Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra are the jewels in India's crown. From fairy-tale palaces and epic forts to dizzying festivals and wildlife encounters, this is India at its unbeatable Bollywood best. Celebration of Colour The colours of this region are impossible to ignore and the effect of emerald green, canary yellow and fire-engine red turbans and saris is simply dazzling.
Chennai & Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is the homeland of one of humanity’s living classical civilisations, stretching back uninterrupted for two millennia and very much alive today in the Tamils' language, dance, poetry and Hindu religion. But this state, with its age-old trading vocation, is as dynamic as it is immersed in tradition.
Mystery, magic, mayhem. Welcome to Delhi, City of Djinns, and 25 million people. Like an eastern Rome, India’s capital is littered with the relics of lost empires. A succession of armies stormed across the Indo-Gangetic plain and imprinted their identity onto the vanquished city, before vanishing into rubble and ruin like the conquerors who preceded them.
Pint-sized Goa is more than beaches and trance parties. A kaleidoscopic blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, sweetened with sun, sea, sand, seafood and spirituality, there's nowhere in India quite like it. The Spice of Life Food is enjoyed fully in Goa and Mumbai, as it is throughout India.
Bengaluru & Karnataka
Blessed with a a diverse makeup conforming to all the romance of quintessential India, Karnataka delivers with its winning blend of palaces, tiger reserves, megacities, ancient ruins, beaches and legendary hang-outs. At its nerve centre is the silicon-capital Bengaluru (Bangalore), overfed with the good life.
Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh
The spotlight doesn’t hit Madhya Pradesh (MP) with quite the same brilliance as it does on its more celebrated neighbouring states, which is why it rewards travellers with unparalleled opportunities to detour from the tourist trail and delve into India’s heartland.
Kashmir & Ladakh
J&K combines three incredibly different worlds into one state. Hindu Jammu, the state's major railhead, is a busy hub for domestic pilgrims. Muslim Kashmir is India's Switzerland, attracting hoards of local tourists seeking cool summer air, alpine scenery and Srinagar’s romantic houseboat accommodation.
India’s second-biggest city is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate. By its old spelling, Calcutta conjures up images of human suffering to most Westerners. But locally, Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual and cultural capital.
This region includes Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, a bustling, buzzing hub of IT, shopping, dining and crazy traffic. If all that gets too much, you can limber up for some Ashtanga yoga at Mysore where a slower pace is dutifully rewarded. South of Mysore, Bandipur National Park includes the sanctuaries of Nugarhole, Mudalmai in Tamil Nadu and Wayanad in Kerala.