The Taj Mahal, tigers, mountains and a dazzling coastline are just a few of the ingredients that go into India’s colourful cocktail. India holidays offer some of the most unforgettable travel experiences, from watching the sunrise over the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers in Ranthambore National Park to sailing along the backwaters of Kerala and exploring the magnificent mountains in Ladakh.
While our Northern India holidays steer you to Jaipur’s Pink City and along the world-famous Ganges, the tropical south introduces you to the old spice town of Cochin and the sprawling tea plantations. But whichever part of this spellbinding country you choose to visit on holidays to India, you’ll be guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime adventures that let you get under its skin.
Our itineraries are also packed with cultural experiences that let you sample spicy street foods and fragrant curries. Or why not visit the much-celebrated Pushkar Camel Fair and join in the lively festivities in Rajasthan where the desert comes alive with music and dancing.
Holidays to India wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the many vibrant bazaars and Jaipur is one of the best places to soak up all the exotic sights, sounds and smells. As you browse bustling stalls inside the walled city for handmade crafts, jewellery and local delicacies, you’ll be drawn into the intoxicating atmosphere.
Taj Mahal, Agra: One of the most iconic sites in the world, the Taj Mahal has a romantic backdrop that draws artists, photographers and history lovers to its breathtakingly beautiful setting. Completed in the mid-17th century, this magnificent building was constructed by the Moghul Emperor Shah in memory of his wife who died in 1631. You can see that every inch, from the glistening marble exterior to its ornately jewel-studded interior, was made from a deep love that has captivated the world over. On some of our holidays to India you can visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise and watch the soft pink glow that casts against the white marble walls.
The Red Fort, Old Delhi: Enclosed by a 75 ft high, red sandstone wall in Old Delhi, the Red Fort is an architectural feat that took 10 years to build and was founded by Emperor Shah Jahan who was taken prisoner by his son in Agra Fort. As well as being a magnificent building, it also boasts a rich history, and it has become one of the most popular attractions to visit on India holidays. In 2007 Red Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and inside its walls you’ll find an impressive complex of balconies, palaces, baths and a mosque.
Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi: Dating back to 1644, the Jama Masjid Mosque is the largest in India and was built by Shah Jahan, who also built the Red Fort and Taj Mahal. Away from the buzz of Old Delhi’s streets, the mosque is an oasis of calm and is also known as the ‘Friday Mosque’. This giant building can hold a staggering 25,000 people and is made from marble and red sandstone. It’s worth climbing the 121 steps to the top of its minaret for the most amazing views across the city.
Varanasi: Flanked by the Ganges River, Varanasi is one of the holiest of India’s cities and is the essence of Hinduism. Holy men called Sadhus, often dressed in orange, and babas spend their time by the ghats performing spiritual rituals. At the centre of the city, you can witness holy ceremonies and explore the many temples that line the warren of meandering streets. At every turn Varanasi will enthral you and it’s one of the best places to visit on holidays to India if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi: This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is the first ever garden tomb in India and is worth visiting on family holidays to India as it gives you an insight into the typical Mughal architecture and its Persian influences. Humayun’s Tomb is the resting place of Humayun, the Mughal Emperor, and has an illustrious history that stretches back to the 16th century. The tomb can be found wrapped inside a perfectly manicured Mughal Garden on the banks of the River Yamuna and is also the resting place for other Mughals.
This was an excellent trip, full of extraordinary sights. We were able to see many of the most impressive sites in Cairo and the Upper Nile. Hotel accommodation was of a high standard and the cruise ship was good. We had an outstanding guide and a friendly and interesting group of people. When I had an accident in the temple at Edfu the response from our guide, from Exodus, and from the personnel on the cruise ship was incredibly supportive. The guide’s knowledge of first aid was much appreciated. We have a few reservations: we found the early starts made sight-seeing rather tiring after very little sleep. The 7am briefing on the first morning seemed unnecessary, for example, after a late arrival the night before and the two hour time difference. We didn’t think the trip should be described as ‘leisurely’: there was a lot of standing in queues at both airports and sites and this was especially exhausting in conjunction with the early starts. Also, while we realise that Exodus doesn’t control the entertainment on the cruise ship, we would have preferred informational talks and preparation for the following day’s events to the party games and belly dancer. We would also have liked to have had more Egyptian food.
We were a private group of 9 chaps, none of us spring chickens. We went early-March, and the weather was generally warm apart from a couple of very chilly mornings. We were led there by our brilliant leader Mikhled; nothing was too much trouble for him, and he is very knowledgeable. A wonderful country, very friendly. The trip was a good mixture of biking and mini-bus transport. Highlights were Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and Red Sea/Aqaba. Some steep cycling downhill sections and the odd walk up hills – no great surprise at our age! Accommodation fine and food generally excellent; alcohol is sometimes available, sometimes not, so you need to plan a bit in advance if you like to imbibe, as we do. Overall view – highly recommended. (One tip – we were advised to take US dollars as well as Jordanian dinar; you only need the latter in reality).