Heritage & Culture
Longed-for places to see and once seen never forgotten – the Taj Mahal is only one gem in India’s crown. Others might include the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the spiritual centre of the Sikh religion, or the city of Varanasi, India’s holiest Hindu city, where temples and shrines lining the ghats (riverside steps) along the River Ganges are busy with the endless cycle of Hindu religious practice. The Palaces of Mysore, a city whose royal past continues to enchant – and the heritage site of Hampi, once the capital city of a magnificent empire, now a city of desolation where the ruins of historical monuments still evoke memories of regal splendour.
Consider Yangon’s gilded Shwedagon Paya or the thousands of Buddhist temples scattered across the plains of Bagan in Burma, and then watch everyday life unfold before you as you travel along the Irrawaddy River in a traditional style riverboat, or on the awe-inspiring Inle Lake where there are water-bound temples and floating gardens to explore.
Enjoy the annual festivals and dance dramas performed by monks and laypeople dressed in colourful costumes and masks in Bhutan – the Land of the Thunder Dragon; climb up to Bhutan’s most famous monastery, the Tiger’s Nest, clinging to the sheer cliffs – and travel through an unspoiled kingdom that has treasured its natural environment throughout the centuries so that it is still pure and richly intact.
Wander amongst the intricately carved monuments of Polonnaruwa or the rolling tea estates of Sri Lanka; see a Blue Whale up close at Mirissa or The Gathering of hundreds of wild elephant at Minneriya and bask in the sunshine on one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful, clean beaches.
Spend time in the Himalayas, the highest and youngest mountains in the world, with wondrous snow-capped views, or in National Parks and Game Reserves where there is the chance to see the elusive tiger, or a leopard, as well as other wildlife and a myriad species of birds.
There are reminders of a colonial past in these magnificent and welcoming countries. And a timeless, unchanged feel in parts. Heritage and culture is found in abundance throughout India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Bhutan – and everywhere you go throughout India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Bhutan there are welcoming places to stay and warm, friendly and hospitable people. You will take sights and experiences away that will remain with you forever.