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.


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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Winter Wonders

10 day tour from £2089

This diverse winter tour combines China's most treasured and iconic monuments in Beijing and Xian with Harbin's unique and increasingly grand Ice Festival.

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Bhutan Highlights

12 day tour from £2975

Discover the magic and mystery of Bhutan on this short tour, covering the rich sights of Paro and Thimphu and taking in the amazing fortified monastic dzong at Punakha.

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Treasures of Nepal

12 day tour from £2365

Explore the stunning palaces and the Buddhist pagodas and stupas of the Kathmandu Valley on this short introductory tour of Nepal.

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Classic Kerala

10 day tour from £1695

Our Classic Kerala itinerary offers the perfect first taste of this exotic, tropical region in the far south.

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Walking Ancient China

14 day tour from £2900

A private tour of China where you can explore the history and landscape on foot. Hike along lesser visited sections of the Great Wall, spending the night in a guest house at the local water town.

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Tribes and Textiles of Java

11 day tour from £1885

Explore the Indonesian island of Java on this 11 day private tour.

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Vietnam In Style with Victoria Hotels

10 day tour from £1398

Experience this classic Vietnam itinerary, staying in first class properties along the way, including three from Victoria Hotels & Resorts. 

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Sri Lanka in Style

16 day tour from £2965

Experience the best of Sri Lanka on this leisurely tour that offers a mix of the main sights as well as a few off -track locations, staying in some of the finest accommodation in the country. 

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Northern Highlights

14 day tour from £2495

This itinerary, as its name suggests, combines the main cities in Rajasthan with the pick of the northern plains’ highlights.

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Temples and Traders of Tamil Nadu

16 day tour from £2795

Dominated by colonial trading centres and the great Chola temples of Tamil Nadu, this culturally rich tour takes you though a succession of interesting towns and winds up with a relaxing spell on t

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