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The state of LGBTQ+ rights in India is not as cut-and-dry as it might be in other South Asian countries. Whilst gender non-conformity has long been present through the role of the official third-gender Hijras, there are still social taboos surrounding homosexuality. Legal and cultural attitudes are improving- in 2018 the Supreme Court of India ruled that same-sex relationships cannot constitutionally be criminalized.
For travelers in the 19th century who spent their lives trading on the ancient silk route, Delhi was often the first promise of shelter, food, and business after crossing the indomitable Himalayan Mountains. Today, despite having been transformed by British occupation, the city remains a melting pot of cultures. New Delhi is the capital of modern India and your time in this urban sprawl will be spent discovering the rich and storied history that can still be observed through the thousands of unique cultural and architectural wonders.
Regarded as holy by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, the north Indian city of Varanasi is situated in the fertile Ganga Valley on the banks of the Ganges. It’s defined by its awe-inspiring pilgrimage sites, bustling bazaars, and established art scene. The city has produced many renowned writers, academics, and artists, and as part of your visit to Varanasi, you’ll be able to explore these creative communities first-hand. No trip to Varanasi is complete without a trip to the Ghats, where thousands flock to worship and make offerings.
Khajuraho is home to some of India’s most significant temples, and your time in the city will see you tour all the highlights. Divided into Western, Eastern, and Southern collections, each historical area of Khajuraho holds religious significance for different groups. This part of the itinerary can also be tailored to offer the unique experience of touring the beautiful Lalit Temple View under the cover of candle-lit darkness.
Orchha means ‘hidden’, and with its secluded Betwa River-side location, it’s clear to see why. The medieval city appears to be frozen in time, with its palaces and temples still boasting their original grandeur. In bygone ages, the city was the capital of one of India’s most powerful and largest kingdoms, as such, it benefited from enormous local wealth, the fruit of which can still be enjoyed today. The highlight of Orchha is undoubtedly the royal tombs, where fourteen 17th-century cenotaphs are dedicated to the city’s previous rulers and contain fascinating historical insights.
Agra is a gateway to a world of discovery. It has seen the rise and pageantry of three great Mughal monarchs and today boasts what is arguably the world’s most recognizable monument; the Taj Mahal. Built as a demonstration of love, the Taj looms large over Agra and is often the focal point of trips to the city. There are plenty of other reasons to visit Agra, and it’s here that you’ll find an intoxicating collection of markets, temples, and other hidden treasures.
Jaipur was one of the first examples in the world of city planning. The 250-year-old settlement is a breathtaking blend of forts, palaces, and teeming markets. Still the capital of Rajasthan, and often known as the Pink City, Jaipur is an incredibly colorful place. There’s so much to enjoy, from elephant polo to the medieval Rajput Citadel, there’s no risk of getting bored on the last stop of your Classical India itinerary. There’s also the opportunity to take bicycle-rickshaw tours of Jaipur, which promises a truly authentic view of the city.
The jewel in the crown, Rajasthan is perhaps India at its most archetypal. This vast expanse is the country’s biggest region and is littered with medieval forts, palaces, and more national parks than anywhere else in India. With multicolored craft...
Group Trip Departs: • 27th February 2023
India is a land of glistening natural and cultural gems. From temples to tigers, to the Taj Mahal, there is so much to discover. The country is one of the world’s largest, and as such, travelers can often feel overwhelmed...
With a wealth of beauty and awe-inspiring diversity, India is a country that promises to enchant. Overflowing with culture and home to a number of distinct regions, it’s the epitome of an international melting pot. Through our Classical India tailor-made...
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