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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Riches of Ancient Persia

14 day tour from £4495

Join TransIndus founder and MD, Amrit Singh, on a special two-week group tour of Iran. This will be Amrit’s second trip to the country in a year.

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Uzbekistan: A Journey of Discovery

15 day tour from £0

Join TransIndus founder-director, Amrit Singh, for a journey of discovery to the Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan.

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Iran’s Golden Triangle

10 day tour from £2625

This tour is perfect for anyone short of time who wishes to experience Iran’s signature sights in a focused week.

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Classic Iran

14 day tour from £3645

This fortnight-long tour packs all the country’s benchmark sights into a varied itinerary starting in the capital, Tehran.

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China's Forgotten Himalaya

12 day tour from £4600

A chain of five beautifully sited luxury lodges in the mountainous northwestern corner of Yunnan Province enable you to experience the region’s most awe-inspiring scenery and Tibetan culture in mat

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Yunnan: Along the Tea Horse Road

14 day tour from £3650

Yunnan boasts the most astounding mountain landscapes in China and you’ll experience the cream of them on this 14-day journey.

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Japan Highlights

13 day tour from £4360

This focused, 13-day tour ticks off the great sights of central Honshu, beginning with three nights of acclimatisation and sightseeing in the capital.

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Romantic Japan

15 day tour from £5600

Spend a fortnight luxuriating with a loved one amid picture-book Japanese landscapes, ranging from snow-capped Mt Fuji to the dazzling turquoise bays of the Okinawa Islands – the Far East’s own Haw

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Discover Tibet

14 day tour from £4770

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, serves as our gateway to Tibet.

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Ultimate Silk Road

28 day tour from £7500

For anyone hooked on the romance of the ancient Silk Road, this epic, month-long tour has it all.

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