This article originally appeared in the 2012 India Travel Planner. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.

With literally thousands of years of history, myriad exotic cultures, breathtaking temples and palaces, and a diverse geography that runs from the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas, to the lush jungles and massive rivers that run as much on myth and legend as they do on the headwaters that feed them, there’s no doubt that India enthralls both the first-time visitor and well-heeled traveler.

This is a destination that challenges the mind with the cerebral consciousness of its multiple cultures and the sheer masses of humanity that inhabit its cities and countryside. It’s also a destination that both challenges and soothes the soul with a menu of spirituality that offers a complex mix of both the metaphysical and the physical.

A travel adventure in India, as you’ll find here in the pages of this India Travel Planner 2012, is as diverse as its cultures and geography. One day you can be rigorously negotiating a bargain in the crowded markets of New Delhi or Mumbai, the next riding an elephant through a national park in search of the elusive Bengal tiger and the day after that, standing on the deck of a boat in the Ganges, watching the faithful wade into the waters, bathing away their sins and honoring their Hindu gods.

But, it’s a destination that requires knowledge—information on not only what to sell, but whom to sell it to. Its very diversity makes it a complicated destination and a good travel seller needs to do their homework if they want to maximize on the experiences for their clients. There’s detailed information in the following pages that will break down the myriad regions of the country and the vacation experiences found within. There are in-depth features on the country’s culture and festivals, on India’s attractions and unbelievable historical monuments, temples and palaces, on spiritual tours, and on where and who to see about planning a trip for a client seeking more modern medical care at prices they’ll never find in the West.

In short, if it’s about India travel, it’s right here in the India Travel Planner 2012.

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