India and Beyond

Stretching from Pakistan in the west through the Himalayan Kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan to Bangladesh in the east, and south to the island nation of Sri Lanka, this is the most densely populated region in the world with a huge diversity of peoples, languages, religions and geography.

Discover the exceptional variety of history, culture and adventure in these vibrant and colourful lands.


India

The Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra for the Taj Mahal and Jaipur is often the starting point for visits to India, but there is so much more!

Rajasthan is a desert landscape broken by the gorgeous bright colours of turbans and saris, and staying in small hotels and homestays (many of which are owned by maharajahs or relatives of the royal families of Rajasthan) can make your stay so personal and enjoyable.  To the north of Delhi, the Punjab is called the bread basket of India because of its fertile farmlands, and the main city of Amritsar is famous for the beautiful Golden Temple. Himachal Pradesh is mostly known for Dharamshala, the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in the foothills of the Himalayas, and Shimla, a former summer capital in the days of the Raj. Gujarat was the birthplace of Gandhi, and a visit to Ahmedabad would not be complete without a visit to his former home. Unique wildlife here includes India’s only population of Asiatic lions.  The Rann of Kutch, a vast empty expanse of salt flats is the world’s last refuge of the Indian wild ass, as well as being an ecologically important area for many local and migratory waterbirds. Kerala, the ‘Land of the Coconut’ is a lush state in the south west growing rice, ginger, tea, coffee and spices.

The landscape is diverse and beautiful – from the extensive network of waterways near the coast to the hills of the Western Ghats in the east. Tamil Nadu has fabulous temples. Karnataka has many UNESCO World Heritage sites. The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has wonderful wildlife, with great chances of seeing tigers. West Bengal is a diverse and relaxed state where you can visit the colonial city of Kolkata, enjoy wildlife in the Sunderbans, and visit the hill station of Darjeeling. Assam, in the north east, is famous for its tea plantations, tribal peoples and wonderful orchids. Kaziranga and its population of one horned rhinos must be one of the most magical National Parks in India.

India: you will never forget the colours, landscapes, spices, scenery and people.


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small teardrop shaped island off the south east coast of India known as the Pearl of the Orient.  With seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, wonderful diversity of plant and animal life, lush tea plantations, ancient culture and magnificent beaches, it is perfect for a cultural and relaxing holiday.

It is famous for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the citadel of Sigiriya, with its palace and frescoes, the Caves of Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Sri Lanka’s cuisine reflects its history as a maritime hub and cultural melting pot.


Nepal

Nepal is a land of high snowy peaks and Sherpas, yaks and yetis, monasteries and mantras.  With outstanding natural scenery and stunning temples and monuments, it is also the birthplace of the Buddha and home to the Gurkhas.  Wildlife is also abundant, particularly in the Chitwan National Park which in 1973 was the first national park in Nepal, established to preserve a unique ecosystem.  Escape the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu for the countryside of gentle hospitable people, valleys and views of the Himalayas.


Bhutan

Bhutan is a remote, mysterious, exhilarating place to visit.  The Land of the Thunder Dragon is a Buddhist Kingdom on the eastern edge of the Himalayas, and   has maintained its independence throughout the centuries, repelling invasions from the strongholds of its fortified monasteries, or “dzongs”.  The stunning landscape ranges from high Himalayan peaks and steep valleys to subtropical plains. Taktsang Palphug (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, a sacred site, clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.