OUR PURPOSE HERE IS TO
OBSERVE, LEARN, GROW
AND LOVE, AND THEN
WE RETURN HOME
Its easy to get overwhelmed when making your list of what to see and where to go on your adventure to India and Nepal. Our team has written a little list on some of the most wonderful and lesser-known attractions. This list will be updated continually as we know its impossible to condense everything into one page...but we have tried!
ON WHAT TO SEE IN INDIA AND NEPAL
The Taj Mahal | Agra
The epitome of love, the Taj Mahal is the most well-known monument in India, and is actually a Tomb. Built in the 17th century, this white marble monument attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The facades are stunning, and it is a must-see whilst travelling North India. While a visit to Taj Mahal at any time of the day is exciting, consider visiting it during night, preferably on a full moon night. The charges are a little higher for night visits, but it is worth the experience.
Annapurna Sunrise | Nagarkot
Set in the hill station of Nagarkot near to the Kathmandu Valley, you will be stunned by the clarity of the vistas here. Just a few hours from Kathmandu, you can pass through Bhaktapur on your way to Nagarkot and from there relax in the serenity and tranquility of this incredible town. We recommend waking up at sunrise, heading up to the viewing point of where you are staying and enjoying a morning coffee or tea as the sun illuminates the full extent of the Annapurna mountain range, some of the highest mountains in the world.
Chandni Chowki | Delhi
In the 17th century, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, made his capital in the area that broadly covers present-day Old Delhi and he named it Shahjahanabad. In the modern day, it is a crowded and chaotic sprawl of colours, smells, sights and sounds. A walk around and through Chandni Chowk will take you through time, littered with bazaars and shrines.
Amber Fort | Jaipur
The Amber/Amer Fort in Jaipur is a masterpiece of ancient heritage. A wonderful thing to do is take an elephant ride up the winding hill to the main entrance of the fort. These incredible animals are painted with colourful designs effortlessly transport you up the steep hill. We recommend that visitors arrive early so as to avoid disappointment because the elephants don’t work all day.
Train Travel | Network throughout India
With one of the largest networks of trains throughout the world, consisting of 115,000km of tracks, over 1.3million employees and 23 million passengers a day, this is one of the best ways to experience and see India in her glory. Forget those images of overcrowded trains chugging along with people sitting on the roof and hanging out of windows, as this is not the reality. On any long distance train, you are guaranteed a seat, a civilised atmosphere, cleanliness and moreover it is very cheap. We highly recommend that visitors to India take at least one train journey to cover distance between places as it is more than just your average A to B - and try a sleeper train for the best of this experience.
Bodh Gaya | Enlightenment
They say that Bodh Gaya is the place where, under the Bodhi Tree, Buddha attained Enlightenment. Thus it has become a major tourist attraction for devotees or those interested in impermanence and Buddhism. Situated in the Gaya district of Bihar, Bodh Gaya is easy to reach by car, train and flight and is close to the Mahabodhi Temple Complex.
Karni Mata Temple | Bikaner
Prepare to worship the rat, because that is what happens here at Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan. Innumerable rodents play and run around the floors of the temple to get to the huge saucers of milk. You will probably have seen the photos. Here, rats are not regarded as mere vermin, they are admired as holy descendants of Karni Mata, an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Durga.
Open Air Art | Shekhawati
The region of Shekhawati in north Rajasthan is a quintessential open-air art gallery. Mandawa, Churu and Nawalgarh are wonderful examples of some of the most incredible frescos in the world. Painted on Havelis, gates, walls and temples, the frescos of this region are beyond compare and well worth the visit. This region also has some of the most well-preserved ‘havelis’ which were old-merchant houses.
Deserts and Dunes | Jaisalmer
On a tour of Rajasthan or North India, it is a wonderful experience to see the depth and richness of the Rajasthani culture with a stay in dunes of the desert. You will take a camel ride, enjoy local music and dance, and have the experience of a typical dinner. This is one of the more authentic and transformative experiences you will have in India.
Lake City | Udaipur
Udaipur, also called the Venice of the East, is full of nature, history, movement and colours. Home to some of the most beautiful and serene lakes in India, most notably the Lake Pichola, you will find a certain amount of peace in this city. The elegant City Palace, surrounded by sprawling bazaars and the beautiful Jagdish Temple leaves little to be desired. Round the day off with a boat ride on the stunning Pichola.
Intricacy and Temples | Khajuraho
Struck between forest and village in Khajuraho, these 20 temples attract tourists and art-lovers from all over the world. You will be stunned at their intricacy and the dedication of the talented sculptors, really affirming the notion that these temples are amongst the greatest examples of the mastery of Indian art. Visit in the warm evening sun to experience the interesting effect of shadow play on these Hindu and Jain masterpieces.
Ganges and Ghats | Varanasi
The Ganges, as we all know, is the most famous and sacred river in India. The holy city of Varanasi is situations on it’s banks in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Prepare yourself for the unsettling and life-affirming experience that is a visit to this city, as you stroll along the Ghats (Dashashwamedh and Assi are the most famous) and see the evening Aarti Ceremony (daily at 7pm). It is quite the experience to take a boat ride on the Ganges as the sun sets.
Holi | Festival of Colours
If you happen to be in India in March, speak with us about coordinating your journey to coincide with Holi, the festival of all colours. You will have seen the photos of smiling faces painted in all vibrant colours, and this is the reality of it. A wonderful and messy experience, this is best celebrated in small towns.
The Backwaters | Kerala
Often called “God’s Own Country”, Kerala is a state of India in the south of the subcontinent, best known for the backwaters. A vast network of canals, lakes, estuaries and deltas, the backwaters are a self-supporting ecosystem full to the brim with aquatic life. You will love strolling around this vibrant natural environment, seeing locals go about their day and feeling more and more nourished as you pass by. Ask us about staying on a typical Kettuvallam, a houseboat where you will be able to spend the night and enjoy a tour of the backwaters.
Valley of Flowers | Uttaranchal
A fairy land if you have ever seen one, the valley of flowers is 3,600m up in the Himalayas. This enchanting valley lay unknown and frozen for centuries until humans stumbled upon it, and revelled in the marvellous blooms of many flowers and colours every year as the snow melts. As the months progress, the colours change and transform so it never looks the same.
Meenakshi Temple | Madurai
Dedicated to Shiva and situated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Meenakshi Temple is a stunning architectural masterpiece with an estimated 33,000 sculptures inside. Mentioned since the antiquity of Tamil literature, this temple is an important symbol for the Tamil people so please have respect and be mindful as you visit this beautiful site.
Snake Boat Race | Backwaters
Seen as the largest team sport in the world, these snake boat races are part of a greater parade and festival and are usually held during August or September in Kerala. Each snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and over 100 oarsmen who row in unison to the fast rhythm of the song of the boatmen, the ’thevanchipattu’.
Hemis Festival | Ladakh
Hemis Monastery is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Ladakh and every summer hosts the 2-day Hemis Festival where locals take part in traditional dance and enjoy authentic music and painting. An impressively colourful and vibrant festival, it is definitely worth including into your tour of India if time allows.
Chand Baori Stepwell | Abhaneri
In the Dausa district near to Jaipur, this place will look familiar to those who have seen the movies “The Fall” or “The Dark Knight Rises”. Home to the Chand Baori Stepwell, one of the most interesting and innovative stepwells in India, this structure descends 100ft with 3500 steps and 13 stories.
Kalaripayattu | Ancient Martial Art
Hailing out of Kerala, Kalaripayattu is considered the oldest martial art in the world, with 2000+ years of history, acting as a forerunner for many Chinese martial arts. Hard to believe? Take a look at this brutal, fast, beautiful martial style in Thekkady or Kochi or at one of the many other centres.