India cultural country tour
Description of India cultural country tour
It tends to be the tourist-friendly northern and southern regions of India that garner attention, but this two-week small group tour through central India eschews the more popular, and busy, locations in favour of a more original experience.
Begin with a guided tour around the highlights of Mumbai, including the iconic Gateway to India, and the Dhobi Ghats, as well as an eye-opening visit to the Dharavi slum, before taking the train to Aurangabad. Here you’ll see the Buddhist caves of Ellora and Ajanta, both of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites and featuring superb examples of ancient Indian art and monuments.
An overnight train brings you to Hyderabad, the ‘City of Pearls’, with its many traditional bazaars and other landmarks such as the Taj Falaknuma Palace, now a hotel where you’ll take tea. The palace’s billiards table has one exact replica, which is in Buckingham Palace.
Entering Karnataka state, you’ll pause at the majestic Golgumbaz mausoleum, built in the 17th century for the Sultan of Bijapur, and the fascinating temples of Pattadakal, another UNESCO-rated architectural treasure. You’ll also spend a day touring Hampi, a group of monuments circling an immense pyramid which is still a busy gathering place for Hindus.
Finally, the tour culminates in Goa, once a Portuguese province and now among India’s most celebrated destinations for its well preserved heritage and deliriously beautiful white beaches.
You’ll feel like a true explorer on this India cultural tour, which avoids the relentlessly crowded locations for the most part. One for the committed Indiaphile definitely, but also for those who look to get beneath the surface of the places they travel and seek out what most people miss.
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PlanetIn India we have developed unique relationships with many people, some of whom help us with our tours, others that simply live in the different regions to which we travel through. Through our form of interactive, socially conscious tourism we have helped them adapt to the modern, changing world by providing an important additional income. In addition we sponsor the following projects: Environment: - In arid Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, we have implemented tree planting schemes (a hands on experience for some of our trips!) as well as helping directly with the financing of rural village schools.
People- In Ladakh the “Ladakh Project” has brought solar lighting to families in the remote Nubra Valley; enabling them to grow and harvest crops and stockpile supplies to get them through the harsh winters.
- In Calcutta we support the Hope Foundation, an organisation devoted to helping and improving the living conditions of street children by offering education, health services and nutrition and to help give them a better chance in life.
- All our tours employ the services of local guides and drivers, stay in locally owned hotels and guesthouses – often staying in our guides villages and homes, which again diverts important funds directly into the area. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially, and our clients with the unique experience and social interaction.
- We also support several NGOs around the world such as the TESFA community project in Ethiopia, A-Cet and Adopt-A-Minefield, which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.