India holds a vast array of historic gems that are waiting to be discovered. None more so than the Taj Mahal in Agra; a symmetrical masterpiece constructed out of glorious white marble by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, following her tragic death during childbirth. Perhaps Delhi’s historic sites will tempt you, especially the Red Fort or Humayun’s Tomb, which predates the Taj Mahal by sixty years and is thought to have inspired the design for the Taj Mahal. Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark, Hawa Mahal, is another extraordinary sight to behold, rising five storeys tall and showcasing a beautiful, pink-painted, honeycomb-effect façade – it will certainly leave you flabbergasted. The beautiful region of Goa is a must-visit, particularly Old Goa, where Basilica of Bom Jesus is situated, or the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji, both of which provide stunning Colonial architecture and Portuguese influence.
Take your tastebuds on a truly phenomenal culinary trip-of-a-lifetime. India is alive with spices and, with such a diverse repertoire of dishes, your mouth will be watering non-stop. With each region distinct from the last, be prepared for different traditions, preparation techniques and presentation styles – from beautifully marinated meats and thalis (Indian food platters), to exceptional seafood dishes and simple, yet delectable, vegetarian curries.
India has some of the most bio diverse regions in the world, hosting four of the world’s thirty-five biodiversity hotspots. It is, therefore, no surprise that India is home to an extraordinary variety of wildlife, especially the renowned Bengal Tiger, which can be spotted in the beautiful region of Madhya Pradhesh, the pioneering state for wildlife conservation. Strict hunting regulations and the brilliant Project Tiger rehabilitation programme have brought these majestic animals back from the brink of extinction, thus they can be found here more than anywhere else in the world. Kerala also hosts excellent sanctuaries, including Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, where protected animals thrive, such as leopards, elephants, deer and much more.
Where India excels is with its magical and enchanting cityscapes. The diversity is remarkable; each city you visit is totally different from the last, from ancient traditions and artistic heritage, to spectacular landscapes and culinary delights. Delhi exacerbates this diversity: experience the contrast between the charming Old Delhi, dating back to the 1600s, to the modern bustling metropolis of New Delhi, with its fascinating Colonial-era parliament buildings. Udaipur, on the other hand, sits on the shores of tranquil Lake Pichola, where the Aravalli Hills stretch as far as the eye can see. It is one of the most romantic locations in India. Visit the enchanting and historic Jaipur to discover India’s most flamboyant state.
Goa is the land of sun, sea and sand, a blissful retreat from the hustle and bustling streets of India’s major cities. Goa boasts a wonderful laid-back attitude, with a tropical vibe that is infectious to those who visit. Stay at a beachfront resort to experience the pristine sand and the azure of the Arabian Sea. Beautiful golden-sand beaches can be found in Kerala, boasting an exceptional 600-kilometre coastline, perfect for relaxing or enjoying watersports.
Virgin Atlantic to Delhi; British Airways from London Heathrow to Delhi and Mumbai, with onward connecting flights to Goa, Cochin, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Kerala. Flights with Emirates (via Dubai)from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow are also available.
From London Heathrow to Mumbai: 9 hours.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.