India can count many luxury properties among its hotel offering, from grand city hotels to sleek country resorts. Kumarakom Lake Resort is infused with south Indian style and is located along the backwaters of Kerala. In Rajasthan, make like a prince and stay in one of the state’s many palace hotels. The Taj Lake Palace is an iconic hotel surrounded by the water of Lake Pichola, Udaipur. The Imperial Hotel in Delhi retains a colonial touch for those looking to experience sophisticated city life.
For the adventurous traveler, Aman-i-Khas is a luxury resort on the edge of Ranthambore National Park and makes the perfect base for an Indian wildlife experience.
Aman-i-Khas Luxury Tents
WHEN TO GO
India’s climate can be broadly summed up into three seasons: winter, summer and monsoon. October to March is best for north India with comfortable daytime temperatures and cool evenings. The south enjoys warm temperatures year-round. The monsoon lasts broadly from June to October with regional variations. April and May can be unbearably hot in north India and this is the season to escape to a hill station.
India offers an e-visa service for tourists. You can apply online here. Make sure your passport has a minimum of six months’ validity from the date of arrival in India.
Delhi and Chennai are important hubs for international flights into north and south India respectively, along with Mumbai and Kolkata for the east and west. Many domestic flights connect through these cities for access to the regions.
India has a sprawling rail network and a train journey is for many an essential component of a trip to India. Journeys are long and the ticketing system somewhat complex so it’s a good idea to hone in on a particular train ride. The toy train up to Shimla is a classic train journey and the Maharajah’s Express offers a luxury travel experience.
A countrywide itinerary will warrant at least a couple of domestic flights to travel between regions and there are regular flights operating between cities.
For touring, ask your travel agent to arrange a private guide and chauffeur car with a reputable local company.
Check with your doctor well in advance of your trip for any necessary vaccinations. Keep hydrated when travelling and consume only bottled water. Make sure the seal is not broken.
Locals are incredibly friendly and often willing to help travellers navigate their way around (often in exchange for a small fee!). Use common sense and especially in big cities solo female travellers should avoid travelling on their own.
Pack loose, comfortable cotton or linen clothing and practical shoes. For visiting temples, both men and women should cover their shoulders and limbs, so it helps to have a shawl handy. Winter evenings in hill stations and the northern plains can be chilly, so pack some layers.
Tipping is common in India and it helps to have plenty of small notes to tip porters, drivers and guides.