Tuesday, January 25, 2011

India in summer - When to go, what to see?

India is becoming more and more popular - we've had Quivertree families touring India since the beginning of November and interest continues to be sky high. Why? It's very simple - India has to be one of the most exotic countries on earth - the customs, food, temples, forts, palaces - add in a high level of English, magnificent hotels and thousands of years of history and you have an awesome combination.

High season for most of India is from October through to April. And then the rains fall and fall and fall. And it gets incredibly hot. It really is no wonder that during the British Raj, the whole government packed up and left Delhi for nearly six months - the British just found it impossible to stay there.

But families in North America and Europe have their long summer vacation in July and August. What hope have they got for a successful trip to India at that time?

Think Ladakh!

Ladakh is quite unlike any other part of India. It is a high altitude desert, and the people practise Tibetan Buddhism -in fact, Ladakh is much like Tibet was 30 years ago, before the influx of non -Tibetans that have changed it completely.
Because it is so high, Ladakh is too cold for most of the year, but from late May until September Ladakh offers the best weather in all India. The scenery is spectacular - high mountains, brown valleys, splashes of green from agriculture everywhere, and rushing rivers. The people are incredibly interesting as well - the festivals remind one of those in nearby Bhutan - huge masks and lots of dancing. Just google ladakh images - you'll be amazed.

Quivertree is thrilled to offer families the adventure of a lifetime in Ladakh - staying in restored village houses, visiting monasteries at dawn to watch monks chanting, blowing huge horns, burning butter candles. Activities include short hikes and rafting on the rivers- in fact we offer a three day raft trip option after the regular tour, where you'll camp on the river banks attended by an army of chefs, guides, porters...Contact us for more info.

In addition to Ladakh, it is possible to visit some of the "big name" destinations as well. The National Parks are mainly closed so no tiger viewing is possible at this time of year, and the beaches are mainly wet, but in Rajasthan - land of magnificent palaces and forts as well as the most colorful people in India, the weather is often decent and the palace hotels are on sale!

So, if you've rejected the idea of India in summer, think again!