India epitomizes 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, alluring – an endlessly fascinating puzzle –and few countries can match India’s frenetic pace and boundless energy. Some of the world’s oldest cities contrast with high tech areas rushing headlong into the future.

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 human beliefs.

The country has regions of great natural beauty from the lush tea plantations at the foot of the Himalayas, to the ancient limestone caves at Borra. There are national parks to explore, the great Thar Desert to discover, and the lazy backwaters of Kerala to enjoy. The state of Karnataka is noted for its influence in India’s artistic traditions, especially in classical music. Go off the beaten track in Haridwar, visit the sacred Har-Ki-Pauri Ghat, and savor a rare experience – the golden reflection of flowers floating in the sacred Ganges River during a twilight aarti ceremony. Jojawar beckons the visitor to explore this hidden gem and experience everyday life. Assam is known for tea, silk and the first oil well in Asia. The state has conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the pygmy hog, tiger and various species of Asiatic birds. It also provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephants. India’s palaces, heritage hotels and desert camps offer astonishing adventures 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.

Yet, with all India has to offer, it continues to change in ways scarcely imagined in the not so distant past with topics such as gender equality beginning to come into focus. In support of the economic wellbeing of local communities, Big Five hires women guides, both for their unique insights into the local culture, as seen through a woman’s eyes, and as powerful way to elevate women into the workforce, beginning in Delhi.

Indian Man

From Big Five Tours