Tours to

India Tailor made Holidays

Whatever your travel interests are - wildlife, local culture and food, history, blissful beaches, luxury or outdoor adventure - or any combination of these, we’re here to plan that perfect holiday to India for you.

The Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Udaipur- classic sites of North India and Rajasthan - and unmissable for a first visit to India and the lush tropical state of Kerala in India's South is popular for returning travellers. We’ll recommend activities that perfectly complement your itinerary, suggest destinations off the beaten track and handpick unique things to see and do, ensuring that your holiday to India is truly memorable.

Local woman | India

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Must-see's for a holiday to India

India is an incredibly vast country and it's difficult to do it justice in just one visit. Depending on how much time you have, we'd recommend that you focus on one part of India, possibly two if you plan to spend a couple of weeks or more on holiday. The North of India and Rajasthan is the most popular part of the country with travellers, but Kerala in the south is gaining popularity too. Below we've picked out some of India's main draw cards for you.

Agra Highlight 1

Agra

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the Yamuna River. Founded by Sultan Sikandar Lodi in 1506, it achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a major tourist destination thanks to its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort - both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra's dominant structure, the Agra Fort, was built by Emperor Akbar in 1565. The red sandstone fort was and into ...
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Jaipur Itinerary 1

Jaipur

A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the ‘Pink City’. Jaipur was chosen by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) for his capital. A skilled astronomer and visionary, he worked with superb Bengali architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya to complete design and construction of Jaipur in less than eight years. The 18th century Jantar is a ...
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Varanasi Highlight

Varanasi

Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is guaranteed to make an impression. Considered the holiest of places in India, the city of Shiva has been a centre of learning and civilization for over 2000 years. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to bathe and rinse away their sins in the waters of the River Ganges and tour its revered temples. Varanasi is also believed to be an auspicious place to die, ensuring release from the cycle of rebirths and an instantly granted passport to heaven. These rituals of life on ...
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Ranthambore Highlight

Ranthambhore NP

Ranthambore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Indian Government, and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of the state of Rajasthan, Ranthambhore is one of India’s most scenic parks and a prime example of Project Tiger’s conservation efforts. The park lies at the edge of a plateau, and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the an ...
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Udaipur Highlight

Udaipur

The city of Udaipur is perhaps one of India's most seductive. Known as the City of Lakes or the Venice of the East, Udaipur is the historic capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar and is known for its splendid Rajput-era palaces. Its centrepiece is the gorgeous Lake Pichola and the incredible Lake Palace that appears to float on the surface of the water. Famously used in the James Bond Octopussy film, the Lake Palace was originally built as a summer palace in 1743 and features floors inlaid with ...
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Kumarakom Highlight

Kumarakom

Perched sleepily amongst a tangle of lush tropical waterways known as the Keralan backwaters, Kumarakom is technically a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad. Kerala's back country water-ways seem far removed from the universe most of us inhabit, because of the seclusion and beauty, yet they are linked to the rest of the world in a very real way, and have been for at least two millennia. In earlier times, if less so today, these very waterways were the starting point for the transport of way ...
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Amritsar Highlight

Amritsar

Amritsar is located in the northwest part of India in the State of Punjab, 32 miles east of Lahore, Pakistan. Of strategic importance due to its proximity to Pakistan, Amritsar is one of Punjab’s principal cities and famous for it is the holy centre of the Sikh religion. The religion’s adherents don’t cut their hair. The men are easily identified by their turbans, beards and silver bracelets; the women by their salwaar kameez, a dress-and-pants combination that has become popular through a ...
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Darjeeling Highlight

Darjeeling

Sitting at a spectacular altitude of nearly 2200m with a backdrop consisting of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, the scenic hill-station of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal offers pleasant respite from India’s oppressive summer heat. Indeed, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R & R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century. Draw cards include a number of Buddhist monasteries including tea ...
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India tailor made reviews

Scoring an average customer rating of 4.82 out of 5 based on 17 recent reviews — See All Reviews

4

Overall very good.

No complaints

Thanks ”  

• Jun 2015
5

the tour was excellent, it had a great variety of things to see and do. The range of places that we visited meant that we had a different guide in each. All guides were incredibly knowledgeable about the places and sites that we visited but could also elaborate on questions that we had about India culture, philosophy and more general day to day life in this fascinating country.

Travelling in India has to be part of the adventure given the vast size and spread of its treasures, we accepted this and found that 5 hours plus on the road or train became bearable because there was generally always something to see on route. The transport was a little questionable, the driver 'Vinod' was a treasure in himself, always available, driving long hours in terribly hot conditions, we reached 46 degrees on one occasion and not much cooler on many of the other days. His mini bus was however not good with its air conditioning, our fist 40 minutes into he journey were ok but then we had hot air pumping through the bus, not great. Having mentioned this we were advised that it would be fixed and we carried on in good faith but we didn't see any real improvement. I suspect that Vinod could not afford to have the repair carried out and couldn't afford to loose the job, we are understanding of this and managed but it took the edge off what was an amazing holiday.

The choice of hotels was interesting, on the whole all were good, I would recommend a little more context when booking as for example the hotel in Delhi whilst very good was located on the west of Delhi, meaning that it took us about 60 minutes to get to old or New Delhi, the sites and sounds made it an interesting journey but I wondered if a similar hotel could have been found closer to the sites.

The most superb hotel was the Shahpur hotel in Jaipur, it was an authentic building designed and decorated in the local style, it was stunning and added something extra special to our holiday; Similarly the Ganga Kinare was excellent also, less to do with the decor and design but more to do with its situation, on the banks of the Ganges, with its own temple and art ceremony too, it was a fantastic place which we thoroughly enjoyed

In India it is not unusual to be taken to various craft emporiums to see local art being made, we appreciated this and on occasions bought some of the products, your literature about this was very helpful but didn't stop us feeling somewhat under pressure to purchase, equally we thoug the advice on tipping, keeping healthy etc were very good and most appreciated.

When visiting some of the bigger attractions, beautiful tickets were purchased on our behalf, these were then used by the local guide to get reimbursement, nothing unusual their, however I would recommend giving consideration to finding a different way to reimburse as the tickets made lovely souvenirs and most of us wrote journals on route and would have loved to have the tickets as part of our memories (we did ask if there was any possibility to get the tickets and were told they would ask, but nothing ever materialised)

One thing we did not expect was that we were to become celebrities, well that's what it felt like. Given the time of year is not typical for travellers, we did stand out in the places that we travelled to; it was a surprise to us that everyone wanted to take our photos or hand their babies over for photos; many Indians were on holiday themselves and came from places where they may never have seen Engligh ladies (or at least white ladies), it was never a hassle and everyone was polite and immensely friendly

Seeing treasures like the Taj Mahal and Amritsars Golden Temple are amazing in their own right but we all reflected that the tour was a fantastic blend of the great places to see but equally we were both entertained and enthralled by day to day life in India, what an industrious nation the Indian people are.

We had an amazing adventure and thank 'on the go' for making the arrangements”  

• Jun 2015
5

Sarah Bansgrove was a great help when booking the holiday. All of our tour guides were exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable and really made it a fantastic holiday. We had the best experiences of our lives so far in India. ”  

• May 2015

Visit the highlights of North India

Beyond New Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra, Rajasthan, the regal ‘Land of the Rajputs’, is top of most travellers list for India. The colour, pomp and history of Rajasthan makes it is one of India’s biggest draw cards. Places like the Pink City of Jaipur, the Lake City of Udaipur, the Blue City of Jodhpur and romantic desert outposts such as Jaisalmer are Rajasthan personified. Our other recommendations for a tailor made holiday to North India include the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the carved temples of Khajuraho, the holy Ganges at Varanasi and the stunning natural beauty of Kashmir.

Inspirations for a holiday in India

Travel beyond the sites and get a real feel for life in India. There's so many interesting and unique things to do in India and here's a few less known gems that made our shortlist.

Desert Safari Enhance Option
Sunset in the desert

Camel Safari in Bikaner

Drive out into the desert from Bikaner by vintage jeep to the camel handlers village where you get to mingle with the locals. It's a short camel safari up to a top vantage point to see the sunset over a delicious Indian dinner, a perfect way to end the day.

The backwaters | Kerala | India
A tropical sunset cruise

The backwaters of Kerala

For a total chill, take a rice boat on the tranquil backwaters of Kerala near the town of Poorvar. Right in the thick of a tangle of lush tropical waterways, glide past colourful local villages and spot the many migratory and resident wild birds. If you don't fancy spending a night on a backwaters, we can arrange shorter 2-3 hour cruises too.

Toy train | Darjeeling | India
Travel with the locals

Railways of the Raj

Indian train stations are a real hive of activity, literally buzzing 24-7. Travelling by train is a great way to mingle with the locals and you're likely to find yourself playing a game of cards with them too! Consider a private version of our Railways of the Raj tour, taking in Kolkata, Darjeeling and Shimla.

Cooking courses | India
Bhaji on the beach

Learn to cook Indian food

Love Indian cuisine? Add some extra spice to your holiday with a unique hands-on culinary course in Goa. Learn how to prepare a traditional Indian meal and take some of that holiday flavour home with you. Read more here.

Raj Mindir Enhance Option
A taste of Bollywood

The Rajmandir Heritage Cinema

If you're travelling to Jaipur, head out in the evening to the famous Raj Mandir Cinema, a heritage listed building with 1970’s decor galore. Indian's just love watching Bollywood movies and it'll be an interesting experience watching one at one of India's most loved cinemas.

Dhobi Ghats Enhance Option
The world's largest laundry!

Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai

Widely considered the world’s largest outdoor laundry, the Mumbai Dhobi Ghats are certainly worth visiting. This is where linen for hospitals and hotels all over Mumbai are washed and our guided tour of the area offers a fascinating insight into the sheer ingenuity of Mumbai’s poorer communities.

Suggested itineraries for India

Marigold Hotel | India
Jewel in the Crown
11 days | FROM USD $3,699

Head out on a journey to some of India’s finest sights. Take in bustling Delhi, the beautiful Pink City of a...

The Taj Mahal | Agra | India
Classic Golden Triangle
9 days | FROM USD $2,199

Coined as 'golden' for the extraordinary wealth of cultural & historical splendour, Delhi, Agra & Jaipur offer...

Local musician | India
Legends of the Rajputs
11 days | FROM USD $4,159

Delight your senses in colourful Rajasthan on this classical itinerary of the North. Visit the famous Taj spot...

Shikari boat | Kashmir | India
Kashmir If You Can
5 days | FROM USD $1,749

Visit the far north of India, Kashmir, and spend time on Lake Dal aboard your own houseboat. Taking in the of...

The backwaters | Kerala | India
Classic Kerala
9 Days | FROM USD $2,299

Combining historic Kochi, the hill station of Munnar and a houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. In of...

Tea plantation | Kerala | India
Beautiful South
14 days | FROM USD $3,459

Chennai, Pondicherry and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Kochi, colonial hill stations and a rice boat cruise on...

Local tribespeople | Orissa | India
Adventures in Assam
10 days | FROM USD $4,839

Travel off the beaten track to the state of Assam in India's remote North East, known for its picturesque tea...

The Amber Fort | Jaipur | India
Best Exotic Marigold Tour
10 days | FROM USD $2,429

'There's always room in India', so join us for a thrilling adventure and an assault on the senses, following a...

Wildlife spotting | Kerala | India
Great Southern Getaway
15 days | FROM USD $5,939

Discover exotic stone carved temples, princely palaces and colonial hill stations. Take a train journey on the...

Some of our top hotel picks

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

The Imperial, Delhi
Built as a ‘jewel in the crown’ by the British Raj, this landmark hotel located in the central district of Connaught Place exudes art‐deco style and colonial elegance. Designed by Sir Edward Lutyens assistant, Broomfield, the inlaid marble floors, three‐story atriums, special gardens, fountains and lithographs complement comfortable rooms, grand suites, wonderful restaurants and bars. The Imperial has a priceless collection of British art including many works by such prominent figures as Thomas and William Daniells, thereby gaining the property its moniker as a "museum hotel".
Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: Deluxe Heritage
The Lake Palace by Taj, Udaipur
Built for a young prince in 1743, the Lake Palace by Taj is one of Udaipur's most iconic sites. Guest rooms are grand with high reaching ceilings, luxury amenities, rich marble flooring and beautiful lake views. A number of restaurants all with master chefs offer guests a great range of dining options from the rooftop to the poolside. The hotel's 1 hour heritage walk is a great way to learn about the magnificent grounds whilst sipping a delicious galss of champagne. Perfectly located in the middle of Lake Pichola in the beautiful city of Udaipur.
Our Category: Lavish   |   Regional Category: Deluxe Heritage
Samode Haveli, Jaipur
Once a nobleman's home that has been beautifully restored, Samode Haveli is a charming heritage hotel that oozes Rajput era style and charm. The property is lavishly decorated and has a delightful central courtyard. Samode Havelia has stunning rooms with classic wooden furnishings and cool marble flooring. Dinner in the gorgeous dining hall bedecked with colourful hand-painted murals is a definite must, Well located in the heart of the walled city of Jaipur.
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Heritage Hotel
A Beach Symphony, Mararikulam
Originally a backpackers hostel, a Beach Symphony has been beautifully restored into four individual beachside cottages in a boutique style. All cottages are uniquely furnished with one even having its own private plunge pool. All guests meals are prepared by the onsite chef and can be served on your veranda or by candle light in the garden. Take a refreshing dip in the stylish granite pool in the morning - a great way to start the day! Well located on Marari beach - just an hour's drive from Cochin.
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Boutique Hotel

India’s Tropical South

Increasing in popularity, South India is known for its tropical climate, lush vegetation, palm fringed beaches and mouth watering coconut and spice-based cuisine. Highlights include In Tamil Nadu’s capital of Chennai (Madras), the spectacular shore temples of Mahabalipuram, the former French enclave of Pondicherry, the temples at Madurai, the hill stations of Ooty and Coonoor and historical Trichy. In Kerala, kick back on a rice boat in the tropical backwaters, discover wildlife at Periyar, sip a cuppa at beautiful Munnar tea estate and uncover oodles of history at charming Kochi, topping your holiday off at one Kerala’s stunning beaches. Tyrpically, 2 weeks is plenty for a tailor made holiday in the South of India, covering the main points of interest at a relaxed pace.

The Inside Track
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News Tips and Trivia
10 interesing things about the Taj Mahal
May 4, 2015 • OTG Team
Perhaps one of the most recognisable monuments ever built, the iconic image of the Taj Mahal has the...
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Travelling beyond India’s Golden Triangle … our top picks
May 3, 2015 • OTG Team
If you are short on time and want to see some of India’s most iconic sights then the Golden is...
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Life in the Subcontinent
April 24, 2015 • OTG Team
Whether you are drawn to the fluttering prayer flags or Buddhist stupas of Nepal, the incredible of...
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