With its incredible dazzle of sights, smells, flavours and sounds, India hits the first time traveller right between the eyes. While the impact may initially take your breath away, for many travellers this is the beginning of a great love affair. With its thronging cities, vast distances and remote natural hotspots, India can be a challenging destination, but its many diverse charms make it all the more rewarding to conquer.

India’s cities are filled with the raw energy of bustling streets and thronged bazaars, their roads choked with traffic that ranges from cars and bikes to the ubiquitous tuk-tuks, cows and sometimes even camels and elephants. Peddlers hawk their wares on every corner, beggars jostle in the streets and poverty is evident everywhere. However, this is also a land of intense contradictions, with elaborate palaces and monuments that take your breath away with their intense beauty and sumptuous hotels that cocoon their guests in every luxury.