Welcome to Aroma of India

Not many regions in the world offer the kind of geographical diversity that India has to offer; the highest mountains, the mightiest rivers, vast flatlands, dense forests, sun soaked beaches, palm fringed waterways, golden deserts and many tropical islands. Certainly no other country juxtaposes Stone Age cultures and post-modern groups almost at the same time and space. In a bygone age, many civilizations flourished, kingdoms rose and fell leaving behind an array of splendid historical sites, deserted monuments, battle-scarred forts and exquisite temples. Nowhere else in the world are people as colourful as the inhabitants of the region, they are forever ready to celebrate life. India can be separated into 4 main areas: The south, central India, north India and the Himalayas.

Northern India’s heritage combines ancient desert tribes and Rajput warriors, forgotten Mughul fortresses and fairy tale palaces; jungles, tigers and ruins steeped in romance. The most majestic and romantic of all the Indian states is Rajasthan synonymous with royal castles, princely palaces, and stories of the chivalry, romance and bravery of the Rajputs. Gujarat provides India with a wild and deserted coastline, holy Jain temples and again, wonderful palaces and is also home to the wild and the last remaining Asiatic Lions, tribal arts and crafts and hand-made embroidered textiles. Other better known destinations include The Golden Temple of Amritsar in Punjab, Varanasi, the city of pilgrimage and learning in Uttar Pradesh as well, and of course, as the Taj Mahal.

Southern India’s rich exoticism stems from Kerala’s famed backwaters, palm-fringed beaches, chic boutique hotels and ayurvedic spas. This beautiful state has influences from the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Chinese who came to trade spices and ivory, to the Dutch, Portuguese and British - all of whom have left their mark: the Chinese fishing nets in Cochin, the Dutch forts and palaces throughout the region, the tea plantations and the cricket pitches of the Raj occupation. Explore further inland there are also abundant spice plantations, jungles, tea estates and the seductive undulations of the Western Ghats. Wander through Tamil Nadu with its fascinating temple towns of Madurai, Chidambaram, Trichy and Tanjore; the largest temple, the Sri Ranganathaswamy at Trichy, houses over twenty thousand people within its walls. In Karnataka discover Mysore, the city of palaces, the temples at Halebid and Belur and the remnants of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, and vast areas of protected land in the national parks of Nagarhole and Bandipur.Goa still has pockets where tourism has been carefully regulated, and some of India's finest beach hotels can be found on palm-fringed beaches. It is a wonderful place to end a holiday and provides breathtaking sunsets, great seafood and a glimpse of India's Portuguese colonial influences.

Central India’s Madhya Pradesh is most well known for its tiger sanctuaries, Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench which provided the backdrop and inspiration for Kipling's Jungle Book. In addition its fame comes from the erotic temples at Khajuraho, however Orchha and Gwailor are ancient towns with forts, temples, cenotaphs and palaces, and form a more unusual and lesser known cultural circuit and should not be missed. Orissa has the highest concentration of temples on India’s coastline and the gigantic Surya Temple of Konark, built as a chariot for the sun god is unmissable. In addition it has a fascinating tribal population still attempting to maintain their traditional lifestyles amidst the onslaught of 21st Century influences.

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ellora and Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra date as far back as the 2nd Century BC, the caves complexes consist of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples and monasteries all hewn from out of the mountainside. The main city of central India is Bombay, a vibrant and multifaceted city; it has hectic and buzzing bazaars and is of course the home of glamorous Bollywood.

Himalayas, The Himalayan range covers the entire northern part of India. Some of the reasons why people have been so fascinated by the Indian Himalaya are the ancient Hindu pilgrim routes, the low valleys protected by the high snow-capped mountain ranges providing ideal trekking country, densely forested areas lying just a mountain range away from barren cold deserts and the lovely, genuine people of the mountains with their unique lifestyles who inhabit this spectacular but often unforgiving terrain.