India Holidays: An Overview

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.

Miranda is here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Because there's nowhere quite - in fact, at all - like it. India is a kaleidoscope of cultures with different customs, dress, history, religion food and landscape - and as a result, it has something for everyone. Sip tea on an old colonial estate, visit the tattooed tribes of Orissa, witness the extraordinary rituals and ceremonies in the Temples of Tamil Nadu, gallop Mawari horses through the Thar Desert, or gaze in awe at a majestic tiger as he crosses your path.
  • It's a place of unparalleled diversity, from the soaring Himalayas in the north to the tropical palm-fringed beaches in the south, the jungles of the central regions to the deserts of Rajasthan.
  • There are innumerable cultural gems to be explored, from the forts, palaces and mausoleums of the Mughals in colourful Rajasthan to the elegant architecture of the British Raj in Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi.
  • Learn more and find out when to go in our in-depth guide
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Original Highlight

Seeing tigers in the wild is a serious highlight – it may be a cliché, but there honestly is nothing quite like it.

Miranda, Original Traveller

A note on price

Flights to India cost approximately £570 (economy) and many airlines fly directly from the UK. Accommodation-wise, prices vary hugely: Rajasthan could cost around £3,000 per person for two weeks, whilst South Kerala would come in a lot cheaper comparatively for a luxury holiday of a similar length. Learn more about our pricing

Top picks for India

Taj West End

Taj West End

Karnataka

The Taj West End is a rejuvenated old regal property set in a 20 acre garden in the heart of fast-paced Bangalore. Once an army base, it grew into a boarding house for passing army officers in the 1880s, and has remained a beacon of Indian warmth and hospitality ever since.

Where to stay

Taj West End
Rajasthan & Agra

Rajasthan & Agra

India

Visit evocative cities such as Jodphur and Jaipur and the iconic Taj Mahal, alongside enjoying a slower pace of life in the villages of Rural Rajasthan.

Where to go

Rajasthan & Agra
Monastery Visits

Monastery Visits

Ladakh

During the trek, there are opportunities to visit some of Ladakh’s finest monasteries.

What to do

Monastery Visits
Kashmir Dal Lake

Kashmir

India

Kashmir is back. Enjoy this beautiful part of India for the first time in a generation.

Where to go

Kashmir
Sukoon Houseboat

Sukoon Houseboat

Kashmir

Sukoon is, quite simply, the best luxury houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir, the mystical corner of north east India that has come in from the cold.

Where to stay

Sukoon Houseboat
Royal Orchid Metropole

Royal Orchid Metropole

Karnataka

Built by the former Maharaja of Mysore in 1920 for his British guests, Royal Orchid Metropole is a conveniently placed heritage hotel saturated with Mysore culture and colonial influences. It quietly stands on the Cauvery River looking out across the stunning Brindavan Gardens.

Where to stay

Royal Orchid Metropole
Traditional Fishing Nets on a Keralan Beach

Kerala

India

Drift through backwaters on a rice barge, explore Cochin, chill on a beautiful beach and hike among tea plantations in the hill country.

Where to go

Kerala
Expert-Led Journey: Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) with Amelia Stewart, 5th - 14th October 2014

Expert-Led Journey: Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) with Amelia Stewart, 5th - 14th October 2014

Rajasthan & Agra

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival, more affectionately known as RIFF, descends on Mehrangarh Fort for four nights in October. Usually closed to visitors after dark, seeing the Fort at night is a spectacle in itself. The Fort commands the surrounding desert landscape and sits atop a craggy outcrop overlooking the painted blue roofs of the city, opulent palaces, and the sands of the Thar desert - what could be a better setting?

What to do

Expert-Led Journey: Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) with Amelia Stewart, 5th - 14th October 2014
The Bangala

The Bangala

Tamil Nadu

Over the last century this building has played the roles of a private men’s club, guest house and place to entertain visiting dignitaries, yet has always remained in the hands of the Meyyappa Chettiar family. Still under the same ownership with many long-existing members of staff, The Bangala is now a restored charismatic heritage hotel with the warm hospitality and feel of a private home.

Where to stay

The Bangala
Visalam

Visalam

Tamil Nadu

Over half a century ago, and quite unusual at the time, Visalam was built for the daughter of a local merchant. The same love was taken in its restoration, allowing it to be opened as a hotel in 2007. Dispel thoughts of golden doors adorned with jewels, but rather local craftsmanship and original woodwork that stand at the heart of the Chettinad community.

Where to stay

Visalam
Forts and Palaces

Forts and Palaces

Rajasthan & Agra

Rajasthan is justifiably famous for its wonderful forts and palaces

What to do

Forts and Palaces
Mountain Villages & Trekking

Mountain Villages & Trekking

Ladakh

One of the highlights to this trip are the villages the trekking passes through.

What to do

Mountain Villages & Trekking
Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu

India

The beaches, hills and temples of Tamil Nadu represent a gentler introduction to India or a perfect 'deeper cut' for regular visitors.

Where to go

Tamil Nadu
Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Rajasthan & Agra

In our humble opinion, this might just be the classic site anywhere worldwide that most lives up to expectations.

What to do

Taj Mahal
The Ideal River View Resort

The Ideal River View Resort

Tamil Nadu

The Ideal River View Resort offers the rare position of accessibility to a historic city that remains in a quiet rural setting, located on the banks of a tributary of India’s largest river.

Where to stay

The Ideal River View Resort
Riding

Riding

Rajasthan & Agra

One of the best ways to explore the beautiful Rajasthani scenery is on horseback, riding through small villages and experiencing the culture close up.

What to do

Riding
Eastern India & Calcutta

Eastern India & Calcutta

India

Eastern India retains much of India’s colonial architecture and atmosphere, and Calcutta is an endlessly fascinating city, but there is far more to see aside from the capital of West Bengal.

Where to go

Eastern India & Calcutta
Bungalow on the Beach

Bungalow on the Beach

Tamil Nadu

While the little fishing village of Tranquebar housed the headquarters of the Danish East India Company during the 17th and 18th centuries, this grand colonial mansion was home to Danish admirals. Careful restoration has ensured that this building on the shores of the Bay of Bengal still stands today, offering visitors a window into a bygone era.

Where to stay

Bungalow on the Beach
Palais de Mahe

Palais de Mahe

Tamil Nadu

Palais de Mahe is an au courant take on the rich French culture and ancestry that swathes Pondicherry, with its white and mustard façade. Just two streets back from the seafront of the Bay of Bengal, not only is this boutique hotel conveniently located, but also benefits from a cool sea breeze - not something to be taken for granted in the intense heat of Indian summer.

Where to stay

Palais de Mahe
A tiger lying in the bush

Central India

India

Classic tiger country combines with Delhi and some of India's cultural highlights.

Where to go

Central India
Rafting

Rafting

Ladakh

Head to the Indus River for a raft from Choglamsar to Phey.

What to do

Rafting
Zip Touring

Zip Touring

Rajasthan & Agra

Try India’s first zip tour.

What to do

Zip Touring
Karnataka

Karnataka

India

The best of India (minus the mountains) in one hugely under-rated state.

Where to go

Karnataka
Ladakh

Ladakh

India

Ladakh contains one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth.

Where to go

Ladakh

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