GMT +5½ hours
Immerse yourself in this vibrant, colourful country
A spiritual and intoxicating country, India is home to millions of people, mountainous, desert and coastal landscapes, and some of the world’s largest and culturally diverse cities. Somewhat of an enigma, this is a nation that is constantly changing and embracing the modern world, yet maintaining the cultures, customs and beliefs of old. It’s frenetic, brash, vibrant and brilliant, and on just one trip you may only scratch the surface of this incredible country but it will leave you coming back for more. This is one of our favourite touring holiday destinations.
- There's such a wide range of accommodation in India from historic havelis to sprawling spice plantations allowing you to immerse yourself in authetic Indian culture
- The Golden Triangle – one of the world’s most well-travelled routes – encompasses India’s most visited cities Delhi, Jaipur and Agra
- Experience India’s spiritual side on the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi or the city of temples Madurai
- Seek out Asian elephants, Bengal tigers and other wildlife species in India’s National parks
- The natural landscapes range from the Himalayas in the north to the beaches of Goa and Kovalam and Kerala’s backwaters in the south
Best time to visit India
• The climate is best from October to November and February to March, when the nights are cool and the days filled with mellow sunshine.
• Delhi is hottest May to July (up to 42°C), however prices are lower and sights can be quieter.
• Most of the rain falls between July and September.
South and Central India
• Peak season is during the winter months from November to February, when temperatures range from 23°C to 30°C.
• Monsoon season is between May and October in Goa and from June to August in Kerala.
• Summer temperatures aren’t as high as in northern India, although humidity is extreme.
• The coast benefits from some cooling breezes.
India holiday highlights
India Holiday Highlights
• Discover the splendours of Rajasthan – Delhi’s colonial grandeur, the legendary 'Pink City' of Jaipur, enchantingly beautiful Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer which rises from the desert sands.
• To truly experience the heritage of India we recommend staying in a haveli – a traditional Indian town house or mansion – such as the Samode Haveli in Jaipur.
• Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra, a sublime monument to love, on our Taj Tour – Highlights of India small group escorted tour.
• Cruise around Kerala's enchanting backwaters and take in spectacular scenery.
• Explore Goa, India's smallest state, marvelling at its Portuguese colonial culture, World Heritage-listed architecture and natural wonders, from aromatic spice gardens to breathtaking Indian Ocean beaches.
• Southern India is dotted with working sprawling spice plantations such as the Spice Village in Thekkady. The opportunity to stay on one of these plantations is a unique Indian experience.
• For a soul-soothing wellness experience, head to Ananda in the Himalayas, a tranquil and award-winning Ayurvedic spa in the Himalayan foothills.
India – The Essentials
• Try to have some small denominations and change on arrival for tips and small purchases.
• Ladies should dress modestly, especially in rural areas which are typically more traditional.
• Avoid overt displays of affection in public places.
• When eating without cutlery, use the fingertips of the right hand and don't lift your plate with the left.
• It is polite to take off your shoes and leave them outside when entering an Indian home.
• Shaking hands with women should be avoided, especially in rural areas.
• If travelling by rail keep an eye on your luggage, even in First Class.
• Try not to act hapless on the streets – your vulnerability will be easily spotted by potential criminals.
• Only exchange money through authorised banks or money changers.
In most countries, people typically nod their heads for ‘yes’ and shake them for ‘no’. Well, not in India – they like to be different and confusingly do something that is somewhere in between a nod and shake. It’s often referred to as the ‘wobble’, during which the head moves from side to side in a curious and bewildering circular motion. What does it mean? Guess you’ll need to visit to find out.
At Mumbai’s bustling Churchgate Station you can see dabbawallas unpack the city’s lunchboxes before delivering them throughout the buzzing metropolis. This tradition was established with a team of 100 during British rule, serving officials who didn’t trust food that wasn’t cooked by their wives or mothers. Today around 5,000 dabbawallas distribute up to 200,000 lunches every day.
All of our India hotels make for fabulous honeymoon settings. See ancient sights, tour buzzing cities, take a romantic backwater cruise and dine on mouth-watering spicy cuisine.
We offer a whole selection of sightseeing and cultural experiences that you can add to your holiday and enrich your India experience. With a Kuoni experience you can discover the sights of India's great cities, experience a traditional dinner with a local family or go behind the scenes on a Bollywood tour in Mumbai.
Please contact us for details of our full selection of authentic experiences and sightseeing trips.
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