DELHI OLD AND NEW
The capital city of the Republic of India and one of India's fastest growing cities, Delhi stretches over the West Bank of the River Yamuna. Old Delhi and its narrow and bustling streets are centred on the Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan between 1636 and 1658. If you prefer beauty and serenity then explore the magnificent courts of the main buildings populated with some of the finest museums. For gift shopping, the beautiful boutiques and arcades offer access to a wealth of traditional and contemporary crafts from all over the country. For a modern twist on Indian culture, visit the spacious and tree-lined capital of New Delhi as proclaimed by the British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Discover the wide-reaching splendour of Agra, the capital of India under the Mughals. Highlights of the tour include visiting the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, along with the massive Fort abutting the Yamuna River at the other side of Taj. You will also be invited to make your way through the series of self-contained bazaar districts, and take in the major Mughal monuments along the banks of the Yamuna River, on the city's eastern edge. The city, strategically located on the banks of the Yamuna and along the Grand Trunk Road, flourished under the patronage of emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan and was once considered the crown of the Imperial Mughal Court during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Jaipur is the home of the "pink city" and the famous Palace of Windows, whilst the fort of Amber is in close proximity. Those who visit Jaipur will be entranced by its grand palaces and rugged forts that have protected it so well. The City's old temples, historical monuments and picturesque gardens will take you back to the wonderful glory of a bygone era. Shoppers will find Jaipur a shopping haven, as its bazaars sell everything from shoes to jewellery to hand crafted home decor. It is a great place to visit if you want to experience the best of Indian culture on offer. Many of the hand crafted artefacts also represent the Royal life of the Rajputs.
Home to the world famous Golden Temple, covered in layers of real gold, Amritsar is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India, embedded in Sikh history and culture. As the gateway for ancient travellers coming to India on the Silk Route, the overland route from central Asia, it soon became a hub of commercial activity. Some of its most famous exports include carpets, fabrics, handicrafts and a delicious cuisine. Many choose to indulge in the history that surrounds them, as for example visiting the Central Khalsa Orphanage, which was once home to Udham Singh, a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, the city is sometimes known as "the world capital of Yoga" attracting thousands of tourists every year, including soul searching celebrities in the past such as the Beatles! It is particularly appealing to those who enjoy rafting in the Ganges (rafting season starts from the month of March and ends in September). If you are feeling adventurous, there is also the chance to go hiking and bungee jumping – the first and only camp in India. The city's main role, however, has always been as a way-station for sannyasin, yogis and sadhus heading for the Himalayas.
As the capital city of the Indian state, Maharastra, Mumbai has the biggest population in India and the fourth biggest in the world at over 20 million. Skyscrapers stand next to stately Victorian and Art Deco buildings, traditional bazaars adjoin glittering shopping malls and opulent neighbourhoods are surrounded by sprawling slums. It also has a glamorous edge as the home of Bollywood film and television that is now so popular in the entertainment world. Other famous highlights include delicious street food and the liveliest beach in India – perfect for sun worshippers.
Also known as the City of Lakes, Udaipur is the historical and scenic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. The Lake Palace covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake and many of the surrounding palaces have been converted into luxury hotels earning the affectionate nickname of the "Venice of the East". Decadence oozes from every workspace and there are many luxury items for sale including, crafted ornaments, paintings, silver arts and marble articles. Its beauty and grandeur attracts many tourists, wealthy families and celebrities often choose to hold parties and weddings here.
As a former Portuguese colony, Goa packs in lots of history and fun into a small place. Renowned for its beautiful beaches, unique cuisine, places of worship and architecture, it continues to be visited by thousands of tourists every year. Unsurprisingly it was ranked top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population. This is mainly due to its sense of freedom and tranquil way of life that allows you to relax and be at one with the friendliest people in the country.