Palaces, temples, deserts, mountains, jungles, beaches, sprawling cities, remote villages. India will bombard you with images and impressions. It is home to one sixth of the world's population; spanning more than a million square miles, from the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. Its awesome physical scale and improbable contrasts are replicated in the staggering diversity, not just of its scenery but also of its vibrant cultures and exotic, sometimes baffling, customs and lifestyles born of five thousand years of continuous civilisation. So where to begin? And what can you hope to see in just 2 -3 weeks? For a snapshot view of India's countless colours and contrasts, we'd recommend a Golden Triangle tour to Delhi, the Taj Mahal and Rajasthan's "Pink City" of Jaipur (and on to Udaipur and Jodhpur, perhaps). For a return visit there's seductive southern India - the exotic beaches of Goa, Kerala's green waterways and scenic Tamil Nadu. Or the cool grandeur of the Himalayan foothills beckons!
The vast and colourful theatre that is India almost defies the imagination; so exotically 'different' can seem the sights and sounds of India that any journey here often creates its own sense of adventure. Elaborate palaces and ancient castles bring the echoes of India's eventful history dramatically alive. Wildlife viewing in Ranthambore or Periyar National Parks, or travel deep into the Rajasthan desert to magical Jaisalmer adds a special bonus. On the south-west coast lies a tiny strip of land which is Goa, where the influence of its Portuguese past is still evident today. It boasts fabulous golden beaches, distinctive architecture, fine resort hotels and fabulous seafood.
World's Best Scuba Dive Sites
Goa has the subcontinent's only PADI-recognised dive centre. Although visibility can be limited to 4 - 12 metres, there is a good amount and variety of coral and marine life and (allegedly) as many as 600 shipwrecks.