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India

There is truly no place in the world more colourful and alive than this spectacular country. Such a vast and diverse land there is so much on offer for all travellers be it their first visit or tenth. With different options for fascinating journeys throughout the whole year there is always to good time to start exploring enigmatic India.

You can search for your Indian journey here, or by selecting 'The Silk Road & India' in the Trip Search. If you can't find a journey that suits your needs then please get in touch with our experienced Travel Advisors, who will work with you to create your ideal journey.


Experience India

  • Absorb the history, culture and chaos of the bustling cities of Deli and Mumbai.
  • Take a boat ride on the ghat-lined Ganges River for a unique perspective on the spiritual city of Varanasi.
  • Experience the romance and magnificence of the Taj Mahal.
  • Escape the heat and your worldly considerations in the cool mountain air of Dharamsala, the current home of the Dalai Lama.
  • Discover the impressive desert palaces, forts and people of Rajasthan.
  • Witness the beautiful Golden Temple of Amritsar, Sikhism's holiest site.
  • Observe the life and processions of Jaipur through the shutters of the Hawa Mahal. 

Exploration of India by rail is almost as much about delight in the distances between the fascinating places as it is being off the train surrounded by them, even though that’s quite a claim when they are such as the temples and ghats on the Ganges at Varanasi, the Himalayan hill station of Darjeeling, the fortresses and palaces of Rajasthan, the splendours of Old and New Delhi, the Indian Ocean of balmy Goa and the zephyr breezes of Cochin. And by train too to the incomparable Taj Mahal.

The mainlines, all electrified now, are ‘broad gauge’ (though there are four track widths on this massive 65,000 kms network). The iconic intercity expresses – the legendary Madras Mail included – travel at a comfortable 120kph and 1st class and air-conditioned rolling stock is pleasantly designed with services to match (if a little over-modelled on lessons learned from air travel with which it now has to compete). It’s all a far cry from days when every maharaja would have his own state railway; his palatial carriage (or entire train) and his pleasure in the idyllic fit of steam-driven modernity and enhancement of his traditional regal status.

Perhaps it goes without saying that as a way to the heart of one’s next destination train travel in India really has no equal. And not only is rail the way to see the varied countryside and the passing scene, the incredibly colourful life of India, but also, if there is a more relaxed way to meet people and chat (most fellow passengers will speak English) then we don’t know it.


It must also be said that in a country somewhat famed among visitors for its’ hassle factor’, pre-booked and forearmed rail travel with accommodation removes, or greatly dilutes, any angst and leaves one with the stuff that is the manageable, if sometimes inscrutable, ‘wackiness’ that is India. More than in any other country, rail travel here is the definitive way to feel the pulse of the nation and to collect a thousand snapshots and impressions and memories each one of which speaks of the Indian experience.

Festivals

Timing your journey with one of the many colourful and diverse festivals and cultural events that occur each year in India will guarantee you will have a journey to remember.

Some of the festivals and events in India that we can help you get to include:

  • Desert Festival of Jaisalmer (23-25 February)
    Witness the cultural events of camel races, folk concerts, camel polo and even the 'Mr Desert' competition which focuses on the length and style of the competitors' moustaches and rustic physique.
  • Maha Kumbh Festival (February - Allahabad)
    A mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges and river Godavari, where bathing for purification from sin is considered especially effective. This is one of the biggest acts of faith in the world.
  • Holi 'The Festival of Colours' (March 27 - All around India)
    People shower themselves and each other in the rich colours on the streets and outside Hindu temples. In Jaipur this also corresponds with the Elephant Festival, where you can see heavily decorated elephants parading around and even ridden in a game of polo.
  • Pushkar Camel Fair (November)
    Around early November each year when the traders and devotees pour into town along with some 50,000 camels. The Camel Fair is the largest in the region and is well attended by over 20,000 people. Entertainment is combined with serious trading here and camels can fetch tens of thousands of rupees and provide a vital source of income to many villagers who travel from all over the country to attend.
  • Diwali 'Festival of Lights' (November - All around India)
    Diwali is a very important celebration in the Hindu faith and celebrates the triumph of good over evil with the adornment of homes with lights to eliminate any darkness and welcome the visiting Gods. Thousands of earthenware oil lamps glitter in the night through many towns creating a spectacular sight.