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Welcome to India


Aah, the rich tapestry of life that is India in all her glory. Mother India, birthplace of major religions, home to close to a billion people and a history that rivals - exceeds - that of Europe.

India is an adventure, an exercise sometimes in patience, and one of the most memorable journey's you'll ever undertake. It's wonderfully diverse with wild mountain landscapes, achingly beautiful beaches, haunting jungle and endless deserts. The northern hill states vie with the likes of southern Kerala for sheer scenic majesty. Snow-capped mountain peaks, dense jungle, never-ending waterways.

Holiday Supermarket is able to plan, book and deliver a holiday you will never forget.

The cities are famous - the bedlam of Kolcatta (Calcutta), the maze of shops, sights, colours and sounds of old Dehli, the grandeur of the Taj Mahal in Agra to the frenetic bedlam of Varanasi or Mumbai. India will surprise you with the sheer number of sacred historical sites, she will impress with the treasures hidden inside incredible palaces spread across formerly independent empires. India gets into your skin - love it or hate it - it leaves an indomitable impression.

Most trips in India are through the so called Golden Triangle - a viable trip over a three to four week period that takes in some the most majestic scenery you'll ever see, the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal and the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaipur. Start your journey in Dehli and see the grand seat of the Indian Parliament and the Freedom Gate. Dehli's old city is an eclectic melange of spice and stationery shops, tailors, household goods and books. The central Mosque is close to the old city, or you can explore further afield and take in Ghandi's tomb in the beautiful gardens of the Raj Ghat. Humayun's Tomb is said to have been designed by the widow of the great Moghul Emperor, Humayan, and was the inspiration for the later Taj Mahal. Just outside the city is the fabulous Qutab Minar with its red walls inscribed with intricately carved quotations from the Koran and acknowledged as one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world.

From Dehli you can venture down to Agra, by car or train - in India travel is relatively inexpensive and it's a short journey of some four hours. Here of course is the Taj Mahal. Perhaps one of the most photographed and visited structures in India. Possibly even one of the best tourist places in the world? It lives up to every promise - the sheer grandeur of this place, the back story, the workmanship, the view across the pool on a foggy morning, all will take your breath away.

Agra is also home to the Red Fort and this is equally stunning. If you have limited time, Agra is the place to visit in India. Climb through the ancient battlements and visit the rooms where Shah Jahan, the Emperor who built the Taj Mahal, spent his last days after being exiled by his son.

After Agra you might consider a side trip to see the tigers in Ranthambore national park. Stay at a lodge close to the jungle and head off at dawn to catch a glimpse of the tigers, or just enjoy the teeming wildlife inside the park, including monkeys, deer, exotic birds and more.

Jaipur is the next city on your journey to the golden triangle and the highlight here is the Amber Fort, the honey coloured fortress-palace in the Aravalli Hills just north of the town centre. The beautiful malt colour soothes your eye and the richness of the royal apartments add to the sense of spectacle that the fort delivers. On one of your forays into the city centre you're bound to come across the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) with its delicate honeycomb screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could catch a glimpse of the world beyond their cloistered life.

The founder of Jaipur, Jai Singh, was a prince, a soldier, astronomer and builder who constructed the famous Observatory of Jaipur where the calculations that guided the placement of the pillars that pointed to the constellations were within millimetres of complete accuracy - all achieved in the 17th century.

From Jaipur you can continue your journey to Jodhpur, stopping off at the ancient caravan city of Pushkar where a camel fair has been held every year for the last 1100 years. Quite the religious city, this is a place to rest awhile, enjoy the local food and venture into the desert surrounding the city on a camel.

Jodhpur, the blue city, is quite extraordinary. Painted the palest of lilac blues, each building in the city creates a heavenly scene when looked down upon from the surrounding  hills.

Further south rewards the adventurous traveller well. The beachside city of Goa is surely one of the most pretty beach towns in the world. Travelling in India sometimes deserves a break - and Goa is your go to break place! The Portuguese architecture and the European influence on the food  has created a cuisine all its own and to eat in Goa is to eat very well indeed. Goa is a backpacker place to visit in India; yet the more moneyed tourist will also find it well worth the time.

Kerala in India, or southern India to be more precise has a well-deserved local reputation as the place to have a honeymoon. And foreign tourists are fast discovering its delights as well. The idea here is to hire a houseboat, complete with crew and cook, and just cruise for a week or so. The backwater scenery with wild animals, drifting mist early in the morning and a comforting sense of silence in a very busy land has made Kerala a favourite destination in India.

Holidays for India cover every taste. India will not disappoint. It may shock you (Varanasi anyone?), it may irritate you with the constant sense of bedlam, but it will profoundly affect you. The sheer history of this place is truly second to none. The incredible forts, ancient monuments and historic places are jaw-dropping. The food, the people and the wonders that you will see every day make India one of the great tourist destinations in the world.

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