They say that the world is divided; those that have seen the Taj Mahal and those that have not
India has the ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confound all at once. She will fire your imagination and stir your soul like nowhere else on earth.
The Golden Triangle of north India has some of its most vibrant and beautiful cities. Delhi – the capital of the country, Agra – the seat of power during much of Mughal rule and home to the Taj Mahal, Jaipur – with its traditions of chivalry and valour – the ‘Blue City’ of Jodphur, and, possibly one of the most romantic cities in the world, Udaipur.
Recent trips have rekindled G&T’s fascination and love of India and we place huge importance on our guides as they will enhance your overall experience. Often you might travel with the same one throughout your journey – they are not only charming people, but a fountain of knowledge too – from the fascinating myths and legends of India to the best shopping and restaurant recommendations.
Begin your adventure in Delhi, a melting pot of cultures, politics and religions and enjoy a taste of contemporary India at the beautiful and stylish Lodhi Hotel. A boutique property with immaculate service, it is a great base from which to discover the sights and sounds of this fascinating city, and the extensive spa is a welcome retreat at the end of a day’s sightseeing. Dust, noise and chaos aside, Delhi is full of stunning architecture, culture, good food and fabulous shopping.
+ A cycle rickshaw ride around Old Delhi is a must.
+ Good Earth lifestyle store has lovely clothes in Indian style.
- We love Indian Accent restaurant at The Manor.
A day trip to visit the most extravagant monument ever built for love is possible via the relatively new Expressway with the journey to Agra by road now only three and a half hours. However, if you would prefer to see the magical Taj Mahal in the early morning sunlight, all the guest rooms at Amarvilas, only 600 metres away, have glorious and uninterrupted views. If you have time, we recommend a visit to the Great Red Fort of Agra.
The train journey from Agra to Jaipur, or the Pink City, is just four and a half hours. Stay in one of the tented rooms at Rajvilas, a beautiful resort that recreates the lifestyle of India’s legendary Rajput princes and is a unique way to experience the capital of Rajasthan. Known for its arts and crafts; jewellery, hand painted fabrics and stone sculptures, the city is a riot of colour with women in bright head coverings and men in equally vivid turbans and upturned moustaches. Polo is played on horseback and occasionally bicycles!
+ Ask for a private blessing with the resident priest at Rajvilas’ 280 year old Shiva temple!
+ Ride an elephant into the forests at a private estate close to Amber Fort at dusk
Six hours by road from Jaipur, Jodhpur lies at the edge of the desert. Overnight at Raas within the walled city. An old Haveli, this contemporary boutique hotel has wonderfully charismatic, rose red sandstone buildings and a stunning position at the foot of the historic Mehrangarh Fort.
Mihir Gahr, an hour’s drive away from the bustle of Jodhpur, is a stylish fort style property with nine stunning suites that all have large terraces and amazing views of the vast wilderness of the Thar. Ride one of the beautiful Marwari horses from their stables on a desert safari.
+ Visit a Bishnoi village, the world’s first environmentalists, for a traditional opium ceremony!
Often called the ‘Venice of the East’ Udaipur lies on the shores of the beautiful, clear Lake Pichola in a valley surrounded by the green Aravelli hills. The Taj Lake Palace, a vision of white marble and mosaic, spreads across an island on the lake. Its Royal Butlers,
many of whom are descendants of the original palace retainers, look after guests’ every wish. Wander through the markets and bazaars, visit the City Palace buildings and the Jagdish Temple.
+ A sunset cruise on the lake in a ceremonial Gangaur barge and enjoy a beautiful Rajasthani dance performance on Jagmandir Island.
+ Why not combine your Rajasthani ramble with a Himalayan adventure and experience a very different side of India?
Shakti include in their Himalayan experiences a seven night itinerary to the Kumaon, a long time favourite for hippies and musicians who come to the mountains to meditate and compose. Privately guided walks take you through the most stunning mountain scenery with overnight stays in remote village houses before arriving at Shatki 360º Leti for three nights. Recently awarded Relais and Chateaux status – the smallest property in the world to claim this – the four roomed Himalayan retreat offers breathtaking scenery and a chance to recharge your batteries in style and comfort. Small touches add to the overall experience – morning tea and biscuits on waking, pashmina draped beds with hot water bottles at night and fabulous cuisine overseen by Yeshi, a charming former monk – until he fell in love!
With a passion for the mountains they are keen to share, the Shakti guides are all university educated, young and talented.
+ We all need a digital detox and a life changing experience – book your Shakti Himalayan journey now!
To discuss your bespoke Indian experience call G&T on 020 7434 2255