The road less travelled in India
India is filled with diversity, adventure, historical treasures and natural beauty. Although most visitors stick to well-known sights, such as the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, we have compiled a list of our favourite destinations which will take you off the beaten track. Escape the major bustling cities and fellow tourists by taking the road less travelled.
Aarti Ceremony at the Dashashwamedh Ghat
The Varanasi Ghats are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. Dashashwamedh Ghat is Varanasi’s liveliest and most colourful ghat, and its evening Ganga Aarti ceremony is a must see. The aarti is carried out facing the river with a beautiful display of prayers, fire and dance. After the ritual is complete, watch as devotees cup their hands over the flame and raise their palms to their forehead in order to get the Goddess's purification and blessing.
Living root bridges in Meghalaya
Meghalaya, the “abode of the clouds”, is one of North East India’s most picturesque states, with lush terraced slopes, gushing waterfalls, mystic caves, dense forests and sparkling lakes. Possibly Meghalaya's most famous attraction, deep in the dense tropical forest, are the astonishing man-made natural wonders known as living root bridges. Meghalaya’s root bridges grow stronger with time, never requiring major maintenance or rebuilding, with the strongest root bridges more than 100 years old. The two places where you can see the bridges are Cherrapunji and Mawlynnong.
Watch the world go by in a Kerala Houseboat
Tucked between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Kerala has been blessed with immense natural beauty. Each district has a unique personality, from the old colonial trading post of Fort Cochin and concrete city towers of commercial Ernakulam to the sandy beaches of Vypeen Island. A converted rice-boat through the backwaters of Kerala offers the ultimate way to experience rural India at its most peaceful. Sit back and enjoy the idyllic sights of paddy fields, coconut fringed beaches and quiet rural churches and temples.
Sleep under the stars in the Rajasthan desert
A camel safari into the Rajasthan desert is an unmissable experience. You’ll be rocked gently as your camel takes you across the Thar desert to Jaisalmer, camping out at night in tents beneath a canopy of stars. Time your visit to coincide with the Pushkar camel fair, an annual event where traders from the region gather, showing Rajasthan at its colourful, chaotic, camel-trading best.
Tiger spotting in Bandhavgarh National Park
Tucked between the picturesque Vindhya and Satpura mountains, Bandhavgarh National Park is renowned for having the highest density of Royal Bengal tigers in the world. A relatively small park with a thriving tiger population, it offers guests a good chance of encountering the king of the jungle, as well as a selection of other exotic wildlife. Nothing will prepare you for seeing that first flash of stripes through the long blades of grass.
Ladakh features unparalleled beauty with breathtaking mountains, mesmerising meadows and sparkling lakes. A popular destination for adventure travellers, the region offers something new every day. There are various unexplored treks that pass through some of the most spectacular places, remote villages and high mountain passes. Ladakh is also a land of Buddhist pilgrimage, with grand stupas and Buddhist monasteries. Amongst the top attractions of the Ladakh region are the Nubra Valley, Diskit Monastery and Pangong Tso.