Holidays to India

Enthralling, spiritual, surprising too

Think of India, and it’s likely you’re picturing coconut groves, spice-laden markets, and the sun setting over the mysterious Taj Mahal. And you wouldn’t be mistaken. This huge country – the world’s second most populated after China – packs in as many sights as it does people, and from the cool climes of the Himalayas to the sultry beaches of the south, its landscapes are as diverse as they are exhilarating.

There are myriad ways to explore, too. You can experience India's Golden Triangle – Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi – in one trip or combine a tour with neighbouring Bhutan or Nepal. You can also catch the changing landscape on a traditional railway journey, explore chaotic cities like Delhi and Mumbai on foot, or venture into one of India’s many national parks to search for Bengal tigers from a trundling 4x4. We offer both group and independent tours, so you can choose the type of holiday that suits you best.

Rajasthan is characterised by flowing desert landscapes, camel trains, wild tigers and some of the finest historical architecture in the country, from the pink palaces of Jaipur to the mighty fort at Jaisalmer. Rajasthan is also celebrated for the quality of its fabrics and crafts, not to mention its splendid cuisine – all of which are fit for a Maharajah.

One of the country’s largest states, Uttar Pradesh doesn’t do things by halves – it’s home to Agra and the glorious Taj Mahal, after all. This is also where you’ll feel India’s religious fervour to the fullest – along the banks of the Ganges in spiritually charged Varanasi, during early morning devotional prayers in Allahabad and amid the ancient Buddhist monuments of Kushinagar and Mathura.

Long, slim and fringed with palm-clad beaches, Kerala stretches nearly 400 miles along the Arabian Sea in India’s southwest. Behind the beaches lies a network of inland waterways where handsome houseboats glide on tranquil waters. The foothills of the Western Gnats rise up beyond, creating perfect conditions for the cultivation of tea and spices.

Draped around the Bay of Bengal, Tamil Nadu takes up the southeast portion of India. The capital Chennai (formerly Madras) is a dynamic coastal city, and this ancient land is dotted with age-old temple towns. The written history of the Tamil people stretches back an incredible 2,000 years and their traditions live on through dance, poetry and language.

Between the mountains and deep blue sea, West Bengal is a diverse state with its head in the cool foothills of the Himalayas and its feet in the balmy Bay of Bengal. In between, you’ll find Kolkata, once the seat of the East India Trading Company. The city is grandly decorated with colonial landmarks of the British Raj and is home to the final resting place of Mother Theresa.

Beach lovers should consider Goa, in the south. Split into North Goa and South Goa, the two halves have a very different feel. The former is home to eclectic towns like Baga and Candolim, while the latter offers sleepy, sandy beaches and ramshackle bars.

The climate varies across the country. Between March and June, it can be very hot across the country – the foothills of the Himalayas are lovely for escaping the heat. Monsoon rains occur in most regions between June and early October. It’s cooler from December to February, particularly in desert areas. As a general rule, loose-fitting cotton or linen clothes are the order of the day.

Flight time from the UK to Delhi is just over 8 hours; to Bangalore, it’s 10.5 hours; and to Cochin it’s 11 hours.

India is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT.

There are 18 different languages in India, including Hindi, which is the national language and spoken by about 30% of the population. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Visas are required for British Citizens. Visit GOV UK or CIBT visas for more information on how to obtain your visa.

Absolutely. We offer escorted tours around Rajasthan, Kerala and the foothills of the Himalayas that are ideal for solo travellers looking to join a like-minded group. You can also experience Ranthambore National Park and embark on a Great Indian Rail Journey. There’s also the option to travel independently on one of our Tailor-Made Travel tours.

We offer a wide range of India tours with inclusions that vary. Our escorted group tours of India, for instance, include VIP door-to-door service, transport, accommodation, and selected meals, along with a knowledgeable tour manager. Travel independently on a Tailor-Made tour, on the other hand, and private transfers are part of the package. On our Wild India tour nine safari drives are included in three different national parks, while on our Grand India tour there’s a choice of standard or superior accommodation as well as private game drives and a night in a houseboat. Take a look at our individual product pages or get in touch with our team for more information.

With the widest choice of holidays and travel experiences than ever before, you can now personalise your trip so you are in complete control. All this is backed up by the high-standards and service you’d expect from Saga.

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