India Udaipur

Best Escorted Tours of India

Small Group Tours

For almost half a century travel guides have been describing India with phrases like "an assault on the senses". Most tour operators mimic this sentiment, and ignore the incredible progress that the nation has made in the last few decades. Today India has among the best tourism infrastructures in South Asia and yet it is still the most colorful culture on our planet. Our Small Group Tours of India, and our private tours, are designed to take advantage + Read More

All tours are not created equal, nor are all travel companies. The best India Tours should include experiences that delight and amaze you every day of your exploration. This can only be achieved by a boutique agency with local expertise.

Easy Tours was born in 2004 with one guiding principle - to provide the best small group tours of India, and private vacation + Read More

Boutique Upscale Hotels

Easy Tours is a preferred India tour operator partner of luxury hoteliers such as the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and the Taj Hotels, Palaces & Resorts. Most tour companies use the terms 'luxury' and '5-star hotel' very loosely. We recommend that you compare the hotels we use in India at with other tour operators offerings by researching reviews and rankings. Here is a recent comment by a guest -

On India's best escorted tours, we include great dining options, and the restaurants at our preferred hotels receive rave reviews from guests, as well as from locals fortunate enough to dine in these establishments.

Mindful Travel

Discerning explorers have always agreed on how special India is as a destination. Mark Twain wrote: “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured ... in India only.”

Although we do not expect everyone to agree with the late Mr. Twain, we bring this up for a reason. We believe in mindful travel. If you are someone who likes having everything always go your way, and are not open to accepting that other cultures have their idiosyncrasies, as well as the existing ground reality in each nation, we recommend that you use one of the large operators who offer sanitized India tours and vacations.

15 Best Places to Visit in India

A list of India's most fascinating destinations where you can experience unique local culture, amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites, breathtaking scenery, and India's incredible colors.

Serial # Destinations Description
1

Agra

Taj Mahal and 2 other UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Number #1 because of the Taj

2

Delhi

India's Capital. Historical and Cultural Hub, plus 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

3

Varanasi (Benares)

Oldest Continuously Inhabited City on Earth - the Holy Ganga flows through it

4

Cochin (Kochi) & the Backwaters

Lush Tropical Jewel of So. India, completely different from North India

5

Jaipur

1 of 3 cities in the Golden Triangle - Amazing Color & Culture - 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

6

Ajanta & Ellora (Aurangabad)

India's Premier Archaeological Wonders, both are UNESCO Sites

7

Udaipur

Hills, Lakes, and Amazing Palaces - Rajasthan's Prettiest City - Slower Paced Small City

8

Mumbai (Bombay)

India's Coastal Business Capital - Vibrant City - Beautiful Victorian Architecture

9

Amritsar

The Sikh Religions Holiest City - The Golden Temple is an Amazing Experience

10

Leh & Ladakh

A Summer Destination. Ancient Untouched Tibetan Kingdom. Surreal Landscapes

11

Jaisalmer

Legendary Desert City. Part of the Old Silk Road. Ancient Fort is an UNESCO Site

12

Mahabalipuram

Ancient Eastern Kingdom & Seaport. Unique Tamil Culture. Multiple UNESCO Sites

13

Hampi

India's Second Most Amazing Archaeological destination, in a land with thousands

14

Khajuraho

Thousand year old Temples with Incredible Sculptures, - Some are Extremely Erotic

15

Madurai

Quintessential Ancient Tamil City with Iconic Dravidian Hindu Temple Complex

About India

India has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than almost every other country on this planet. With Easy Tours you get to experience these with India's best guides and support staff.

But most UNESCO Sites do not become lifetime memories for a true explorer. The memories one cherishes are human interactions, learning about an ancient and incredibly complex culture, and the kind and gentle everyday mannerisms and gestures that have evolved over millennia.

Nature is at its best on the Indian sub-continent. You can chose to explore the awe inspiring peaks of the great Himalayas, enjoy wildlife safaris in the lush jungles that are spread throughout the country, and/or relax on the warm beaches that dot the southern coastlines.

What the best places to visit in India are actually depends on what you most enjoy when you explore, and what time of the year you will be exploring. Talk to us if you would like expert suggestions on what we would recommend based on your individual travel preferences.

Planning a Trip to India

Most North American explorers start their journey in North India.
Delhi, a city that has been continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC. The next destinations are usually on India's great plains (that spread outwards from Delhi), including Agra and the Taj Mahal, stretching eastwards to Hinduism’s holiest destination, Varanasi (Benares), which is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Then comes the fabled desert that covers much of Rajasthan and encompasses the magical cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur, as well as the famous Pushkar Camel Festival. Meditate or enhance your practice of Yoga in ancient holy cities such as Rishikesh and Haridwar, where these sciences were born. The best tour companies in India, such as Easy Tours, allow you to experience destinations such as Amritsar and Khajuraho, as well as Buddhism’s premier pilgrimage destinations such as Bodh Gaya and Sarnath.
Easy Tours also offers the best escorted tours of South India, which begins from where the northern plains end, and the lush Deccan plateau takes over, dominating southern India. It is home to the unique Dravidian culture and some of India’s largest cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Chennai (Madras). Visit Mumbai (Bombay), the bustling commercial capital of India that also houses the largest and most prolific motion picture industry in the world.
Experience the spectacular Western Ghats, from where the plateau descends to meet the mostly virgin beaches and warm waters of coastal Indian cities like Goa and Kochi (Cochin). Here you will find the purest practitioners of the forefather of all natural medicines, Ayurveda. Most of the best tour companies often ignore such destinations and experiences, thereby offering only their version of what India has to offer.
India is home to tens of thousands of animal & bird species. They all play an integral part in Indian society, history, and day to day existence. Enjoy an escorted tour of India with Easy Tours and experience Wildlife Parks & Sanctuaries that are home to many of these species, including almost two thirds of the Earths remaining Tigers, roughly half of the planets Elephants, and the world’s only surviving Asiatic Lions.

The Best Time to Visit India

The best escorted tours of India should operate during the best time to visit India. But that is such a subjective issue, purely open to what your preferences are, and solely dependent on what is important to each explorer. As the widely recognized best India tour company, we encourage you to make your plans after reading the following -

The Best Time to Visit North India

October through March are the cooler months, and temperatures can dip significantly between mid-December and late January. The weather starts warming up in March, with the heat reaching its peak in June, which results in this being the best time for big cat sightings in North India's wildlife parks. The monsoon brings the rains to North India during July & August, cooling things down. The rains no longer have the severity of past decades, and one easily enjoy a tour during this period. September is an ideal month for private tour travelers that don't mind a little bit of heat as the sights and monuments are less crowded and there are amazing values on high quality hotels.

The Best Time to Visit South India

At South India's coastal destinations, such as Cochin (Kochi) in Kerala, Goa, and Chennai/Mahabalipuram on the east coast, the temperature change throughout the year is minimal, and it is always fairly hot. The monsoon usually affects South India during June & July, and then again in September as it retreats from the Indian sub-continent.

The Best Time to Visit's Wildlife Parks

The best time of year for wildlife sightings in India, especially for predators such as tigers and leopards, is usually April through June. Since the monsoons arrive in India in mid-summer, water sources for wildlife are almost all dry at this time. This makes it easier to spot the large predators as they frequent the few remaining water sources in the wildlife sanctuaries. Please note that most of North India's Parks close for a few months on July 1st, just before the onset of the monsoon. The reason for this is that the dirt roads in the parks become hard to navigate during, and after, the rains.

Festivals in India

Holi Festival

There are thousands of festivals, fairs and celebrations in India each year. All the major festivals of India are fascinating for the locals, but our experience has taught us that some are much more interesting for a visitor to experience, while other festivals, although extremely important to the natives, do not offer much of an opportunity for visitors to really experience the actual celebration. As an example, India's biggest festival, Diwali (unlike Dev Diwali in Varanasi), is primarily celebrated by families in their homes, just like Christmas. We highlight the most interesting of these festivals on our small group tours of India. The listing of festivals linked below is listed in an order on what we feel are the most interesting for a visitor.

India Festival Tours

This collection of immersive small group and private tours combines our India tours with the country's most important and interesting festivals. Explorers can select private or small group experiences that range from 10 to 35 days.

Offered once every year, these tours are an opportunity to experience India's incredible colors and unique culture in conjunction with its people's biggest celebrations. Since India's festivals are based on the lunar calendar, dates change every year. Availability is extremely limited.

Name of Festival / Fair 2019 2020
Pushkar Camel Fair (Pushkar) - Group & Private Tours Available 4th - 12th November 22nd - 30th November
Dev Diwali (Varanasi) - Group & Private Tours Available 12th November 30th November
Holi (North and Central India) - Group & Private Tours Available 21st March 10th March
Chennai Dance and Music Festival (Chennai) - Private Tours Available December/January December/January
Rath Yatra at Puri (Puri) - Private Tours Available 4th July 2019 23rd June
Nehru Trophy Boat Race (Kerala) - Private Tours Available 10th August August
Desert Festival (Jaisalmer, Rajasthan) - Private Tours Available 17th - 19th February 7th - 9th February
Float Festival (Madurai) - Private Tours Available January January
Nagaur Cattle Festival (Nagaur) 10th - 13th February 30th January - 2nd February
Bikaner Camel Fair (Bikaner) 12th - 13th January 8th - 10th January
Diwali (All India) - Private Tours Available 27th October 14th November
Dussehra (All India) - Private Tours Available 8th October 25th October
Onam (Kerala) - Private Tours Available 11th September 2nd September
Teej (Jaipur and the rest of Rajasthan) 3rd August 23rd July
Khajuraho Dance Festival (Khajuraho) February/March February/March
Thrissurpooram (Kerala) 13th May 3rd May
Taj Mahotsava (Agra) - Private Tours Available 18 - 27 February 18 - 27 February

Tiger Safaris

Wildlife Tours

Just as with our cultural India tours, our unique and immersive Wildlife Safari Tours possess the same qualities that have established Easy Tours as India's Premier Boutique Travel Facilitator. These exceptional wildlife tours are designed and facilitated with a level of personal knowledge and experience unmatched in our industry.

Our founder started visiting Indian wildlife parks in the early 70s, and these sanctuaries soon became a passion for him. The India Specialists at Easy Tours love to hear him recount those days, when the infrastructure for both travel and lodging were primitive compared to today, yet the experiences were, just like today, unforgettable.

10 Best Wildlife Parks in India

tiger at Ranthambore
Wildlife Parks Name

Bandhavgarh National Park

In earlier times, the forests around Bandhavgarh were maintained as a Shikargah (game preserve) of the Maharaja of Rewa Bandhavgarh, and were famous for tiger sighting.
Now, the designated Tiger Reserve covers an area of 1537 square kilometers with a core area of 717 square kilometers that is dominated by extremely rugged terrain. Many hills and hillocks dot the area amidst valleys, meadows and marshes. The Charanganga is the prominent river that flows through the park, with a number of old tanks and water holes that provide reliable water sources for the current fauna. With tropical dry and moist deciduous forests interspersed with grasslands, the vegetation is chiefly of sal forest in the valleys and on the lower slopes, with bamboo found in abundance throughout most of the park.

Ranthambore National Park

Named after the once imposing 10th century fort whose ruins preside over the park from a nearby hilltop, Ranthambore National Park offers the best statistical chance of seeing a tiger in the wild. In the 18th and 19th centuries the jungles here were the royal hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Jaipur. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British Officer in charge of the area started a program of conservation for the fast dwindling wildlife. It became a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1955 and a National Park (as part of Project Tiger) in 1973.

Nagarhole National Park

The Nagarhole National Park, (also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park), was set up as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and gained National Park status in 1988. The park stretches for over 643 square kilometers between the Coorg and Mysore districts in the southern state of Karnataka.

Together with the Bandipur National Park (870 square kilometers), the Mudumalai National Park (320 square kilometers), and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 square kilometers), it forms one of the largest protected areas for wildlife in Southern India. The park is also a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, and is being considered by UNESCO for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary

Originally established as a reserve forest in 1908, Kaziranga was declared a sanctuary in 1916 to counter extensive poaching of the rhinoceros. In 1974, the Indian Government demarcated the present area as a national park, which was then designated a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. In 2007, it was also declared a tiger reserve under the Central Government's Project Tiger scheme. This is a blessed land for wildlife enthusiasts. At the heart of its mind boggling biodiversity is the rich topography with its lush hills and valleys, dissected by the majestic Brahmaputra and its many tributaries.

Kanha National Park

The dense forests, open fields, and plethora of wildlife found in Kanha National Park inspired Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

In 1955, 60 years after Kipling's book was first published, Kanha National Park was founded to protect the diverse wildlife and lush flora that inspired one of the most memorable tales from India's colonial British era. With boundaries stretching over 500-square-miles of forests and plains, Khana National Park is the largest tiger reserve and nature sanctuary in Central India.

Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary

The last home of the Asiatic Lion, Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary is a model of success for conservationists. A century ago, there was about 20 lions left in this area; currently there are almost 300. The 'Gir Lion' (as it's now known) is relatively easy to view and photograph, in comparison to the elusive tiger and most other big cats. This is partially due to the fact that the protection offered to the wildlife in this Park is among the best in India, so they have less fear of humans.

Tadoba National Park

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is Maharashtra's largest and oldest nature preserve. The more than 600-square-miles of the park's boundaries protect large swathes of dense forests that are home to nearly 100 tigers.

The Tadoba portion of the park was created in 1955 to help protect the remaining tiger population in the region after centuries of over hunting. In 1986 the Tadoba reserve was merged with Andhari Wildlife Park as part of India's Project Tiger.

Kaladeo National Park

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is also known as the Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary. Once the shooting preserve of royalty, it is perhaps the most spectacular water-bird sanctuary in India. It is one of the major wintering areas for large numbers of aquatic birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Some 364 species of birds, including the rare Siberian Crane, have been recorded in the park. The name Keoladeo is derived from the name of an ancient Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva in the sanctuary's central zone, while the Hindi term "Ghana" implies dense, thick areas of forest cover. Covering an area of just 12 square miles, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is an interlocking ecosystem of woodlands, swamps, wet prairies and dry savannah.

Jim Corbett National Park

India's most famous wildlife park, and the first park in Project Tiger, Corbett National Park is easily accessible from Delhi and other major cities. Designated as a wildlife park in 1935, it was the first wildlife sanctuary in Asia. A visitor to Corbett is guaranteed encounters with an amazing diversity of wildlife, as well as a chance of coming across the elusive tiger. It is a large and beautiful park, and a safari into the core area of the park, whether on elephant back or four wheel drive vehicle, is a thrilling experience.

Periyar National Park

Located in the lush jungles of Kerala, Periyar National Park offers among the best opportunities to view elephants in the wild. A visit here includes a boat cruise in the fabled Kuttanad region, as well as a day spent in and around historic Kochi (Cochin).

The terrain is hilly and the elevation of the park ranges from a few hundred feet to about 6000 feet above sea level. Periyar is home to just under a thousand elephants and also over 60 other mammal species including tigers, bison, deer, wild boar, and wild dog. There are over 300 species of birds, and even 160 species of butterfly's.

Indian Visa

India, Nepal, and Bhutan all require visa’s for almost all foreign visitors. We assist our guests in obtaining their Bhutan Visa, and its cost in included in your tour pricing. The Indian government offers two options for visitors to obtain a visa, and details on these are offered below. The Nepalese Visa can be obtained upon arrival at Kathmandu airport for a nominal charge (please carry two recent passport photo’s), and US dollars, along with a few other currencies, are the accepted form of payment. Although Easy Tours’ does its best to provide the most current information on our site and in our correspondence, we do not guarantee the accuracy of such information and it is solely the traveler’s responsibility to acquire their visa(s) for India and Nepal. Charges for the India and/or Nepal Visa, or a current passport, are not included in quoted tour costs.

There are two options for visitors to obtain a visa for India. In both cases, please make certain that your passport has over six months of validity remaining at the time of travel.

1. (Recommended) Visa on Arrival Online Process - 60 Day Visa with Double Entry. Please apply anytime 30 to 60 days in advance before your arrival date in India. Turnaround is usually within 2 to 3 business days:    https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

2. (Complicated and Painful Process) Mail your passport after completing online application - Multiple Entry - Various Visa duration Validity options, ranging from 6 months to 10 years. We recommend that you apply for the multiple entry Tourist Visa 3 to 4 months prior to your arrival in India. If you visit another country from India and then return to India, you will need this multiple entry visa. For more detailed information or to begin your Visa Application, please visit CKGS International Outsourcing’s website - https://www.in.ckgs.us/indian-embassy-consulate-locations-jurisdiction. Please submit a copy of your Easy Tours’ Itinerary along with your passport and other documents. This is recommended even if you will be engaging in some business activity along with your tour of India. If you intend to return to India within the next few years, United States citizens can also apply for 5 and 10-year validity Visa’s.

What does not lead to the best India tour:
Price focused tour companies will use terms like ‘5 star hotel’. In India, these range from soulless and massive business hotels at $80 a night, to boutique gems, some of whom cost fifteen times that. We specialize in these boutique gems, and we use the highest rated hotels at all price points. Companies that refer to ‘5 star hotels’ are not luxury travel companies!
Although the better luxury tours use the same lodging, such as Oberoi Hotels and Taj Palaces, and mostly visit the same cities, this does not make them the same.

Most tours of India, including so called luxury India tours, have remained pretty much the same for the last few decades, even though India has progressed and evolved significantly. They offer monument visit after monument visit, with an occasional contrived cultural experience sandwiched between them.

5 things not to do on a tour of India - suggestions by our founder

Do not use overnight trains. Actually, we recommend that you avoid train travel as much as possible. Most visitors to India are unaware of the extremely poor sanitation and hygiene in almost all of India's trains. Railway lines through most of the country are surrounded by both animal and human waste and the flies and insects that fester there have the ability to get into trains, including so called First Class compartments.

Many of the gastro-intestinal issues that visitors to India experience occur as a direct result of train travel. The two most expensive components of a tour of India are lodging and travel between destinations, by flights or by road. By using overnight trains, price focused agencies are able to eliminate both these expenses, but subject you to very poor conditions. Rats and other vermin are also common on most trains and railway stations.
 

All of these lead to one thing - forced shopping. Price focused agencies include these as standard stops on itineraries because their primary source of income is the commissions that they receive from shops that masquerade as centers for artisans. You will often spend more time being sold very hard at these shops (with no opportunity for escape) and less time at monuments like the TajMahal. Premier agencies facilitating tours of India will guide you to quality “no pressure” stores if you want to shop for local handicrafts, but will not include such stops as standard.

Visitors often fall for a low room cost on such packages from hotel chains, and are then fleeced on costs for travel between destinations and excursions, and are subjected to low quality guides and facilitators. The better guides and accompanying Tour Directors do not work with hoteliers as they are unable to get consistent business like they do from a premier tour operator. India's better hoteliers are specialists at providing an incredible level of hospitality; premier tour operators are experts at providing a high quality tour.

 

Try to schedule ample time in the larger destinations in India. Current tour itineraries all focus on trying to show you as many destinations as possible and don't allow enough time to really experience any of the amazing monuments and experiences that are included. When we compare the time that a visitor gets to experience each component of a tour in other countries in Asia, tours of India fall far short in this aspect due to the large number of experiences available at each destination. Current tour itineraries really do not allow you for any cultural immersion.

Although Easy Tours of India designs our itineraries to minimize travel time and maximize experience time, travel in India is very time consuming, and we strongly feel the need to provide more time for cultural immersion to our guests. With this in mind, we are changing our small group tour offerings to include additional days in some destinations starting September 2015. Independent travelers will be able to select from these more immersive itineraries and our current faster paced tours.

We realize that this sounds strange but feel the need to point out that a great doctor or engineer is not necessarily an India travel expert, just because they happen to be from the country originally.