In the words of Mark Twain, "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together." Built on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, Varanasi woos tourists and pilgrims alike with its ancient ghats, intriguing maze like lanes, tranquil boat rides and temples as old as time itself. For centuries, pilgrims have come here for blessings and purification in the holy Ganges waters. .
Witness the sacred Ganga aarti (prayer ceremony) on the Ghats of Varanasi while you are there. Behold the spectacular ceremony replete with thousands of glittering oil-lamps, chanting of Sanskrit mantras, resounding temple bells and the sweet scent of flowers, incense and sandalwood floating in the air. This magical experience will stay with you forever. .
Known as the French Riviera of the East, Pondicherry has a strong French influence in its architecture and lifestyle. Its monuments, temples and churches carry remnants of French culture mixed with Tamil sensibilities that define the essence of Pondicherry. Its unparalleled cultural diversity offering the best of both worlds has attracts numerous people around the world.
While there you could visit the famous Aurobindo Ashram, which is a spiritual community that promotes Aurbindo's ideas of helping people attain moksha and inner peace.
Walk through fascinating Auroville - a unique experiment in which an environment is created where people of all nationalities live together in harmony. Transcending creed, politics, culture and nationalities, this is a place where spirituality and progress take precedence over material gain and pleasure. You will leave Auroville completely awestruck and mystified.
The entire old city of Jaipur was painted terracotta pink to welcome Price Albert during his India tour in 1876. The old city still retains this colour and hence the name Pink City. It is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-arid state of Rajasthan. Its majestic forts, grand palaces and beautiful monuments reflect the glorious history and grand opulence of this fascinating land. Also, the colourful, busy bazaars of Jaipur have always lured visitors from across the globe.
While there you must visit to the honey coloured Amber Fort sitting atop a ridge and the City Place or royal residence.
Built between 950 -- 1050, the group of 20 temples of Khajuraho showcases the greatest masterpieces of medieval Indian architecture. Their intricate sculptures, carvings and frescos celebrating eroticism and sensuality will leave you spell bound and speechless!
Visit the Western, Eastern and Southern group of Hindu and Jain temples. Get mesmerized by the architectural precision, expressive frescos and sculptural detailing of female beauty and erotic art. A trip to Khajuraho is incomplete without watching the dramatic sound and light show presenting the history of the Khajuraho temples!
5) Cochin and Allepey
Spend a day in Cochin, the capital of Kerala. Get a scenic view of the delightfully silhouetted Chinese Fishing Nets over the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea, a sight unique to Kochi in all of Kerala. Stroll through the picture perfect neighbourhood of Fort Kochi steeped in history and culture of the many European powers who have ruled Cochin. Its narrow cobbled streets dotted with European structures, churches and charming cafes will transport you to a different era. Cochin is also a centre for Kerala arts. In the evening you can visit a nearby theatre to see a show of Kathakali, the traditional dance form of Kerala.
Alleppey in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala is a 2 hour drive from Cochin, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Board a delightful Kettuvallum house boat for an unforgettable overnight stay. You will cruise through the day traversing the beautiful lakes, lagoons, canals and rivers. You will be served mouth watering local delicacies on board under the open blue sky. Enjoy the lush greenery and stop en route to soak in the breathtaking natural beauty of your surroundings.
Once the jewel of Portugal's eastern empire, Goa still retains many of the ways of the Old Portuguese colony and is a tourist favourite. A lush green territory with mile upon mile of beautiful beaches, the emphasis here is very much on fun and relaxation. Good food, good wine, song and dance and general merriment -- Goa is just the right place for letting your hair down and enjoying life.
Visit Old Goa and get mesmerised by its towering churches and cathedrals, and majestic convents. Another exciting thing to do is visiting a spice garden where the local villagers cultivate various tropical vegetables and fruits. Stroll around the plantation as the local host shares their story and experience.
With us, Royal Holidays India, you get hand picked experiences and local travel insights, and the most exclusive service providers. This enable us to give them international service standards and a trip of a lifetime!