News from the road – India – March 2024

Incredible India.  It engages all your senses with a riot of colour, movement, sound and smells, and of course delicious-tasting food.

Our group explored India’s golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur before venturing much further west into the land of kings — Rajasthan.  We looked for endangered tigers in the striking landscapes of Ranthambore National Park, and enjoyed the vibrancy and limitless energy of the country’s commercial centre Mumbai.

India is a complex place with layers of history.  Early kingdoms and ancient religions.  Centuries of British influence that have left an indelible stamp on the cities and the very way of life.  A turbulent time of partition and independence.  The emergence of a modern and powerful nation.

India is developing rapidly and is now the world’s most populous country.  There are huge extremes in living standards but we didn’t see the grinding poverty we had expected.

We were privileged to see many of the big ticket items India has to offer, but the most memorable events were the personal and off-beat experiences: joining a local family for a cooking lesson and meal, touring Mumbai before dawn to see what makes the city tick, being shown around India’s largest slum by a young man who lives there and celebrating the Holi festival with a local family where we drank, danced and threw coloured powder over each other.

Two stand-out visits were to Varanasi and the Taj Mahal.

Varanasi is the holiest place for Hindus and the most important destination for pilgrimage.  Funeral pyres burn day and night, with ashes scattered on the river.  Every evening thousands participate in the aarti ceremony to honour the mother goddess Ganga, or Ganges as we know it.  We were privileged to witness these authentic rituals.  It was an experience of a lifetime and left us with indelible memories.

The exquisite beauty of the Taj Mahal draws your eye from your first glance until you must reluctantly leave.  This expression of Shah Jahan’s love for his wife deserves its accolades as one of the most beautiful buildings in existence and a wonder of the modern world.  Arriving before sunrise gave us the best opportunity to see the building change colour as the day began, from almost monochromatic through pink to cream and white.  Once seen, never forgotten.

We have run this Classic India tour several times and will do so again, so email us at to be notified when the next tour is planned.