India’s Top 5 Sites

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Attractions, Feature Highlights, Mythical Himalayas

India is an amazing land, full of fascinating attractions worlds away from the holiday destinations of the west. But perhaps the most impressive thing about this remarkable country is just how varied the attractions are. There is something for everyone, from the outstanding food (you should be warned, curries have been cooled considerably for western palettes!) to the spectacular wildlife to the fascinating culture and history. Narrowing a list of recommendations for your luxury holiday to India down to just five items was tricky, but hopefully this will give you an idea of just how varied and exciting a tour of India can be. And just to be awkward, I haven’t included the Taj Mahal – which is of course a must-see!

Darjeeling Toy Train
Although it’s universally nick-named the toy train, the Darjeeling-Himalayan railway is actually a narrow gauge train route traversing nearly 90 kilometres of the Himalayas. The toy train provides a romantic view of the Himalayas, and allows you to explore the different regions; taking is some outstanding views of the mountain peaks. This is something that everybody should do on a luxury holiday to India.

Sundarbans National Park
If you want to see Indian wildlife in its natural habitat, the Sundarbans National Park is a must. As well as being one of the largest reserves of the famous Bengal tiger, the park contains a huge selection of wildlife including fishing cats, macaques, wild boar, flying fox, pangolin, chital, olive ridley turtles, estuarian crocodiles and gangetic dolphins. Wildlife lovers looking to tour India should make the Sundarbans National Park a priority!

Goa Trance Parties
Although they won’t be on everybody’s list of highlights when taking a tour of India, Goa trance parties have reached legendary status. While you can now attend similarly themed events around the globe, you can’t beat heading to the source! Although nowadays it’s more common to find them centred around bars, rather than the beaches and forests that they were in their 1990s heyday. If you have the chance, heading there around new year brings the most bustling parties, with people from all walks of life joining the celebrations – from all over the world.

Valley of Flowers
One of the most beautiful places on the planet, the Valley of Flowers is located high in West Himalaya and boasts over 500 varieties of flower. The national park is only open between June and October (on account of it being snow covered for the rest of the year), but in this short window, the sheer beauty of the flora cannot be questioned. On top of this, the fauna is also fascinating, and the park is home to many types of animal – most notably the Himalayan black bear and the beautiful snow leopard.

Relax in Ladakh
Lying between the Kunlun mountain range to the north and the Himalayas to the south, this is one of the least populated regions in India. It’s renowned for its remote mountain beauty and there are few places in the world more tranquil. An absolute must to visit on your luxury holiday to India.

I could go on. The truth is that narrowing this list down to five things to do on a tour of India has been incredibly hard. Go take a luxury holiday in India yourself, and prepare to be amazed by the diversity of this wonderful country.

About the Author. Kieron Sellens. Kieron Sellens is the marketing manager of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AiTO). With AITO’s selection of luxury Indian holidays you can tailor-make your dream itinerary.