Our author recommendations don’t end here. We’ve flagged up our favourite places – a perfectly sited hotel, an atmospheric café, a special restaurant – throughout the guide, highlighted with the symbol.
Our authors have crossed the length and breadth of India in search of the most impressive monuments, sumptuous food and memorable journeys. Here’s a list of their personal highlights.
Naga knees up
The spectacular Hornbill Festival, held in a village near the town of Kohima in early December, brings together the tribes of Nagaland dressed in astonishingly beautiful traditional finery for shows of martial arts, dance, wrestling, archery and a rock concert.
Swimming with Rajan
Retired timber elephant Rajan’s dips in the translucent turquoise water of Havelock Beach, in the Andaman Islands, offer a unique sub-aqua photo opportunity.
On the banks of the Brahmaputra River, the Hindu monasteries (sattras) of Majuli host chimeric dance plays performed by white-turbaned monks.
Nothing encapsulates the otherworldly feel of the deep south like the masked spirit possession theyyem rituals enacted in villages around the town of Kannur, Kerala.
Shown in a languid hipshot pose holding a blue lotus bloom, the figure of Padmapani in Ajanta’s Cave 1 is the great masterpiece of ancient Indian art.
Hypnotic kirtans (hymns) mingle to magical effect with the reflections of the Sikhs’ holiest shrine in the shimmering Amrit Samovar tank – an intoxicating image of spirituality.
To the source
Follow a winding dirt trail through the high Himalayas to the source of the sacred River Ganges, where yogis and sadhus bathe in icy water emanating from the snout of a glacier.
Dum Pukt, in Mumbai’s ITC Maratha, ranks among just a handful of kitchens in India capable of recreating the recipes of the Muslim courts of Hyderabad and Awadh, slow-cooked in terracotta pots sealed with dough.