Asia + The Middle East Northern India himalayan walks and treks, cultural sightseeing, remote and interesting Even with the majestic scenery of the High Himalayas, the hauntingly beautiful foothills, the interesting hill stations and the rich wildlife in Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand remains one of India’s least visited and most unspoilt regions. With enough infrastructure to make it comfortable and people whose lack of exposure to mainstream tourism make them very welcoming, open and genuine, it still has a virgin feel. cazenove+loyd has been instrumental in developing high-end, sustainable tourism in Uttaranchal. The village walks involve a gentle itinerary on foot between three authentic and unspoilt villages; a permanent lodge provides stylish, close-to-nature luxury in the remote high Himalaya. We have also launched a similar scheme in Ladakh and there are plans afoot for other regions. If you are interested in these areas, please talk to a Destination Expert for the latest news. NB: Because of the political situation in Kashmir, we consider that part of the Himalaya to be largely out of bounds at present. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. My first trip to India When we got off the plane the first thing that hit me was the smell and weight of the air, it was musky and really humid. The sun was blindingly bright and the sky was an orange hue – rather a contrast to rainy London. When we drove through Delhi, it was very busy and cramped and there was always a hum of cars and people. Find out more An Honest Indian Adventure Travelling to India had always seemed enchanting yet distanced throughout my childhood. I have always adored the festivities and culture of the country, but without c+l, my mum and I would have had no chance of creating an itinerary filled with cultural emersion and security whilst still experiencing a trip of pure bliss and luxury. Find out more A Family Trip to India Marissa Vorfeld travelled to India with her family for the first time during October Half Term and was pleasantly surprised how much her two teenage children enjoyed this fascinating country. Find out more A walk in the Himalaya Christopher Townsend travelled with his daughter to Northern India for a week walking in the Himalayas. Here he recalls his time there in a form of a poem. Find out more A Northern India Holiday Experience Laura Jeffrey explored the small villages and communities of Ladakh that perched along the foothills of the Himalayas. Driving from village to village along chilling and winding roads through the most spectacular and mountainous scenery is a memory she will hold for the rest of her life. Find out more Rafting on the Indus Nestled on the foothills of the Himalayas, Ladakh is a wonderful destination for keen walkers and mountaineers. However on Alex Wix's trip to this stunning region, she enjoyed a more adventurous way to experience the breathtaking scenery, white water rafting down the Indus river. Find out more India, I’m yours again Laura Jeffrey shares her exciting experience of Calcutta; an intriguing, bustling, crumbling old colonial city full of interesting historical buildings including the former residence of the East India Company and the Indian Coffee House where Laura felt at home. Find out more Walking through the stunning Himalayas After landing in New Delhi and embarking on a five hour train journey heading North to Uttaranchal, Caroline Hope was met by her private guide, Pujan who took her on an incredible adventure walking through the stunning scenery of the Indian Himalayas. Find out more Show All Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Shakti Himalaya Shakti started in Kumaon by sprucing up 3 village houses in the foothills of the Himalaya. Later came the addition of 4 luxury cottages in the form of ‘Leti 360’ in the same region. Shortly followed by 3 more village houses in Sikkim and finally 7 village houses in Ladakh. Find out more Raas Kangra, Dharamsla The hotly anticipated opening of Raas Kangra continues to be pushed back and will most likely not be until next season, which is only adding to the immense air of excitement around this new luxury hotel located near Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The design and location is going to please hotel design junkies and adventurers alike, with its contemporary construction and its remote location in the beautiful Kangra Valley where mountain biking, trekking, and yoga are just some of the outdoorsy pursuits on the menu. Find out more Vana Malsi Estate, Dehradun Vana Malsi Estate is an extraordinarily special place set in 21 acres of striking forest. This exclusive wellness sanctuary has set a new standard for retreats in Asia. Offering delicious organic food and exceptional personalised wellness itineraries, there is no better place to unwind. The luxurious rooms look out onto the beautiful fruit orchard and gardens. Find out more Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling This delightful tea estate has been owned and run by the Prakash family for decades and is one of the most charming plantations that we know of in the whole of Asia. Based in the heart of a working tea estate, the Burra Bungalow is a truly special place in the hills above the River Rungeet with breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Walking in the foothills of Uttarakhand Enjoy well-planned walks with local guides through the stunning mountainous terrain surrounding Uttarakhand and really get a feel for rural India and this wonderful region's timeless and gentle pace of life. Find out more Calcutta, West Bengal For a real Indian experience, combine your trip with a few days in this exciting city. Probably the most intense city in the whole country, we recommend visiting Calcutta en route to the Himalayas. Find out more Rafting in Ladakh To really get off the beaten track, rafting is a great way to enjoy one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Himalayas. With very professional guides and good equipment an experience like this will be one to remember. Find out more Puja in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand Witness one of the most important spiritual and cultural traditions along the banks of the Ganges. Every year thousands of pilgrims descend here in February to watch and experience this very sacred ritual and we can get you right in the middle of it. Find out more The Monasteries of Ladakh Dotted around Ladakh’s spectacular scenery lie some truly beautiful buildings and monasteries worth exploring for anyone wanting to experience more of the ancient traditions. Gain special access to hidden and remote monasteries further off the beaten track and meet the villagers of small communities who come up here to wash up. Find out more Remarkable Train Journeys For those happy to compromise a little on comfort in exchange for an exhilarating adventure, we recommend reaching the Himalayas by train from Delhi. Not only is this a great way to get a real feel for India, but it is also an experience rather than a means to an end. Sit back and enjoy steaming through vast landscapes, taking in the beautiful countryside. Find out more Show All Location We know Northern India better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Northern India Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Most Himalayan states are best visited for less harsh weather and increasingly rhododendrons/camelias between February and May. And then for the clearest views of the Himalayas between September and November and before it gets too cold. Ladakh, however is on the plateau so has a different, June to September, when most of the subcontinent is in monsoon season. Northern India combines well with the Nepal and with Bhutan as all flights tend to route through Delhi and the seasonality is similar. Meet the Team Asia + The Middle East Venetia Chris Penny Florence Auriole We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.