Taj Mahal, Agra, India

India Holidays

India is one of the most exciting and fascinating countries on Earth, offering incredible diversity from the mighty Himalayas in the north to the Andaman Islands and beaches of the tropical south. Vast rivers, rolling tea estates, colourful cities and abundant wildlife make a holiday to India feel like a visit to more than just one country.

With the remake of Disney’s Jungle Book on our screens and the recent royal visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, there is much to inspire a trip to India.

Every holiday to India requires intrinsic planning. Let us help craft a personalised holiday itinerary or recommend one of our small, expert-led group tours.

Explore the highlights of India

Rajasthan
 

Rajasthan

Tigers
 

Tigers

  • Take a jeep ride in search of tiger. See our Safari guide for where to go and when.
  • Join a wildlife group tour to experience and learn about a variety of endangered species.
  • Stay at Taj Mahua Kothi Lodge in Kanha National Park for the ultimate luxury tiger safari.

 

Kerala
 

Kerala

  • Spend time on board a private houseboat, cruising the backwaters of Kerala.
  • Visit the tea plantations of Munnar and experience spectacular scenery.
  • Relax on the white sandy beaches at Neeleshwar Hermitage and indulge in the art of Ayurveda.
River Cruising India
 

River Cruises

  • Board the M.V. Mahabaahu and experience one of the Asia’s largest rivers, the Brahamputra.
  • Discover remote towns and villages lining the banks of India’s sacred Ganges River.
  • From Kolkata cruise the charming Hooghley River on the ABN Rajmahal.


meet Our India Experts

Without a doubt a holiday to India requires some planning and the best place to start is to call one of our extremely knowledgeable and experienced travel consultants. Joe and Kate both have considerable experience of creating exciting, interesting and varied holidays to India without losing sight of the “must-see” places.

Advice from our India Experts

India is less a country, or even a subcontinent, but more a world of its own. Soaring mountain peaks, vast deserts, mega cities bursting with colour and clamour, ancient civilizations, unique wildlife, fabulous food. Whatever you crave from your travels India will deliver in spades. And throw in the odd surprise or two. With some of the world’s best hotels to retreat to after a day’s explorations what is stopping you?

Joe Parkes | Steppes Travel India Expert

India FAQs

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When is the best time to travel to India?
The best time for travel to India is from late October seeing the end of the Monsoon rains to mid March before the daytime temperatures begin to climb in April and May.
Do I need a visa to visit India?
All visitors need a visa for India. There is now provision for an online e-visa for citizens of certain countries, including the UK. The visa has to be obtained before arrival in all circumstances. Tourist visas issued in the UK have six months validity from date of issue.
How do I avoid Delhi belly?
Do not have street food unless you can see it is being freshly prepared in front of you and generally hot food is safer. Food is amazing but if you’re not used to the street food you’re probably going to get sick. Most of the diseases are also water-born so instead of tap water stick to bottled water or sodas, especially if you’re traveling to smaller villages and towns. Avoid eating at buffets and where food has been left on display. Remember to clean your teeth with bottled water.
What vaccinations do I need for India?
The excellent NHS travel-medicine website fitfortravel.nhs.uk lets you browse the immunisations and precautionary measures you might need for India. It strongly recommends you get vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, poliomyelitis and hepatitis before travelling to and around India. The key for travel vaccinations is to start planning well in advance. Both diphtheria and tuberculosis require a three-month incubation period before the start of the trip. Start by consulting your GP (who will be able to advise if you are up-to-date with your polio and tetanus jabs); he or she may be able to provide the jabs, or direct you to a travel-medicine specialist.
Can I drive myself around India?
The traffic in India is insane, and once you leave a city the signposting deteriorates, and normally reverts to Hindi. As a westerner, driving in India is daunting at the least, and generally unsafe. Securing insurance to drive legally on the highway is convoluted at the best of times. For the thrill of being up front in the driving seat take a Jeep or ride an Enfield on one of our off road desert driving experiences in Rajasthan.
What clothing should I take?

When visiting any country it is important to respect their dress code. Women should avert from wearing sleeveless and tight-fitting clothing and dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and religious monuments.

Short dresses and skirts should also be avoided, loose trousers and long skirts being more favourable and cooler in the heat. If travelling during the winter months or in the north of the country, we advise a jumper for the evenings and early mornings when it can be quite chilly, and of course comfortable footwear for days out and about.

Can I eat food from street markets and stalls?

One of the attractions of India is the tempting array of foods available. We recommend eating at stalls where there are more people and where you can see your food being prepared in front of you ensuring it is fresh. Avoid eating at buffets and where food has been left on display.

Will I see poverty?
There is a huge poverty rate in India, due to overpopulation. You will see people, the majority children begging for money in the cities. Begging has become a job for this sector. The best way to help is donate directly to an NGO, or buy food stamps that the homeless can exchange for a plate a food. This way you know your money is going to be used in a positive way.
Is there an etiquette to photographing people?

When photographing people in India, we always advise to ask the person you would like to photograph beforehand out of politeness. In most cases people are happy to have the picture taken, especially children who will readily pose for several! If photography is prohibited, this is usually clearly marked.

Are there lots of mosquitoes in the Keralan backwaters?
During the day mosquitoes are not too much of an issue but by night they can be more so. We tend to advise against staying overnight on the houseboats in the backwaters, instead recommending you cruise in the day when you are able to enjoy the wonderful scenery in peace!
What is train travel like in India?
To experience the real India is to stay at ground level and take a train journey. No visit to India is complete without experiencing the bustle of an Indian railway station. We recommend express trains, which normally offer air conditioned chair seats or first or second class sleeper cabins. All seats and berths are reserved for the ticket holder. The reservation list is displayed on the train itself, your name and reserved berth clearly shown. Berths are numbered in classes, so AC1 AC2 AC3 and sleeper class cars. There are toilets on the trains. Don’t expect pristine western standards but if travelling on an air conditioned express train then the service is reasonable.  High speed express trains link cities efficiently, such as Delhi to Agra, Jaipur to Jodhpur. 
Do I have to take my luggage with me on the train?

This would depend on the length of the journey and whether your car and driver are following the train or not. For many shorter journeys the car would follow with luggage and you would be met the other side.

As a general rule of thumb if you are travelling overnight by train or for more than around six hours then you will have your luggage with you.

Where is the best place to see tigers?
India is home to more than 40 national parks. To help increase the odds of spotting a tiger Steppes Travel can offer you a greater understanding of the local issues and differences between the parks, the best chance of being in the right place at the right time and advice on how to avoid the many pitfalls that create substandard safari experiences.
Is it safe to travel to India as a single woman?
It is largely safe for women to travel in India alone. There are measures we can put in place to ensure you are well looked after. Some city hotels offer women butlers, and women’s rooms on a dedicated floor. Private same sex drivers and guides can be requested for your peace of mind. Train journeys can be organised with an accompanying escort.

Holidays

India - A journey through Tamil Nadu and Kerala

A journey through Tamil Nadu and Kerala

This holiday itinerary offers you the most comprehensive, contrasting and experience-led journey ...

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India - Central India - Nomadic Camping with Kaafila

Central India - Nomadic Camping with Kaafila

This holiday ventures to the untouched heart of Central India. Kaafila offers sustainable ca...

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India - Highlights of Central India

Highlights of Central India

This itinerary suggestion to Central India features some of the most memorable and varied aspects...

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India - Classic Rajasthan

expert led group tour

India - Classic Rajasthan

The tour includes the most celebrated cities and sites of Rajasthan: the bustling streets of Jaip...

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India - Durrell Wildlife Conservation

wildlife group tour

India - Durrell Wildlife Conservation

Travelling as a small like minded group, spend one full day in Delhi, exploring the sights and so...

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India - Flying Safari in the Land of Tigers

wildlife group tour

India - Flying Safari in the Land of Tigers

Getting to India's national parks has always taken time and patience, and usually means losing a ...

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India - Highlights of Kerala

India - Highlights of Kerala

Kerala competes with Rajasthan as India's most popular destination – and this 13 day itinerary su...

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India - India Wildlife Adventure - Above and Below

India - India Wildlife Adventure - Above and Below

Embark on this wonderfully diverse 10 day wildlife adventure to India. Go in search of tiger...

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India - Journey through Kashmir

expert led group tour

India - Journey through Kashmir

Under the expert guidance of our expert, Zara Fleming, trace the history of the predominately Mus...

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India: Kerala Village Life

India - Kerala Village Life

A holiday to Kerala is the perfect antidote to the British winter. Temperatures rarely drop below...

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India - Magical South India

India - Magical South India

Travel through the south of India on this exceptional tour crafted by CGH Earth. Stay in unique p...

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India - Photography Expedition to Ladakh with Jon Nicholson

expert led group tour

India - Photography Expedition to Ladakh with Jon Nicholson

Led by professional photographer Jon Nicholson, our photography expedition to Ladakh is an "assig...

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India - Snow Leopard tracking in Ladakh

wildlife group tour

India - Snow Leopard tracking in Ladakh

As one of the only animals that has alluded Sir David Attenborough, Snow leopards are highly enda...

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India - Summer Special with Luxury Oberoi Hotels

India - Summer Special with Luxury Oberoi Hotels

This nine day holiday follows the classic route through Rajasthan, visiting the stand out gems an...

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India - Textiles and Artisans of India

expert led group tour

India - Textiles and Artisans of India

The history of India's remarkable textile traditions date back at least six thousand years to the...

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India - The Golden Triangle including Tigers

India - The Golden Triangle with Tigers

This classic tour of India's Golden Triangle takes you to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and al...

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India Deccan Odyssey - A Historical Rail Journey in the company of Mihir Bose

expert led group tour

India Deccan Odyssey - A Historical Rail Journey in the company of Mihir Bose

Join this 11 day expert led group tour to Central India, including seven nights on board the char...

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India Group Tour - An Invitation to Jaipur Literature Festival

expert led group tour

India Group Tour - An Invitation to Jaipur Literature Festival

Founded by William Dalyrymple and Namita Gokhale in 2006, when just 18 authors attended, the Jaip...

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India - Luxury Rajasthan

Luxury Rajasthan

This 12 day holiday offers the experience of palatial living at the award winning Oberoi hotels. ...

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India and Nepal Luxury Tiger Safari

Luxury Tiger Safari in Nepal and India

This 13 day luxury safari holiday combines the best of Nepal and Indian wildlife experiences with...

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Thailand to India - Andaman Island Expedition

Thailand to India - Andaman Island Expedition

Join us on the journey of your life and cross the Andaman Sea. Sail between Thailand and India’s ...

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India - Tour of Northern Karnataka

Tour of Northern Karnataka

This nine day holiday to Northern Karnataka highlights the finest example of rock cut architectur...

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India ABN Rajmahal (8 days/ 7 nights) City of Light Upstream with Delhi and Varanasi

Cruise the Ganges

The ABN Rajmahal will be the first vessel to offer extensive cruising on the Ganges on the stretc...

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India - Dudhwa National Park Opening Offer 2016

India - Dudhwa National Park

Billy Arjan Singh successfully hand-reared and reintroduced zoo-born tigers and leopards into the...

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India - Cycling in the Tiger Corridor

India Cycling in the Tiger Corridor

Experience an Indian wildlife holiday from a different perspective. Bike through the buffer ...

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India Tiger Safari - The Jungle Book Experience

India Tiger Safari - The Jungle Book Experience

Spend seven days on safari between two of the most famous parks in Central India  – inc...

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India - Nagaland Hornbill Festival / TUTC 5 day option with Delhi

Indian Festivals - Hornbill in Nagaland

Kohima Camp coincides with the 10 day Hornbill Festival, an annual melange of cultural displays f...

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India -  Rajasthan Self Drive Adventure

Rajasthan Self Drive Adventure

If you have longed to break free and steer your own trip in Rajasthan, jump into the driver’...

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India - The Tigers of Tadoba

Tiger Safari in Tadoba National Park

The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is arguably one of India's most exciting and best protected Tige...

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India - Slow life in India, family holiday in Kerala and Nagarhole NP

A Family Holiday to South India

This family orientated itinerary to South India is brimming with activities to satisfy the m...

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India with Oman - 8 nights Golden Triangle with 3 night Chedi

Golden Triangle with beach extension in Oman

This 13 day holiday combines the best of both worlds. A perfect introduction to the wonders of In...

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India - Kashmir and Ladakh 11 days

India - Private Travel to Kashmir & Ladakh

The slow rehabilitation of Kashmir as a travel destination took a major step forward recently, wh...

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India - The Ultimate Tiger Safari

India Tiger Safari - Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh

Over 14 days, cover three tiger parks; Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh, all of which are exceptional...

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India - Kaafila Camping  (4N) and Stok Palace (2 )  10 days including 2 N Delhi

Nomadic Explorations - Camping in Remote Ladakh

Experience a nomadic journey in mystical Ladakh, in a mobile camp beyond the ordinary - in a land...

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India - Walking in the Himalayas

India - Walking in the Himalayas

The Village Walks was conceptualised to facilitate an authentic ‘underfoot’ experience and p...

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Inspiration

Catamaran Meltemi, Yacht Charter, Andaman Islands, India

Expeditionary sailing from Thailand to the Andaman Islands

Be one of the First - Dudhwa National Park

Learn about the Tigers of Tadoba

Client Reviews

Langur monkeys, India, JK
'' Kate Hitchen was excellent.
Thanks to her knowledge and responsiveness the trip exceeded my expectations! ''
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Amanda Morgan

India
Holi Powder, India
'' Excellent as always. 
There really is no substitute for a travel expert with recent personal knowledge of the destination. ''
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Silke Bernau

India
Indian Elephant, India
'' Kate took time for face to face contact. 
She tailored the trip to our particular interests. We had an excellent driver and knowledgeable and engaging guides at all times. An excellent experience from first to last. ''
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Graham Powell

India
Flowers and Coconuts, India
"Trip was booked at very late notice and it was great that Steppes were able to be so accommodating.
Local representatives in Leh were fantastic. Standard of everything was very high. The experience that we received in Leh was amazing."
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Henry Tufnell

India
Rajasthani Woman, India
"We had several awkward requests and these were all dealt with extremely professionally. 
Steppes tailored to our specific needs and desires with Kate's knowledge and expertise on hand to steer us in the right direction. Our private guide and driver made a special holiday exceptional."
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Sonia Bowen

India
Ganesha, India
"Everything we asked for was arranged and useful suggestions were made which enhanced our own ideas.
The car and driver were very reliable and we felt safe and at ease despite the traffic! Representatives and guides were prompt and reasonably well informed. It was a very professionally organised trip."
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Trevor Clitheroe

India
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FLIGHT INFORMATION

8 hours from UK
(Direct)

Holiday Ideas in India

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