Our North India, South India and Himalayan small group cultural tours and Himalayan treks combine world famous cultural, artistic and natural wonders with some of our favorite, little-known places where India reveals herself in intimate, unrehearsed ways. The people we meet in neighborhood temples, local markets and family homes are full of warmth, joy and love of life.

Travel with us into vibrant cities where modern India lives comfortably with ancient tradition and its stunning architectural heritage, legacy of many dynasties and kingdoms, and into India’s gentle countryside with its traditional villages, serene rivers, carefully-tended fields, billowing trees, and temples, their spires dominating the landscape. Palaces, ancient forts, rock-cut sacred caves, temples and monuments of the British Raj are not just silent stones, but living spaces resonating with history and myth, spirituality and splendor.

Join us on a Himalayan tour or Ladakh trek and explore traditional villages set amid emerald green terraced rice, wheat and barley fields. Here Tibetan Buddhist monasteries perch dramatically on rocky outcrops, and powerfully built archaic Hindu temples of rough stone, wood and slate house powerful autochthonous gods that are worshipped still. Animist spirits shelter under mighty cedars. We’ll see herders moving their flocks of sheep up to high summer pastures, and nomads tending herds of yak, sheep and pashmina goats.


WHY TRAVEL WITH US

"I came away really feeling that I had been amongst the Indian people as opposed to just being a tourist..."

Our trips are structured but flexible; we are always ready to take advantage of the wonderful surprises that India presents. We speak Hindi and are knowledgeable about most things Indian: history, Hinduism and Buddhism, myth, art and architecture, culture and customs, literature, traditional medicine and yoga, and wildlife (especially the birds). We share multiple perspectives on what you see and experience.

We are a bridge between worlds, and our trips connect you powerfully with India’s pre-modern sensibility, its values, and its ways of life. Our Western backgrounds combined with our many years in India and our delight in sharing its culture, land and people creates a special atmosphere on our trips, and many of our travelers have returned a number of times for trips with us to different regions of India.

There are no extra costs; our trip prices are all-inclusive with the exception of alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone calls, and other personal services. Soft drinks and mineral water are also included.

Seeing India with us is like traveling with friends who just happen to be experts.

from Martin...

Many years ago, when as a student I first visited India – this was in the mid-1960s – tourism was hardly developed. There was little tourist infrastructure then and practically no readily available information on places to visit, how to travel, where to stay and eat, and so on. The government had just begun issuing its first tourist brochures. In those pamphlets there was a memorable phrase that was not used in later editions of those publications because it had what could have been perceived as frightening connotations: "Visit India. You'll never be the same again!" was the slogan.

At that time, tourism didn't encompass the idea of personal transformation; in fact, tourism shied away from that, feeling it was too threatening to people's personal identity, integrity and stability. It wasn't thought that tourism could or should be about personal growth or development, much less about transformation; it was about seeing new sites and learning about other cultures. Tourists kept their distance. Tourism was supposed to be a strictly "hands-off" activity, seeing but not experiencing.

But for those of us who got off the "marked tourist trails" – which was pretty easy to do in those days – India did indeed transform us; in fact, we never were the same again.

Even today, when India's "tourist trail" is much more developed and sophisticated than it was back then, it is, if you know the country and are comfortable in it as we are, remarkably easy to step into a world that is and to be among people who are "3000 years old;" people who walk by day and sleep by night in the company of their gods; people who do not need to go to churches, mosques or temples to witness and be with the sacred but for whom every moment of life is suffused with the holy; people for whom every act, even the most mundane, is a ritual and a consecration; people for whom there is no distinction between the secular and the sacred; people for whom all of life is lived in the glow of divinity.

So unlike most other places, in India there is no need to search for sacred rituals because they surround you everywhere, all the time, whether it's a shopkeeper invoking the gods each morning when he opens his shop (often keeping customers waiting while he does it), a housewife going to the Ganges River each morning to immerse and purify herself in the river goddess's sacrality, or a priest in a humble street-corner temple offering fire to a deity, which happens every morning and evening in each one of the literally millions of Hindu shrines and temples throughout India.

Simply to be immersed in India's ordinary daily life is to be transformed in a profound way, for nowhere else does the sacred come so close to us, nowhere else does it touch us so tangibly, so powerfully, so intimately; nowhere else does the sacred inform so many dimensions of ordinary, everyday life.

When you visit and experience India with us, you will be touched by the country's and its people's pervasive sacred spirit. That old slogan will still hold true: You will never be the same again.