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Spice Market – Khari Baoli Delhi

Highlights Journey through the lanes of Asia’s largest spice market. Photograph piles of vividly coloured spices and porters pushing their

Fort Cochin by Tuk Tuk

Highlights Travel by tuk-tuk through the narrow alleys and picture-postcard streets of Fort Cochin. Visit the 16th century St Francis

Cycling tour of Jaipur

Highlights Take an early morning cycle ride through the colourful streets of Jaipur. See the Water Palace in Sagar Lake

Kolkata Market Walk

Highlights Browse for unique items and souvenirs in the bustling bazaars and markets. Sip coffee in a beautiful coffee house

The Deccan India (11D/10N)

Highlights Discover the striking monuments, ancient capitals and unique culture of the Deccan Plateau. Wander amongst the unique landscapes and

The Amazing North India (10D/9N)

The Amazing North India (10D/9N)      

Mystic Kerala (11D/10N)

Highlights Uncover the charms of Cochin, home to giant fishing nets and classical Keralan arts. Spend a night on a

Palace on Wheels (9D/8N)

Highlights Explore India in royal old-world style on one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Discover incredible North

The Golden Triangle (8D/7N)

Highlights Compare the chaotic narrow lanes of Old Delhi with the imperial monuments of New Delhi. Explore the sprawling Amber

Toy Train & Visit to Tea Garden

Highlights Take a ride on a heritage train through breathtaking mountain landscapes. Visit a charming colonial tea plantation set on

Turban Tying, Kite Flying, & a Home-Cooked Meal

Highlights Enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal of local specialties in an old aristocratic house. Learn the traditional art of turban

Renewal of Vows and Henna Experience

Highlights Spend a romantic afternoon with your loved one renewing your vows. Experience an ancient Indian blessing performed by a

Wild Central India (12D/11N)

Highlights Search for the elusive tiger in some of India’s finest national parks and tiger reserves. Witness the wild beautiful

Jewish Heritage of Mumbai by Walk

Highlights Gain insight into the history, culture and sects of India’s Jewish communities. Visit the historical docks and stunning synagogues

Delhi Cultural Safari

Highlights Discover Delhi’s historic time-honoured Mughal and British heritage. Weave in and out of the vibrant streets of old Delhi

Rafting in Rishikesh

Highlights Get soaked in the adrenaline rush of river rafting on the Ganges. Experience the exhilaration of fun-filled rapids and

Udaipur Village Trek

Highlights Trek through scenic countryside with views of the rugged Aravali Mountains. Interact with the villagers to gain an insight

Biryani Cooking Class

Highlights Take part in a cooking class in the kitchen of a local house. Learn how to prepare traditional biryani

Cochin Cooking Class

Highlights Learn to cook traditional and authentic home-cooked Cochin cuisine. Prepare dishes using local ingredients of seafood, spices and coconut.

Classic Rajasthan (14D/13N)

Highlights Explore the havelis, forts and palaces of vibrantly coloured romantic Rajashtani cities. Take an early morning boat ride along

Agra Heritage Walk

Highlights Get to know the street culture of Agra the local way, by exploring on foot. Taste traditional Indian treats

Alleppey Backwater Cruise

Highlights Cruise along India’s largest wetland in a traditional wooden houseboat. Photograph waterbirds, ancient temples, paddy fields and the lakeside

Pink City Jaipur by Train

Highlights Travel by train to the pink city of Jaipur, home to forts and havelis. Visit the majestic Amber Fort

Bollywood Close Up

Highlights Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the glitzy, glamorous and vibrant world of Bollywood. Tour the studios and

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Highlights Float high above the pink painted rooftops of the city of Jaipur. Watch the balloon being inflated and prepared

Cricket Match with Locals

Highlights Join in a fun cricket match in India with a local Indian team. Understand the passion behind India’s much-loved

Jaipur by Vintage Car

Highlights Explore the rich culture and heritage of Jaipur by vintage car. Navigate the chaotic streets in the glamorous style

Dinner with the Nobles of Jaipur

Highlights Spend the evening in a traditional Haveli owned by a noble family. Watch your hosts preparing tasty authentic Rajasthani

India: सत्यमेव जयते (Satyameva Jayate - Truth alone triumphs)

India is rich in tradition and colourful cultures. This vast sub-continent is a mystical land that offers an array of unforgettable experiences and casts a magical spell on its visitors.

Northern India is home to the capital Delhi, a city brimming with tombs, forts, mosques and bazaars. Just 3 hours from Delhi, Agra boasts 3 UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites including the magnificent white mausoleum of the Taj Mahal by the River Yamuna.

Northwest India shelters Rajasthan, the legendary land of Rajas and Maharajas and the epitome of romantic India with its sand dunes, dusty deserts, ornate palaces and imposing forts.

Coastal India enjoys a relaxed atmosphere; here palm-fringed tropical beaches slope gently towards clear blue waters. Goa’s Portuguese history is reflected in its cuisine and its Catholic churches. Its laidback air and hippy markets remain long after the hippies have left. Further south, Kerala’s secluded backwaters may be experienced at a leisurely place from a wooden houseboat.

West coast Mumbai showcases colonial architecture and the glamorous world of Bollywood, while Chennai continues its pivotal role at the heart of the South’s artistic and cultural heritage. In Bangalore, a dynamic hub for young IT professionals, the face of modern India is emerging.

The newest face of India may be seen in Bangalore whose burgeoning IT industry attracts well-heeled young professionals with a yearning for the best of modernity.

All humanity is here in this vast “sub-continent of nationalities”. Walk with a trusted guide from ICS Travel Group and let India reveal its glories.

Capital

New Delhi

Population

1.3 billion

Language

Hindi, English

Time Zone

GMT +05:30
(ITZ) India Time Zone

Electricity

230v, 50Hz

Currency

Rupee

When to Go

India’s vast area experiences a number of variations throughout the country so there is always pleasant weather somewhere in the country year round. Generally the large southern areas are best explored during the cool season from late October to March. To beat the heat and get a feeling of India’s beautiful diversity go north when the subcontinent experiences its hot and rainy seasons.

The seasons in the north are generally influenced by the monsoon from the south and rugged high altitude conditions with winds blowing in from the west and north. The north experiences four seasons with a cold winter from November to February, cool yet warming weather from March to May and slightly warmer summer from June to august. Weather starts to cool in the months of September and October as the rainy monsoon begins to recede in the south.

A large part of the country lies in the south western monsoon path and experiences three unique seasons. The cool season lasts from the end of November until February when the temperatures start to dramatically increase until June. At the beginning of June the monsoon rains arrive and begin to taper off at the end of October.

During the summer months when the rest of India experiences its monsoon, the northern areas experience relatively dry and cool weather in comparison to their southern neighbours while some areas can experience damp and even cold weather compared to dryer areas to the west. The weather starts getting cooler into September and October while cold winters are experienced from November to February with extreme winter weather in the foothills of the Himalayas. The season begins to shift in March and the weather starts getting warmer between March to May.

A large part of India experiences a more traditional hot and humid monsoon system which arrives from the southwest and pushes eastwards towards Southeast Asia. The cool season is characterised by hot and humid weather but very little rain; this lasts from late November to February. Temperatures continue to rise from March to the beginning of June when the monsoon arrives to the relief of local people. The monsoon is characterised by heavy rain showers and high humidity. Some areas of the subcontinent receive more rain than others. The rainy season winds down in October and the cool season arrives again.

Lightweight clothing for most of India is absolutely essential. If you plan on visiting holy sites, thin yet conservative dress is also necessary. Walking shoes, plenty of pairs of socks and undergarments are also recommended. Because of the cooler weather in India’s northern regions, especially in winter months, warmer attire is highly encouraged. An umbrella and a light waterproof jacket are also recommended for any time spent in the rainy season.

Don’t forget to double check the expected seasonal weather patterns before setting out on your India adventure. Climate zones are sub-divided into a number of sub-climates described above as the country hosts soaring mountains, dry arid deserts and hot tropical rain forests

Customs & Traditions

During the Indian kingdom age (ca. 500 BC-1200 AD) two distinct types of architecture emerged: Buddhist and Hindu/Jain. The most famous form of Buddhist architecture is the stupa, and the primary building type of Hindu and Jain architecture is the temple, often featuring heavily sculpted exteriors and great tapered towers.

Deities are the main subject of Indian sculpture and painting and may be depicted as lone figures, or in scenes from scripture. The foremost collection of Indian sculpture and wall painting is found at the Ajanta Caves, a complex of Buddhist temples and monasteries hewn out of solid rock.
With the rise of Islamic states as the dominant powers of South Asia (ca. 1200-1800), Indian art was subjected to Islamic influences, a prime example of this is the Taj Mahal, the masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Traditionally, Indian theatre incorporates music and dance and in most forms of Indian classical dance the performer is an actor and musician, as well as a dancer. Dance in India is as diverse as the multiethnic society from which it stems. Each region, with its own language, literature, customs, costume, and cuisine, has its own dance forms, some of which are traced through wall paintings, ancient manuscripts, and temple sculptures to well over three thousand years ago.

Indian dancers gesture with the eyes, head, neck, and hands. With wrists bent and arms flowing, the dancer interprets the lyrics of accompanying songs, telling stories through facial expression and hand gestures. A popular form of dance is Kathakali which literally means story-play. A Striking feature of Kathakali is the use of elaborate make-up and colourful costumes to emphasize that the characters are superbeings from another world.

– In Indian culture it is unseemly to show too much emotion so avoid losing your temper over problems and delays.
– You should always take your shoes off when entering a temple or when visiting private houses.
– You should never touch anybody’s head intentionally as it is regarded as a particularly holy part of the body.
– Accordingly, the feet are literally the lowest part of the body so do not point your feet at anybody or at a Buddha image.
– It is polite to ask permission before taking photographs of people.

Impossible to find out the exact origin of Indian people as it is an amazing amalgamation of various races and cultures. However two major strains predominate: the Aryan in the north, and the Dravidian in the south. India is a land of great cultural diversity, as is evidenced by the enormous number of different languages spoken throughout the country.
Although Hindi (spoken in the north) and English (the language of politics and commerce) are used officially, more than 1,500 languages and dialects are spoken. India is currently home to about 1.21 billion people, representing a full 17% of the earth’s population.

India is known as the land of spirituality and philosophy and is the birth place of four of the world’s major religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Over 80 percent of the population is Hindu and the remaining are Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. Indians are very tolerant of each other’s religions and retain a secular outlook, although inter-religious marriage is not widely practiced.
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world dating back about 5000 years and is a colourful religion with a vast gallery of Gods and Goddesses.
Zoroastrianism and Judaism also have an ancient history in India and each has several thousand Indian adherents.