Touring the Taj Mahal in India
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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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Travel Style

Trip Type Trip Type Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Flights & Transport

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Top India Experiences and Attractions

Top India Experiences

Relaxing in Kerala’s floating hotels known as Kettuvallams.

Basking in Goa’s beautiful Palolem beach, and sipping in fresh coconut water to keep you hydrated.

Visiting Jaisalmer, a desert town in Rajasthan.

Visiting Varanasi, a city in Uttar Pardesh, which consist of more than 2000 temples and attracts pilgrims and devotees of Hindu, Buddhists and Jains.

Enjoying a river cruise in Ganges River.  

Seeing Taj Mahal, an epitome built by Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor for his wife.

For wildlife lovers, a visit to Kanha National Park is must, as it is one of the few best places to see a tiger in India.

Visit to Harmandir Sahib, a popular Sikhs temple also known as the Golden Temple.

Riding a camel into the Thar desert, and sleeping beneath the stars.

Meditating in a temple in Dharmasala, the home of the Dalai Lama.

Hiking through the magnificent Valley of the Flowers.

Zig-zagging through mountains while paragliding in the Himalayas.

Staying with a local Himalayan family in a remote village.

Bouncing along chaotic city streets and dodging other vehicles (and cows) in a tuk-tuk.



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India Trip Reviews

1,597 India Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 1,184
Great 342
Average 47
Disappointing 18
Terrible 6
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Nepal is always my best destination in the world

5.0
Travel Max Guide Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

While I was in Nepal last year. Nepal is also one of the best destinations in the world. More different than in other countries. Diversity in culture, religion, landscapes, land of mountains and beyond mountains. Thank you Travel Max Guide for organizing my round trip to Nepal. The team is good enough to handle all kinds of situations in a good manner.

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Operator Travel Max Guide

Highly recommended.

5.0
GeTS Holidays Company reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I'm so glad that I used GeTS Holidays during my visit to the Kumbh Mela festival in Feb 2019. Their representatives understood my requests very well during communications. They helped me create a perfectly tailored plan. Everything ran smoothly. Their staff was caring and actively sought feedback during and after the trip. They delivered everything agreed upon professionally. Highly recommended.

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Operator GeTS Holidays

unique experience

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

If you are a senior and a woman, consider a private, custom tour. It allows a unique experience and not be afraid of travelling alone.

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Operator Enchanting Travels

Awesome trip to India!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

This was a great tour of Delhi and Agra. My tour guides and driver were all very professional, courteous, always on time, etc. The company was responsive to emails before and during the trip, and I was very happy with my tour.

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Operator HolidaysAt

Fantastic small tour

5.0
SpiceRoads Cycling Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Fantastic small tour with Max. The desing of the tour as well as the care for the participant is great and Max the guide did really go the extra mile for us. Really recommended!!!!

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Operator SpiceRoads Cycling

Great tours

5.0
Advantage Travel Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Great tours and travels services thanks you

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Operator Advantage Travel

India Tours and Travel Guide

India Attractions & Landmarks Guide

India is often described as being a place of sensory overload -- an explosion of sights, sounds and smells. It 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 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.

Cities

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 red smear on your forehead as a form of blessing. 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  mountain cities up north such as Manali (in the northwest) and Darjeeling (in the northeast) are rich in Nepalese and Tibetan culture.

Desert   

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 goat's 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).

Mountains

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 southern 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.

Food

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

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, definitely not a good option for the comfort traveler!

Wildlife

High on every visitor's 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, it is incredibly harmful to the giant creatures' physical and mental health. Many tour operators have eliminated elephant rides from their itineraries in the interest of animal welfare. Instead, 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.

Common Tourist Scams

Unfortunately tourist scams are quite common in India. It is recommended to do your research and know how to react if you find yourself in one of these situations. The benefit of going with a tour group is knowing that your guide can keep you informed and prevent these situations from happening.

Here are two common tourist scams in India:

  1. Your taxi driver insists that your hotel has burnt down, moved, or changed names so instead he will drive you to his friend’s hotel in order to get commission. The hotels they drive you to end up being incredibly expensive. If this happens, find another taxi driver.

  2. A police officer will walk up to your taxi (and no one else’s) and tell you that there is a road fee to pay. Depending on the taxi driver, he might say no or agree with the police officer. Unfortunately if he agrees with the police, they won’t stop until you agree to give them money.

Related Guides

Continent:             

Asia

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

Top India Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

What You Should Know Before Going on an India Tour

Weather

The weather is hot all year round, although there are slight variations from region to region. Visit between the end of November to the beginning of March for the coolest temperatures. From mid-March to June, the weather is incredibly hot, dry, and dusty. Monsoons occur throughout the country from June to early October.

What to Wear

Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing are your best friends. Even though the weather is hot in India, it is highly recommended to not wear anything too revealing. Clothing items like short skirts, low cut tops, or cropped tops should not be worn here. Doing so will draw a lot of unwanted attention to yourself. When visiting religious sites, it is even important to cover up - legs, shoulders, and cleavage must be fully covered - otherwise you'll be turned away. Keep a pair of lightweight pants, and a large scarf in your everyday travel bag to avoid being turned away. The scarf will also come in handy to protect against pollution in the cities.


All India tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all India trips.

569 trips from 140 tour companies with 1,597 reviews

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