Off the Beaten Track

You see a completely different side of life when you leave your car or tour bus behind and strike out on foot in South Asia – and TransIndus tours to the region offer you plenty of opportunity to do just that, whether a leisurely amble around a Sri Lankan tea estate to watch leaf pluckers at work, or a full-on trek over high passes to Himalayan valleys where the modern world has made little impact.

In many cases, our hotels have been specially chosen for their attractive rural settings. This allows guests easy access to some wonderful countryside, enabling you to explore local villages and landscapes in a more intimate way. You might be offered the chance to walk to a shrine, ancient monument, favourite local viewpoint or revered tree, or visit a settlement specializing in an art or craft form, such as pottery, weaving or blacksmithing. 

For those wishing to penetrate more remote, mountainous terrain, we also offer trekking extensions to our regular tours. These range from two- or three-day hikes around lush Himalayan foothills in Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal, to week-long expeditions at altitude involving nights under canvas and ascents of wind-swept passes bristling with prayer flags. 

The pay-offs are manifold: the chance to see the majestic Annapurna summits before dawn, when they’re bathed in ethereal, amber-coloured alpenglow; or a view down a forested valley from a village made entirely of granite and cedar wood, several days’ walk from the nearest road; or the experience of camping in a high meadow, as moonlight illuminates the ice peaks towering on all sides.

Trekking in the Indian subcontinent, however, is not confined to the Himalayas. Several regions further south – notably around Kodagu (Coorg) in Karnataka and the Western Ghat range dividing Kerala and Tamil Nadu – also hold great potential for high-altitude and jungle treks, and our local experts on hand to arrange the best routes, guides and porters, whatever level of challenge you wish to tackle.


Indigenous tribes in South Asia


All four countries covered on TransIndus tours to South Asia have their own distinctive indigenous groups. India alone recognizes 645 ‘scheduled tribes’, each with its particular language, customs and religious practises. 

Most live in areas well off the tourist trail, amid dense forests where they survive from subsistence agriculture, hunting and gathering. But TransIndus travellers are likely to cross paths with indigenous people on several of our regional tours, notably those to Orissa in eastern India, the Northeast Hill States of Assam and Nagaland, Kutch in north-western Gujarat and some of the more remote corners of Arunachal Pradesh in the Himalayas.

Of these, Kutch is the best geared up for tourism. Visitors to the region are welcomed at villages belonging to many different minority groups, both Hindu and Muslim, where men and women wear extravagant and colourful costume – part of a rich handicrafts tradition that’s received a major boost from tourism in recent decades. Mirror-inlaid patchwork quilts, embroidered bedspreads and tie-dyed textiles are just some of the dazzling work on sale.

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Legends of the Silk Road

23 day tour from £6245

Follow in Marco Polo’s footsteps on a journey from the imperial heartland of China’s eastern seaboard to the dry, dusty capitals of Central Asia – Kashgar, Bukhara and Samarkhand – whose names are

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The Jungles of Borneo

15 day tour from £3198

Venture into some of the world's oldest rainforests, teeming with a wild array of exotic flora and fauna.

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Rural Nepal

16 day tour from £2195

This tour covers all the major sights, including the Valley of Kathmandu, home to the ancient capitals of Nepal and some stunning temples, the national park of Chitwan with its one-horned rhino, the tranquil valley of Pokhara with breathtaking views of the Machupichure.

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In Buddha's Footsteps

15 day tour from £2725

In his very first sermon Lord Buddha put forth the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path - the message spread rapidly, penetrating caste and class barriers; today Buddhism is a way of life in large parts of the world, its message of peace and tolerance speaks to us all.

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Arunachal and the Tawang Monastery

15 day tour from £2695

Arunachal is, literally, the land of the rising sun, where dawn first greets the easternmost state of India. Tribal groups of Burmese and Tibetan descent, proud of their unique identities, live harmoniously in timeless settlements between the mighty Brahmaputra and the Eastern Himalaya.

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Assam, Nagaland and the One-horned Rhino

16 day tour from £3599

With the mighty Brahmaputra flowing through it, Assam is best known for its eponymous tea, primaeval forests, and wildlife.

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Temples and Tribes of Odisha

15 day tour from £3245

Odisha has an abundance of perfectly conceived temples built in the high Kalinga style, an unrivalled peak of architectural expression, including the Sun Temple at Konark, a World Heritage Site, an

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Rural Bengal

14 day tour from £3185

From the mouths of the Ganges to the Himalaya, West Bengal is little visited yet offers a wealth of unusual and rewarding sites unique to the state.

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Wildlife & Walking in the Kumaon Hills

12 day tour from £2965

With terraced fields and snow covered mountains, Kumaon is an ideal place to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Himalaya.

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The Sangla Valley

17 day tour from £2995

For a few months every year, when the weather gods are kinder, the valleys of Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur, tucked away unknown for centuries, reveal their unexplored secrets to the outside world. 

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