One of Asia’s largest countries (second only in size to China), India can be as intimidating as it is fascinating, particularly for first-time visitors.
From corn-gold sand beaches to the ice-hatted Himalayan peaks, tiger-inhabited forests to expansive dune-filled deserts, India encompasses an incredible variety of landscapes. It’s also got a wealth of man-made wonders, from ancient temple complexes to colonial-era palaces, bustling bazaars to cutting-edge architectural marvels. Plus, it’s home to an incredibly rich array of people, religions and cultures, each with their own unique traditions, customs, cuisines and beliefs.
On this introductory tour, travelers can put logistical issues aside and focus on getting to know some of the key destinations in this one-of-a-kind country.
Find remnants of fallen kingdoms in the people-packed megacities of Delhi and Mumbai
Observe worshippers taking a dip at the ghats of the Ganges River in the holy Hindu city of Varanasi
See vestiges of the once-mighty Mughal Empire – including the majestic Taj Mahal – in Agra
Browse Jaipur markets where vendors sell the city’s distinctive bright blue pottery
Float around the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola near the romantic, lake-dotted and palace-littered city of Udaipur
Samode Haveli is a peaceful bolthole, hidden away in the heart of the walled city of Jaipur. Spread across a 200-year-old townhouse complex, the hotel has a series of heritage-style rooms. Alcoves and cozy nooks abound and the gorgeous gardens features spouting fountains and hushed courtyards where, in warm weather, guests can dine by candlelight.
Indian-born chef Vineet Bhatia takes the reigns at the sea-facing Ziya restaurant in the Oberoi Hotel at Mumbai’s Nariman Point. Bhatia’s team prepare delectable dishes such as grilled ginger-chili lobster and succulent, slow-cooked raan (leg of lamb).
Navigate Mumbai’s legendary street food scene during a private tour with a knowledgeable local guide.