Touring the Taj Mahal in India

India - Best Tours & Trips 2019

India is often described as being an assault on the senses -- an explosion of sights, sounds and smells that can be exotic, spicy, colorful, chaotic and overwhelming, all at the same time. Whether exploring Mumbai or old Delhi, relaxing on a canal boat in Kerala, riding a mountain train to Darjeeling, waking up for an early morning bathing ritual in Varanasi, attending the Camel Fair in Pushkar, or marveling at the sheer perfection of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India is an experience not to be missed,

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Top India Experiences and Attractions

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India Trip Reviews

India Tour Reviews - Summary
98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 1,199 Great 357 Average 51 Disappointing 17 Terrible 6
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals



Exploring these Hidden Kingdoms was delightful! November 2018


Inside the Hidden Kingdoms

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Stride Travel site helped me find the exact trip of my dreams. I put in the places I wanted to visit and many tours came up. I could easily research each tour - the difficulty, pace and most importantly price. The site was easy to use and great benefit as it shows proven and reliable operators and I felt confident in their choice as all the reviews and information was right there.
I would definitely use Stride as my search engine as they simplified the process and gave access to all the necessary information I needed.

From there I compared and chose Inside Hidden Kingdoms offered by EXPLORE. The tour company was great…I actually talked to a person in North America re the trip. Questions were answered promptly by phone or email. Prices were as stated.
The tour itself was amazing. Our guide Udaya was affable and responsive to requests and needs of the group. …he was one of us - a guiding light with a great sense of humour. On the tough climbs he stayed with the slowest and encouraged us all. The tour was everything I could hope for from 2 relaxing days touring the Sunderbans by boat something I wanted to experience close up. Our travels to North Bengal including train and bus were amazing and informative. The local guides chosen by EXPLORE were flexible and receptive to questions, queries and planning. Every guide from the Sunderbans to Darjeeling to Bhutan was excellent, local and well chosen
We had some tough drives through construction in Sikkim and our drivers couldn’t have been better…we always felt safe on all our mountain drives with our competent drivers chosen.
The variety and pace was also fun - We camped, stayed in cabins and hotels - some were especially beautiful. The information noted it would be full on and it was but not so much to exhaust. We were up at dawn to see the sun rise over the mountain…relaxed in a boat in the Sunderbans, experienced Kolkata and Katmandu, were in traffic jams in hectic Gangtok and experienced tea estates and rice fields, highlands and valleys, jungles on our many travel days. We enjoyed Darjeeling and the toy train, Sikkim’s many faces but I think we really enjoyed the Hidden Kingdom of Bhutan…a small interesting newly opening country. Our guides here were full of stories, history, and characters. We walked through rice fields freshly harvested, climbed Tigers Nest with very patient guides and camped by the Mochu River.
The food throughout the trip was tasty and filling. The breakfasts provided were very substantial for our busy days.
There were no surprises as from the beginning we knew we had many long travel days up and down the valleys and mountains which I loved to see. Throughout we had the steady guidance of Uddaya as plans progressed or changed according to the weather, season, traffic or festival in progress.
Food, lodging, pace were exactly as stated but what is impossible to write is the experience itself full of wonderful people, fun things to try or taste, challenges met and experiences galore.
Stride brought me to Explore and Explore fulfilled its promise…..
Thank you for a trip of a life through West Bengal and these Hidden Kingdoms
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Operator Explore!



Surpassed all my expectations November 2018


Majestic India

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
"On September 30, we returned from our Indus nine day India Trip which we booked thru Groupon. I must tell you that it surpassed all my expectations and was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Every detail was perfect. We were met promptly at the airport and taken to our hotel Picadilly (which must have the best food in India) by our guide Shelindra / Shalindra ...........who we soon discovered was a well educated, knowledgeable, organized, caring and very competent young man. With him we felt entirely safe at all all times. Moreover he was always ready to answer our questions whether historical, religious or cultural. I wish to record my firm commendation of this guide . Unfortunately I do not know the last name. The hotels were all very clean, comfortable and beautiful, the dinners and breakfasts excellent , the bus clean and cool with a very good driver and assistant who kept us well supplied with water. The tour itself was highly interesting and varied. There was something for everyone. We took part in the optional tours as well and enjoyed every experience. The rickshaw ride in Delhi, the Sikh soup kitchen , Mother Teresa's orphanage, the Taj Mahal and the elephant village stand out. It was also a lovely experience to stay for one night in the Raj of Bharatpur's palace! Even our flights with Etihad Airlines were excellent. I must admit that when we initially booked we were not sure about Indus Travels as we read some negative reviews but seriously nothing was missing in this tour. Congratulations on this very fine Indus tour and
sincere thanks.
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Operator Indus Travels



Excellent experience. Learned a lot. Had lots of fun. October 2018


Mysteries of India

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
I had a lot of fun and learned a lot on Mysteries of India with G Adentures-National Geographic.
India is not an easy countriy to visit for the first timer, so an organized tour is the way to go.
Our guide (CEO), Manu Rao, was excellent--he is very personable, knows his country exteremly well, and will go the extra mile to make sure his group is informed and comfortable.
This trip focusses on Rajasthan, a large state, and covers a lot of territory.
Our group consisted of 6 travellers-two Canadians, two Australian, and two Americans.
I travelled as a single male traveller (wife could not join me).
Everybody was in their 50s and 60s, all reasonably energetic.
A would go on a similar G Adventures tour as soon as time and budget permit.
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Operator G Adventures



Darjeeling , Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge October 2018


Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge

  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
This trip is wonderfully varied with each day having something different to
the last. The accommodation throughout is very comfortable especially if you
love an adventure. There are highlights such as heritage and eco hotels and
lodges , and full service camping with roomy tents . In March and the
beginning of April the weather included sunny days in the cities of Delhi and
Calcutta , contrasting with cold fresh nights on camp , with a hail shower .
The hotel in Delhi has a pool and relaxation facilities , and for anyone
arriving earlier , there is time for city tours to see the sights . The
drives from the plains to the Himalayan hill stations revealed beautiful
rivers , terraced tea plantations and habitations on high and steep slopes .
We visited colorful Buddhist temples and the Unesco World Heritage site of
the Toy Train at Darjeeling .
Being woken at 0500 and being lead by Rajeev our leader , to the top of the
ridge near the Kalijar campsite to see the sunrise lighting up Kachenjunga ,
the 3rd highest mountain in the World , and seeing the whole range of the
Himalayan snow capped mountains in front of us , which included Mount Everest
in the distance . Rajeev was tremendous in pointing out and naming each
individual summit . The team took the trouble to ensure we even had cups of
tea and had lots of time to savour the amazing view and take photographs.

Rajeev was excellent in leading our group which had walkers with varied
experience , and walking pace . He gave detailed information about the region
, farming methods , his country and the mountain ranges , and answered our
many questions . He is a very capable leader .

Come prepared to try out different food , and with fitness preparation for
walking to summits on fairly steep slopes. Bring a camera too !

I think the highlights wee often the optional parts of the trip like walking
to the summit of Singalila , and seeing the Everest range on a clear day so
make the most of these . The 16 Zoe's , a cross between a Yak and a cow ,
were the fantastic animals that carried our camping gear for us , and the
team of herdsman and cooks provided an amazing service during our camping
trek .

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Operator Exodus Travels



Excellent trip October 2018


Trails of Ladakh

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Four of us went on a private tour with Exodus - starting with Trails of
Ladakh and finishing with the Golden Triangle. Joshspell our co-ordinator in
Leh and Assis in Delhi were excellent - helpful, knowledgeable and keen to
make sure that everything was right for us. One of our group couldn't adapt
to the altitude in Leh and so two of our group flew back to Delhi. It is
when something goes wrong that you see how a travel company responds - Exodus
representatives were excellent - helped with the hospital visit, booking
flights and arranging an alternative (low level) tour. Two of us went on the
Ladakh trek and it was amazing. We went in September at the end of the
season so the mountains were quiet and empty. Stunning colours and scenery
and we had it all to ourselves. Our guide, driver, cook and waiter were
really good. Neepam ran around after us and walked with us some days -
lovely man - caring and helpful. We met up with our friends in Delhi for
the second part of our trip. Again the co-ordination was excellent. Guides
were knowledgeable and drivers especially Dorjay and Shashi were amazing (you
have to experience driving in India to understand what I mean). We loved our
trip and time in India and we would recommend Exodus.
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Operator Exodus Travels

India Tours and Travel Guide

India Attractions & Landmarks Guide

India is often described as being an assault on the senses -- an explosion of sights, sounds and smells that can be exotic, spicy, colorful, chaotic and overwhelming, all at the same time. Whether exploring Mumbai or old Delhi, relaxing on a canal boat in Kerala, riding a mountain train to Darjeeling, waking up for an early morning bathing ritual in Varanasi, attending the Camel Fair in Pushkar, or marveling at the sheer perfection of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India is an experience not to be missed.

This vast country is home to vibrant cities, golden deserts, architectural wonders, serene beaches, cultural celebrations, and gigantic mountains. A visitor could spend years in this immense and diverse land and still find new experiences to uncover each day.


Indian cities are chaotic. An array of honking vehicles weave along dusty roads, stopping for the occasional crossing cow. Crowds of people in colorful clothes squeeze their way through even more colorful marketplaces. The air is filled with the smells of spices and the sounds of temple bells. Embrace this chaos and you'll find that these cities are some of the most vibrant and lively places on earth. Flag down a tuk tuk or a cycle rickshaw and hold on for the rollercoaster journey. Visit a temple to attend a puja (religious ceremony), and receive a smear of red on your forehead. Get lost in a market trying to find the perfect scarf or henna tattoo. And, of course, when the spicy aromas start to make your mouth water, stop for a tasty curry.

New Delhi, the country's capital, is a common first stop for visitors, and offers quite a modern, cosmopolitan Indian experience. Mumbai is the place to go to sample the Bollywood scene. Kolkata can be quite jarring at first, but provides visitors with a rich cultural experience. Jodhpur, Jaipur and Jaisalmer all boast impressive historic buildings and forts, and are the starting points for desert treks. The city of Varanasi hosts unique religious events, such as bathing in the Ganges or burning bodies on the riverbank. In the south, Trivandrum boasts beautiful palaces and beaches, while the northerly mountain cities of Manali (in the northwest) and Darjeeling (in the northeast) are rich in Nepalese and Tibetan culture.


The Thar Desert, in Northwest India, covers an impressive 120,000 square miles, most of which is located in the state of Rajasthan. The golden sand dunes, blue skies and lush oases are the perfect setting for a camel trek. Rocking back and forth on a camel, stopping to sample fresh goats milk at an oasis, followed by a night spent underneath the stars makes for an unforgettable experience.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a major tourist attraction in India, and it's easy to see why. This stunning white marble memorial from Shah Jahan to his late wife Mumtaz Mahal is a must see. Strolling through the picturesque gardens and marveling at the ethereal structure is well worth the journey to Agra (and the early morning start to beat the crowds).


The Northern tips of India are dominated by the Himalayas. Here, the culture is largely influenced by neighboring Nepal, and Nepali is the dominant language in many areas. The Himalayan region is also rich in Tibetan culture, and many towns are centered around Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. The cities here move at a far slower pace to their more southerly counterparts, and the surrounding towns and villages make for a relaxing break. Don't get too relaxed though, as the mountains are also home to adventure activities such as paragliding and rafting.


Indian cuisine is world famous. The flavorful dishes here are unlike anywhere else. It is also the perfect place for vegetarian and vegan dining. Be warned, however, that curries here are far spicier than their western imitators.

Despite the concern of catching the infamous "Delhi belly", food in India is generally perfectly safe to eat. Digestive difficulty usually comes from drinking contaminated water. Drink purified water only, don't put ice in your drinks, and avoid uncooked vegetables, and you should have no problems.


Trains are the preferred method of long distance travel across the massive subcontinent, and this in itself is a draw for many visitors. Many routes offer scenic window views. In the Goan region, the Vasco de Gama- Londa route takes in postcard beaches and picturesque mountains, before passing by the immense Dudhsagar waterfalls. The relatively short journey from Jaipur to Jaisalmer takes in a beautiful desert landscape. Darjeeling and its surrounds are home to the UNESCO protected "toy train"- the highest railway in the world, winding its way through cloud covered mountains and tea plantations.

Overnight trains are perfectly comfortable to sleep on. A first class ticket will usually get you a private cabin, while second class will get you a fold-out bunk bed in a shared carriage. Third class is hard wooden seats only, definitley not a good option for the comfort traveler!


High on every visitors wildlife check list is undoubtedly a glimpse of a tiger. While this is far from guaranteed, tiger reserves such as Kanha and Tadoba-Andhari offer the best chances. Even if the tigers remain elusive, there's a good chance of spotting wild dogs, sloths, and deer, as well as an abundance of exotic birds.

While riding an elephant is an essential bucket list experience for many, be very careful where you go. Many tour operators have eliminated elephant rides from their itineraries in the interest of animal welfare. Try to find an elephant sanctuary where they are well looked after. And of course, let's not forget the monkeys that can be found in the mountains, cities, temples, roads, and, well, just about anywhere.

Related Guides



Local Attraction:  

Taj Mahal, Kerala (Backwaters), Varanasi, Jaisalmer, Goa, Ajanta and Ellora caves, and Many More

Top Activities:      

Explore CultureHistory Sightseeing & Train Tour

Similar Destinations:                    

Nepal, Malaysia

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