Depiction of Ganesha at Sri Meenakshi Temple
Depiction of Ganesha at Sri Meenakshi Temple

Visit India: Northern vs. Southern - Which Tour Should You Choose?

If you’re dreaming of embarking upon an Indian adventure for your next vacation, you may be wondering which parts of this vast and incredible country to visit. Rich traditions, sites of spiritual significance and awe-inspiring architecture await in ever corner of India, and we have two distinct archaeological tours on offer that will showcase history, culture and its landscapes in very different ways.

Both tours are led by Dr. Mehreen Chida-Razvi, a Research Associate in the Department of the History of Art & Archaeology at SOAS, University of London, and Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. She specializes in ancient Indian history.

So, which one should you choose?

Northern India | Maharajahs & Mughals

  • Visit 8 UNESCO sites, including the Taj Mahal and the Amber Palace in Jaipur
  • Tour a range of truly fascinating palaces and fortresses with stories to tell
  • Take an early morning boat trip along the sacred ghats of the Ganges to see
  • Stand before temples that boast phenomenal carvings, often portraying women
  • Stay in style at the former pleasure palace of Maharajah Jagat Singh II

A structured focus on the ancient cultures and divisions of northern India’s tumultuous past our tour will build a clear picture of the infinitely diverse strands that have shaped the fabric of this country. Carefully planned visits to many world-famous sites, monuments and leading museums bring a comprehensive understanding of the intricate cultural synthesis that has evolved between the country’s primary religious civilizations – Jain, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim.

Highlights of this India tour include traveling from Delhi through Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Agra and Rajasthan’s ‘Land of Kings’ include Sanchi’s fabulous stupa, the monastic excavations at Sarnath and the elaborately carved temples at Ranakpur – all illustrating the vigor of Buddhist and Jain offshoots from early Hinduism.

18 days | Departs December 6th 2019 | $6,795pp | Click here to book

South India | Sanctuaries & Spices

  • Observe elephants at the glorious Periyar National Park and take a wildlife cruise
  • Admire rock-cut shrines and cave temples, including the UNESCO-listed Ellora
  • Stay at thatched roof cottages at the authentic Spice Village in Thekkady
  • Visit a spice garden and learn about indigenous spices and their uses
  • Go behind-the-scenes at a private Kathakali dance performance

Our journey explores an India enriched by the unique cultural fusion of the different dynasties, faiths and civilisations that have made their home here over two millennia. Today’s inhabitants are largely descended from indigenous Dravidians driven south by Aryan invaders of old. To them especially, beguiling South India now owes much of its flamboyant flavor – and a spectacular array of centuries-old Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Jain temple complexes, rock sculptures, monuments and haunting ruins.

To all these our tour will add opportunities to savor South India’s speciality regional cuisines, enjoy classical dance performances and discover something of the exuberant mood of modern India in the cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Mysore. What's more, you may also see elephants and the occasional tigers at the magnificent reserves here. 

20 days | Departs November 9th | $8,295pp | Click here to book

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Visit India: Northern vs. Southern - Which Tour Should You Choose? was published on March 15 2019