uttarakhand bordering Nepal, where the glacial source of the sacred River Ganges has attracted pilgrims for over a thousand years. At the opposite end of the chain, Sikkim, north of Bengal, is another low-key trekking destination, harbouring scenery and a Buddhist culture similar to that of neighbouring Bhutan. The Northeast Hill States, connected to eastern India by a slender neck of land, boast remarkably diverse landscapes and an incredible fifty percent of India’s biodiversity.
Heading south from Kolkata (Calcutta) along the coast, your first likely stop is Konarak in Orissa, site of the famous Sun Temple, a giant carved pyramid of stone that lay submerged under sand until its rediscovery at the start of the twentieth century. Although it bore the brunt of the 2004 Asian tsunamis, Tamil Nadu, further south, has retained its own tradition of magnificent architecture, with towering gopura gateways dominating towns whose vast temple complexes are still the focus of everyday life. Of them all, Madurai, in the far south, is the most stunning, but you could spend months wandering between the sacred sites of the Cauvery Delta and the fragrant Nilgiri Hills, draped in the tea terraces that have become the hallmark of South Indian landscapes. Kerala, near the southernmost tip of the subcontinent on the western coast, is India at its most tropical and relaxed, its lush backwaters teeming with simple wooden craft of all shapes and sizes, and red-roofed towns and villages all but invisible beneath a canopy of palm trees. Further up the coast is Goa, the former Portuguese colony whose hundred-kilometre coastline is fringed with beaches to suit all tastes and budgets, from upmarket package tourists to long-staying backpackers, and whose towns hold whitewashed Christian churches that might have been transplanted from Europe.
In western coast of India is Mumbai, an ungainly beast that has been the major focus of the nationwide drift to the big cities. Centre of the country’s formidable popular movie industry, it reels along on an undeniable energy that, after a few days of acclimatization, can prove addictive. Beyond Mumbai is the state of Gujarat, renowned for the unique culture and crafts of the barren Kutch region.
On a long trip, it makes sense to pause and rest every few weeks. Certain places have fulfilled that function for generations, such as the Himalayan resort of Manali, epicentre of India’s hashish-producing area, and the many former colonial hill stations that dot the country, from Ootacamund (Ooty), in the far south, to that archetypal British retreat, Shimla, immortalized in the writing of Rudyard Kipling. Elsewhere, the combination of sand and the sea, and a picturesque rural or religious backdrop – such as at Varkala in Kerala, Gokarna in Karnataka, and the remoter beaches of Goa – are usually enough to loosen even the tightest itineraries.