Our holidays and safaris to India offer such great diversity, from extravagant, rich palaces in Rajasthan, where one can meet the Maharajah and his family, to wildlife-rich parks in Madhya Pradesh where the finest tiger safaris are conducted, to the gentle solitude of the Himalayas, where one can explore this region on foot, perhaps staying in village houses or a luxury lodge, whilst soaking up the atmosphere and learning about the local culture.
“So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.” Mark Twain
Prices from USD $8,095 per person or GBP £6,250 per person based on twin share.
(Prices subject to currency exchange rates and exclude international flights)
Saving of USD$2080 per person or GBP£1600 per person
(Prices are subject to availability and valid for travel before the end of April 2018)
Please contact us for a full list of inclusions and exclusions.
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be received at the airport and transferred to your hotel by private car. Stay at The Oberoi – a deluxe hotel located in a prime location in the heart of New Delhi for two nights on Bed & Breakfast Basis. You can have the remainder of the day at leisure to relax after the flight or take in an interesting walking tour of Old Delhi.
Today, with your private guide, you will explore the historic sights of both New and Old Delhi including a visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib- a local Sikh temple where you will have the opportunity to participate in their daily lunch service. If interested, you could also explore some of the famous local art galleries and shops or take in a superb street food tour with an expert gastronomic guide.
This morning, you will travel from Delhi to Agra by an express train (1 hour 40 minutes). Upon arrival, you will be met and taken on a private sightseeing tour to visit the historic Agra Fort and Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World! You will be transferred to your hotel after dusk. Your stay will be arranged at Oberoi’s luxury boutique hotel Amarvilas (on Bed & Breakfast Basis) - with each and every room facing the Taj Mahal!
You will have the option of re-visiting the Taj Mahal this morning to take in its magical beauty at dawn. After breakfast, you will be driven (6 – 7 hours) to the royal Rajasthani city of Jaipur. En route, you will explore the abandoned ancient capital of Fatehpur Sikri and the fascinating traditional step-well of Chand Baori built between 800 and 900 CE. Stay at Oberoi Rajvilas- a luxury boutique resort located in peaceful environs on the outskirts of Jaipur for two nights on Bed & Breakfast Basis.
Today, you will explore the regal sights of Jaipur with a local art historian, including the majestic Amber Fort, City Palace, Jantar Mantar royal observatory and the vibrant markets in the old town.
After breakfast, you will travel (5 – 6 hours) to the village of Shahpura. En route, you will visit Barefoot College, a grass root level initiative that focuses on designing ways to nurture and empower underprivileged rural communities making them fully self-sufficient and sustainable.
A voluntary donation of $250 per person is included in the tour price, which will be donated to the organisation on your behalf.
Upon arrival in Shahpura, you will stay at Shahpura Bagh- a charming princely property with lush surroundings for two nights on Bed & Breakfast Basis.
With your hosts, you will spend the day exploring the area, which is excellent for birdwatching and also to get a glimpse into untouched rural Rajasthan. If interested, you could also volunteer at the local village school. In the evening, we will arrange an exclusive traditional dinner in a very special setting close to Shahpura.
After breakfast, you will be driven (5 – 6 hours) to Jawai Bandh. Stay at the Jawai Leopard Camp for three nights on Full Board Basis- a luxury tented camp in a stunning location. Enjoy a shared safari experience in the afternoon. Our offer includes a complimentary 30-minute spa treatment for two and a special dinner in an exclusive private setting.
Days 9 & 10:
Spend the next two days enjoying a host of (shared) safari, countryside and wilderness experiences. Besides leopard safaris, the area lends itself perfectly to cycling, bird watching, hiking and trekking, and rural excursions.
After breakfast, you will be driven (3 – 4 hours) to Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes. En route, you will explore the majestic fort of Kumbalgarh and a beautiful Jain temple at Ranakpur known for its intricate carvings. Stay at Oberoi Udaivilas- a luxury boutique resort overlooking Lake Pichhola for two nights on Bed & Breakfast Basis. Afternoon is at leisure to relax and take advantage of the resort’s extensive spa and wellness facilities.
After breakfast, you will explore the beautiful old town with your private guide. In the afternoon, we will arrange a private boat ride on Lake Pichhola to take in the magnificent views of the City Palace and Jag Mandir.
Morning is at leisure. In the afternoon, you will fly from Udaipur to Mumbai (1 hour 30 minutes; in Economy). Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to your hotel, located close to the international airport. Stay at The Leela Mumbai for one night on Room Only Basis.
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Colonial or small characterful hotels, tea plantations, havellis
These dreamy little hotels today belong to the descendants of those who lived here in the colonial era, who are your highly affable, energetic and involved hosts.
Historic forts and opulent palaces (India)
Few structures evoke the majesty of the Indian courts as splendidly as the country’s numerous palaces and ancient forts.
Village trek houses (India)
Village walks are a great concept and an increasing number of sophisticated travellers are seeking something beyond five-star luxury – although even here it is possible!
Owner Managed Retreats (India)
Staying at establishments which are owner managed is becoming increasingly popular, allowing one to experience real India.
Tented camps and luxury safari lodges
The subcontinent has a wide range of wildlife camps – from intimate, owner-managed camps to luxury lodges. The owner-managed camps are intimate and are set in magnificent locations either overlooking a river or the forest.
Royal Tented Luxury Lodges
These small, often luxurious boutique style camps are found all over Rajasthan - from the Thar desert, to Nimaj, overlooking a lake, to outside the tiger reserves in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and occupying locations on the outskirts of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur.
Houseboats and luxury cruises
A trip to South India is incomplete without a journey on a traditional house boat. Locally known as kettuvallam, these traditional rice barges are made by tying jackwood planks together with coir rope and then coating them with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells.
Design Inspired, Luxury Boutique Hotels
You will enjoy fine food and an intimate atmosphere in our specially selected luxury boutique hotels. These usually are smaller independent properties including city hotels and retreats.
Luxury trains in India
Welcome to the world of luxury train travel in India, where pampered guests can drink in scenes of daily life from a cocoon of comfort. In India, the rail network is an essential part of life. The second-largest system in the world, stretching nearly 64,000km, it could be wrapped twice around the Earth.
Private Villas and Houses
Goa and Kerala are best known for some of the country's finest beaches. The Dutch and Portuguese both left their mark on these coastal towns, which means you will find charming properties from simple, private houses right on the beach that one takes over exclusively, to sumptuous villas. Sri Lanka has a wealth of beautiful, colonial style villas on the coast and beautiful houses in the tea plantation regions.
Luxury Beach Lodges and Hotels
We have a wonderful array of luxury beach lodges and hotels in India and Sri Lanka.
Robinson Crusoe retreats – India and Sri Lanka
Away from the mainland are the Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands, where you can discover India’s best-kept secrets.
Resorts – five-star and lower – India, Bhutan, Burma and Borneo
These are larger hotels, again, either placed in a city in India such as Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Bangalore or Bhutan, such as Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang.
Bhutan Accommodation Style
Elegant hotels like the Uma Paro and the Aman group rub shoulders alongside resorts and the more basic, traditional Bhutanese hotels that have their own particular charm.
Maldives Accommodation Style
Resorts that just breathe imaginative and inspired luxury in one of the world’s most beautiful seascapes – this is sybaritic bliss at its most blissful!
Nepal Accommodation Style
Award-winning heritage hotels, atmospheric walking or trekking hotels, vibrant hubs of activity, pioneering jungle lodges, and camps and mountain lodges.
Sri Lanka Accommodation Style
Sri Lanka is a country that has effortlessly preserved its wealth of colonial houses and converted these into the most stunning and stylish boutique hotels, homestays, country retreats and seaside villas. It has also built itself some exceptional modern examples.
Borneo Accommodation Style
Borneo is one of the ultimate diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. These resorts are often wonderfully isolated and many have turtle nesting sites that you can observe in carefully controlled night watches.
Burma (Myanmar) Accommodation Style
There is an array of accommodation to choose from in Myanmar. The majority of choice is for larger hotels but as tourism develops there are an increasing number of smaller, more boutique style places and those with a difference that go that extra mile.
Travel south to Kerala, a heady tropical region with its small, colonial houses, beaches and backwaters where one can languish dreamily on a houseboat, absorbing the atmosphere of this exquisite area.
Wherever you travel, it gets under your skin! From the mind-numbing chaos of rush-hour in Delhi, to the aching stillness of a Himalayan dawn; from the haunting echo of a temple bell calling upon God to one of nature’s most sublime creations, the tiger – striped, silent and deadly in the dappled shade of the jungle which you can experience on tiger safaris.
The swirling colours of a tribal market clash with the serene, austere beauty of the desert. There is choice in everything and little secret corners and delicious surprises that make your holiday come alive with the thrill of an unexpected encounter.
A lunch stop with a charming family somewhere or sundowners atop a tiny fortress in the middle of nowhere; this is what we try to do at the Explorations Company, to reveal the old, traditional India – quirky and colourful and still alive in the 21st century, if only you know where to look.
We place you in areas that lift your soul! Whether it is at a monastery in Sikkim, where you stop and listen to a priest chanting his ritual in spiritual surroundings, walking holidays in the Himalayas with your Sherpa guide, cycling holidays in India, or on a houseboat in Kerala, having a cookery demonstration, travelling on a gondola on the lake in Udaipur, holding court with elders in Jodhpur, horse-riding in the Aravalli Hills, camel trekking in the desert or taking a boat down the Bhramaputra on one of our Assam holidays, being taken on a houseboat or fly-fishing in Kashmir, or antiques shopping in Tamil Nadu – the options are endless.
Our tailor made luxury holidays to India are based around your individual interests. We also carefully hand-pick every place we select for our clients, places of character, comfort, great location, of course, excellent food!
Much of our knowledge comes from having lived in these regions, having inside information that transforms your holiday from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Some of the excursions are not available to the general tourist and we have developed these ideas over time with a handful of carefully selected guides that are known to us.
As India is such a large continent, please choose one of the regions below for ideas or call one of our specialists to start tailoring your perfect luxury India holiday.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.
- Utterly designed and tailored around you and your requirements
- Totally unique every time you travel with us
- We use only the very best hand picked guides which can make the difference between a good holiday and an outstanding one
- Established over 27 years ago we have been around longer than most
- Our specialists come from, have lived in or travelled extensively in the regions we cover
- Unparalleled knowledge provides you with the best possible experience
- Philanthropy is our philosophy
- Our founding principle is to always ‘put something back’
- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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