Opulence is scarcely sufficient to describe the times of the Rajputs. The Maharajahs and Ranis were always decked in ornaments, ate only the best food in multi-course meals and slept on beds stuffed soft. Now, it’s time to step into the shoes of the Royals and travel in style as the train chugs along softly.
The boisterous side of Goa is generally shrouded in simplicity and hippie minimalism, but aboard the floating casinos just off the coast, ostentation is the order of the day. Twirl ivory white, polished chips that glint under the neon lights between your fingers and gamble to your heart’s content. But be wary – some of the other players may be more cunning than sharks in the sea.
What is it about Goa that lures us all into its bosom? It definitely has something to do with the seamless ease with which all cultures are accepted and even imbued. You can have a Portuguese experience, a hippie experience and now, a Kerala-style experience. The quaint houseboats designed completely out of natural fibres and wood is more than just a sustainable mode of transportation; it moves you to a completely relaxed state of mind, with the cool backwater breeze to keep you company.
The Brahmaputra is unique, not only in its atypically male name, but also in that it flows through frigid mountains, arid plains and fertile jungles. A cruise on this astounding river that flows both eastward in some parts and westward in other, offers up an expansive range of experiences such as a visit to a jute mill, a stop at a tea plantation, a homestay by the banks of the river and much more.
Many consider the Ganges to be a Goddess; the lifeline of the city should hold no lower pedestal. Capture breath-taking views of the sun setting beyond the horizon on a luxury cruise. The nocturnal sounds of Kolkata are also especially captivating, and you might just find yourself spellbound by the mechanical prowess heralded by the bridges that cross the mighty river. If you have been dying to take a cruise, drink in hand and surrounded by cultural heritage like no other, look no further!
To be waited on hand and foot in one of the oldest modes of mass transport in India, is a uniquely satisfying experience. An upgraded suspension has rendered the purple locomotive a brisk and smooth ride through the enchanting South. The luxurious voyage of discovery will take you through the cradle of Stone Architecture from Belur and Halebed to Badami and Aihole, only to end in Goa – the ultimate relaxing getaway. Roll up in style or not at all; the Golden Chariot awaits.
Incense sticks smoulder at the altar of the purusha (Divine Self) enveloping you in a sense of calm as you meditate in a silence so loud, you could literally hear a pin drop. The world class instructors of yoga at Shreyas and Swasara guide you in oases far removed from civilization, while gently insisting you surrender your thoughts and way of being. After a healthy dose of yoga, you can quench your curiosity with a bespoke tour into the origins of these ways.
The archetypal backwaters of Kerala offer a serene experience; sunbathing under palm fronds on the deck of an eco-friendly, luxury houseboat. You can sip on coconut water, sourced fresh as you meander through the narrow channels and vast lakes in what is best known as the ‘Venice of the East’.