If ever there was a destination perfectly suited to tailor-made travel then India is it. Such a large and diverse country requires a careful approach - it’s important to decide what it is you want to see and concentrate on that. Otherwise you will spend your whole holiday rushing around, trying to see it all and in the end seeing nothing. The joy of tailor-made travel is that we can arrange private cars and drivers to take you where you want, at a pace that suits you. You have choices about what you do and where you stay from camel treks and cooking lessons, to eco lodges and palaces stays.
If you enjoy walking or trekking then you should head north, visiting the Himalayan regions that lie within India. There is Kashmir, with the areas around Srinigar and Lake Dal offering beautiful walks combined with an iconic house-boat stay. Or perhaps Ladakh, travelling out of Leh and witnessing the harsh landscapes of the higher altitude Himalaya for yourself. If you want to visit the High Himalaya then consider Sikkim, a small province wedged between Nepal and Bhutan and with stunning mountain scenery. From here it’s possible to trek to Kanchenjunga, the World’s third highest peak.
To experience 'exotic' India then there is nowhere better than Rajasthan. Home to walled desert cities and a multitude of Maharaja Palaces, it offers not only world-famous sites such as the Taj Mahal and the Lake Palace, but also deserted cities and desert landscapes. If you want to do something unusual, why not go on a camel safari, sleeping out under the stars.
For the wildlife enthusiast there are plenty of National Parks to visit, giving you the unforgettable opportunity of spotting a tiger. Ranthambore National Park is a popular destination for game-viewing, because of its proximity to other cities and site, but other parks such as the Jim Corbett National Park offer excellent viewing as well. Wherever you go in India there is a park that can be visited, with a network of over 110 national parks already in existence. If, for example, you are travelling in the far south then a visit to Periyar National Park is recommended, home to both the Bengal tiger and the Indian elephant.
The weather in India is governed by the Monsoon that sweeps in from the Indian Ocean and slowly spreads up the country. It starts in May and continues through until September. During this time it is wet, humid and hot. The best time therefore to visit India is during the months of October to April, when it is predominantly drier and cooler. Being such a vast country, and surrounded in high mountains and oceans, there are regional variations and slight differences in timing. Traditionally the best time to go is during October and November when it is cool after the rains and everywhere is still lush and green. December can be cooler and then in the spring the heat starts to build again as spring goes on bringing an increasing amount of cloud and a reduction in visibility.
Older children will relish all that this dynamic destination has to offer but it certainly is more challenging – the secret is not to try and do too much in one holiday. Start off with a base in Cochin or Kerala and factor in time on the beach or enjoy a backwaters tour with private facilities and staff, visiting just a few cultural or historic sights. There're camels, elephants, monkeys and lots of other varied wildlife to see. A trip to India with the family is likely to raise many points of discussion along the way, with a distinct dichotomy between rich and poor. The vibrant colour and fascinating history of this wonderful destination will have you coming back for more.