Northern India is marked by the history of the Mughal dynasty. Through the cities of Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, you will discover the richness of this heritage. Sumptuous historical monuments, architectural wonders, do not miss this region with many treasures. Starting with the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful and most visited monuments in the world! It was built in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan in honour of his wife. Admire early in the morning this majestic mausoleum of white marble adorned with countless precious stones. Combine your visit with the other impressive remains of the Mughal Empire such as Agra Fort and Akbar ghost town: Fatehpur Sikri. Please note the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
Rajasthan is an exclusive introduction to India and its diversity. The colours of Indian saris contrast with the aridity of the region. The men wear moustaches and extravagant turbans. The land of the Maharajas still shines from the era of the Rajput’s and its historic battles through forts and palaces. From the Aravalli Mountains to the Thar Desert, the ancient cities of Rajasthan offer you a mosaic of refined palaces, colourful houses and luxurious Haveli. Visit these magical cities that awaken your senses every second.
Don't miss Jaipur, the pink city and Jodhpur, the blue city. Filled with history through their forts and architectural remains, it is also their lively bazaars that make their charm. A cooking class with a Jaipur family or a zip line descent in Mehrangarh fort, these great cities are the identity of this region. Udaipur will soothe you with its ambient serenity and the atmosphere that emerges along Lake Pichola. A few kilometres from Udaipur, go to Ranakpur which houses beautiful Jain temples. For nature lovers, you can also take a horseback ride in the Aravellis Mountains. Then head due west: Jaisalmer seems to have emerged from a dream of sand with its Citadel of One Thousand and One Nights erected in the middle of the desert. Going on a camel safari and sleeping overnight in the Thar Desert is an unforgettable experience to be had on a trip to India. Try to build your itinerary to also discover the more confidential towns of Mandawa, Bundi and Pushkar.
In Kerala, a walk is essential in the famous backwaters. They represent a collection of lakes and lagoons that stretch along the Malabar coast. Canals link its lagoons together forming a veritable network of waterways. Observe the daily life of the Keralais as it unfolds over the water. You quickly realize the importance of these canals for transporting goods necessary for the local economy. You will be mesmerized by so much beauty and calm. Navigate in the heart of lush tropical vegetation aboard a house boat, called "kettuvalam". These traditional boats fitted out with all the comforts allow you to discover Kerala in all its privacy.
The holy city of Varanasi, formerly called Benares, stretches along the Ganges. This river from the Himalayas is sacred to Hindus. Shiva freed the river from his hair at Gangotri, at the sources of the Ganges. We understand better why the city of Varanasi worshiped the great Shiva. Observe along the big stairs of the city, the ghats, and the rituals of the Indians. Bathing in the Ganges would wash away sins. Scattering your ashes in the river would make it possible to reach nirvana faster, breaking out of the cycle of reincarnations. For all these reasons the Indians worship the Ganges and pray to the goddess of the river every day. The dedication ceremony takes place every day at sunset. You can watch it from one of the boats floating on the Ganges.
In the land of millions of Indian gods, there are temples of all kinds. Depending on the regions visited and the religions represented, their architecture can change completely. From the sober Jain temples of Rajasthan to the magnificent erotic sculptures of Khajuraho, you will be surprised by so much diversity. The temples reflect the influences that have passed through India throughout its history. In Tamil Nadu, they take on another dimension, they reflect the colourful life and the excitement of this country. The brilliant polychrome of the Hindu temples contrasts with the surrounding nature. Admire the pyramidal architecture of these constructions adorned with countless deities. The level of detail is as incredible as the very kitschy style. Do not miss the city of Madurai which is home to the most spectacular temples in South India.
In South India, a name evokes the splendour of the former counter of the French company of the East Indies: Pondicherry. Nicknamed "Pondy", this small Indian town (less than a million inhabitants!) Offers a nice mix of old colonial city and Tamil bustle. Stroll through the white city, between cobbled streets, small churches, French cafes and the famous ashram of Sri Aurobindo. Treat yourself to a break from Indian cuisine by enjoying a steak and chips in a beautiful colonial villa transformed into a restaurant. Take a stroll along the promenade at the end of the day and enjoy this coastal atmosphere. You will fall under the spell of this Indian city with French keys.
Fort Cochin, on the western peninsular, is a charming stopover that reflects the cultural diversity of Kerala. Living to the rhythm of the sea, this port contains the old-fashioned charm of its colonial era. Unmissable crossroads on the spice route, it is here that the Portuguese, Dutch and British have marked the history of Cochin! This era is still present today through the scent of spices, pepper and cardamom. Stroll in the streets of Fort Cochin, in the middle of Portuguese houses, sparkling churches, Hindu temples, mosques, small craft shops. Experience the peaceful ambience of India's oldest Jewish quarter where you can visit the oldest synagogue in the whole country. At the end of the day, attend a Kathakali show, astonishing mimed and danced theatre of the Ramayana epic.
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