Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir in 1946, in the final years of the British Raj and her journey 70 years later traverses the country. As well as showcasing India’s incredible landscapes, culture and heritage, the series also looked at how winning independence in 1947 has shaped the nation into what it is today.
This series was one of many airing this year about India, marking the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, but we were particularly excited to experience India through the eyes of the warm, witty and charming Joanna Lumley. By all accounts her enthusiasm is infectious! And we particularly agree with Ms Lumley’s desire to inspire people to explore India for themselves. She told the Radio Times, “I want people to not be afraid. There’s a kind of nervousness among people who like to have a hot shower every day in the same place… be brave and bold. You will experience something wonderful.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves – this huge, busy country can be a daunting prospect for those who’ve never been before, but India is so absolutely heaving with things to do there is something spectacular on offer for every type of traveller. So go on, be brave and bold, India is a country that is just waiting to be discovered, and if Joanna Lumley can’t inspire you, nobody can!
As one of the world’s most enigmatic and enchanting nations, you don’t find yourself in India, India finds you! From the towering Himalayas at the top to Kerala's beach fringed tip, on your holiday to India you’ll discover a country that has the diversity, cultural riches and landscapes of an entire continent, pulsating with life and assaulting all of your senses.
You’ll uncover millennia’s worth of history, best showcased in India’s significant sights – the Taj Mahal, forts of Rajasthan and the sacred city of Varanasi on the River Ganges to name just a few, whilst meeting friendly locals of all creeds and cultures. So sip your chai, crack into as many curries as you can and submerge yourself in scenes of mountain-backed monasteries, peaceful backwaters and intricate temples as you discover this compelling and vivacious land on an escorted tour of India.
On the offer provided you will experience all the key sites of India including, the Taj Mahal, considered by many to be the most beautiful building in the world. Built by Shah Jahan for the favourite of his wives, Mumtaz Mahal, who died after giving birth to their 14th child, it took a work force of 20,000 to realise his vision for the mausoleum. The building is constructed of white marble, set on the river amongst beautifully laid out gardens, the stone designed to reflect the varying moods of the sky – this play of light is a beautiful device that represents the presence of Allah.
About a kilometre upstream from the Taj Mahal, the colossal red sandstone Agra Fort is one of India’s best and most impressive. Within the 21-metre-high double walls is the imperial city of the emperors, packed with magnificent palaces, audience halls and mosques, all set amongst lush, landscaped gardens.
Varanasi is India’s spiritual city, and it is along the holy river Ganges that most of the action takes place. Taking to the waters at dawn you will experience a unique sight – as the sun rises, the Hindu locals and pilgrims come together on the riverfront ghats to pray, perform rituals and a wash away their sins in the river before going about their days. It is also a great way to appreciate Varanasi’s colourful architecture – the palaces and ashrams rising up behind the ghats are a wonderful sight and a glimpse at the city’s long history. Seeing and experiencing this morning rite and the beauty of the city is one of Varanasi’s must-do activities.
A point of India’s Golden Triangle, Jaipur is the capital and gateway to the elaborate grandeur of the state of Rajasthan. Here, the streets are populated with locals who still wear colourful, traditional dress and full of breath-taking architecture – the buildings of the old ‘Pink City’ such as the City Palace and Hawa Mahal, are the best known. Founded in 1727 as one of the world’s first planned cities, the streets and alleys of the Pink City today are full of vibrant bazaars selling textiles, jewellery and fragrant spices and a pleasure to explore.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to find out more about these amazing tours to India where you can experience all the country has to offer. As Joanna Lumley herself said “India - you’d be mad not to go.”