India Is Not Just About The Palaces, Jungles, Deserts And Beaches. Every Visit To The Subcontinent Is Embroidered With Visceral Adventures And Vivid Vignettes. From The Spicy Chaos Of Its Vegetable Markets To The Riotous Colour Of Its Religious Festivals, We’ve Curated Our List Of Unforgettable Indian Experiences And Things To Do For That Adventure Of A Lifetime.
Behind the dramatic façade of its burning ghats, Varanasi is home to some of the finest silk weavers on the Subcontinent. Follow us through the bustling backstreets of its Muslim quarter, lined with rainbows of silk. We’ll introduce you to the best tailor in town for a made-to-measure memento of your holiday in Varanasi.
MEDITATE IN AUROVILLE’S MATRIMANDIR
A select few are granted entrance to the Matrimandir, a gilded dome in the very heart of Auroville’s extraordinary spiritual community. Inside, the revered Inner Chamber is imbued with a palpable sense of peace. Silence is, of course, compulsory as you’re guided into an exclusive meditation pod for a full immersion in utter tranquillity.
TUCK INTO A HOME-COOKED BIRYANI
Of all the things to experience in India, food is a priority. Hyderabad is famous for its biryani—a delicious medley of succulent lamb tossed with fragrant spiced rice. We invite you to savour an authentic version of the culinary classic, cooked to a generations-old recipe, with our local friends in their home for an unforgettable experience to have in India.
EXPERIENCE INDIA’S MOST CELEBRATED CINEMA
While on holiday in Jaipur, glimpse the full-bodied drama of Bollywood first hand at the iconic Rajmandir Cinema. All Art Deco chandeliers and velvet drapes—not to mention the jasmine-scented air conditioning—it’s an apt tribute to the glamour of India’s booming film industry. Allow us to secure you the best seats in the house for an experience of India you’ll never forget.
TRACK TIGERS ON FOOT
The Subcontinent’s big cat population is happily on the rise, and Jim Corbett National Park is among our best places to see tigers in India. Venture out on foot for a unique safari with one of our expert guides to track the park’s residents. It’s a thrilling—and safe—experience of India’s wilderness, with an opportunity to spot rare birds, deer and butterflies along the way.
LEARN THE ANCIENT ART OF BLOCK PRINTING
Block-printing is one of the most creative things to do in India. Bagru is a tiny village near Jaipur that specialises in the breezy fabrics. Learn the ancient art alongside the best craftspeople in the industry, using wooden hand-carved blocks and natural dyes to create the ultimate souvenir to take home.
EXPERIENCE THE INDIAN SUNRISE
Venture out in the soft quiet of early morning to witness the sun rising over Udaipur. Dawn is the perfect time of day to experience India’s City of Lakes, just before the city awakens. Settle in for a steaming cup of chai and watch the majestic metropolis stir to life.
WHITE-WATER RAFTING IN RISHIKESH
Not merely a hub of yoga and meditation, Rishikesh is also a thrill-seeker’s paradise. Riding the gush of the Ganges, white-water rafting expeditions are a pulse-raising way to encounter Uttar Pradesh’s majestic landscapes. Allow us to arrange your trip with the safest operator in town, and experience India’s wild side.
AFTERNOON TEA ATOP AN ANCIENT FORT
Rajasthan is peppered with beautiful old fortresses belonging to local families. These crenelated battlements offer some of the most spectacular views over the Thar Desert. Follow us to one such perch to enjoy the sunset, cup of chai or chilled G&T in hand, for an utterly memorable experience of India.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR OF MEHRANGARH FORT
If anyone knows the secrets of Mehrangarh Fort, the majestic 15th-century behemoth that serves as a dramatic backdrop to the city of Jodhpur, it’s the landmark’s head curator. Allow us to introduce you for a thrilling and exclusive journey into the fort’s rich and storied past.
SUNDOWNERS WITH CAMELS
The serenity of the Thar Desert at sunset is incomparable. Add in the slow, soporific sway of a camel safari and this is a defining Indian experience. Join us for a camel safari, culminating in sundowners on the fine sand dunes flanking Jaisalmer.
LUNCH AT JODHPUR’S STEPWELL CAFÉ
Jodhpur’s celebrated Stepwell Café overlooks one of the Rajasthan’s most iconic sites: its stepwells. Settle back on the breezy terrace for a mango lassi with a view.
LEOPARD-SPOTTING IN THE PALI DISTRICT
The rocky peaks of the Aravalli range are home to some of India’s most beautiful big cats. Leopards have made this rugged landscape their home, and our guides are trained to spot these most elusive of felines in their natural habitat.
ZIPLINING AT MEHRANGARH FORT
While on holiday in Jodhpur, soar above the glassy lake and lofty battlements of Mehrangarh Fort on a guided ziplining tour. It’s one of the most exhilarating experiences to have in India, with safely harnessed flights sweeping from point to far-flung point around the fort.
TAKE A TRAIN THROUGH THE ARAVALLI HILLS
Journey back in time with us aboard a train through the Aravallis. There’s only one track allowing a single train to run at a time—and those views from atop the viaduct are spectacular. Secure a window seat to enjoy the view and order a tea from the chaiwallah on his way past for the ultimate experience of India’s beloved railway system.
SLEEP IN A PALACE
India’s majestic landscapes are peppered with the luxurious palaces and hunting lodges of erstwhile maharajas. Many have been reincarnated as beautiful palace hotels—we’d love to show you our favourites.
Related:- The best road trips in the world
SPOT ASIATIC LIONS IN GIR
Gujarat is home to Gir Forest, an arid national park that bears remarkable resemblance to the African savanna. A small pride of Asiatic lions have made it their home, making Gir the only place in which to admire these regal creatures in the wild.
MAKE CHAPATTIS FOR 50,000
The Golden Temple is a must when visiting the Punjab, but to really get into the spirit of the place, volunteer in the kitchens for the communal meal. Up to 50,000 pilgrims take their place in the lines to eat at the sacred temple, and you are welcome to join them. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences to have of India.
LOOK FOR SNOW LEOPARDS IN LADAKH
Rarely sighted, these majestic creatures have made their home in the inhospitable peaks of India’s far north. To see one is the definitive once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We invite our guests on a snow leopard safari into the windswept heights of Ladakh. Our guides have a good success rate, with plenty of compelling sights to see along the way.
SLEEP BENEATH THE STARS
Settle in for a wild night beneath the stars. With the Milky Way a twinkling backdrop and the rustles and cheeps of the surrounding jungle an evocative soundtrack, nodding off in a sumptuous four-poster bed set atop a platform in the great outdoors is certainly an Indian experience to remember.
BOAT SAFARI THROUGH THE MANGROVES
The Sundarbans commandeer the northern flank of the Bay of Bengal. Venture into the heart of these swampy, sun-dappled jungles on a wildlife tour with our expert guide to discover a thriving ecosystem of birds, deer, macaques and, not least, Bengal tigers. It’s a thrillingly authentic experience of India’s wilderness.
WALK ALONGSIDE RESCUED ELEPHANTS
Roman historian Pliny the Elder commented that elephants are our closest allies, pointing out that they possess ‘rare even in man: honesty, wisdom, justice, respect for the stars and reverence for the sun and moon.’ Meet a herd of these gentle giants, rescued from poor conditions, and walk alongside them to gain a sense of their true majesty for the ultimate Indian experience.