Perhaps the most enigmatic, diverse and colorful of any country in the world, Bev, Zen and I feel India to be nothing less than spell-binding. Second only to Japan, we feel India is a most compelling destination. With its intoxicating mix of ethnic groups and cultures, wide contrasts in physically beautiful landscapes as well as wildlife, you really need multiple trips to adequately explore this country of +1 billion people.
We are particularly drawn to India’s rich history, including the Moghul rule and the legacy of the British Raj. May we mention that the Taj Mahal is one of the very few monuments in the world where the reality of seeing it in person actually exceeds all the hyperbole and pictorial reproductions. As Rudyard Kipling said, “This place is the embodiment of all things pure.”
We agree with author Sam Miller’s analysis that India in many ways defies explanation: “…visitors [are] unable to decide whether the country is actually a land of great wealth or of appalling poverty, of spiritual renunciation or of unabashed materialism, of fasting or of gluttony, of erotic sophistication or of sexual puritanism, of corruption or of moral superiority. They probably fail to admit that it might be all these things, and, even more so, everything in between.”
Notwithstanding the beauty and awe of this vast land, please be warned that poverty in India is stark, pervasive and somewhat disturbing to western eyes.
Our recommended introductory private tour itinerary includes Delhi (the Imperial or the new AMAN), the most interesting Holy City of Varanasi, Agra (Oberoi Amarvilas), the Taj Mahal, Ranthambore Tiger Preserve (with its luxurious Vanyavilas), Jaipur (Raj Vilas or Rambaugh Palace) and lovely Udaipur (Taj Lake Palace, Udaivilas, or the more remote Devi Garh).
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) offers a lush tropical climate, a rich Buddhist tradition, diverse wildlife and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!—Also, home to Gamini Hewawasam, our air maven at travNET!
UTC+5 to UTC+6
India and Sri Lanka
Hindi, English, Sinhala, Tamil