As Indian Independence Day approaches, we explore the exotic country's cultures, colours and chaos.
With plans well in hand for Wednesday's 72nd self-governance celebrations, we focus on how best to savour flavours of India with top five trips to curry favour with UK travellers.
Escape the masses and visit lesser known world heritage sites in Delhi, Utter Pradesh and Rajasthan with Yonder’s Hidden India. The itinerary combines time at stunning Taj Mahal with escape from the hordes to hill-top fort of Nagaur’s old walls. With hidden gems to be found throughout, the 23-day tour includes accommodation, transfers, excursions and private chauffeur guide. From £3,800pp - visit www.yonder.co.uk/itinerary/hidden-india/
Live with locals on Travellocal’s Cultural Immersion Tour, exploring highlights such as Agra and Jaipur as well as being invited guests into local homes to truly experience traditional hospitality. Highlights include exploration of local villages, participation on water conservation projects and volunteering at Karauli girls' school. The 14-day tour includes 13 nights B&B, some meals, transfers and excursions. From £1,630pp - visit www.travellocal.com/itinerary/story-of-india-cultural-immersion-tour
Let train take the strain on guided tour of India’s southern regions on Rail Discoveries Spectacular Southern India. Escorted by local tour manager from Bengaluru until trip ends in Cochin, the programme includes journeys on Toy Trains from Ooty to Coonoor and on to Mettupalayam. With excursions to local tea factory, houseboat cruise on Vembanad Lake and martial arts display in Kalaripayattu performance, this 14-day trip includes 12-night accommodation, some meals, flights, transfers and excursions. From £1,795pp, visit https://www.raildiscoveries.com/tours/spectacular-southern-india/
Walk with last migrating shepherds of Himalayas with Village Ways In the Footsteps of Anwals. This new tour from responsible tourism specialists offers guests opportunity to experience part of the journey locals have been making for generations, herding flocks from lower altitude villages to lush higher alpine pastures. The tour also includes time spent in remote Saryu and Pindar valleys. The 11-night trip includes accommodation, all meals, transfers and guiding. From £1,406pp - visit https://www.villageways.com/north-india-himalayas/in-the-footsteps-of-the-anwals
Try authentic flavours of the region on Authentic India’s Kerala Culinary Adventure. Guests will meet local people who've cooked and grown their produce same way for generations and learn truth behind Kerala's most delectable dining, all among some of the most beautiful and secluded surroundings in the country. The itinerary showcases visit to Cochin’s fish market, trek in Periyar Tiger Reserve and tour of Kumbalanghi fishing village with home-cooked lunch. The 12-day trip includes accommodation, some meals, transfers and excursions. From £1,645pp - visit https://www.authenticindiatours.com/kerala-culinary-adventure/