Opulent in every which way, North India is usually the entry point for a trip to India and has many must-see destinations – it is the India of every traveler’s fantasy. A large and historically tumultuous region, it has always been a magnetic draw for travelers throughout its history, many of them invaders who brought with them cultures and customs that are still dazzlingly woven into the fabric of Indian life today. Many came and many stayed, enchanted by the land, and their staying has created a colourful, vivid mosaic that captures your heart and imagination.
The northern region is a magical canvas that encompasses the dramatic moonscapes of the far north in Ladakh – trekker’s delight; the high Himalayas rolling down to the beautiful forests of Srinagar in Kashmir, and into the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal; the lush, fertile and seemingly unending Indo-Gangetic plains etched and fed by some of the world’s largest rivers, most starting at the glaciers and Himalayan heights and then spreading down to the beautiful and romantically rugged desert landscapes of Rajasthan.
Hospitable to a fault, noisy, garrulous, creatively entrepreneurial, honour-bound, warrior and God-fearing devotee, the North Indian has an uncontrollable zest for life that reflects in the folk art and dance – the famous Bhangra from Punjab for instance; in the rich and irresistible cuisines that have spread through restaurants across the world; in the dress, the music, the faiths; the fashion and the trends. A young impatient modern India jostles along with the continuing reminders of ancient civilisations and regal empires, quite at ease with a seemingly chaotic diversity and much to the perplexity of a visiting onlooker.
Travelers spend many trips in the North discovering the fascinating challenge that is India – at Delhi, the capital; at Agra where even the small messy markets can take nothing away from the breathlessly incomparable Taj Mahal; at the overwhelming palaces and forts of Rajasthan – Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur -magical names that create luxurious and exquisite experiences; at the temples and ghats of Varanasi, a spiritual and religious legend; at the picture postcard hill-stations whispering stories of past glories within their panoramic vistas, their names ringing in the crisp air – Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital, Manali, Kullu, Dhanaulti, Mukhteshwar. Mountain spas, religious retreats, white water rafting, palace holidays, incredible sightseeing tours which sound vanilla but are so much more, wildlife sanctuaries, ethnic desert safaris, unending delights – ask TCI for more details. And also get ready to eat and shop, yes, till you drop – it’s a truism here!
As a general rule the best time to visit North India is between November through March – cool, crisp weather. Delhi and the northern plains can get rather cold as can parts of Rajasthan’s deserts. Ladakh in the winter months is inaccessible. Adventure trips like white water rafting and sanctuary visits are seasonal. For trekking and visits to the Himalayan region April to November is best.
TCI will recommend and help you plan itineraries and schedules depending on what you want to see and do. TCI itineraries offer a wide variety for diverse customer and different brochure products.