ESSENCE OF INDIA

March 1-23, 2020

An epic extravaganza for Indophiles, this sensitively-conceived journey traverses the length and breadth of India, taking roads less travelled through rarely explored regions.  

Over twenty-three days hosted by India-savant and owner of E.Y.H.O. Tours, Shila Desai, travel to a hidden India on a fascinating trip that is at once traditional, exotic, bizarre and totally unexpected. Shila will help you navigate and decipher the incredible cultural, historical, and architectural riches of this vast country.  

Is this trip for you? If culture shock and Indian trains don't faze you, read on. 

Cost Essence of India 23 days:

8-9 pax: USD 5475 pp in double occupancy
10 pax: USD 5375 pp double occupancy
Add USD 1950 for own room throughout. 

Portuguese heritage in Goa

Not your average hippie hangout! Vintage churches and spice plantations in this former Portuguese colony combined with laid back beach vibe and delicious coastal cuisines will make for a perfect breather before journeying deeper. 

Hampi

Wander the ruins of the once majestic 15th CE Vijayanagar empire. From our delightful village cultural homestay, take a coracol-boat across the Tungabhadra to spy temples nestled between enormous boulders and marvel at the royal city's elephant stables. Like time stopped. 

Badami

The earliest rock-cut temple caves from 6th CE in the Deccan. Another UNESCO site without the crowds. On any given day, you may be the only ones retracing footsteps of the ancients

Glitz and glamour in Mumbai

A deep dive into the dynamo that is Mumbai: Bollywood, art deco, colonial-era architecture, street-food, and graffiti. Head to markets with some of the world's best shopping. 

Holi - festival of colour

When India goes mad . . . or madder than usual. Colour, music, dance infuse the air. Join in. You're welcome. 

Ajanta and Ellora

2nd CE rock cut Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu temples, hidden from the world until an astonishing discovery by a British soldier on a tiger's pursuit. World's largest sculpture will take your breath away.

Maheshwar atop the Holy Narmada 

A fort palace of the erstwhile royal family of Indore. Wander down to the river quays for a tableau of everyday life. If you've always wanted to experience an architectural jewel-box in exquisite antique-studded appointments, you won't be disappointed. 

Sanchi

One of the most magnificent Buddhist stupa complexes in the world, dating from 3rd BCE built by the Emperor Ashoka 

Orchha

Otherworldly Orchha's cenotaphs has echoes of royal families whose memories were honoured here in its frescoes and turrets

Varanasi

A living piece of history in the world's oldest continually habited city along the Ganges River, and a cultural hotbed of classical music and dance. 

what our guests say

Rekha Karambayya

Combines unparalleled access with social responsibility and cultural sensitivity to achieve everything one could hope for in a specialty group tour: a creatively curated itinerary, meticulous planning, flawless execution and wonderful travel companions.  

Miriam Baichman

Definitely delivers above and beyond a traditional tour. Shila does extensive research and planning, as well as scouts out locations, prior to embarking on a group tour. Over time she has acquired a following of world travellers who sign up repeatedly for her tours.

My only concern is that I reserve my spot before it gets full.

Penny Robinson

The itinerary was well thought out, especially since we were in areas that had bee‎n recently opened up to tourists. 

 

 Shila 's expertise and high attention to detail were evident  in the almost seamless shifts between accommodation, transportation, and sightseeing. I have nothing but praise for her company.

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