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India Holidays

India awaits you, magnificent and mysterious, colourful and bewildering – a land of incredible diversity which truly offers something for everyone. Spectacular temple complexes, grand mosques and historic churches, abandoned cities, remote indigenous communities, princely forts and palaces, India is a panorama of life untouched by the passing of time.

Northern India and Rajasthan are the setting for some of India’s grandest sites – a region of grandiose desert fortresses, floating palaces, iconic buildings, historic trains, pilgrimage cities, colourful textiles and traditional handicrafts. To the north of Delhi the terrain rises steadily. Here roads lead from the hill stations of Shimla and Manali towards the mighty Himalayas, passing the serene lakes of Kashmir and ending in the high mountains of Ladakh. Central India is rightly famed for its wildlife and its collection of national parks is arguably the best place to see the majestic tiger in the wild, however, this is also a region of ancient cave temples, Buddhist complexes and India’s commercial centre, Mumbai.

Southern India is divided by the Western Ghats – tropical Kerala with its palm-fringed beaches and lush tea plantations to the west and the monumental multi-coloured temples of Tamil Nadu. Eastern India and the remote North East remain India’s last frontier with the cultured city of Kolkata the starting point for exploration of the region. Explore Orissa’s temples and discover the state’s indigenous culture, cruise the Hugli and Brahmaputra rivers, search from rhino in Assam’s pristine national parks or travel through little-visited tribal Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

POPULAR TAILOR-MADE INDIA ITINERARIES

Rural Images of Kerala

15 days from £2970 per person

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Historic Rajasthan

20 days from £4310 per person

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Your Holiday To India

Whether visiting India for the first time or a returning traveller to the subcontinent, our tailor-made holidays allow you to explore every inch of the country. Pettitts Travel have been organising private bespoke tours to India since 1988 and we have a deep knowledge and love for the people and the country. Every itinerary is based around your specific requirements and is tailored to be unique to you thereby providing a completely personal experience. Hotels and transport, guides, sightseeing and entrance fees are all included unless otherwise stated. Although dependent on where you are travelling in India, in most cases you will have a private car and driver at your disposal throughout and local guides or naturalists where appropriate. There are Pettitts Travel offices in both the Indian capital Delhi and the Keralan city of Kochi which, in addition to our UK operation, provide round the clock support and assistance.

Although all of our arrangements are tailor-made, many clients find inspiration from the itineraries on our website and then adapt them to fit their requirements – adding or removing days, including different cities and regions or making adjustments to the accommodation. The Golden Triangle and Beyond is ideal for the first time visitor to India whilst Historic Rajasthan and Highlights of Gujarat explore the region in greater depth. Foothills of the Himalayas combines the Golden Temple of Amritsar with the hill station of Shimla and for the more adventurous Crossing the Zanskar follows the epic overland route to Ladakh. Classical India highlights the best of Central India’s historic sites and Land of the Tiger the region’s finest wildlife reserves. Spices and Sandalwood and Rural Images of Kerala offer two different routes through Kerala whilst Journey through Southern India combines the state with neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka’s Hidden Treasures includes Hampi. Classic routes in eastern India include Return to Darjeeling and Sikkim, Journey through Assam and Cruising the Upper Brahmaputra. For those looking to travel off the beaten track, Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival, Eastern India and the Tribes of Orissa and Kolkata and the Historic Trading Centres of East India offer something a little different.

Places to visit in India

A melting pot of language, culture and religion, India is a multifaceted country and almost impossible to define. Rajasthan, northern and western India are home to the country’s best known cities including capital Delhi, the pink city of Jaipur, Agra and holy Varanasi. These regions are also famed for their handicrafts, artwork and textiles. Central India is the setting for the country’s finest national parks with Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench the best places to see tiger. The southern half of India is divided by the tea plantations and spice farms of the Western Ghats. To the east are the stupendous temple towns of Tamil Nadu and Islamic architecture of Hyderabad and to the west under explored Karnataka, location of deserted Hampi, and the tranquil backwaters and palm-fringed beaches of Kerala. Eastern India is defined by Kolkata and the Ganges River whilst the remote north east remains a frontier-land of rare indigenous culture and reserves renowned for both birdlife and one-horned rhinoceros.

When to Visit india

India is a year-round destination but, in general, the best time to visit the country is from late September to early April when temperatures are comfortable and the risk of rain low. Mid-April to June see a rise in temperature and, as foliage dies back, are the perfect time for viewing wildlife including tiger and leopard. The monsoon arrives by the end of June and lasts until early September. Showers tend to be short and heavy but the lower temperatures and fewer tourists make this a good time to travel. Conversely, the monsoon months are the best time to visit the northern Himalayan region of Ladakh.

JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Best Times
Good Times
This is a general overview suggesting when to travel in the country. Please note that this may not directly apply to any specific itinerary or region.

Essential Information

Capital: New Delhi

Main Language: Hindi / English

Time Zone: GMT + 5.30

Currency: Indian Rupee

India Holiday Review

Freshly back from our wonderful trip to India, we’d like to give you some feedback. The keyword is: sensational! The route was wonderful and somehow to go from a first part involving big very busy cities to a quieter part in Rajasthan was just perfect. Also, any worries I had about two rural stays in a row, were of course nonsense: Dev Shree and Chhatra Sagar were so different and each so special in their own way.

Our especial praise must go to your loyal, long-time driver Desraj Verma whose company, driving and planned breaks we hugely enjoyed in Rajasthan. What a knowledge of the routes, the country and his charges! A delightful and highly competent man who spoke affectionately of his long association with you.

Should you have any specific questions, we’d be happy to answer them. Meanwhile we’re already thinking about what Pettitts destination might brighten up our next winter!

BD & TD - India - March 2019

Accommodation in India

There is a huge breadth of accommodation in India with styles and standards varying across the country. India is famed for its heritage properties, the majority of which tend to be found in the north of India. These come in all shapes and sizes from beautifully restored buildings and luxurious palaces operated by distinguished hotel groups to small privately owned forts and ancestral homes. Homestays are also very popular and found throughout the country. Whether a grand family residence, plantation retreat or simple abode, they offer a high level of service and a unique glimpse into everyday Indian life. In more remote regions, hotels are likely to be clean and simple whilst wildlife accommodation is generally either in jungle lodges or comfortable tented camps. For those looking to relax there are many excellent beachside hotels and an increasing number of retreats specialising in both Ayurveda and yoga.

Festivals In India

Festivals In India

Colourful and vibrant, the festivals of India are rightly famous. One of the joys of travelling in India is the discovery of a celebration – a village wedding perhaps, complete with fireworks and loud Bollywood music, or a religious observance in honour of a local deity. India’s vast size, its cultural heritage and strong regional identities all play their part in making these festivals what they are today. The majority of celebrations in India are centred on religion – three of the most famous which can be incorporated into a holiday are Holi, the ‘festival of colours’, held during March, Diwali the ‘festival of lights’ which takes places between October and November and signifies the triumph of good over evil, and Dussehra which is fervently celebrated in northern India. The most popular regional celebrations include December’s Hornbill Festival, an important cultural event that showcases Nagaland’s traditions and heritage, Gujarat’s fabulous International Kite Festival held annually in January and the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Kerala where each August huge snake boats are raced in front of enormous crowds.

Wildlife In India

India is synonymous with wildlife. Known the world over as home to the majestic tiger, India is blessed with an extraordinary diversity of animal life and a plethora of national parks and protected areas. India’s vast size, its remoteness and an increasing focus on conservation has had a positive impact on wildlife numbers and the country is the home of a large number of rare or endangered species including tiger, leopard and Asiatic lion, one-horned rhinoceros and elephant. National parks and reserves are found throughout the country, from high mountain and desert to tropical jungle and forest and it is this range of habitats that supports such a wide variety of mammal, reptile, amphibious and bird life. Northern and central India and the reserves of Corbett, Ranthambore, Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh are famed the world over for their tiger populations. Gujarat’s Sasan Gir supports the rare Asiatic lion and Kaziranga, in North East India, the majestic one-horned rhinoceros. The North East national parks of Kaziranga, Dibru-Saikhowa and Nameri also offer fine birdwatching.

Wildlife In India
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