Culture and History

South Asia ranks among the most culturally rich and sophisticated regions of the world. Since ancient times, performing arts – whether music, dance or ritual theatre – have played a central role in religious life, as well as that of the royal courts and local villages. Many forms are fast disappearing. But an extraordinary wealth of arts survive throughout India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. 

Moreover, staying in the luxury hotels featured on TransIndus tours, you’ll have no difficulty finding them. Evening culture shows are very much a regular feature of the five-star scene. Even in city centre places, it’s not unusual for sitar players and their tabla accompanists from the local music college to be recruited to serenade diners, or for sumptuously attired Bharatiya Natyam dancers to provide refined after-dinner entertainment.

In Rajasthan, cultural recitals are often staged against a backdrop of flamboyant Rajput domes and pavilions in the palace or haveli courtyard – the perfect setting for the swirling, sparkling dances of Kalmelia dancers, or the haunting desert songs of the Manganiyar gypsies. In Lucknow, you might see Kathak dances such as those that tantalized the sybaritic Kings of Avadh. In Kerala, it could be elaborately costumed Kathakali or graceful Mohiniyattam dance, with performers decked in brocaded silk and gold tend. 

Opportunities to see such riches in their authentic contexts – in local temples, shrines and stately homes – may be rarer, but are always worth seeking out.


Monuments


South Asia’s long and complex history has left in its wake an astonishing legacy of historic monuments. Wherever you travel in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal or Bhutan, you’ll you astonished by their sheer scale and sophistication, and by the fact that so many remain very much in use, serving precisely the same function for which they were constructed many centuries ago. 

Innumerable historic monuments elsewhere in South Asia, on the other hand, languish in states of decay that’s inconceivable for travellers from countries where such treasures are more highly valued. For want of funds and government will, archeological sites such as Hampi or Mandu in India are literally crumbling into the dust, along with countless domed tombs, hilltop forts, temples and step wells. 

TransIndus tours showcase the pick of South Asia’s historic monuments, both large and small, from the most famous (such as the Taj Mahal and Delhi’s Red Fort) to more obscure gems (such as the ruined pre-colonial cities north of Kolkata, or the fabulous lost city of Champaner in Gujarat).

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Wonderful Workshops in Rajasthan 2015

7 day tour from £950

The Jaipur Virasat Foundation is delighted to present its series of exceptional workshops for the tenth year.

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Japan's Pilgrim Trail

14 day tour from £3500

Stretching across the Kii Mountains the Kumano Kodo has been a popular pilgrimage trail in Japan for 1,000 years. Walking the trail (or parts of it) offers visitors a fascinating insight into Japan's spiritual side.

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Laos & Cambodia Explorer

15 day tour from £2585

Laos and Cambodia, neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, are known for the World Heritage Sites of Luang Prabang and Angkor Wat and for their shared rich French colonial past. On this exploratory tour fly into Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, before continuing to Luang Prabang to visit the ancient site of temples, monuments and pagodas as well as the Pak Ou caves.

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Essential Japan

8 day tour from £2245

Even today Japan symbolises the exotic, the unknown and the unfathomable, and exudes a sense of complete ‘otherness’ that draws visitors to its fascinating, volcanic shores.

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Japan Experience

13 day tour from £2985

Starting in Tokyo our Japan Experience tour takes in some of the best that Japan has to offer. After a day’s sightseeing of the old and new of Tokyo, venture out of the city to the shrines of Nikko and Mount Fuji.

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Classic China

14 day tour from £2645

Journey to the capital city of Beijing on our Classic China tour. See the iconic Tian An Men Square, catch a glimpse of life in the Hutongs and amble on the Great Wall of China, a World Heritage site. Take a day train to Xian, to explore the bustling Muslim Quarter and to visit the Terracotta Warriors and Museum of Horses.

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China Experience

14 day tour from £2525

Beijing, the enthralling capital city of China, is your first stop on our China Experience tour. Visit Tian An Men Square and the World Heritage Great Wall of China. Take a day train to Xian to explore the bustling Muslim Quarter and to visit the Terracotta Warriors and Museum of Horses. The Giant Pandas await in Chengdu, where there is also the Wen Shu Temple.

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Glimpse of China

8 day tour from £1425

A vast and immensely varied land, China defies simple definition. It is a world of remarkable contrasts and a rich and endless diversity of spectacular scenery and ancient cultures that belie belief. Our eight day introductory tour takes you to some of the most famous and awe-inspiring sights of China.

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Essential Burma

11 day tour from £2365

Our Essential Burma group tour introduces you to the culture and sights of a beautiful land that, until recently, was one of the least visited countries in Asia.

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Discover China

18 day tour from £3295

Discover China is a comprehensive showcase of a fascinating country whose scenic beauty vies with its rich culture and heritage.

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