Awe-inspiring palaces, ancient civilisations, vibrant cities and tranquil beaches, are just some of the highlights waiting to be discovered on luxury holidays to India. From the towering Himalayas and mountain landscapes of the North to the beaches and tea plantations in the South, India holidays open up a world of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and jaw-dropping sights.
The north brings together the Golden Triangle cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra - Delhi is the country's capital where old meets new in glorious style, with wondrous sights such as the Red Fort, Jama Masjid Mosque and the Qutab Mina tower; the pink city of Jaipur is a shopper's paradise at its Jauhari Bazaar and Badi Chaupar markets; Agra is home to one of the most romantic gestures of all time - built by Shah Jehan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal - the Taj Mahal, and also the impressive Agra Fort.
Heading south, encounter the vibrant city of Mumbai and the tropical paradise and wildlife-lined rivers of Kerala. Goa, in the south west of India, not only boasts soft white sandy beaches, crystal clear seas and colourful fishing harbours, but is the setting for the popular holiday resorts of Anjuna, Calangute Beach, Baga Beach and Colva.
India enjoys a tropical climate, so expect hot and humid weather. As a general rule, the best time to visit is between January to March. North India is pleasant and dry from October to February. Southern India is hot year round but driest from November to April. The peak monsoon months take place from June to October.
There are a plethora of things to see and do on India luxury holidays. Get close to India's indigenous wildlife, like the Bengal Tiger and Indian Elephant, at the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and the Bandhaugarh and Kanha National Parks. Explore where your daily cuppa originates at a tea plantation in Darjeeling, Assam and The Nigrils. Play golf at the highest green golf course in the world at Gulmarg. Take a boat trip along the sacred River Ganges or the backwaters and canals of Kerala. Admire the floating Lake Palace in Lake Pinchola in the city of Udaipur, as featured in the film Octopussy. Visit the awesome desert town of Jaisalmer and the Golden Palace at Amritsar.
Indian cuisine is world renowned for being fiery and hot. Savour authentic curries created from a blend of locally sourced herbs and spices. Dahl (curried lentils) and Dosa (pancake stuffed with meat, vegetables and sauces) are two countrywide favourites, with Rasagulla and Sandesh desserts to follow. Chai (tea) is India's favourite beverage, with Lassi (iced yoghurt/buttermilk drink) and Kingfisher beer popular choices too.
If you're looking for lively night-life in India, then head for the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. Here you'll uncover bustling bars, nightclubs and a vibrant performing arts scene. Jaipur is the place to enjoy real Bollywood films at the famous Raj Mandir cinema. India comes to life at festival time, with Diwali (Festival of Light) in October and the riot of colour of the Holi festival in March. And, no holiday to India would be complete without experiencing one of the full moon parties around Goa.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.