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Visiting this vast, brilliant, colourful, compelling and sometimes bewildering country could seem a daunting prospect but our carefully chosen tours of India will help you see the best of the country with ease. Whether you long to see the Taj Mahal, want to relax in the backwaters of Kerala, dream of searching for wild tigers or want to cook like the locals we have the perfect India tour for you. Experienced tour managers and guides will help bring the history and culture of this wonderful country to life while you visit famous sights, see spectacular wildlife, discover the country's rich past and remarkable present and enjoy the marvellous cuisine. Whether you choose a 'classic' tour of India taking in the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, choose to explore the beautiful south of the country or opt for a grand tour taking you north to south or up into Nepal - a tour of India is an unforgettable experience.  

north india

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escorted tours india from uk

India's Golden Triangle

from £1,575

Discover the Golden Triangle – a classic route linking Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – on a pulsating tour that takes in...

escorted tours india from uk

India - Tigers & the Taj Mahal

from £1,595

escorted tours india from uk

from £1,949

India, a unique country and civilisation, is a mindboggling potpourri of sights, sounds, colours and experiences as well...

escorted tours india from uk

Highlights of Northern India

from £1,995

Discover the best of northern India on this highlight-packed adventure. Led by an expert tour leader, we marvel at the...

escorted tours india from uk

Highlights of Northern India - Summer itinerary

from £2,145

escorted tours india from uk

India - Tigers & the Taj Mahal with 4 Night Goa Extension

from £2,488

Solo travel

escorted tours india from uk

India’s Golden Triangle, Tigers and Amritsar’s Golden Temple – Exclusively Solos

from £2,499

escorted tours india from uk

Grand Journey from India's Golden Triangle to Shimla

from £2,549

escorted tours india from uk

India’s Golden Triangle, Shimla, and Amritsar’s Golden Temple

from £2,585

south india

escorted tours india from uk

Cycle the Coast of Kerala

from £2,149

Kerala is an excellent place to explore by bike; a true paradise with an idyllic coastline, tranquil backwaters, colourful...

escorted tours india from uk

The Tropical South

from £2,379

Discover the laidback side of India with a cultural adventure in the tropical south. Over two weeks, we explore the...

escorted tours india from uk

Southern India's Coastal Route: Tamil Nadu to Kerala

Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala: Discover their remarkable cities, thought-provoking temples and astonishing natural...

escorted tours india from uk

Kerala & India's Beautiful South

from £2,615

escorted tours india from uk

Spice Trails of Kerala

from £2,649

Traversing the Western Ghats, from the colonial hill station of Munnar to the colourful temple town of Madurai, we...

escorted tours india from uk

Cycle Kerala & Tropical India

from £3,039

Jump on the saddle to discover laidback southern India on this cycling group adventure. Accompanied by an expert tour...

Southern India's Coastal Route: Tamil Nadu to Kerala for solo travellers

from £3,399

Small group

escorted tours india from uk

Inside Kerala and Karnataka

from £3,795

An ever-increasing number of holiday-makers are coming to Kerala, India’s most literate state, to enjoy its wonderful...

escorted tours india from uk

grand tours

India & nepal tours.

escorted tours india from uk

escorted tours india from uk

India Escorted Tours

Are you considering taking an escorted tour of India? This beautiful Asian nation has long been seen as one of the defining cultural landmarks in the eastern reaches of the globe. With a history that stretches back thousands of years, India continues to stand out as a must-see destination for holidaymakers wanting to explore something different to the world they know.

One of the best ways to discover this picturesque nation is with a professional tour guide charting your journey. You’ll join up with like-minded adventurers and be taken on a step-by-step exploration of some of the most culturally significant and aesthetically beautiful parts of India.

Journey between the iconic cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – known as the Golden Triangle. See the sun rise over the Taj Mahal, cruise along the mighty River Ganges, search for tigers in Rajasthan's National Parks, or explore Kerala's sleepy backwaters. The choice is yours. No matter what type of holiday you’re after, we’ll be able to provide you with something which perfectly matches the pace that you choose to holiday at.

Each of our India Tours have been designed to show you the best of this enthralling country. With so much to see we can guarantee you’ll be left with a profound love and respect for this amazing nation.

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The Grand Tour of India

Passage through kerala.

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The Golden Triangle & Shimla

Passage through rajasthan, treasures of southern india.

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Boutique Rajasthan

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Explore the vivid colours, architecture and landscapes of little-known Gujarat. 

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  • Destinations
  • Indian Subcontinent

India escorted tours and holidays

Jaipur, India

Did you know we can tailor any tour?

Lily brough.

Travel Specialist

020 7808 6788

Best time to go

Flight duration, time difference, explore a vast nation of dazzling colour and contrasts.

India is among the world’s most rewarding destinations, from the exhilarating pace of life in its cities to its inspiring nature and exquisite temples.

On our India escorted tours and holidays, it’s as if you’re exploring an entire continent. In the north, you can visit the snow-dusted hill stations of the Indian Himalaya , and take a scenic rail ride aboard the Kalka-Shimla toy train. Or follow India’s Golden Triangle between lively capital Delhi , the desert city of Jaipur , and Agra – home of the Taj Mahal. Southern states such as Kerala offer further contrasts, with tropical backwaters and golden beaches. Wherever you go, English is an official language and widely spoken, making it easy for you to interact with the locals.

In India’s national parks , you can see the wildlife that so inspired Rudyard Kipling. Embark on Bengal tiger safaris, spot exotic birds, and watch elephants as they tramp and trumpet in the forests and rivers. Then there is the cuisine – one of the country’s great cultural exports. There is no more authentic place to sample it than at India’s sizzling street-food stalls.

There are few destinations where you can stay in a former palace and receive first-class service without breaking the bank: India is an exception. We include stays in luxury hotels and heritage havelis throughout our India escorted tours, ensuring a high level of comfort.

For most visitors, the biggest challenge is deciding where to start. That’s where Cox & Kings comes in. India has been at the heart of our story for over two and a half centuries, and our specialists know this country inside and out. Choose from our range of India escorted tours, or let us design a private holiday for you from scratch. Considering a solo India holiday? We welcome solo travellers on our group tours, and some 20 per cent of our guests are travelling solo.

  • Small group tours
  • Tailor-made
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13 days 11 nights

From £2,995

Experience a taste of India on this outstanding introductory tour of the country’s most celebrated sights

16 days 14 nights

The princely state of Rajasthan is India at its colourful best. Here, medieval forts gaze across the Thar Desert, Bengal tigers roam forest reserves, and sandstone palaces reveal a regal legacy

17 days 16 nights

From £3,795

Explore the diverse cultural influences that have created the fascinating heritage of India

Journey through the Himalayan Foothills

13 days 12 nights

From £2,595

Travel to the holy city of Amritsar and McLeod Ganj, home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. Continue through the foothills of the Himalaya to Shimla

Exotic India: Solo Travellers Tour

14 days 13 nights

From £3,895

This journey for solo travellers covers the 'Golden Triangle' of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, as well as other pretty cities and tiger-prowled parkland

From £3,395

Southern India offers lush greenery and waterside tranquility that contrasts with the arid north

The delicate scent of spices, the sound of temple bells and a rich tapestry of ancient arts and craft all characterise Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Assam, Darjeeling & Bhutan Odyssey

From £6,850

A spectacular private journey that begins in the historic and cultural heart of West Bengal, taking you from the old colonial capital of Kolkata (Calcutta) and deep into the mystical ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, one of the most unusual and spectacular destinations anywhere on Earth

Rajasthan in Style

19 days 17 nights

From £8,100

Explore the highlights of the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan while staying in the very best accommodation India has to offer

Ladakh: Land of the Lamas

11 days 9 nights

From £4,230

Discover the magnificent scenery and centuries-old culture of Ladakh

India: A Walk Through The Himalayan Foothills

From £4,130

This journey provides an insight into the culture and scenic beauty of this little-visited region, with leisurely walks in the Himalayan foothills combined with tracking exotic wildlife in Corbett National Park and a visit to the sacred city of Haridwar

Grand Tour of Northern India

From £5,320

Explore the diverse cultural influences that have created the fascinating heritage of northern India

Eastern Himalayan Trails

12 days 10 nights

From £4,860

This journey captures the highlights of the Indian states of West Bengal and Sikkim, uncovering remarkable religious monuments, Tibetan culture and spectacular mountain scenery

India: Colours of Gujarat

From £3,820

Explore the vivid colours, architecture and landscapes of little known Gujarat

Heritage Rajasthan

17 days 15 nights

From £4,995

Journey back in time, to a bygone era of pomp and luxury, experiencing the opulence and extravagance of the royal houses of Deogarh, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur and the colonial jewel of Delhi

Heart of India

15 days 14 nights

Madhya Pradesh in central India contains a number of hidden jewels including the silent Buddhist ruins at Sanchi, the abandoned citadel at Mandu and temple ghats that line the Narmada river at Maheshwar and Omkareshwar

Hampi & Beyond

14 days 12 nights

From £4,960

Uncover the rich culture and heritage of central India on a comprehensive tour filled with regal splendour, exquisite forts and palaces, boulder-strewn ruins, rolling hills and national parks teeming with wildlife

Cruising the Lower Ganges

11 days 10 nights

From £6,130

Cruise the sacred Ganges for seven nights aboard a luxury riverboat, discovering remote towns, timeless villages and ancient temples on the water's edge

From £5,645

Explore Rajasthan’s most captivating sights, visit quaint local villages and relax in the wilderness in breathtaking rural locations and luxury tented accommodation where leopards roam wild and free

The Jungle Book: Wildlife of India

From £3,995

Travel into the heart of Kipling’s India and follow the trail of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger

Golden Triangle & Ranthambore

10 days 9 nights

From £3,410

Combine the iconic sights of India’s Golden Triangle, from the Amber Fort to the Taj Mahal, with safaris in Ranthambore National Park – home of the Bengal tiger

Kerala at Leisure

From £3,325

Travel through Kerala in style and luxury, at a pace which enables you to make the most of this colourful, scenic and laid-back land

Highlights of Kerala

From £3,345

A striking contrast to other regions of India, Kerala is the ultimate destination for relaxation in India

Indian Splendour aboard the Maharajas’ Express

9 days 8 nights

From £10,640

Ride the Maharajas’ Express on a whistle-stop tour of North India, encompassing the Golden Triangle and beyond

Taste of India

9 days 7 nights

From £2,315

Spend a week soaking up the sights and sounds of India’s famed Golden Triangle

Taj Conemara

Renovated in 2018, the Taj Connemara is located in the heart of Chennai’s (Madras’) business district and combines old world charm with excellent facilities

Indana Palace Jodhpur

The Indana Palace Jodhpur is located 3km from the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum and 10km from the Mehrangarh Fort close to Jodhpur airport

Fortune Park Moksha

Located just 6km from McLeod Ganj, in a quiet and scenic corner of the Strawberry Hills, the Fortune Park Moksha is an elegant hillside property with beautiful views of the snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain range

Fragrant Nature Munnar

Located in the hills of Munnar and offering panoramic views of valleys, villages and mountains, Fragrant Nature is an excellent choice for those wanting luxurious comfort in a remote location

Jim’s Jungle Retreat

On the southern edge of Corbett National Park, Jim’s Jungle Retreat, set in close proximity to a seasonal river, is an eco-conscious lodge

Sawai Vilas, Ranthambore National Park

Just 10 minutes from the gates of Ranthambore, shadowed by the idyllic Aravalli Hills, the Sawai Vilas offers 60 comfortable standalone villas spread over 2.5 hectares of verdant garden

Taj Lake Palace

The Taj Lake Palace Hotel, originally known as Jag Niwas, was built in 1754 by Maharana Jagat Sigh II as his summer palace

Madin Hotel, Varanasi

Located in the popular and peaceful Cantonment area of Varanasi, the Hotel Madin offers a refreshing mix of opulent design and traditional local service

Shahpura House, Jaipur

Originally the residence of the scions of the Shekhawat clan of Rajputs, Shahpura House is set in a relatively quiet residential area in downtown Jaipur

Opened in January 2017, the Taj Swarna is a stylish and contemporary hotel located in the heart of Amritsar

Mantra Koodam

Tucked away in the peaceful village of Veppathru, close to the temple town of Kumbakonam, the Mantra Koodam offers elegant cottages and bungalows surrounded by a serene verdant garden

The Judge’s Court

Set among 4.8 hectares of exotic trees and fruit orchards, the Judge’s Court comprises a colonial-style country manor that was built at the turn of the 20th century and an ancestral cottage, which is nearly 300 years old

The LaLiT Laxmi Vilas Palace, Udaipur

The hill stations provided a cool retreat for the Raj during the heat of the Indian summer

Novotel New Delhi Aerocity

Conveniently located adjacent to both international and domestic airport terminals, the Novotel New Delhi Aerocity is a large comfortable hotel

The Leela Palace, Bengaluru

The Leela Palace is set in three hectares of lush gardens alongside a sparkling lagoon

Palais de Mahé, Puducherry

A quaint hotel in the heart of Puducherry’s French quarter, Palais de Mahé is minutes from the area’s famous promenade, historic temples, cathedrals and colourful boutiques

The Oberoi Cecil, Woodville Palace Hotel

Pullman new delhi aerocity.

Conveniently located adjacent to both the international and domestic airport terminals, the Pullman is a modern, comfortable hotel with large rooms

Trident Hotel Jaipur

The Trident is located at the base of Amber Fort, 15 minutes’ drive from the heart of Jaipur

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Mysore

Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Chamundi Hills, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a 140-room property lying in close proximity to Mysore’s most famous attractions including the opulent Mysore Palace and the bustling city markets

Trident Hotel Udaipur

Located in the depths of the rainforests of Lakkidi, the gateway to the picturesque Wayanad district, the Wayanad Wild is a family-friendly resort offering luxury cottages in beautiful surroundings

Alila Diwa Goa

The Alila Diwa Goa is a deluxe property located 20 minutes’ drive south of Goa airport amid lush paddy fields leading to the Arabian Sea

Heritage Madurai

Heritage Madurai (previously Heritance Madurai) is a seamless blend of traditional elegance and modern comfort set among lush gardens

Wayanad Wild

Andaz delhi aerocity.

Conveniently located just two miles from Delhi airport, the Andaz is an elegant and modern hotel perfect for stays before and after international flights

WelcomHeritage Taragarh Palace

In 1931, the Nawab of Bahawalpur built a large European style summer residence up in the cool Himalayan jungles of the Kangra district

Fateh Niwas

Situated in Udaipur, just 2.5km from Lake Pichhola, Fateh Niwas is a luxury boutique hotel with spacious and elegant guestrooms

Taj Ganges, Varanasi

The Taj Ganges Varanasi is a comfortable, centrally located hotel situated on Raja Bazaar road

Taj Hari Mahal

Spread over six acres of landscaped gardens, the centrally located Taj – Hari Mahal is an architectural blend of age-old Rajasthani motifs and contemporary design

Situated within 14 hectares of luxurious gardens, the ITC Mughal is a luxury hotel that blends modern and minimalistic touches with ancient Mughal architecture

Taj Hotel & Convention Centre

Located on the Taj East Gate Road and within walking distance of the breathtaking Taj Mahal, the Taj Hotel & Convention Centre is a stylish property with excellent facilities

The Serai Kabini

Located in the small village of Karapura, between Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National Park, the Serai Kabini is a brand new property offering luxury cottages and a serene and tranquil ambience

Trident Hotel Agra

The Trident Agra is set in beautiful gardens and is only a short distance away from the Taj Mahal

Rambagh Palace

The Rambagh Palace was once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur and is a fine example of grand and ornate Rajput palace architecture

Trident Nariman Point

Towering above the skyline and overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Trident Mumbai is located in the heart of Mumbai’s central business district with the city’s main shopping area only a short distance away

Wildflower Hall, Woodville Palace Hotel

The Oberoi Group’s elegant resort is situated approximately 8,250 feet above sea level

Ajit Bhawan Palace

The Ajit Bhawan was originally built for Maharaja Ajit Singh, the younger brother of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, in the 1920s

Rhythm Kumarakom

Located just 20 yards from Vembanad lake, the Rhythm Kumarakom is a luxury resort in the picturesque backwaters area of Kerala

Chidambara Vilas A Luxury Heritage Resort

Originally built during the late 19th century by the Chettiyars of the Karaikudi region, Chidambara Vilas is a mansion that has been converted into a hotel

The majestic setting and ancient ramparts of this old fort capture the spirit of Rajasthan

Savoy – IHCL SeleQtions, Ooty

Savoy Hotel is located amid lush green lawns and overlooks the surrounding valley and hills of Ooty

Chitvan Jungle Lodge

Set among 14 acres of land, Chitvan Jungle Lodge is surrounded by hills, thick woods and open grasslands.

Deogarh Mahal

Deogarh Mahal, a unique family residence, overlooks the delightful village of Deogarh in the Aravalli Hills

Coconut Lagoon

Coconut Lagoon is set on the shores of Lake Vembanad, in the heart of the Keralan backwaters

Gorbandh Palace

Gorbandh Palace is ideally located in the desert city of Jaisalmer

Eighth Bastion, Kochi

Set in the heart of Fort Kochi, Eighth Bastion is a small, chic property that effortlessly combines contemporary and colonial styles

Gateway Coonoor

The Gateway Hotel Church Road Coonoor (previously the Taj Garden Retreat), in a world of rolling mountains and drifting mists, exudes an old-world charm

Hyatt Regency Amritsar

Set in the heart of the city with easy access to the Golden Temple and other important sites, Hyatt Amritsar is a modern contemporary style hotel

Maidens Hotel

Built in 1903, the Maidens Hotel is a jewel of colonial architecture set within three hectares of emerald-green lawns and has retained its old-world charm through the years

Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner

A heritage property located in the desert town of Bikaner, the impressive Narendra Bhawan was home to the last reigning maharajah of Bikaner

Marari Beach Resort

Situated on golden sands in a sleepy fishing village between Kochi (Cochin) and Alleppey, the Marari Beach Resort is spread over 12 hectares of coconut groves, lily ponds, fruit trees and a large organic farm

Ramgarh Lodge Jaipur – IHCL SeleQtions

Built in the late 1930s, Ramgarh Lodge Jaipur – IHCL SeleQtions (formerly The Gateway Hotel Ramgarh Lodge) was once the favourite hunting retreat of the Maharaja of Jaipur

Places to visit in India

Central india, central south india, eastern india, the himalaya, northern india, rural rajasthan, western india, ready to start planning your next trip, group tours to india, tailor-made holidays to india.

Climate in India

Discover the temperatures and rainfall you can expect when visiting the main areas of India, along with the best time to travel.

Top things to do in India

Stay in palaces and forts, experience festivals and float down the backwaters.

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India Escorted Tours & Guided Holidays

Escorted tours & guided holidays to india.

Cultural, colourful, full of character: India is all these things (and more!). As one of the world’s most diverse countries, India has much to offer the intrepid traveller; whether you have a passion for wildlife or you’re more of a culture connoisseur, there’s something for everyone in this vast, versatile land. When you go on escorted tours of India with Travelsphere, you’ll gain a new appreciation and understanding of the variety of its charms and the power of its spell; from the astonishing aromas of the spice plantations to the luminous magnificence of the  Taj Mahal , you’re in for a real treat. Regardless if you come for the bustling bazaars or the pristine palaces; tigers or temples; dance shows or deserted cities – no matter what your tastes, our touring holidays to India promise some of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have. Embarking on guided tours of India with Travelsphere means you’ll be able to enjoy this terrific country without any of the usual holiday hassles; flights, accommodation and itinerary are all included with each package, hand-picked especially to match the needs of every explorer. Wherever you touch down in India, you’re in for an amazing trip. Book India escorted tours with Travelsphere and let us be the ones to show you every spectacular sight it has to offer!

escorted tours india from uk

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Featured Escorted Tour Holidays

escorted tours india from uk

Beyond the Golden Triangle

Delve into India's rich history and fascinating culture, explore the Taj Mahal and go on safari in search of the Bengal tiger.

  • Return flights
  • 8 nights in 4 & 5-star hotels and lodges plus 1 night in flight
  • 19 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 8 dinners

Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, India

Beyond the Golden Triangle with Journey to Shimla Add-on

Delve deeper into India's fascinating culture and history, visiting Dehli, Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur and Shimla.

  • 12 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels and lodges plus 1 night in flight
  • 29 meals: 12 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 12 dinners

escorted tours india from uk

Contrasts of India: Northern Cities and Kerala Backwaters

This is an all-out exploration of India, from the Golden Triangle in the north to Kerala's peaceful backwaters in the south.

  • 16 nights in 4 or 5-star hotels and a houseboat plus 1 night in flight
  • 37 meals: 16 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 16 dinners

escorted tours india from uk

Taj, Tigers, Temples and Rajasthan's Palaces

  • Return flights from London
  • 13 nights in 4 and 5-star and heritage hotels plus 1 night in flight
  • 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 13 dinners and welcome drink

escorted tours india from uk

Taj, Tigers, Temples and Rajasthan's Palaces with Goa add-on

  • 16 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels plus 1 night in flight
  • 16 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 16 dinners and welcome drink

India Touring Holidays Frequently Asked Questions

Where do we start! India is an enchanting country full of diverse cultures, spices, animals and a celebration of colour. It’s also a large country with so much to see, so it’s vital to choose your highlights to suit your length of stay when visiting India. The one thing most travellers want to see is the absolutely stunning Taj Mahal which thankfully all of our tours include!

If you can add on a few more days then it’s worth stepping out beyond the Golden Triangle to enjoy some wildlife sightings on a safari in Ranthambore National Park.

Want the ultimate tour of India, taking you from the Golden Triangle in the north to Kerala's backwaters in the south. With everything above included then you need the Grand Tour of India . The only tour where you'll visit Old Delhi in the company of former street child, who will introduce you to the India that very few travellers get to see.

Everyone knows about the Taj Mahal and it goes without saying that it’s a highlight of India but there are some other hidden gems you should be aware of:

Animal and Nature lovers should be sure to visit Ranthambore National Park. Covering almost 400 square kilometres, it was once the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur and is now home to an impressive array of wildlife. Its most famous resident is the Bengal tiger, but there are also more than 320 species of birds, more than 40 species of mammals and over 35 species of reptiles! A wildlife lovers dream!

Monarchy, History and architect lovers will revel in the wonders that are Jaipur and the pink palace. The city of Jaipur is one of India's architectural marvels. Its elaborate structures house some of the country's most ornate royal palaces. Built in the 1700s under the order of Rajput ruler Sawai Raja Jai Singh II, it was considered ahead of its time. Jaipur city was painted a romantic dusty pink hue back in 1876 as a welcome to Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert and has retained its status as the "Pink City," ever since.

Most tours of India only take you to the tourist areas and you do not get a real insight into some of the hardships of life for the locals. For a fully rounded view of India you need to visit Old Delhi – a maze of chaotic, ancient alleyways and streets, jam packed with shops, people, street vendors, beggars and the homeless. There are approximately 100,000 homeless people living in India’s capital and half of them are children! Our Grand tour of India includes a walk through Delhi with former street children who now work with our partner, the Salaam Baalak Trust. This charity does incredible work with these youngsters, not only teaching them skills to better their lives but also providing them with a warm bed at night, a hot meal each day and the chance of a brighter future.

Flowing, loose fitting, cotton clothing are ideal in India as they are cool, comfortable and shows a cultural respect to the locals. In the main however anything goes, unless you are attending a temple, mosque, place of worship or religious ground and then the following items must not be worn; vest tops, sleeveless dresses/tops, mini-skirts, shorts or jeans. Always err on the side of modesty and make sure any décolletage, shoulders and knees are covered. Some religious buildings may ask you to remove your shoes and wash your feet before entering and women may be asked to wear a hair covering for example a scarf. They will usually be provided by the mosque if required.

Indian cuisine in general terms is similar to the food you will have experienced from your local takeaway. A nice selection of curry’s from mild to hot with all the accompaniments. These you will find with ease from Central to North of Indian However, Indian food is also heavily influenced by region, due to the difference in soil and climate. Cuisines will vary substantially and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits, so an open mind to trying new dishes is wise.

The cuisine on the Southern side of India differs greatly to the Central and North, you won’t find a Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala or Rogan Josh. And nope, not even a naan bread! Instead you’ll find your taste buds tantalised by Dosas, a paper thin pancake filled with delicious treats such as spicy lamb, chickpeas or lentils accompanied with steamed coconut rice and Vadas, a gently spiced, savoury donut.

Religion and cultural choices also play a big part in Indian cuisine and you may find that some restaurants do not offer meat as an option with most Hindu’s and Buddhists following a strict vegetarian diet. Whereas Islamic Indian cuisine will offer Halal only options.

A treat not to be missed is the street food market, where locals cook their dishes in the open air for you to try. It’s cheap, cheerful and extremely tasty! What is better still is that while your taste buds are having an experience of their own you are supporting a local family to survive the poverty that still exists in this country.

TOP TIP – For those of you that like it extra mild or even extra hot – here is a translation in Hindi the most spoken language in India. Food Heat = bhojan kee garmee Very Mild = Bahut Halka Mild = Halka Medium = Mahyam Hot = Garm Very Hot = Bahut Garm

Etiquette - In India, you should finish everything that is on your plate because it is considered a respect for the host, and with food in Indian considered sacred, you don't want to waste a morsel. In South India, where food is usually served on a banana leaf, it is polite to fold your leaf over from the top to bottom ― Do not fold the leaf from the bottom to the top, as this is a sign to the host that you were not satisfied.

Unless you like it Hot, Hot, Hot, the best time to visit India is from December until early March. April onwards sees soaring temperatures which make touring more difficult and June, July, August and September can be monsoon season in most regions.

Read All About It... India

Cross-border adventures.

Thrilling cities, wonderful wildlife, natural and man-made marvels and delicious flavours - India and Nepal make for an intoxicating travel pairing.

Let's hear it for India....

With so much to see and experience, there are numerous reasons to fall in love with India. Here our Product Executive, Josh, shares some hints and tips to help you pick the perfect trip.

We love India

Exciting and colourful, charming and chaotic, India is an assault on the senses. With impressive sights, magnificent wildlife and idyllic scenery on offer, we round-up of some of the best places to go.

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Classic escorted tours.

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  • NEW! 19-day The Very Best of Southern India Tour
  • 25-day Grand Tour of India
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  • NEW! 16-day Highlights of Southern India Tour
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Vietnam & Cambodia

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New Zealand

Australia & new zealand, canada & alaska, south africa.

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Grand Tour of India

25 days from only £3,895 £3,745 per person.

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Book your place on this tour departing from September 2024 by 1st July 2024 and save up to £200 per person. Request a brochure

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Spend a little longer in India with Distant Journeys, and delve deeper into the heart of this mystical and mesmerising country, with our Grand Tour of India.

From the foothills of the Himalayas to the palm-fringed beaches of Kerala, our Grand Tour travels the length of this beautiful, complex country and explores in depth the places, people and cultures that define India. We visit shimmering temples and golden palaces, see snow-capped mountains and fragrant spice plantations, vibrant, colourful cities and silent, sleepy backwaters.

Our Grand Tour also includes some very special experiences; a ride on the UNESCO Toy Train to Shimla, safaris in Ranthambore National Park and a night onboard a traditional Keralan houseboat.

There will be a maximum of 24 people per departure on our India touring holidays. As a guest in a small group, you will find both the space and time to enjoy a number of included special experiences that wouldn’t be possible within the confines of a larger group. Journey beyond the best-known sights and enjoy exclusive activities with your travelling companions, who will soon become friends as you make memories that will last a lifetime.

If you want to extend your stay a little longer, then our relaxing three night Keralan Beach Stay is the prefect way to bring your Indian adventure to a close.

Distant Journeys offer Private Touring on the Grand Tour of India, as with our other India tour itineraries. Surprisingly affordable, Private Touring includes the same wonderfully thought-out itinerary and carefully chosen hotels, with the added bonus of your own friendly and knowledgeable guides, your own private vehicle and your own choice of departure date.

Save up to £200 per person  on all India tours departing from September 2024 when you  book by 1st July 2024.

Freedom Days

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Depart with Etihad Airways from London Heathrow. Manchester flights may be possible, but could involve a longer connection in Abu Dhabi. Please call for details.

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks

Delhi, 2 nights

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We arrive into Delhi and transfer to the delightful heritage-styled Maidens Hotel. Later, we will enjoy a welcome drink with our Tour Manager and fellow travellers to become acquainted and learn more about our forthcoming adventures.

In-flight meals, drinks and dinner

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Enjoy a full day of sightseeing as we explore Old and New Delhi. Begin the day with a pleasant rickshaw ride through Old Delhi; travel via the lavish Red Fort – palace of the Mughal Empire. Visit Jama Masjid, India’s largest and most spectacular mosque, and experience Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city. It’s an action-packed morning, concluding with a street food walk in Old Delhi, showcasing a range of authentic Dilli food bursting with all sorts of mouth-watering flavours. We continue to New Delhi to visit the iconic India Gate and celebrated Parliament House, and continue to Humayun’s Tomb. Our tour concludes at a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 13th century masterpiece, Qutub Minar – India’s famed red sandstone and white marble minaret.

Breakfast and dinner

Shimla, 2 nights

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Tour Highlight

After breakfast, we transfer to New Delhi Railway Station to board our train to Kalka. From Kalka, we board the UNESCO recognised Toy Train on its meandering journey through the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains towards Shimla, famed for being the summer retreat of the British colonial government in the 19th century. This distinctive train offers incomparable views of the surrounding landscapes. We spend our next two nights at the iconic Oberoi Cecil Hotel . Originally built in 1884, this beautiful grand heritage hotel continues to maintain its colonial charm and classic elegance.

Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

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Our day begins with a visit to Kufri, a tiny hill station located near Shimla, renowned for its wonderful views and walking trails. Later we enjoy a leisurely walking tour around Shimla, witnessing heritage buildings including the Gaiety Theatre, a restored Gothic construction extraordinarily adorned with papier-mâché! Our tour also visits the General Post Office, and Viceregal Lodge, the most historically significant colonial building of the region, displaying incredible architecture. Later, we have the option to join the Sleeping Beauty Trail , where more of Shimla’s history will be revealed.

Amritsar, 2 nights

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Bidding farewell to magical Shimla we journey to Chandigarh in a series of smaller vehicles, which are best suited to the mountainous terrain. We continue in the afternoon with lunch on the way to the heritage city of Amritsar, where its magnificent Golden Temple and beautiful blend of culture, history and tradition await. Our hotel for the next two nights is the Radisson Blu hotel .

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

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Undoubtedly our highlight today is a visit to the magnificent Golden Temple, one of the most spiritual places in India. We explore the complex, including the incredible community kitchens which produce up to 20,000 meals per day, all prepared by local volunteers. We continue to Jallianwala Bagh, a historic garden and memorial of great national importance. We also experience the Partition Museum – the world’s first museum dedicated to the Partition of 1947, telling stories through oral histories, personal artefacts, letters, photographs, and original documents of the millions affected during the Partition. This afternoon we drive out to the India – Pakistan border. Here we shall enjoy a musical spectacular known as the beating retreat ceremony who put on a mesmerising show that is bound to thrill!

Agra, 2 nights

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After breakfast, we travel to the airport and board our flight to Delhi. On arrival, we drive to Agra, home to the magnificent Taj Mahal. Our home for two nights is the conveniently located, first class Agra Trident Hotel .

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We start our day with a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, India’s most iconic monument. The Taj Mahal is carved from stunning ivory-white marble and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Mughals were at the peak of their power and wealth during Shah Jahan’s reign and it is believed that over 20,000 stone carvers, masons and artists were employed to build this monument to love and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Later, we continue to Agra Fort, a commanding 16th-century red sandstone fortress. The remainder of the day is at leisure, to relax or explore Agra’s many other delights.

Ranthambore, 2 nights

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We depart Agra this morning bound for Ranthambore National Park. En route, we visit the famous Chand Baori Step Well, built over a thousand years ago. Enjoy lunch in the lush, rustic countryside setting of Umaid Palace. Spread over 20 acres of leafy land, this organic retreat is a relaxing indulgence far from the bustle of the city. We continue to Ranthambore, and our home for the next two nights, either the Ranthambore Kothi Hotel or The Tigress Hotel . This evening, we prepare for the exciting day ahead with a fascinating tiger talk by an expert local naturalist.

Ranthambore

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We begin the day with an early safari in Ranthambore National Park by shared canter vehicles. Ranthambore is one of the largest national parks in northern India, and renowned for its majestic Bengal tigers. We hope to witness these magnificent and elusive predators roaming in their natural habitat. Later this afternoon we continue exploring the park further. Keep a look out for some of Ranthambore’s other wildlife including crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys, sambar deer, and over 250 species of bird, whilst taking in the stunning scenery.

Jaipur, 3 nights

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Enjoy a morning at leisure to spend as you please. After lunch we continue our journey to Jaipur, and the deluxe Trident Hotel . This evening enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner at a local family home, providing a unique opportunity to experience traditional local life.

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Following breakfast, we travel a short distance to meet our waiting jeeps, which will take us to a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the magnificent Amber Fort. Set amidst dramatic pink hills and overlooking Maota Lake, the nostalgic Amber Fort is a fabulous example of Rajput architecture. Our afternoon is at leisure to spend as we please. In the evening, why not take an optional guided walk and visit the old stables which were converted into a market? Closely observe the gathering of local milk-sellers, promoting their products for the production of delicious Indian sweets, or meander through the neighbouring eateries serving local delicacies.

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We embark on a city sightseeing tour, visiting the stunning City Palace; the famed astronomical architecture dating back to 1734, Jantar Mantar; and a drive past the distinctive Hawa Mahal, an extraordinary pink and red sandstone palace, widely known as the ‘Palace of Winds.’ This afternoon we visit the Bollywood Theatre, Raj Mandir Palace, considered the finest cinema hall in Jaipur, and famed for its opulent interiors.

Udaipur, 2 nights

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This morning’s flight is bound for Udaipur, the crown jewel in the state of Rajasthan, and commonly known as the ‘City of Lakes’. Our home for the next two nights is the delightful Trident Hotel. Our afternoon and evening are left completely at leisure. Enjoy!

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Sightseeing today includes the City Palace, Rajasthan’s largest citadel; Jagdish Temple, a Hindu shrine dating back to 1651; and a drive around Fateh Sagar Lake and Sahelion-ki-Bari. Enjoy a vegetarian lunch of authentic local Mewari cuisine at the delightful Garden Restaurant. This evening we join a boat ride on Lake Pichola, whilst visiting Jag Mandir, the Lake Garden Palace.

Mumbai, 2 nights

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After a leisurely morning exploring the beautiful Udaipur further, We fly to Mumbai. On arrival we transfer to the five-star Trident Hotel, Nariman Point , which will be our home for the next two nights.

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This morning we take a short tour of Mumbai, visiting Mani Bhawan, a museum dedicated to Ghandi; the Prince of Wales Museum; Victoria Terminus, open-air Laundromat; Dhobi Ghat and the iconic Gateway of India. This afternoon we join a pleasant boat ride across the Bay of Mumbai to visit the Elephanta Caves, an intriguing UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva.

Cochin, 2 nights

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Today there is an optional pre-breakfast tour of Mumbai by dawn, where we take a special peek into the underbelly of working Mumbai – an insight into what makes this magnificent city tick – in the company of an expert guide. Following breakfast and a leisurely morning, we transfer to the airport boarding our flight to Cochin. Cochin is the Malabar Coast’s most historic port, and traditionally the place from where India’s invaluable spices were shipped to Europe. On arrival we transfer to the charming Trident Cochin Hotel .

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Today in Cochin begins with a visit to see Mattancherry Palace’s exquisite murals. We also experience the entrancing Fort Cochin, where Chinese fishing nets – vast cantilevered contraptions that still work to this day – line the shore. This evening we experience a show with a 2,000 year old history, during a traditional Kathakali dance performance. Later enjoy an Anglo-Indian cookery lesson and dinner at a local family house.

Alleppey, Overnight

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Our travels today take us to Alleppey for one of the true highlights of our tour – an overnight experience on a traditional, thatch-roofed ‘kettuvallam’ houseboat . Journey through the Keralan backwaters with their labyrinth of canals, waterways, coconut groves, rice fields, hidden temples and tiny islands. This incredible adventure is one you will savour for many years to come!

Thekkady, 2 nights

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We bid farewell to our houseboat and begin our scenic journey to Thekkady. As we traverse through the mountainous countryside of thick jungle and vast carpets of tea bushes, the aroma of spices fill the air. Later we arrive at our hotel, the wonderful Spice Village , located in a spice garden within the cool highlands of Periyar. This evening experience a traditional, ancient Indian martial arts performance, prior to dinner.

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This morning, we explore a spice plantation to discover the mysteries of the Indian tea and spice industry. After lunch we enjoy a tranquil lake cruise (subject to water levels) to take in the sights and sounds of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. We keep our eyes peeled for elephants as well as sambars, nilgiri langur monkeys, and the 260 recorded species of birdlife.

Cochin, Overnight

People on nature walk

We return to the Trident Cochin, for our final night in India. Enjoy dinner as we bid farewell to our travelling companions of the last three and a half weeks.

Depart India / Arrive UK

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Early morning, we travel to Cochin Airport for our flight with Etihad Airways, which travels via Abu Dhabi. We arrive into our chosen airport later today.

Breakfast, in-flight meals and drinks

< Discover more tours to India

Departure dates & prices

SAVE up to £200 per person!  Book this tour departing from September 2024, or any of the holidays featured in our India & Sri Lanka brochure, and save up to £200 per person.  Offer ends 1st July 2024.

To allow you to obtain a greater appreciation for the fascinating sights that you will see, we limit the group size on this tour to a maximum of 24 guests. For a really intimate touring feeling, you could travel with your own party as a private touring group. Private Tour Supplements to the main tour price for private tours are available here

Prices Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room.

Single occupancy supplement September 2023: £995. October 2023: £1,245. January – March 2024: £1,345. September 2024: £995. October 2024 – March 2025: £1,245. September 2025: £1,095. October 2025 – March 2026: £1,295.

Deposit £500 per person if travelling Economy Class and £1,500 per person for Business Class.

Flight upgrades Etihad Airways upgrade to Business Class from £2,895 per person return.

Visa information A Tourist visa is required for travel to India. For more information on applying for your visa and the associated costs, please refer to our  FAQ’s  page.

Important information Our holiday prices are subject to fuel surcharges and the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class. The correct price will always be confirmed to you before you book, and once you have booked, our Price Promise will guarantee there will be no further increases. For full terms and conditions see our  terms and conditions   page.

Private Touring Supplements

Should you prefer to take the Grand Tour of India as a private tour, please add the relevant supplement below to the main tour price.

Guests choosing a private tour may select their own departure date.

Please note, alternative airlines may be considered or further supplements may apply in certain periods when international flight prices are higher.

So much included

From start to finish, each of Distant Journeys escorted India tours are meticulously planned and offer exceptional value. We include return international flights from the UK, overseas transport in modern air-conditioned coaches, hotel porterage for your luggage, all pre-payable airport and resort taxes, the services of a knowledgeable Tour Manager and all the entrance fees to the many incredible places and monuments you will visit. Great food is a highlight of any tour of India, and we make sure you have plenty of opportunity to taste the country’s finest cuisine by including dinner every day, as well as daily breakfast and several lunches too.

Small group touring

  • Maximum only 24 passengers

Flights with leading scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights
  • Fly with Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi from London Heathrow. Flights from Manchester may be possible
  • All domestic flights within India
  • All airport charges, security charges and any applicable fuel surcharges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty

Carefully selected hotels

  • First class and deluxe hotels in great locations
  • All hotel porterage
  • Applicable hotel taxes

Many meals worth £919 per person

  • Daily breakfast
  • Seven lunches
  • Dinner each evening

Unforgettable experiences

  • Sightseeing tours in Delhi, Shimla, Amritsar, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai and Cochin
  • Travel to Shimla onboard the UNESCO Toy Train
  • The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Wagah-Attari border ceremony
  • Visit the iconic Taj Mahal
  • Naturalist tiger talk and safaris in Ranthambore National Park
  • Experience dinner at a local family home in Jaipur
  • Jeep ride and tour of Amber Fort, Jaipur
  • Boat ride on Lake Pichola, Udaipur
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
  • Ango-Indian cookery lesson, Cochin
  • Explore the Keralan backwaters on board a kettuvallam houseboat

On the ground

  • Services of an experienced local Tour Manager
  • All overseas transfers
  • Modern, air-conditioned coaches throughout

100% confidence

  • Your holiday is covered by our Price Promise
  • Your holiday is fully ATOL protected

Hand-picked hotels

All the hotels on our tours to India are carefully selected by our Directors to ensure they meet the high standards that they understand are essential to the enjoyment of a touring holiday. Throughout your tour, you will stay in a fine selection of hotels, all of which have been chosen for their location and standard of accommodation, but which all have a certain special something that sets them apart from the rest.

  • Maidens Hotel, Delhi
  • The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla

Radisson Blu Hotel, Amritsar

Trident hotel, agra, ranthambore kothi hotel, ranthambore, the tigress, ranthambore, trident hotel, jaipur, trident hotel, udaipur.

  • Trident Hotel Nariman Point, Mumbai

Trident Hotel, Cochin

Houseboat, alleppey, spice village hotel, thekkady.

Maidens hotel Delhi, exterior view with garden and fountain

Heritage Maidens Hotel, Delhi

Star-Rating-5

The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

Star-Rating-4-5

Trident Hotel, Mumbai

Trident Cochin entrance and driveway

Make the most of your free time in India and explore further with our selection of optional excursions. For the majority of experiences you don’t have to decide before you leave the UK – you can let your Tour Manager know what you’d like to do while you are on holiday.

landscape view of forest and misty mountains with sun in Shimla India

Shimla: Sleeping Beauty Trail

One of the seven hills that surround Shimla, Elysium Hill is the highest point in Shimla and an amazing vantage point for splendid views of the city. Our walk on Elysium Hill is known as the Sleeping Beauty Trail, and during this insightful tour we will learn how Shimla has evolved over the years.

Women of Sadhna sewing and smiling

Udaipur: Meet the Women of Sadhna

Sadhna is a social enterprise established in 1988 to provide alternative means of livelihood for women in Udaipur’s rural and impoverished areas. Starting with just a small group of 15 women, it has grown to a large family of 714 women artisans, who create exquisite traditional handicrafts.

women in colourful clothes at market

Mumbai: Mumbai By Dawn

It is a rare privilege to see the beginning of the day in a city as busy and crowded as Mumbai; to witness the underbelly of Mumbai as it greets the dawn, and to gain an insight into what makes this magnificent city tick.

Why not finish your Indian adventure with a relaxing three-night stay with a Keralan Beach Stay?

Marari Beach in Kerala

Kerala Beach Stay - Grand Tour of India

3 nights from £495pp

Find out more >

Customer reviews  

These reviews are from Distant Journeys guests, and have been verified by the independent reviews company Feefo.

Grand Tour of India

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India Tours

India Tours

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  • Fully inclusive tours
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Find your perfect India tour

Our India tours cover all of the highlights of this unforgettable and unique country from the mighty Himalayas in the north to the palm fringed beaches of the far south.

Choose one of our escorted group, private or tailor-made tours to India, which explore every corner of this unique destination, and you'll have a holiday you'll never forget.

Explore the icons of India; discover the colourful bazaars and colonial remnants of Delhi, marvel at the magnificent Taj Mahal, surely the most beautiful building in the world, and soak up the romance of the city of Udaipur. Track tigers in Ranthambore National Park, sail on the spiritual Ganges in Varanasi and live like a prince amongst the palaces and forts of Rajasthan.

More intrepid explorers can explore the lush Western Ghats, sail on the backwaters of Kerala, discover the kaleidoscope of cultures in the Himalayas and so much more.

If you are looking for a holiday with history, culture, romance and adventure, then a tour of India is for you. Explore India

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Taj, Temples and Tigers

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Highlights of India

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Kerala and the Southern Highlights

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Rajasthan Panorama

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Northern India Discovery

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Grand Tour of India

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Inspiring India

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Himalayan Kingdoms

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Christmas in India

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India by Rail

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Wildlife of India

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Christmas in Kerala

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Southern India by Rail

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Classic India

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Jewels of India

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Amritsar Short Stay

Kerala Backwaters Extension

Kerala Backwaters Extension

Goa Beach Stay

Goa Beach Stay

Shimla Extension

Shimla Extension

Marari Beach Stay

Marari Beach Stay

Varanasi Short Stay

Varanasi Short Stay

Ranthambore Short Stay

Ranthambore Short Stay

Kovalam Beach Stay

Kovalam Beach Stay

Bhutan

From our India Blog

Read our latest articles or travel inspiration, exciting news about our destinations and all things Wendy Wu Tours

Making Tracks: the Joys of Travelling by Train

Traveller tales – highlights of india, easy enquiry, congratulations, you have taken the first step of your journey.

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Discover romantic sights like this mountain view from the pool when you take a tailor-made honeymoon with Alfred&.

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Meet Indian locals like these friendly sahri sellers when you take a tailor-made holiday with Alfred&.

Tailor-made India Holidays

A mesmerising whirlwind of colour, sound and smell, India is a land in perpetual motion. There’s something intriguing, eye-catching or just plain funny wherever you look, from long-limbed langur monkeys stealing mangos from a fruit seller’s cart to a high-spirited wedding procession led by a bridegroom on a richly festooned horse. Not that you won’t also have moments of glorious stillness. It might be the breathless hush when you see your first tiger in the wild or are ushered into the sandalwood-scented inner shrine of an ancient temple. Or it could be as simple as watching a glowing sunset from a beach or a palace-turned-hotel rooftop terrace.

Of course, there are sights that deserve a place on everyone’s ‘must visit’ list – and we guarantee you  will  be wowed by your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal. But it’s the open-hearted people you’ll come across on your travels who will make your trip unique: the village women teaching you between laughs to spin rope from coconut fibres, the family on the train who insist you share their lunch, the tea-shop owner showing off by lifting a bicycle with his teeth, and a hundred more.

It would take several lifetimes to experience all that India has to offer. Let our destination experts and local guides provide you with the essential shortcuts to its most inspiring places, moments and encounters be that on a tailor-made itinerary or a small group tour.

Our India Travel Guide is a good place to start planning with essential travel information, when to travel and how best to get around. Or get familiar with India’s diverse landscapes with our interactive map  and regional guides.

India itinerary ideas

Opulent india with oberoi hotels, india's genuine golden triangle, kerala explorer tour, taj mahal, tigers and teens, the golden triangle tour, tea, temples and tibetan culture in the eastern himalayas, in search of the bengal tiger, a tale of two cities and the andaman islands, exploring india’s intriguing north, into the heart of karnataka and tamil nadu, exploring india’s intriguing south, magical rajasthan, enchanting kerala, tibetan retreats and toy trains in the western himalayas, india's golden triangle and varanasi, discover things to do in india, experience the magical madness of bollywood, taj mahal at sunrise, sample varanasi’s street food delights, a beautiful border closing ceremony, meet the truck painter of jodhpur, discover india’s oldest classical dance form with an expert, join mohammad for a textile workshop, plan your holiday with alfred&.

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in India. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember.

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Malcolm Holcroft

India Travel Expert for Alfred&

A wildlife and history fan, Malcolm Holcroft is drawn to India for its national parks and UNESCO-listed monuments. His Indian adventures include traversing the Golden Triangle, taking tiger-spotting safaris in Kanha and sipping beer in Mumbai’s historic cafés. Malcolm will never forget getting stuck behind a wedding party on his way to Jaipur, with revellers dancing to booming music in the streets.

Sharath Kumar, Kathakali Maestro

Sharath Kumar

Kathakali Maestro

Sharath began learning the classical dance of bharatnatyam at the tender age of 5 and his kathakali journey began soon after. He has had the privilege of working with several great maestros and has competed in various festivals winning many prizes. He represented India in the World Youth Festival held in Havana in 1978 as India’s youngest cultural ambassador and has travelled the world performing to audiences including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and former American Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Ishwar Dewani, tie dye guru Jodhpur

Ishwar Dewani

Tie dye guru

Ishwar Dewani is an expert in the art of Banhani, tie dye, in his hometown of Jodhpur. The tradition was passed down to Ishwar from his grandfather and he still follows their original techniques today, yet with additional colours and designs. Ishwar loves sharing his passion for tie dye through workshops and owns a small boutique store where he sells his colourful clothes.

Chandra Kala Purohit, host of the Blue House cooking class

Chandra Kala Purohit

Cook and host

Chandra Kala Purohit lives in Jodhpur with her husband Lalit, a former tour guide who loved to invite visitors in for tea – which is how the Blue House cooking classes began. An accomplished chef, Chandra learnt her skills from her mother and grandmother, later passing them down to her own daughter. Chandra loves hosting guests in her home and teaching them how to make authentic Rajasthani food.

Ritu Kalra, Founder of Old Delhi Rickshaw Tours

Founder of Old Delhi Rickshaw Tours, Alfred&'s partner in India

Growing up, Ritu Kalra would visit her grandparents’ Mughal-era haveli in Old Delhi and was fascinated by their stories of the city. After graduating from Delhi University, Ritu worked in the financial industry for many years before launching her passion project in 2010: When in India Tours. Ritu lives in Delhi with her husband and son and is a travel freak who loves cooking, yoga and showcasing her hometown to travellers.

Rajeev Goyal, co-founder of Delhi Photo Tour

Rajeev Goyal

Co-founder of Delhi Photo Tour, Alfred&'s partner in India

A chef by profession, Rajeev Goyal co-founded Delhi Photo Tour in 2010, the first company of its kind in the city. Rajeev loves to share his passion for photography with guests, helping them capture unique images of everyday life in Delhi. Rajeev specialises in portrait photography and is an expert in framing, lighting and determining advanced shutter and lens settings.

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Going above and beyond to help our customers is just one of the reasons why we’ve been awarded Recommended Provider status by the UK’s leading consumer organisation Which? based on their latest survey results.

Travel with us for total peace of mind. All our holidays are ATOL protected, we’re members of ABTA (the leading travel industry association) and you’ll have our full support throughout your travels.

Places to go in India

  • Andaman Islands
  • Bandhavgarh National Park
  • Dharamshala
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Mararikulam
  • Pench National Park
  • Pondicherry
  • Rameshwaram
  • The Golden Triangle

India Travel guide

  • When to Travel
  • Getting Around
  • Eating & Drinking

Time difference : GMT+5:30 (all year)

Flight time : 9-10 hours (direct flight from London)

Currency : Indian rupee (INR/₹)

Language : Hindi, English

Electricity : 230 V, 50 Hz (round two-pin plugs; occasionally round three-pin plugs)

Telephone code : +91

Tipping : Rewarding good service is expected. Many upmarket restaurants include a service charge on the bill; elsewhere it’s usual to leave up to 10% or at least round up the total. Many hotels have a central tip box – 200 rupees per person per night is fair – and it’s also customary to tip your guide and driver in the range of 500-700 rupees and 400-600 rupees a day respectively. Coins and small notes are helpful for porters (aim for 20-50 rupees a bag) and toilets (60 rupees). 

Etiquette : Your experience of India will be significantly enhanced by sticking to a few basic, if sometimes irksome, rules. The most important of these are: dress conservatively, men as well as women – bare shoulders and legs are considered very racy; avoid public displays of affection; remove your shoes when entering temples and people’s homes; don’t touch your food or mouth with your left hand (it’s considered unclean, for good reason); wash your hands before and after meals; and be sensitive about where you point your camera, particularly in places of worship. Expect to be asked all sorts of questions about yourself by complete strangers, and feel free to reciprocate – it’s not considered nosey.  

Religion :  Religion is an integral part of India’s culture. Almost 80% of the population are Hindus and throughout India you will see intricately carved temples where offerings are made on a daily basis. Muslims worship at Jama Masjid, a huge mosque in the centre of Delhi and The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum with scriptures from the Koran etched into its marble walls. The Golden Temple at Amritsar is a pilgrimage site for Sikhs, whilst Buddhists head to the Himalayas where fluttering prayer flags line the route to the colourful monasteries.

Visas : You can look up the latest advice on  https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/entry-requirements . Please be aware that this information can change at short notice.

Vaccinations : Health risks vary depending on the destination so it’s essential to check the specific vaccination and hygiene requirements for India on the NHS Fit For Travel website .

India’s climate is generally tropical, except in the mountainous regions of the north, though there are regional variations. Overall, the best time to travel is from October to March; it’s mostly dry, the daytime temperatures are pleasant and you might even need a light sweater in the evening and early morning. From April to June, it can be uncomfortably hot and increasingly humid as monsoon season approaches; this is a prime time to visit the Himalayas and its foothills. Spring is a great time for spotting tigers in India, between February and mid-May. As temperatures increase, long grass dies back and the animals are drawn to rivers and watering holes, which increases your chances of a sighting. The heavy monsoon rains sweep across the country from around the middle of June to the end of September, making it tricky to get around, and many national parks close.

Travelling by train in India is not just a way of getting from A to B; it’s a cultural experience in itself. The vast railway network covers most of the country, carrying a staggering 23 million people every day. Delays may be frequent, but somehow it all still works – and the extra time on board allows you to bond with your fellow passengers and let the cries of the tea, coffee and snack sellers soak into your consciousness. Some journeys are more of an event than others, however. That’s definitely the case with the aptly named Palace on Wheels – a luxury trip through Rajasthan – and the country’s three World Heritage-listed mountain railways.

The fatalism of Indian drivers and unusual obstacles such as cows in the road makes driving yourself around inadvisable. It’s also unnecessary, as hiring a car with a driver is relatively inexpensive and means you can stop whenever you want; it’s also the most comfortable choice if you’re heading into areas that aren’t served by the railway. If you’re tempted by the idea of cruising around in an atmospheric white Hindustan Ambassador – based on the 1950s Morris Oxford – it’s worth knowing that the suspension isn’t its strongest point.

A growing number of cities – including Delhi and Mumbai – now have modern metro systems. Otherwise, taxis and auto-rickshaws are good value, especially if you check that the meter is working or agree on a fee in advance. Visitors sometimes feel uncomfortable about using cycle rickshaws and, in Kolkata, hand-pulled ones; if you boycott them, however, the drivers are missing out on a valuable source of income. In quieter areas, hiring a bicycle to get around far-flung sights can be a sensible option.

It can be tempting to try to cram in as many destinations as possible by using domestic planes. India, though, rewards slow exploration, so you’ll enjoy it more if you scale down your plans and stay on the ground. If you’re heading to the Andaman Islands, of course, you’ve no choice but to fly.

Step into any British supermarket or high street and you’ll see the evidence of the UK’s love affair with Indian food – or our version of it, at least. It’s only when you’ve travelled around the country that gave us our favourite curries that you realise there’s so much more to the cuisine than chicken tikka masala. There’s the rich, mild and creamy Mughal court dishes of the north, the fiery vegetarian meals of the far south, the tangy Portuguese-influenced food of Goa, and a host of other regional variations. That diversity is particularly apparent in the thriving street-food scene, where every state has its local specialities, from Hyderabad’s stuffed green chilli fritters to the savoury puffed-rice mixes of Kolkata.

When it comes to alcoholic drinks, the laws about who can sell it and at what age they can drink it vary from state to state, and some are completely ‘dry’, though as a visitor you should have no difficulty in laying your hands on a cold beer. S mall family run hotels and homestays often do not have a liquor licence . However, you can bring your own alcohol, and your driver guide will be able to assist you with purchasing the alcohol of your choice at a local store. In such a hot place, where it’s vital to keep up your fluid intake, soft drinks are your true friend. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a nimbu pani – essentially, soda water with lime – though yoghurt-based concoctions such as lassi run it a close second. There’s a high chance you’ll also develop a taste for the ubiquitous chai: sweet milky tea flavoured with spices.

The hardest thing about shopping in India is holding back when there are so many covetable things to buy – that, and the general lack of fixed prices. Bargaining is consequently a fact of life, so it helps to brush up your skills. As a general rule, begin with halving the first price you’re quoted, and work up from there until you reach a level both sides are happy with. If that all sounds too stressful, look out for the shops run by the various state governments and other official bodies, which have good selections of regional products at clearly marked prices.

Thanks to India’s long-established and thriving craft tradition, you’ll find a wealth of beautifully handmade goods on your travels, from sandalwood carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses to block-printed fabrics, exquisitely painted papier – mâché boxes and embroidered cashmere shawls. Look out, too, for factory-made items such as sturdy tiffin carriers – stacked metal lunch boxes that are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic.

On a practical note, credit cards are not widely accepted, particularly outside the major cities, so always carry some cash in a mix of denominations.

The sheer number of Hindi deities, gurus and spiritual leaders, let alone the holy days of all the other religions that are represented in India, means that you’re bound to stumble on a joyfully loud celebration at some point in your journey. There are a few major holidays that are marked around the country every year. Holi, which marks the start of spring in March, is a glorious free-for-all where people try to cover everyone within reach in vividly coloured powders and water. If you’re planning on joining in, wear your oldest clothes and protect your hair, particularly if you’re blond. The Hindu ‘festival of lights’, Diwali, is an atmospheric five-day affair in November and – aside from the fireworks – more serene.

An impressive range of events take other aspects of India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage as their focus. Some, such as the Pushkar Camel Fair in November, are firmly on the tourist radar. Others are less well-known, from Kerala’s snake-boat races in July to Varanasi’s program of Indian classical music and dance held every April.

Holiday ideas

Our top india itineraries for first-time visitors.

India offers unlimited adventure, whether you’re touring palaces in Rajasthan, hiking among Himalayan peaks or tiger-spotting in national ...

The best places to see wild tigers in India

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The Taj Mahal, Agra, with reflective pool

Tailor-Made Tours Of India

There is no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists

Tours of India take you from lively, colourful cities to glorious national parks. Visit one of the Wonders of the World, see colonial architecture and history come to life, relax on golden beaches and enjoy a peaceful houseboat stay. Our Destination Specialists can help you plan the perfect itinerary, or simply browse our suggested tours for luxury India holidays below for inspiration.

One of the best ways to explore India is by train. Our Maharajas’ Express – Treasures of India  tour allows you to see the top sights and attractions of this sprawling country, while taking you back to the golden age of travel. This opulent train journey through the country takes in frenetic India, historic Agra and the Taj Mahal, peaceful Ranthambore National Park and beautiful royal Jaipur.

If you prefer to explore the main attractions of India at a slower pace, book our Taj and Tigers tour. This tour visits the Golden Triangle , consisting of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and is the most popular with first time visitors to India. Your private tour includes the palaces and markets of Delhi, the Taj Mahal at Agra and the beautiful pink city of Jaipur. Added to this is Ranthambore National Park, where you’ll have the chance to see tigers.

Enjoy a tour of India off the beaten track on our India’s Himalayan Heritage Tour . An expert guide will take you through the cultures and religious history of Northern India, including the temples dotted throughout the Himalayas. Stay in luxury hill resorts, wander the streets of charming towns and take in the beautiful valleys from the mountains.

Rajasthani Man

Gujarat and Rajasthan: Culture & Wildlife

  • from £5,490 PP

Hawa-Mahal-palace-in-Jaipur-Rajasthan-India

Road Trip in Rajasthan

  • from £3,890 PP

Santa Cruz Church in Cochin India

Simply South India: Heritage, Landscapes and Beach

  • from £2,699 PP

India Gate New Delhi

Central India Highlights

  • from £3,299 PP

India

South India Highlights: Karnataka and Goa

  • from £3,499 PP

Kerala

Kerala & Karnataka Highlights

  • from £2,599 PP

Tailor-Made Tours Of India

Backwaters of Kerala

  • from £1,699 PP

New Delhi Qutub Minar

Rural Rajasthan

  • from £2,899 PP

Lotus Garden, Delhi

Golden Triangle and Himalayan Escapes

  • from £4,399 PP

Tiger

Tiger Safari in India and the Taj Mahal

  • from £5,999 PP

Tailor-Made Tours Of India

Highlights of Rajasthan

  • from £6,190 PP

Tailor-Made Tours Of India

North India Spiritual Journey

  • from £3,199 PP

Bengal Tiger, India

Golden Triangle with Ranthambore – Taj and Tigers Tour

  • from £3,099 PP

Tailor-Made Tours Of India

Gir National Park Private Tour

  • from £1,199 PP

a large stone building with Fatehpur Sikri in the background

Maharaja Express Train Tour

  • from £8,899 PP

Ancient temple in Gadi Sagar lake,Jaipur, Rajasthan

Luxury Tour Of Rajasthan

Udaipur Lake Palace

Maharaja Express Indian Splendour

  • from £8,599 PP

Amber Fort in Jaipur India

Maharaja Express Luxury Train

  • from £8,699 PP

Tea Plantation in Kerala

South India Revealed

  • from £4,899 PP

Thimphu, capital of Bhutan

Himalayan Kingdom Tour

Frequently asked questions, why is jaipur referred to as the ‘pink city’.

During Prince Albert’s 1876 tour of India, Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II determined that by beautifying his city and painting it terracotta pink (widely known as a hospitable and welcoming colour), the Prince would be enticed to visit Jaipur. This would ultimately give the maharaja the chance to strengthen ties with the British aristocracy and establish a bond with Royal family. After a successful visit, the maharaja then went as far as passing a law to make it illegal to paint any building in Jaipur any other colour than pink.

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Tailor-Made Tours Of India

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Escotred Tours

India Tours 2024/2025

There’s nowhere else like India. A chaotic culture, historic traditions and religions, diverse landscapes and one of the most popular cuisines on the planet are a few reasons why it’s a must-visit destination. But there’s far more to India than the obvious.

India offers something for every type of traveller. Delve into the wonderful mix of customs, culture and spectacular sights of this magical country.

India Escorted Tours

A Passage Through India

A Passage Through India

Explore the cities and landscapes on a 28 day adventure through India. Tour the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra, see the holy city of Amritsar and take an overnight stay in Kerala on a houseboat. Gaze in awe at the views of the Himalayas in Darjeeling and ride on the UNESCO recognised Toy Train. From £2,799pp | 28 day Escorted Tour

Taj Mahal, Delhi & Amber Fort

Taj Mahal, Delhi & Amber Fort

The perfect introduction to India, where a wealth of cultural and historical treasures reside in the famous Golden Triangle 8 days from £1,649

Save up to £300 per couple

Beyond the Golden Triangle

Beyond the Golden Triangle

Delve deeper into India's fascinating culture and history, and tick off safaris in Ranthambore National Park. 10 days from £2,099

Royal Rajasthan

Royal Rajasthan

See India's iconic highlights, including the princely state of Rajasthan with its extravagant palaces and exquisite temples. 14 days from £2,069

Grand Tour of India

Grand Tour of India

This is an all-out exploration of India from the Golden Triangle in the north to Kerala's peaceful backwaters in the south. 18 days from £3,499

Kerala - Flavours of Southern India

Kerala - Flavours of Southern India

Famed for its aromatic spices, peaceful backwaters and lush, tropical landscape, Kerala is a mesmerising and enchanting destination. 10 days from £1,599

Grand Tour of Rajasthan

Grand Tour of Rajasthan

See the sights of Old & New Delhi on city tours, see the famous Ranakpur temple complex outside Udaipur, tour the 'Blue City' of Jodhpur, see the magnificent Taj Mahal as well as the Red, Agra, Jaisalmer & Amber forts and more. From £1,859pp | 16 day Escorted Tour

Inspiring India

Inspiring India

Marvel at the Taj Mahal, spot the beautiful tigers of Ranthambore on safari, explore the stunning Amber Fort, visit the palaces of Udaipur and uncover vibrant Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

Luxury North India

Luxury North India

Stay in handpicked five-star hotels that have become a byword for luxury, visit the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara to see the evening Langar in Delhi, meet an expert on the conservation projects of Ranthambore National Park and more. From £1,599pp | 9 days

Essence of North India

Essence of North India

On a stunning 10 day, 8 night tour of India's Golden Triangle, see the most stunning sights that this remarkable country has to offer. Marvel at the Taj Mahal and discover the 'Pink City' of Jaipur. You'll also spend 2 nights in Ranthambore with the chance to spot the Royal Bengal Tigers. From £1,199pp | 10 days

Kerala Explorer

Kerala Explorer

Discover the most captivating areas of Kerala on a 12 day adventure which includes wildlife spotting in Periyar National Park, cruise the stunning backwaters of Alleppey with an overnight stay on a houseboat and exploring the eye-catching tea plantations in Munnar. From £1,349pp | 12 days

Grand Tour of North India

Grand Tour of North India

Sample culinary delights and explore the heart of North India on this compelling 17 day tour. Enjoy a sunrise boat trip along the River Ganges and take city tours of Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur and Amritsar. Marvel at the magnificent Taj Mahal and traverse mountainous terrains on the UNESCO recognised 'Toy Train'.. From £1,969pp | 17 day Escorted Tour

A Royal Indian Odyssey for Solo Travellers

A Royal Indian Odyssey

Travel from Delhi to Mumbai on four scenic train journeys as you explore the historic Maharajas, forts and palaces of India. Admire the Holy Lake at Pushkar, see the magnificent Taj Mahal and enjoy city tours of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai. From £1,699pp | 15 day Escorted Tour

Wonders of South India

Wonders of South India

From colonial railways crossing bottomless gorges to priceless temple raft work depicting spiritual legends, you in-depth itinerary immerses you in India's Hindu heartland. Cruise the palm-fringed backwaters of Alleppey, marvel at royal splendour in Mysore Palace and catch a glimpse of Kabini's elusive Bengal tiger. From £1,599pp | 16 days Bangalore > Mysore > Kabini > Ooty > Madurai > Munnar > Alleppey > Cochin

Rajasthan Panorama

Rajasthan Panorama

Rajasthan conjures up images of maharajas and palaces and is regarded as one of the most colourful and exciting states in all of India. Marvel at the beauty of this region's diverse landscapes, as you travel across deserts, lakes and national parks. 22 days from £3,390pp

Beyond India's Golden Triangle

Beyond India's Golden Triangle

Experience the marble memorials, gilded domes and elegant minarets of India's lavish Mughal-era architecture as you explore the ancient palaces and forts of the north. Journey from the Golden Triangle to the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur, visiting the historic sights of Delhi, four spectacular forts and the iconic Taj Mahal on this 11-day tour of the subcontinent's royal residences. From £1,269pp | 11 day Escorted Tour

India Tours

Cultural, colourful, full of character - India is all these things and so much more!. As one of the world’s most diverse countries whether you have a passion for wildlife, enjoy tasting new flavours from around the world or you’re more of a culture connoisseur, India offers something to everyone.

1. See the Taj Mahal at sunrise

We’re almost certain that this is on everyone’s bucket list, right? Viewing it at sunrise adds to the sheer beauty, atmosphere and magnificence of India’s greatest monument.

2. Stay overnight in a tented desert camp

You won’t get much more authentic than staying overnight in a tented camp in the Thar Desert. And to top it off, enjoy a Jeep safari through local Bishnoi villages, meeting its residents as you pass through.

3. Search for Bengal Tigers in Bandhavgarh National Park

We don’t just give you the opportunity to see one of the Big Five once, but twice! Take an early morning and mid afternoon jeep safari through off-the-beaten-track Bandhavgarh National Park for opportunities to spot up to 50 tigers!

4. Join a puja ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges

One of the world's most ancient cities, Varanasi is spread along the banks of the River Ganges, where thousands of locals flock for their traditional ceremonies. Dive in head first and experience the traditions just like they do!

Intimate India: go off the tourist trail

Our local experiences are all about getting to know the real India, and the best way to discover a country's hidden gems is guided by someone who calls it home. Chat to locals over a cup of coal-fired chai in Rajasthan's pink city of Jaipur, explore Kochi on a bicycle tour, or see Mumbai at dawn and watch the markets come alive as fishermen sell their catch of the day.

Take a peaceful boat ride across Udaipur's inky-blue Lake Pichola and arrive on an exclusive fairytale-like island, where you'll stay at one of the world's most romantic hotels. We can take you to a chic safari lodge on the edge of Kanha National Park – the setting that inspired The Jungle Book, or to a unique hotel with views of the Taj Mahal from every room.

Celebrating the Festival of Light

Experience India at its vibrant best As we adjust to dark evenings, India prepares for one of the most important dates in the Hindu calendar - the Festival of Light. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and light over dark. There are numerous Hindu legends related to Diwali. In the north, they celebrate Lord Rama and Sita returning to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile and a battle against the demon king Ravana. In the south, they celebrate the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Naakasura.

It also welcomes the Hindu New Year. Colourful flower garlands are hung in the entrances of every building and on every lorry. Women’s hands are painted with beautiful henna designs. And rituals welcome Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity, into each home.

It is also a time to celebrate family. Loved ones gather for great feasts, give gifts, and enjoy great fireworks displays that scare away evil spirits.

Diwali festivities in India

Amritsar Tens of thousands of Amritsar’s Sikh devotees take part in one of India’s largest celebrations. Temples are draped in lights and fireworks ignited to celebrate Guru Hargobind Sahib.

Varanasi Varanasi holds India’s most spiritual Diwali. The banks of the Ganges glow with lamps and echo with the clang of cymbals and the rhythmic chants of Hindu priests.

Jaipur Look out for special Diwali treats in Jaipur and join locals at the Johari Bazaar at night, when the markets are ablaze with colourful lights as they compete to be the ‘best dressed’. 21 October 2019 departure of India's Golden Triangle coincides with Diwali

Udaipur Udaipur is particularly pretty during Diwali, when the streets are filled with lights and the skies are filled with fireworks, which glow in the city’s lakes. Be sure to visit the lit City Palace. 24 October 2019 departure of Splendours of India coincides with Diwali

Delhi In Delhi, there are many ways to celebrate Diwali. Shopping is essential, and markets entice with colourful stalls and street entertainment. Taash parties test men’s faith in Goddess Lakshmi. 17 October 2019 solo departure of In the Foothills of the Himalaya coincides with Diwali

DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF INDIA

Home to the iconic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, a visit to this enchanting city will see you exploring bustling markets, discovering Mughal style architecture and wandering through tranquil gardens.

Known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur boasts some extraordinary sights. Gaze upon intricate designs at the Hawa Mahal, pay a visit to the regal City Palace and spend time at the impressive Amber Fort.

The jewel in India's crown, Rajasthan is a place of dreams bursting with iconic sights. Our highlight is the unforgettable Ranthambore National Park, where you can spot the majestic Bengal Tigers.

Delhi is the perfect combination of old and new, with a rich history contrasting with lively modern life. Feast on delicious street food, wander the vibrant streets and uncover hidden treasures.

Exciting and colourful, charming and intoxicating, India is an feast on the senses. And with impressive sights, magnificent wildlife and idyllic scenery on offer, there's so much to explore. TV and radio presenter Penny Smith, ventured to India on our Beyond the Golden Triangle tour - here she shares her expereince...

Penny Smith in India

"When we first touched down in Delhi, our guide told us: ‘India is a country full of colours, of wonders, of nature and architecture’. He was not wrong. From the incredible sight of the Taj Mahal, to tiger spotting in Ranthambore, tasting delicious sambal soup and fast-paced rickshaw rides, India truly was a wonder.

Our tour manager and local guides were awash with information in every place we visited and their expert knowledge made each trip memorable. We were up at 5am to visit the Taj Mahal, but the early start meant cooler temperatures and fewer queues, so we could truly appreciate the once in a lifetime experience.

In between excursions, we had plenty of free time to explore each destination. For me, that meant shopping. From incredible made to measure shirts to marble plates and brightly coloured saris, there were hidden treasures around every corner. I threw myself head first into India’s delicious cuisine with unusual yet glorious breakfasts - sambal soup was my favourite! An aromatic lentil soup with aubergine, tomato tamarind, it definitely set me up for the day. We also enjoyed a mouthwatering cauliflower Gobi curry and an interesting, pudding-like concoction – sadly the name escapes me!

As well as our included meals, there was ample opportunity to try local flavours along the way. In Delhi we made a stop at a splendid carpet shop where we learned from the experts about their intricate craft, as we sipped mellow cardamom and cinnamon tea. I made a point of indulging in a cup of creamy masala chai at every opportunity.

This was my second escorted holiday with Travelsphere and once again it was fantastic to experience the trip with my fellow travellers. While the free time meant we could explore different places, a highlight was coming together in the evening to share our stories over dinner."

If your mind wanders to an India of regal maharajas, grand palaces and mystical temples, then it’s Rajasthan you’ve been dreaming of! It is the literal ‘The Land of the Kings’, a landscape long fought over by rival Rajputs and remains a place of pride and rich tradition to this day. The third corner of the famous 'Golden Triangle', home to cities of pink, blue and gold, on lakes and of pilgrimage, to festivals of kaleidoscopic colours and a fabled opulence that contrasts starkly with the austerity of vast stretches of desert. Packed full of wonders, it comes as no surprise that this most regal of Indian states is such a prominent feature in the daydreams of many and the itineraries of many more.

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Disclaimer: All prices are 'from' prices, they may not be available on every date. *Please refer to the tour itinerary regarding excursions and entry fees. Lead-ins are based on the best value flight and airline available at pricing and include all available discounts. Prices are per person. Other durations, dates and departure airports are available at a supplement. All prices are subject to availability and can be withdrawn without notice due to airline availability. Single traveller supplements may apply. Terms and conditions apply

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is India's Golden Triangle? Arrow up click to collapse Arrow Up - Click to expand India’s golden triangle consists of the three main cities in the north-west of the country - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. If it is your first time to India, then we highly recommend booking yourself onto a Golden Triangle Tour as it is the best way to experience the best India has to offer.
  • When is the best time to book a Golden Triangle Tour? Arrow up click to collapse Arrow Up - Click to expand The more comfortable months to visit the Golden Triangle are October through to mid-April as the temperatures tend to be between 22-32°C, making it easier to walk and explore all the amazing wonders to be seen.
  • Why is Jaipur referred to as the Pink City? Arrow up click to collapse Arrow Up - Click to expand When the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India in 1876, the Maharaja wanted to make sure they felt welcomed to the city and by doing so painted the buildings in pink, since pink denotes the colour of hospitality. The tradition has been sincerely followed by the residents who are now, by law, compelled to maintain the pink colour.
  • When is the best time to do a river cruise in India? Arrow up click to collapse Arrow Up - Click to expand River cruises in India run from October through to March, however weather conditions in December and early January can make cruises less than ideal due to smog.

The Taj Mahal is open to the public all year round, but it is best to visit in the winter months between October and February to avoid the heat and summer rains.

For the best time of day look to get to the Taj Mahal early around 6am when the gates open as the building changes colour as the sun rises and the jewels sparkle.

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Tours to India

Travel to India, whether for the first or tenth time, is always a thrilling experience. Here the scenery varies from tropical beaches to huge global cities, and from Himalayan mountain scenery to magnificent Mughal architecture. 

Ways to explore India

Walking and trekking, boat journeys, food and drink, rail journeys, popular india trip searches, india wildlife tours, rail journeys in india, discover our india tours.

From the hustle and bustle of busy cities to the tranquillity of rural backwaters, we have a wide variety of  small group tours  in India to suit every type of traveller.

Join your  expert local tour leader  on a classic Golden Triangle tour to experience the chaotic markets of Delhi and watch the sunrise over the celestial Taj Mahal. Or jump in the saddle for a  tour of Kerala by bike , exploring tropical forests and tea plantations. For those of you looking for a  family adventure  in India, get the kids face-to-face with nature on a game safari drive through the Ranthambore National Park in search of Bengal tiger , monkey and sloth. 

Considering a trip to India but new to small group travel? We've answered  some of the most-asked questions .

Our most popular India tours

India's golden triangle.

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India Tiger Safari

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Cycle Kerala

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A Taste of Southern India - Temples and Tea Plantations

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Rajasthan - Land of the Maharajahs

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Kolkata to Amritsar

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Highlights of Northern India

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Discover Darjeeling and Bhutan

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Kerala Backwaters

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Treasures of Central India

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Highlights of Southern India

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Delhi to Kathmandu

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Family India Golden Triangle Adventure

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Walking in Kerala

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Discover India's Little Tibet

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Highlights of Assam and Nagaland

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Ranthambore Wildlife Extension

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India tour highlights

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Solo travel in India  

Every single one of our small group journeys has been designed to suit solo travellers: it varies depending on the trip you choose, but you can bet that around half of the travellers on your trip will be travelling alone. So, if there’s a trip you’ve always wanted to take but haven’t had the chance, don’t let being a solo traveller be the thing that puts you off.  

Best time to go to India

Generally speaking, the best time to visit India is between October and April. During this time the weather is warm (but not too hot), dry, and sunny with clear blue skies. From December to February, Delhi can be a bit foggy but the temperatures are typically cooler.

If spotting exotic wildlife is high on your agenda, head to India in April or May for the best chance of sightings. Water becomes scarce during the dry season so animals tend to congregate around the water holes to drink and bathe. 

The monsoon season usually occurs from May to September. During this time it’s generally wet, rainy and humid, but it is a good time to visit the north, especially the desert state of Rajasthan and the mountainous region of Ladakh where roads become passable after the snowy winter. 

To witness the spectacular Pushkar Camel Fair, book your Rajasthan trip towards the end of November, or to immerse yourself in the colourful festivities of the Hemis Festival, book a Northern India trip in June. 

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Chosen for their great knowledge of your destination and a passion to make your trip extraordinary.

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Average groups of 11; solos, couples and friends, united by a desire for authentic experiences.

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India Solo Tours & Holidays

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They say the best things in life are meant to be shared...

With all the tantalising tastes and splendid sites of India , it would be a shame to travel to this incredible country and not have anyone to share it with. That’s why you should join us on a small group tour. Not only will you have a legendary local leader to show you around and handle all the logistics, but you’ll also have ready-made friends to share all the curries with, snap a candid of you at the Taj Mahal and make long sleeper train journeys feel not so, well, long. You might be travelling solo, but you’ll never feel alone.

Our India solo tours

Classic rajasthan, 15 days from 1071.

Travel to India and visit the Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar through...

India's Golden Triangle

8 days from 604.

Take an action-packed eight-day tour through the essential sights and bites of India’s...

Premium India Safari

13 days from 3340.

Take safaris through Panna National Park, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Satpura National...

Indian Getaway

11 days from 425.

Get the most out of 11 days in India on this trip exploring the best of Delhi, Varanasi...

Rajasthan Experience

15 days from 1674.

See the best of Rajasthan on this 15-day tour. Behold the delights of Agra, Jaipur,...

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Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

North India Revealed

22 days from 729.

See the essentials of India’s north on a 22-day trip through Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur,...

Map of Premium India in Depth including India

Premium India in Depth

14 days from 2860.

Take in north India’s fabled cities and encounter the exotic wildlife of Ranthambhore...

Premium India

10 days from 2448.

Take a 10-day India Premium adventure with Intrepid through the country’s north,...

Delhi to Kathmandu

15 days from 1136.

Travel to India and Nepal on a tour from Delhi to Kathmandu. Visit the Taj Mahal of...

Southern India

15 days from 1193.

Explore the tropical and spiritual southern India. Ride the toy train in Ooty, relax in...

Northern India Family Holiday

10 days from 791.

Take an action-packed family tour of India, following tiger trails, visiting Delhi and...

Premium India & Nepal

18 days from 4550.

Take a 18-day Premium adventure with Intrepid through India's Golden Triangle, Varanasi...

The perks of solo travel in India with Intrepid

An Intrepid leader and a group of travellers drinking chai in a street

A local leader

As a solo traveller, it’s easy to stick to the tourist trail. You take a selfie with the Taj Mahal, stroll around Red Fort or kick back in Goa. As great as these places are, you may miss out on those unexpected experiences that happen off the well-trodden path. A group tour isn’t like that. OK, you'll tick off big-ticket sites, but you'll also have an expert leader to introduce you to famous chai wallahs, take you to the best street food vendors and give you recommendations for your free time.

The busy ghats in Varanasi, India

India can be overwhelming sometimes, but it's generally a safe country for travellers and you should be able to enjoy your trip without any problems. That being said, scams, petty theft and pickpocketing (especially in crowded places) can happen. Our leaders know the areas to avoid after dark, can haggle at markets and will help you avoid pickpockets. It’s all the flexibility and freedom of independent travel, but with fewer risks.

A group of travellers eating a meal in a temple in India

Ready-made friends

Go solo, but not alone. That’s our motto. The average Intrepid trip has about ten people on it – people of all ages, backgrounds and places from all over the world. You're welcome to have as much downtime as you want to relax or explore your way, but it's nice to have travel pals to whizz around in a rickshaw with, share a biryani or have a chat over the breakfast table. Joy's doubled when it's shared.

Cyclists riding past a local woman and cows in India

Logistics and convenience

We get it – the thought of navigating busy bus stations and embarking on your first overnight sleeper train can be a little daunting. Travelling alone in India can be confusing and complicated, but not when you're with us. We'll organise your accommodation, public transport and all other logistics of travel so you don’t have to worry. Sit back and enjoy the ride, we've got your back.

Do I need a COVID-19 vaccine to join a solo tour in India?

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. 

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully. 

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

Will I have my own room?

It's your call. Rooming on our trips is organised on a twin-share basis, but most of our trips also have the option to pay an extra fee for your own room. Just let us know at the time of booking and we'll arrange it for you.

For twin-share rooms, we pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. As a responsible tour operator, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. In the case that your gender identity differs from what's indicated on your passport, please  contact us  so that we can discuss rooming options with you.

On a small selection of itineraries some accommodations are booked on an open-gender, multi-share basis. In those instances it will clearly be stated in your Essential Trip Information.

How does group time work?

Whether you’re travelling alone or with a partner, our trips have a set itinerary. But within that there’s time set aside for your own exploration (if you want to – no pressure). Depending on how you're feeling, you may want to have some downtime, ask your guide for a few tips then head out alone, or hang out with the group and see where the day takes you.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling to India?

You sure do. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

Learn more about travel Insurance

Are credit cards widely accepted in India?

Credit cards are being accepted in an increasing number of cafes, shops, restaurants and hotels/hostels in India, with Mastercard and Visa being the most common. That said, cash is still king, especially outside of cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

Are Intrepid's India tours accessible for travellers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Our solo travel safety guide

Share your itinerary.

Good advice for us all, but particularly for people travelling solo. Make copies of your itinerary, contact details, passport and travel insurance, then email them to yourself and to one or two friends/family at home. Check-in on social media when you can so people can keep track of where you are. 

Remember the little things

If you’re arriving late in a city by yourself, book a hotel with a front desk or concierge service (many hotels also offer private transfers that don’t cost the earth from the airport or train station). If you're travelling with us, we can help you organise an arrival transfer. Read your maps  before  you head out for a walk (you can use a map app on your smartphone – or take screenshots of where you’re going if you don’t want to use up your precious data). If you need to check your map when you’re out and about, duck into a shop or café to do it. Leave the blingy jewellery, wedding rings and designer clothes at home, and aim to dress like the locals do – hit up the local markets if you haven’t packed the right outfits. Aim to keep track of travel times, so you’re not caught out after dark.

Roam if you want to

Most mobile/cell providers now offer travel passes to help manage your international roaming costs (which, let’s face it, are expensive!). For a few dollars a day, you’ll have access to data, which means you can log into your apps (like Skype, email and WhatsApp) when you’re out of WiFi zones and quickly get in touch with someone – a friend at home, someone in your group, or the police – if you need to. It might also be worth checking out the local cell/mobile providers as these can be quite cost effective. 

Fare's fair

Solo travellers are way more likely to be ‘taken for a ride’ at the airport by unscrupulous taxi drivers, so do your research before you arrive. Make sure you get a cab from the airport/station taxi rank – if you’re not sure where to go, just head to the information desk for help. Touts tend to hang out in the arrivals area and promise cheaper rates, but can often be dodgy. When you get to the cab rank, ask the driver to use the meter or request a cost estimate  before  you hop in the car – if it’s way higher than it should be, pick another vehicle. A lot of airports have train stations attached as well, so consider public transport if you want to save a dollar or two.

Stick together

It’s one of the advantages of travelling solo on a group tour: safety in numbers. The big, 50-person bus groups stand out on the road, but a small Intrepid group of eight or nine people, with a local leader showing the way – including areas to avoid and getting around safely – won’t draw much attention. Plus, it’s a great way to see parts of the world you may feel uncomfortable exploring on your own. If you want to do things on your own, consider a day tour to familiarise yourself with a city and get to know the local way of life. 

Trust your instincts

Solo travel is all about confidence. If you’re relaxed and self-assured on the street, you’re more likely to blend in. When you meet new people, don’t assume they’re all out to get you, but be sensible too and trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Remember: the popular tourist areas are often the most well-lit and secure, but they’re often a juicier target for pickpockets and scammers. Just use your common sense; half of travel safety is simply being aware of your surroundings.

Read more about travel in India

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  18. India Tours 2024/2025 : Escorted Holidays

    Travel from Delhi to Mumbai on four scenic train journeys as you explore the historic Maharajas, forts and palaces of India. Admire the Holy Lake at Pushkar, see the magnificent Taj Mahal and enjoy city tours of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai. From £1,699pp | 15 day Escorted Tour. Wonders of South India.

  19. Escorted India Tours 2024

    Grand Journey from India's Golden Triangle to Shimla. India. 3* / 4* / 5* hotels. London Heathrow Airport. 24 meals: 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners. Daily tours & visits. 15 days. Save up to £500pp on select dates. From £2549 pp based on 2 people sharing.

  20. Escorted tours of India

    Kerala & India's Beautiful South India's far south. 18 days from. £2,615. More info. Save up to £1,200 per couple on Escorted Tours. Authentic India A responsible & enriching journey. 15 days from. £2,735. More info.

  21. India Tours

    From the hustle and bustle of busy cities to the tranquillity of rural backwaters, we have a wide variety of small group tours in India to suit every type of traveller.. Join your expert local tour leader on a classic Golden Triangle tour to experience the chaotic markets of Delhi and watch the sunrise over the celestial Taj Mahal. Or jump in the saddle for a tour of Kerala by bike, exploring ...

  22. India Tours & Holidays

    Explore our range of tours in India and start planning your perfect holiday . 0%. 020 7084 6504 India Specialists; Find my local Travel Centre store_mall_directory; Search search. ... Take a guided tour of Old and New Delhi ; Enjoy sunset at the Taj Mahal ; ... uk.tours.menu.india-the-himalayas-and-sri-lanka.india ...

  23. Best India Solo Tours & Holidays 2024/2025

    Our India solo tours. Classic Rajasthan. 15 Days From 1071. Travel to India and visit the Rajasthan region. Tour from Delhi to Pushkar through... View Trip . India's Golden Triangle. 8 Days From 604. Take an action-packed eight-day tour through the essential sights and bites of India's...