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Often an assault on the senses from the moment you touchdown, India has been a favoured destination for over half a century for both independent travellers as well as those wanting super luxury travel experiences. From the snow-capped mountains of the high Himalaya, the wind swept deserts of Rajasthan, the pristine jungles of Madhya Pradesh, to the tranquil backwaters and tropical beaches of Kerala in the south;the subcontinent offers much, catering for all tastes and budgets. Whether you want to stay in a Maharajah's Palace, witness the hustle and bustle of the street markets of Delhi's Chandni Chowk, go on safari to see a Royal Bengal Tiger, take a boat ride at dawn on the river Ganges in Varanasi or kick back and relax on an authentic houseboat in South India's backwaters;India has this and much more on offer. Add to all of this a rich 10,000 year history and some of the most iconic historical and cultural sights in the world including the Taj Mahal and it's easy to see why this amazing country has been attracting visitors to its shores for so long. The one thing that makes a trip to India truly special though is the people. Over 1.3 billion Indians of various castes and creeds bring a swirl of colour to the lands they inhabit and their generous and friendly nature leaves visitors with memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
India with A&K
Udaipur leaves visitors wide-eyed for many reasons: its exquisite architecture, elegant white hotel swaddled by serene Lake Pichola and floodlit Monsoon Palace 'floating' high in the night sky. But for one A&K traveller, there was another major surprise. At sights including the Jagdish Temple he was amazed to find tourist crowds being parted to allow him, his wife and their guide, Vikram, through. 'It was quite extraordinary,' he writes. 'I have never seen other guides move their customers aside. Vikram is excellent, and clearly has the respect of his peers'
Vikram is just one of a stellar A&K supporting cast who made the Rajasthan holiday so memorable. Take a bow our staff in the UK, guides on the ground, and driver, Viru, who made light work of a thrilling road trip enlivened by recalcitrant cows, haughty camels and rickshaws. 'Driving in India takes special skills,' says Air Commodore Leaning. 'Viru is one of the best.'
For nearly 30 years Abercrombie & Kent's large, highly experienced team have been offering luxury Indian holidays. We offer the country's best vehicles, hotels ranging from sumptuous to heritage to homestays and a network of guides and consultants embracing experts in everything from museums, art and architecture to conservation, food and history. With privileged access, they make the unique possible: An Indian cookery lesson in a private home? A private peek at a royal crystal collection? A Bollywood film set visit? Not a problem.
The subcontinent is such a diverse, intoxicating, sensory overload, it's hard to know where to start. Take a holiday or tour to India with A&K and we'll show you Delhi's teeming bazaar and awe-inspiring Raj architecture, Agra's Mughal Taj Mahal, and Rajasthan's mountains and deserts frescoed with palaces and forts.
You can walk in Himalayan foothills or Ladakh's high altitude desert, watch teeming life on Varanasi's sacred Ganges or study the erotic carvings of Madhya Pradesh. We'll take you to throbbing Mumbai's famous harbour, Bangalore's 'Silicon Valley' and lovely Mysore's palaces and festivities. You can flop on Goa's beaches or float through Kerala's backwaters eating masterful food.
We offer it all. And you're travelling with the knowledge that you're in the safest, most reliable hands. When Mumbai was engulfed in the chaos of 2008's terrorist attacks, our guest Mrs Lacey, was evacuated from her hotel at 4am. Our guide had located her room, and descending the ladder, she was overjoyed to hear: are you with A&K? 'They were,' she says, 'the most reassuring words I have ever heard'
And when Air Commodore Leaning and his wife needed urgent medical care, we made sure they got the best. The very best. Their holiday was uninterrupted. 'When things go wrong,' he wrote, 'you really appreciate the depth, concern and sheer professionalism of a company such as yours. Abercrombie and Kent, take a huge group hug from Jo and me: you were simply outstanding.'
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Nights: 15 | from £5,815
Explore incredible India on this 15 night adventure staying in opulent former palaces and enjoying the countryside, cities and generous hospitality of... Find out more
Holiday type: Group departure
Call 01242 547 755 Enquire
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Prices from £4,545pp saving up to £450pp for 9 nights
Book our 10 day Christie's Art Journeys: A Colourful Odyssey through India, for travel on departure 7th-16th November 2015, and save up to £450pp. Prices from £4,545pp. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Call 01242 547 755 Enquire
Prices from £5374 per person saving up to £615 per person for 15 nights
Save up to £615 per person on the following departure dates 23rd October and 23rd November 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Prices from £1895 saving up to £1500 per person for 9 nights
Discover northern India staying with Oberoi hotels. Prices from £1,795 per person for a 10 night itinerary including: 2 nights Delhi, 2 nights Agra, 2 nights Jaipur and 3 nights Udaipur, daily breakfast, transfers, daily yoga, 25% discount on spa treatments, and international flights based on two people travelling together. Valid for travel from now until the 30th September 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Prices from £4,995 per person saving £1,785 per person for 14 nights
For all retreats of between 14 and 21 nights, book a Garden or Forest room and receive a complimentary upgrade to a Bodhi/Forest Suite and also receive one extra wellness weight per night per person. Prices from £4,995 per person for a 14 night stay including international and internal flights from the UK. Valid for travel from the 1st July to the 15th September 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of every hotel and resort featured in our Orient, India, Australasia and Indian Ocean portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout these areas, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.
Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.
To find out more about our Orient team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 704 or enquire online
Get in touch
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We always received very helpful advice from the A&K rep, Annie Jensen, who was always very polite and helpful. It was no trouble when we asked to change an internal flight at the last minute. Excellent service at all times. Miss Jensen is a credit to your company.
- MW, Glasgow
Best time to be there
From October to March the weather is refreshingly cool with minimal rainfall in most places. India's main festivals also take place during this time, such as the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, the Republic Day of India and Holi, the festival of colours.
8 hours 20 minutes non-stop
GMT +5 1/2 hours
Required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area