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We have a selection of guidebooks to some of our most popular countries in Asia. Written by our specialists, they detail destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send this via a PDF to your email.
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 shoehorned 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 in 2017. 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.
Tanjore and Trichy, India
Best for: Highlights
Svatma is a unique hotel focusing on wellness, relaxation and connecting with the cultural heritage of the Tamil Nadu region, achieved through a combination of excellent wellness therapies and their nutritious yet delicious local cuisine.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Svatma is located in Tamil Nadu and strives to epitomise Tamil culture, arts, architecture, culinary heritage and culture. The property has no standard rooms, but instead there are 38 uniquely designed rooms. When staying at Svatma there is a feeling that you are staying in a grand family home. Rooms are private, secluded and luxurious and have modern amenities. The hotel has a gym and yoga centre, Argoyam, where experienced teachers can guide you. Soukyam, the luxury spa has 4 private treatments rooms and a relaxation area for foot and shoulder massages. Treatment and wellness plans can be made upon your arrival. The hotel also has a swimming pool and a jacuzzi.
Aaharam is a home style vegetarian restaurant, serving fine food all day, overlooking the pool. The unique menu is an exploration of Tamil cuisine in a la carte form. This restaurant is ideal for health conscious foodies wanting to explore the flavours of the region. Palaharam is located on the veranda and here you can enjoy fresh coffee and tiffin, as well as traditional health drinks and gourmet ethnic snacks. Nila is a terrace dining restaurant on the rooftop of the hotel, service delicious and memorable Tamil cuisine.
The hotel offers plenty of activities, including cooking classes that revolve around local nutritious vegetarian cuisine, bronze casting demonstrations showing the lost wax technique, chanting with priests, and chamber concerts with singers, percussionists and flautists. Guests can also enjoy visiting temples with experts on restoration and architecture, as well as learning about hand looming and weaving and the Tanjavur painting technique. Staying at Svatma is all about relaxation, wellness and appreciating and soaking up the local history, culture and traditions of Tamil Nadu.
When to go
Southern India’s tropical climate means the area isn’t as dry as much of India, though temperatures stay pretty consistent all year round. You can expect a light sprinkling of rain any time of year but the beaches are best visited during the months of November to February with warmer temperatures and minimal rainfall. The hot season between March to June brings high levels of humidity making it best to visit the hill stations which provide relief from the hotter lowlands. Monsoon season begins in July lasting until September, bringing marginally more rain than other times of the year. Once the monsoon subsides in September, the stunning emerald landscape marks an exceptional time for hiking or visiting hill stations.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Explore the Tea Plantations of Ooty
This tour begins with a walk through the plantations and ends with a tour around a tea estate in Ooty to learn about how tea plants become tea!
Walking tour of Tamil and French quarters of Pondicherry
A walking tour around Pondicherry to explore the French and Tamil quarters, highlighting the different in their architecture, history and traditions.
Excursion to Chettinad Region
An excursion to the Chettinad Region to explore stunning abandoned mansions.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Chettinad, Madurai
Discover Tamil Nadu on this culturally enriching ten night itinerary, taking you to soaring ancient temples, architecturally stunning 18th century mansions, and charming sea-side towns with rich colonial histories.
Chennai, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Chettinad, Madurai, Dinidgul, Thekkady, Backwaters, Cochin
Combining Tamil Nadu’s ancient temples with the rolling hills and stunning backwaters of Kerala, this 15 night itinerary is the perfect introduction to two of south India’s most entrancing states.
Cochin, Munnar, Dindigul, Maudrai, Tanjore, Pondicherry, Chennai, Andaman Islands
A truly tempting two and a half week itinerary that combines the beauty and culture of south India with the pristine sandy beaches of the Andaman Islands.