Almost any India visit will include epic fortresses, exquisite temples, sublime palaces and bustling local markets, and we recommend these wholeheartedly. However, any great India trip will go beyond the obvious,
and include special features such as a private dinner at the residence of our friend, an expert on Indian art, whose wife is a gourmet chef. Or a private tour of Gandhi’s Memorial to learn about satyagraha—his philosophy of non-violent resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience. Movie buffs will want to join a Bollywood set while a film is in the making, while photography aficionados can’t miss a private boat ride at dawn across the Ganges River in holy Varanasi on their visit to India.
Travel to India reveals dazzling cultural treasures, yet what is less well known is that India is home to some of Asia’s greatest wildlife. In the 1970s, multiple national parks were designated in India, many on huge swathes of private land that once belonged to maharajahs. Former hunting grounds became India’s greatest wildlife refuges, home to the Bengal tiger, one-horned Indian rhino, clouded leopard, sambar deer, wild Indian elephant, boar, jackal, fox, bison, many species of monkey and langur, and myriad bird species.
India’s festival are also a revelation—they are hands-down the largest, and among most boisterous, gatherings on earth. The Pushkar Camel Fair draws livestock traders from all over western India, and also mystics, musicians, camel-wallahs and vendors plying their wares. Holi is a riotously colorful festival where revelers herald the arrival of spring by hurling colored powder and water at each other. The massive Kumbh Mela is celebrated every three years in a different holy city—ask us to include one of these amazing experiences on your India trip.