Namaskar, welcome to Incredible India, where culture echoes, tradition speaks, beauty enthralls and diversity delights.
Bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by an endless stretch of golden beaches, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, misty mountain retreats, colorful people, rich cultures and festivities. The timeless mystery and beauty of India has been waiting for you for 5000 years, always warm and inviting, a place of infinite variety – one that favors you with different facets of its fascination every time you visit India.
visit the four corners of India: North India, South India, East India, West India
North India – Land of Romance
You’ve arrived at Delhi. The months of planning and curiosity are over; you’re actually in India. Every experience, every sound, every smell shouts that you’ve arrived somewhere magical, somewhere Special. It is here that the deep love of one man for one woman created the Taj Mahal; where the King of Kings ruled; where the sacred Ganges flows past holy cities; where the Himalayas stand silent and magnificent; where 5000 years of culture waits to be absorbed.
Delhi – the Old and the New
Delhi is above all an historic city, an elegant capital, content to leave to Calcutta and Bombay the roles of commercial and business supremacy. It is in fact really two distinct cities; the energy and colour and the thronged bazaars and Moghul architecture of Old Delhi contrast with the formal splendour of New Delhi, whose wide boulevards offer ever-changing perspectives of Lutyen’s landscaped city. Delhi has several world-famous luxury hotels, with the comfort and style to ensure relaxation after your journey; from here, set forth to experience the sights and sounds of the city. The gracious Red Fort, the Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India), the Qutab Minar complex with its soaring tower – all are waiting to be explored. Allows some time to wander round the inexpensive modern shops and handicraft centres. Magicians and dancing bears entertain crowds in the marketplaces, while fortune tellers may offer glimpses of the future. The heat of the day gives way to balmy evenings; enjoy a meal in one of the many splendid restaurants, the exotic music of sitars and veenas and the subtle rhythms of the tabla accompanying the delicious cuisines from throughout the country. Flights and trains and buses run from Delhi all over north India, so it is always easy to reach the next destination.
West India – The Warm West
After the vibrant atmosphere of Bombay, allow the palm-fringed beaches of Goa to warm your spirit in the sun and relax your mind. Or meditate in cool and ancient Buddhist caves tunneled out of solid rock on the craggy hillsides – a dramatic contrast from the colourful fairs and festivals in unspoiled Gujarat. The choice is once again tremendous in this land that offers everything.
Mumbai – Gateway of India
There is a powerful life force at work in this thriving, modern commercial city, with its plate-glass skyscrapers and hectic colorful street life. The pace and confusion is vibrant, with businessmen hurrying to work, hooting traffic, fisherwomen in their bright sarees and ‘tiffinwallahs’ hurrying with their metal containers to deliver the businessman’s lunch direct from his home to his office. After relaxing on Chowpatty beach under the cool evening sky, sipping refreshing milk from a large green coconut, you will start to love Bombay. You will feel ready to visit the elegant and world famous Taj Mahal hotel for a delicious snack or drink while watching the sunset over the many boats in the harbour. In the luxury and quiet of a hotel room, sightseeing can be planned. Consider a visit to the lofty Hanging Gardens next door to the intriguing Towers of Silence; or maybe win a million at the beautiful Mahalaxmi Racecourse, one of the finest in India. A glamorous day visiting the famous Bombay film studios can be arranged, and perhaps a chat with one of the many film stars. Relive the ancient stories of the Hindu gods sculpted on the walls of caves at Elephanta. This well known island, where monkeys scamper across your path, is a short and pleasant boat ride from the famous landmark in Mumbai – the Gateway of India. When ready to leave this city of tycoons, commerce, skyscrapers and film stars, prepare for adventures of a very different kind which await at its doorstep.
South India – A Heritage of Centuries
The delightful south; almost untouched by invasions throughout its history, the Indian heritage is more intact here than in other regions of the country. This is a land of temples, a land of the devout where new wonders await – the profusion of orange flowers, the shade of the banyan tree, and the soft beat of distant drums as yet another festival starts…
Chennai – A Kaleidoscope of Moods Chennai is the centre of the Hindu tradition of Bharata Natyam (classical dancing) the art of temple sculpture also comes from this part of the country, and gives expression to both the devoutness and the artistic skills of the Tamil people. Chennai is the home of the ancient Dravidian civilisation, one of the oldest articulate cultures in the world. It is a city where the landscape of the past lives easily with more recent history. This busy, efficient metropolis is a good centre to plan a journey over South India. Make use of the international and domestic airport and the massive network of trains and buses. The friendliness, sincerity and colourfulness of the people can slowly be absorbed while taking a stroll over the sandy stretch of beach known as the Marina, or visiting Fort St. George, built by the British East India Company. So many of the street names reflect the city’s long association with other cultures; China Bazar Road, Armenian Street, Portuguese Church Street for instance. In 78 AD, the Apostle St Thomas was martyred in the city, but the Christian faith now finds graceful expression in the many churches, particularly the San Thome Cathedral. View the whole panorama from the Chennai lighthouse, or experience the culture from ground level in the temples, art galleries or museums. Head off in any direction from Chennai – even east, across the Bay of Bengal by boat or plane to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands; a paradise archipelago, lush and forested, home of some of the most exotic plant-life in the world. The crystal clear waters shimmer with tropical fish, and the islands are famous for their corals and water-sports facilities. North of Chennai is the large state of Andhra Pradesh, rich in archeological and architectural treasures. The capital, Hyderabad, was once the seat of the fabled Nizams. The Charminar is a national symbol, and the Salar Jung Museum a rich repository of the Raj.
East India – Excitement and Tranquillity
In no time at all the stimulating bustle and heat of Calcutta is left far behind, opening out to the cool and luscious mountains of refreshing Darjeeling. Encounter the mighty range of the Himalayas in Sikkim, the one-horned rhinoceros in wonderful wildlife reserves, then dream of a forgotten age in the ancient holy towns on the plains of rural India.
Discover the Soul of Calcutta
Calcutta is the largest city in India, indeed one of the largest in the world. Established as a British trading post in the 17th century, the city rapidly grew, acquiring a life and vibrancy of its own. Its glory is still reflected in the buildings of Chowringhee and Clive Street, know as Jawaharlal Nehru Road and Netaji Subhash Road respectively. It is a city which leaves no-one indifferent-fascinating, effervescent, teeming with life, peoples, cultures. The impact can be a shock at first; the rickshaws, cars, brightly painted lorries, trolley buses, the cries of the street vendors, labourers hard at work on the construction of the vast underground railway, the noise and colour of the huge New Market, the bustle of the crowds…but soon the jumbled impressions will sort themselves out. Central Calcutta is best viewed in perspective around the rolling green of the Maidan, 3 square kilometres of parkland where the early-morning yoga sessions provide for the city dwellers a relaxation from the stresses of urban life. For relaxation of another kind, visit the Indian Museum, one of the finest in Asia. Other attractions include the huge white marble Victoria Memorial, the Octherlony Monument and the headquarters of the Rama Krishna mission. To the north of the city is the silent beauty of the Belur Math and, across the river, the Botanical gardens (with a 200 years old Banyan tree, reputedly the largest in the world) and the Kali temple of Dakshineshwar.