An Idea of India
Trip Code: AITIOI
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This unique India Unbound itinerary showcases the astounding cultural, historical, religious and natural diversity of India.
Please note: Due to the amount of research that has gone into this tour, and the proprietary nature of the itinerary content, the full tour itinerary can only be sent to you or viewed online once you make an inquiry with us.
A note on this itinerary from India Unbound founder Lincoln Harris: This tour is part celebration, part expression of love for India. In a sense it has been many years in the making, starting all the way back with my aimless wandering in India nearly 20 years ago. With the birth of India Unbound a decade ago, when my wandering became more organised and people joined in (otherwise known as group tours) and more recently when other people, with an even longer history of travel in India became involved with India Unbound, we started to build a body of expertise that, to do it justice, needed to be brought together into a grand tour – not of idle sightseeing and the Taj Mahal (as fantastic as it is), but a tour as a collection of places and experiences that we believe to be truly special; places that made us stop and realise that what we had just seen or experienced could not a) be seen or experienced in any vaguely similar way anywhere other than exactly here in this place; b) be knowable to us as outsiders; and c) be incorporated into our idea of India without requiring us to adjust the idea in some way.
What emerged as we assembled a (long) list of places and experiences that met these criteria was how culturally and environmentally diverse such places are, and of India’s diversity in general. (As simple and as obvious as it might seem, this observation – that India is a diverse place – is one of the few enduring observations about India, though if you take this tour I would like to hear what yours are). On a subtle level, one of the challenges of India for the visitor is how one incorporates and processes such a diverse range of experiences into any sort of understanding; as in, to ‘know India’ (as problematic as the concept is). In the end, as a tour operator, all we can do is create a set of experiences that we think most comprehensively present India’s diversity, with each one enhanced by a knowledgeable local person imparting some information, and allow you to draw what conclusions you can – that is, to formulate “an Idea of India”.
After settling on a shortlist of places that we felt must be included, it was then a practical matter of creating an itinerary around them. We arrived at a modular format, whereby a number of core places and experiences are included in the main itinerary, and one or two additional places are added according to the particular interests and timeframe of the prospective travellers.
The resultant tour will only work for curious and attentive travellers who want to attempt to know and understand things about India – which takes some effort and willingness to be exposed to the place and its conditions. At the same time we are aware that it would be very difficult to sustain 20 to 30 days of such rigorous inquiry (not to mention at times rigorous travel), and thus a number of wonderful hotels and locations that double as ‘rest stops’ are included along the way.
Day 1 Delhi