India, Nepal and Sri Lanka epitomize the fundamental reasons we travel – to experience the unfamiliar, to meet and learn from other societies, and to encounter a world far removed from our own.
India is surprising, impressive, daunting, compelling – an endlessly fascinating puzzle; and few countries can match India’s frenetic pace and boundless energy. It is the very definition of contrast – at once mystical and ever practical. It is infinitely patient while at the same time rushing headlong into the high-tech world of the future. It has the some of the world’s oldest cities and areas of great natural beauty from the lush tea plantations at the foot of the Himalayas, to the ancient limestone caves at Borra.
The grand sweep of human history is carved across the face of India; and nowhere has religion played a more important role in the culture and society of a people than here. Ancient Buddhist monasteries, the rock caves of Ellora and Ajanta, and the more than 3,000 marble caves in the hills of Shatrunjaya, all attest to the power of man’s beliefs.
There are also national parks to explore, the great Thar Desert to discover and the lazy backwaters of Kerala to enjoy.
India’s palaces, heritage hotels and desert camps offer astonishing India tours in luxury. The raucous bazaars of Mumbai and Delhi, rare royal Bengal tigers, the romantic Taj Mahal, and the warmth of the Indian people capture your heart and imagination.
India shares a border with Nepal, which sets quite a different pace with its isolated hamlets, Buddhist stupas draped with prayer flags, and a way of life that, in many areas, seems almost immune to modernity. It is a trekker’s paradise with eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on the planet, Mount Everest. It also is home to the medieval city of Bhaktapur.
The Royal Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a rare chance to glimpse the endangered royal Bengal tiger, rare one-horned rhinoceros or golden monitor lizard in the dwindling wilderness.
The tiny island nation of Sri Lanka sits in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal. Sri Lanka is experiencing a positive renaissance following the end of some three decades of unrest. A boom in infrastructure development in both rural and urban centers across the island, including new development projects by major hotels, is helping the country to, once again, attract interest from international travelers.
Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites- the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya; the sacred cities of Anuradhapura and Kandy; Dambulla’s Golden Temple; the old town of Galle; Sinharaja Forest Reserve; and the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.
The country has 24 parks that support wildlife, which includes elephants, leopards, sloth bears, deer as well as reptiles such as vipers and crocodiles. More than 400 bird species have been identified here. Sinharaja Rainforest and Peak Wilderness Sanctuary offer exceptional bird watching opportunities.
Together or separately, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka present a tantalizing menu of unique travel and tour experiences.
The Silken Thread – Tribal Connections 18 Days Interest(s): Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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Step off the well known trails to carve out a one-of-a-kind travel experience that is uniquely yours, Northeast India is home to more than 200 ethnic groups, each with its own tribal language. This journey takes you into villages rarely visited and offers a wealth of cultural encounters with traditional people who still operate under the tribal system. Most of these people can trace their history directly back to Southern China, which you will see in their faces and in their handed-down traditions.
India – Saving Tigers 12 Days Precious Journeys™ Interest(s): Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $5,350
Explore India's natural wonders on this dynamic family adventure that includes learning to be a junior naturalist with stays in luxury tented camps. Track tigers and sloth bears and so much more.
Deserts of North India 17 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
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Discover North India's desert and its cultures, wildlife and powerful Mughal architecture.
India – Gujarat & Karnataka 17 Days New Reality Interest(s): Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $8,490
This journey explores one of the oldest world religions, Jainism. The adventure also celebrates the home state, Gujarat, of India's newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Custom India, Nepal & Sri Lanka Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $5,600
Experience India's ancient civilizations, Nepal's dramatic mountains and Sri Lanka's island culture.
South India 17 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $8,350
Enjoy the rich variety South India has to offer from high-tech Bangalore, to the wildlife haven of Nagarhole National Park. Take in Chikmagalur, an important Jain pilgrimage center with its colossal, 10th-century statue of Gomateshwara. Experience the quiet charm of Mysore’s verdant gardens, tree-lined boulevards and sacred temples, and savor an overnight river cruise on the backwaters of Kerala on your own private, traditional houseboat.