Where the culture, nature and history are as varied as the experiences on offer.
From the vast and varied landscapes of India to the mountainous and landlocked nations of Nepal and Bhutan, the Indian subcontinent is a land of contrasts and exotic cultures - some of which have been shrouded in mystery and secrecy, closed off from the world for centuries. Chaotic yet charming cities are home to iconic structures be they palaces or temples, and they offer an insight into a world so unlike our own – but one that will get under your skin.
India is an enigma. How can you possibly sum up a nation that covers almost 1,270,000 square miles, with the world’s highest mountain range to the north and some of the world’s most glorious white-sand beaches to the south and an array of landscapes, cities and towns in-between? Visitors to this perplexing nation will struggle to get a grip on what makes it so special, what they will know however is that they will want to return time and time again to try and find out. In northern India witness iconic sights on your way around the famous Golden Triangle, explore the deserts of Rajasthan, detox and de-stress in the verdant Himalayan foothills or visit sacred rivers, towns, monuments and intricately designed temples. To the south you can cruise the Keralan backwaters, unwind on Goa’s world renowned beaches or feel the rhythms of Bollywood in energetic Mumbai. Scratch the surface of India and you will never want to stop exploring.
Nepal is an adventurer’s paradise, as well as being a cultural buff’s heaven and a nature lover’s delight; having only been open to foreign visitors since 1950 it still holds an air of mysticism among the travelling community. Sandwiched between the Tibet and India, Nepal boasts enviable geography that is a mix of some the highest mountains on earth, including the highest - Mount Everest - and low-lying wetlands which are home to a number of the earth’s most endangered species - the Bengal Tiger and the Indian Rhino. The Kathmandu Valley is home to the three historic cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur where you can explore the captivating relics of a more secretive age, including temples, stupas and complexly carved wooden architecture. Each year thousands of budding and experienced adventurers descend on the slopes of the mighty Himalaya to trek and to climb - and to be able to sat they have been to the roof of the world.
Known as the ‘last Shangri-La’, the remote Kingdom of Bhutan, which is hidden away in the eastern Himalayas, was off limits to tourists until 1974 and even today, the country continues to preserve its cultural identity and integrity. Intrepid travellers can bask in the nation’s beautiful mountain scenery and explore its forts, monasteries and markets. Independent travel is still not allowed in this extraordinary nation where people live seamlessly with their mountainous natural environment, where they believe their revered Gods and spirits live.
Recommended India, Nepal & Bhutan Hotels
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When I was 21 I travelled to India for three months, with no idea how it would affect my life. A friend and I fell in love with the people and culture at once. I later returned for a year, exploring the religions, philosophies, people, languages and culture of this incredible place.
North, south, east and west – all are different and full of surprises. Photographers will love the wildlife of Ranthambore; the monuments of Kolkata and the forts of Rajasthan are treasures for those passionate about history; and you’ll find simple adventure exploring the Keralan backwaters. India has it all. I still go back every year and there’s always something new to discover."