Pretty much indisputably the most vibrant country on Earth, India can conjure up a multitude of conflicting emotions during any stay. As a result it's not everybody's cup of chai, but those who fall for the subcontinent fall hard, and become lifelong devotees.
India is a place of unparalleled diversity - from the soaring Himalayas in the north to the seemingly endless string of white sand beaches in the south, the country has something for everyone, be it impressive landscapes, outstanding cultural sites, colourful festivals, relaxing mountain or coastal retreats and invariably friendly people. It's no surprise then that India is such a fabulous and popular destination for a luxury holiday.
There are innumerable experiences - far too many for just one trip - that Original Travel's India team can talk you through in the search for the perfect luxury holiday designed just the way you want it.
The obvious (with good reason) starting point is the magical state of Rajasthan, home to majestic palaces, bustling cities, serene deserts and tiger inhabited national parks. A visit to the Taj Mahal, though technically not in Rajasthan itself, combines well with this part of the country.
Once you've got the bug (and we don't mean Delhi belly), you will want to explore more, and that's when it gets complicated. Where to head next? The North West frontier of imperial legend is home to Kashmir, finally back on the map after decades of being off limits, and the Tibetan Buddhist enclave of Ladakh - perfect trekking country with charming homestay accommodation and a blessed opportunity to see Tibetan culture as it should be.
South East of here are the Indian Himalayas proper, bordering Nepal, and this region is home to more fantastic walking country and elegant spa hotels.
Further east still, the legendary city of Calcutta awaits on your India luxury holiday, and the less explored but equally interesting states of Sikkim and Assam.
Safari nuts should head straight for Central India where the country's finest National Parks are reporting - finally - a small and very welcome increase in tiger numbers. In our humble opinion very little beats the thrill of seeing this most magnificent big cat in the wild.
Overlooking the Arabian Sea is unmissable Mumbai for a touch of glamour and a gallon of chaos, and the perfect way to decompress after the city is heading south for a stay in elegant Kerala with its beaches and backwaters best explored on an overnight stay aboard a charming converted ricebarge.
Last but not least, the most original - in all senses of the word - destination in India is the extraordinary Andaman Islands, nearer to Burma than the Indian mainland and home to sea-swimming elephants and indigenous tribes who have little or no contact with the outside world. A destination with a high luxury holiday 'boastability' quotient if ever there was one.
In an ever-changing country, we are constantly adding to our knowledge of this vast region on research trips (tough life), sniffing out the finest little antique shop in Udaipur or the best bhaji in Bangalore. Speaking of Bangalore, we are constantly researching more unusual parts of the country such as Karnataka (of which Bangalore is the capital), or the temples of Tamil Nadu. Watch this space for more information on both, and more.
|Rajasthan & Agra|
|Eastern India & Calcutta|
|The Indian Himalayas|