THIS GRAND TOUR takes you to parts of India in the North, West and South. In the historic city of Delhi, there is a wealth of Islamic architecture, Hindu temples and colonial churches. The lovely Baha’i Temple is a modern addition to the skyline. Crowded bazaars entice you with a dazzling array of handicrafts and textiles. On to Varanasi, the holiest of Hindu cities and from there to Khajuraho, a picture gallery of medieval temples, exquisitely carved and preserved. Past the magnificent fort-palace city of Orchha and back to Agra, home of the spectacular Taj Mahal. Jaipur is nearby and gives you the first taste of India’s legendary desert state, Rajasthan, where further south, Udaipur’s lake and palaces beckon you. A transit stop in Mumbai, long enough to explore some of its Gothic splendours, and then down south, via the cosmopolitan centre of Bangalore, where business and pleasure share equal importance. Cochin is one of the South’s surprises – where a quaint Jewish quarter still survives, and where the fort and Dutch palace bring back memories of the south’s colonial past. Periyar, a haunting wildlife preserve, and Covelong, with its long sandy beaches, are in deep contrast to the temple town of Madurai, but welcome breaks in this rich and varied grand tour.
Twenty-one days almost makes it a whistle-stop tour of India. However, planned carefully it offers the perfect opportunity to introduce you to the palimpsest that is India. the vast sweep of the land, its wildlife, the depth of history and the varying hues of cultures. In 21 days, you will have seen sites, people, landscapes and monuments – enough to make you wish to return.