A Kathakali dancer
India is seductive, drawing you in with a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of traditions, flavors and landscapes. Long after you return home, it remains indelibly etched in your memory. Religion and ritual are everywhere, and the many dazzling devotional ceremonies—from city parades to harvest celebrations—are ever-present reminders of the country’s long and tumultuous religious heritage. Along with a whiff of incense and spices, India gives off an unmistakable air of spirituality that adds to its mystery. There are so many ways to see the country’s incredibly diverse landscapes: cruising on the Ganges River through rural landscapes; on safari at Rajasthan’s Ranthambore tiger preserve; on a rattan houseboat through the backwaters of Kerala; by luxury train into the heart of Maharashtra. Throughout, there are opportunities for visiting magnificent Mughal and imperial sites, shopping for superb artisanal crafts and precious gems, discovering exotic flora and fauna, and living like royalty in maharajahs’ palaces. Wherever you go—from the urban chaos of Mumbai to the lush hills of Darjeeling—you will be welcomed with an extraordinary level of service and hospitality, for the people of India have a rare warmth and generosity. Every region presents its own distinct culture and natural beauty and the countless cuisines are each more delectable than the next. Whether you dream of sultry sun-washed beaches or exquisitely carved temples, India is the trip of a lifetime.