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The Golden Triangle is a great starting point for anyone visiting India for the first time. The journey is made up of three of the most visited cities in north India – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, offering a fantastic combination of history and culture.
Only after stepping foot in India will you realise that Indian cuisine, as you know it, just doesn’t exist. To paint both the delicate and punchy flavours of India with the same broad brushstroke overlooks the smorgasbord of dishes on offer from north to south. Tried and tested recipes balance coriander, cumin and cardamom with almost scientific precision, guaranteeing a culinary experience you will never forget.
Enjoy a sneak peek into daily life in India by staying at a haveli or in a homestay. If only for a few nights, you will be welcomed into a family, enjoying traditional Indian hospitality, sampling home-cooked food and exploring the path less travelled. Staying at one of these unique lodgings will give you an incredible insight into real India, and you will be welcomed with open arms by hosts whose wealth of local knowledge knows no bounds. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from plantation bungalows to historic houses, majestic forts and charming cottages, a short stay in one of these unique properties allows you to immerse yourself in India rather than simply visit it.
India is a magical country which welcomes travellers with a chaotic and colourful assault on the senses. Never is this more prominent than during one of the many festivals. Below we have listed the dates for the major festivals in India. Speak to one of our specialists about incorporating one of these into a tailor-made itinerary.
With millions of passengers on the move every day, travelling on some 71,000 miles of track, India's intricate network of railways are the arteries of the country, connecting its bustling cities with its sleepy villages and everywhere in between. The sprawling rail network reaches the nooks and crannies of India which are otherwise impossible to find. Amongst the country's miles of train tracks are some of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, most notable of which are its famed toy trains. Whilst perhaps not the most efficient way of getting from A to B, the experience is an absolute must to add to your India itinerary.
Best for: Culture History, Family, Riding
The historic Samode Palace, north-west of Jaipur, is a celebration of the senses, and an evocative example of regal Indo-Saracenic architecture. A stay here romantically conjures up the hedonistic lifestyle of Rajasthan’s rural Maharajahs.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Originally a sixteenth-century Rajput fort, Samode Palace has an incredible setting that was used for the film shoot of The Far Pavilions. The magnificently appointed four royal suites, 20 deluxe suites and 19 spacious rooms of Samode Palace surround a main courtyard, and each has its own individual style and personality. All accommodations are light and flower-filled, and come with lavish en-suite bathrooms, four-poster beds draped with delicate fabrics and exquisitely carved couches that invite you to relax completely. Old photographs of weddings, hunting expeditions, and regal gatherings hanging on the walls will take you back to the heyday of the Maharajas.
The public areas of Samode Palace are a maze of bougainvillea-covered courtyards, frequented by monkeys, and connected by narrow staircases that take you to serendipitously located lounges that feature charming arches, stunning mirror work and frescoed walls and ceilings. The two restaurants offer a choice of Rajasthani delicacies or delicious Asian and European fare in a gorgeous dining hall, while a romantic candle-lit dinner in the terrace garden, or even away from the palace on a sand dune is an appealing alternative and can be easily organised by the hotel upon request.
Guests can swim in the marble family-friendly swimming pool, or relax by the adult-only rooftop infinity pool, surrounded by breathtaking sunsets and views of the Aravalli Hills. The small spa offers massage treatments and there is also a fully-equipped fitness centre, sauna and steam room, while yoga sessions can be arranged in the hotel grounds. When not relaxing at Samode Palace, however, there is plenty to do in the local area. Walk through the local village where you can shop for artisan arts and crafts, visit havelis and ancient water wells, or take a desert safari by jeep or on the back of a horse or camel. Samode Palace also makes a great base for visiting Jaipur.
When to go
December to March is the perfect time to visit Rajasthan and the North when rainfall is minimal and temperatures are pleasant during the day. It can get cold at night, so make sure to pack a few extra layers when visiting at this time. Summer starts mid-March and can get very hot getting into May and June. The monsoon period follows directly after from July to September, where humidity is high and the region receives the majority of its rainfall, although still very minimal amounts. The months of October and November after the monsoon season are also a great time to visit the region as it experiences warm and dry weather during the day with cooler temperatures at night.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Jaipur Musical Demonstration
An instrumental and vocal performance at an Indian music learning centre.
Block Printing workshop
A late afternoon trip to Sanganer, the global centre of block printing, to take part in a workshop. You will make your own print which you can take home as a souvenir.
Evening Cooking Class
A wonderful experience to learn how to cook typical Rajasthani cuisine in a friendly local home.
Temples of Khajuraho
A tour to visit the temples of Khajuraho to explore their spectacular sculptures and impressive architectural elements.
Visit a Blue Pottery Workshop
Jaipur is famous worldwide for its beautiful blue pottery. This afternoon trip takes you to a blue pottery centre to learn about its history and how it is made.
Sunset Kite Flying with Local Professional
This is a truly unique experience to spend some time with a local kite flying expert, learning about the history and traditions of the sport and how to do it successfully.
Jaipur City Tour
Explore Jaipur, visiting the historic City Palace, the Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal. The tour ends with a visit to the bazaars of the old city – a taste of vibrant and authentic Rajasthan.
Explore Amber Fort
Explore Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, visiting the Palace of Mirrors and The Hall of Public Audience. Discover its cobbled streets, gateways and enormous ramparts and transport yourself to 16th century Jaipur.
Walk the Bazaars of Old Jaipur
Getting lost in any Indian Bazaar is one of our favourite things, and Jaipur's Old Town has a fantastic ones! A region famous for jewellery, gift lovers should head straight for the bangle and ring makers where expert craftsmen will be at work.
There is plenty to do during your stay in Samode, from exploring the shops and markets and the idyllic Samode Bagh, to camel safaris up in the hills.