India has always been a wonderful place to visit with amazing cultural, religious and spiritual experiences. The landscape and cuisine only add to the appeal for adventurous travellers. Here we reveal why 2017 might well be the best year ever for you to go. We also listed India as one of five top destinations for this year.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and a variety of events are planned across the country, as well as the main celebrations on August 15.
There are several new flights, via various airlines, that have been launched from Britain and the US to India in recent years, making it easier and cheaper to enjoy a holiday in this vibrant country.
Easy e-visas[caption id="attachment_22377" align="aligncenter" width="280"] New and easier to obtain e-visa for India.[/caption]
A new e-Tourist visa makes the process of obtaining correct entry documents to India cheaper and quicker. UK passport holders can apply and pay for an online visa using the Indian government’s tourist visa website, which removes the need to book an appointment at the outsourced visa processing agency or the notoriously laborious postal application.
Hike the Himalayas[caption id="attachment_22384" align="aligncenter" width="800"] A sunrise on Kalindi mountain in the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Pic credit: Sharada Prasad[/caption]
Although the most famous attraction of the Himalayas, Mount Everest, lies many hundreds of miles away from India on the border between Nepal and China, the Indian portion of this incredible mountain range offers many breath-taking vistas and superb walking opportunities.
Historic attractions[caption id="attachment_22381" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Humayun's temple in New Dehli is just one example of the impressive historic heritage in India.[/caption]
India is home to 32 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Then there are so many forts, palaces, mosques, temples, monuments and ancient ruins that you will never run out of places to visit.
Religion and spirituality are a vital part of Indian life and you will discover a wealth of religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Many people also come to India to practise yoga or attend a meditation retreat in an ashram.
The excitement of Delhi[caption id="attachment_22382" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Lively, chaotic and sometimes peaceful Delhi.[/caption]
Delhi is an amazing capital city continually filled with a hubbub of noise, intrigue, excitement and something new to see. As well as all the hustle and bustle, you will find a more tranquil side to the city with leafy parks and early morning yoga classes, quiet bookshops and tranquil Hindu temples.
See the Macs Adventure holiday Taj, Temples and Tigers.
Wonderful wildlife[caption id="attachment_22388" align="aligncenter" width="800"] India's fantastic wildlife gems.[/caption]
India has many national parks, including the most famous, Ranthambore, Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgar, filled with an amazing array of wildlife, from tigers and elephants to rhinos and eagles.
There is a fantastic diversity of Indian food, across so many regions. Forget your familiar UK favourites of chicken tikka, rogan josh and tandoori… you will discover a much more interesting array of cuisine to try.
In the south of India, in particular, many beaches are palm-fringed and pristine, and still retain a tranquil atmosphere.
Terrific train travel[caption id="attachment_22387" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Take a trip on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Pic credit: Pixabay[/caption]
Until you have taken a railway journey in India you can never know of this incredible experience. A must-do is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, that winds through the narrow streets of the city of Darjeeling.
Catch a game of cricket
Cricket is India’s national obsession and almost wherever you go you see the game being played. Take the time to stop to watch a game being played, whether for 20 minutes or for the rest of the day.
Drink a cup of tea![caption id="attachment_22386" align="aligncenter" width="800"] A tea plantation in Darjeeling. Pic credit: Joydeep[/caption]
Much of Britain’s comes from India, so while you’re enjoying a holiday in the subcontinent, you should really have a brew or two. For the best of tea head to places such as Darjeeling and Assam, for obvious reasons!
See the Best of Northern India tour for further holiday ideas.