Passage Through India
Passage Through India
From the madness of the metropolises to spiritual calm in the sanctum of the Himalayas, India's borders present a wealth of cultures and landscapes that will both compel and confuse you, in the best possible way.
- Gain access to the private collection of the Taj Mahal Palace's art collection with the curator
- Take tea in a private members' club in Mumbai
- Visit some of the beautiful homes of Mumbai's high society
- See the moving Beating Retreat Ceremony at sunset along the border of India and Pakistan
- Help carry the Holy Book during the Palki Ceremony at Amritsar's Golden Temple
- Retrace India's colonial history with an author and historian in Shimla
This trip can be customised to your personal preferences.
As they say in India, “the guest is God”. This welcoming ethos is one of the country's defining characteristics. As such, the best way to enhance your knowledge of this unique destination is through the locals. Hear stories and learn traditions not available in any guidebook.
Explore the different cultural districts of Mumbai with their distinct visual identities and heritage structures. From the Thieves Market to unseen jewellery collections, uncover the cultural spectrum of India's largest city as you meet people from high society to humble spice merchants. The city's colonial past is reflected in local art and architecture. For a more in-depth exploration of this, meet the art curator of the Taj Mahal Palace to view their private collection.
Perhaps visit the People's Museum in Amritsar for a poignant retelling of the Partition and how it affected migration, resettlement and the rebuilding of lives. Near the Wagah border you can witness the colourful and emotionally charged Beating Retreat Ceremony with exclusive seating. Crowds gather in India and Pakistan as both militaries carry out their parades in perfect synchronisation. The iron gates of the border are opened and the flags of the two countries are lowered as the sun sets.
The temple within the Harmandir Sahib complex is the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism. The chants that continuously emanate from this golden shrine create a tangible spirituality. Join the evening Palki Ceremony, where worshippers form a line to help carry the Holy Book to the sanctum where it rests overnight. The Sikhs are incredibly welcoming and eager to share conversation and wisdom.
To experience rural India, head to Shimla in the Himalayan foothills. You will soon see how snow-capped mountains, green pastures and a pleasant climate made this a favourite retreat for the British during Crown rule. Visit the summer cottage of the Maharaja of Kapurthala for a meal with the Lady of the House. For a heritage perspective, we'd propose a walk with an author and historian to discover the imperial and exotic features of the area that inspired many, including Rudyard Kipling.
India is undeniably vast and varied. Whatever your desires, we will handpick treasures that inform and enlighten your senses in every way possible. Simply embrace the confounding and expect the unexpected.