In the Heart of India
There’s a place in the very heart of India that will stir your soul and leave you swooning with its beauty and delights. The region of Madhya Pradesh (“MP,” as it’s lovingly called), located in the heart of India, is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, 25 sanctuaries and nine national parks. And if it’s tigers your clients are into, then it’s MP they’ll want to visit as the destination accounts for almost 20 percent of India’s tiger population, with six tiger reserves.
According to representatives from the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, with whom Recommend recently chatted, “visitors can experience all of India in Madhya Pradesh without moving around too much. It’s a truly authentic experience.”
Those aforementioned UNESCO sites are at the forefront of the many reasons to visit this exotic destination: the temples of Khajuraho, built between 950 to 1050 AD, with 22 surviving temples; Bhimbetka, with over 600 rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age filled with detailed paintings depicting the life of the prehistoric cave dwellers; and the town of Sanchi, home to an ensemble of Buddhist monuments that are considered to be one of the oldest stone structures in India.
Of course, to truly experience the destination in-depth, your clients, the tourism board suggests, should visit for 14 to 16 days, but knowing that not everyone has so much time on their hands, we’ve put together a cheat sheet of tour options provided to us by the tourism board that are ideal for recommending to clients: The 4-night World Heritage Route takes visitors to Bhopal, Bhimbetka, Bhojpur, Sanchi and Khajuraho (overnights are in Bhopal and Khajuraho); the 4-night Tiger & Temple Tour takes visitors to Panna, famous for its diamond mines; and Khajuraho (overnights are in Panna and Khajuraho); and the 7-night Majestic Forts, with stops at various forts including Mandu, Raisen, Gwalior and Jhansi (overnights are in Mandu, Burhanpur, Chanderi and Gwalior, known for its palaces and temples). mptourismusa.com or mptourism.com
My 2nd Home
Pacific Delight Tours is offering a heritage tour to India next year Jan. 16-29, 2019. Led by professor Nathan Katz—a scholar of Indian religions who specializes in Asian Jewry and has lived and traveled extensively throughout India—the itinerary takes guests to Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkata, and Delhi. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Mumbai’s Jewish community during dinner with locals and when visiting the city’s 19th century Indian synagogues. In rural Kerala, they’ll travel back in time when visiting some of the oldest synagogues in the region; and in Kolkata, there’s a tour of the recently renovated Maghen Abraham Synagogue. Other highlights include visiting Elephanta Island and the 16th century Palace of the Raja of Kochi, touring Jain Temple in Kolkata, and learning about the Dalai Lama’s “Jewish secret” from professor Katz. pacificdelighttours.com
Icon Gets Even More Glammed Up
The Oberoi, New Delhi has gotten a refresh and what a fabulous new look it is—it’s a multi-million dollar renovation that has transformed this iconic property, all while keeping true to its historic roots. Its 220 rooms, including 34 suites, are now more spacious and invite the natural light in; there’s a new restaurant, Omya, offering authentic Indian cuisine; Baoshuan, the rooftop restaurant, takes guests on a culinary journey through China; and for curated beverages and “am I in heaven” views, guests can head to Cirrus9, the rooftop bar. And for the ultimate in pampering, book clients into the 8th-floor, 3,500-sq.-ft. The Kohinoor Suite, with views of the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Delhi Golf Course, India’s oldest golf course.