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India

Cheap flights from India

Incredible India, an exotic country full of culture and personality. Every state oozes its own unique culture, traditions and experiences. India is perhaps one of the world’s most multidimensional countries with snow-covered mountains, sun-drenched beaches to masterfully preserved temples to colourful festivals, lantern-lit villages to huge megapolises. It’s a place which will leave you with memories, no matter where you go and what you do. India does not just offer a myriad sightseeing opportunities, there are also activities that range from rafting to meditation, courses in classical music as well as chakra alignment, volunteering for a social or environmental cause and of course shopping, shopping and more shopping!

New Delhi, the capital of India, is a sprawling city that offers travellers a whole range of temples and ruins to visit. Go back in time to the period of ceremonial elephants, eunuchs and buildings lined with precious stones at the Red Fort in Delhi. Be sure not to miss Humayun’s Tomb, one of Delhi’s sublime sights. Visitors are able to wonder around the magical Mughal gardens to take photos and watch the sunset. For those interested in ancient history, head to the National Museum which gives an overview of the country in the last 5,000 years. Hear Sufis sing qawwalis at sunset at the Hazrat Nizam –Ud-Din Darga, a vibrant marble Muslim shrine. The largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid in Delhi can hold 25,000 people. You are allowed to enter the mosque but please do remove your shoes. Shop till you drop at the huge air-conditioned megamalls or stroll through bazaars at Lajpat Nagar and Chandni Chowk.

From New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, there are frequent direct flights to Amritsar via Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India. Amritsar is home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the spectacular Golden Temple. Visitors are allowed to enter the shrine but be sure to remove your shoes and cover your head with a scarf. Head to the Guru-Ka-Langar where you can eat free vegetarian meals. Volunteer your time there by helping to wash the plates. This is an experience not to be missed. Neelams, just located outside the Golden Temple is an awesome place to cool your heels over a banana lassi which will just leave you craving for more!

Marvel at the legendary beauty of the white marbled Taj Mahal, the ultimate monument to love. Be awe-struck by not only the sheer beauty of this monument but the love story behind this remarkable structure. If you’ve had enough of the chaotic frenzy of the streets, head to the rooftop terraces in the Taj Ganj area or take a slow boat ride down the Yamuna River to admire and take photographs of the picturesque Taj Mahal. Head to the ruined city of Fatehpur Sikri and the pilgrimage centre of Mathura to learn more about the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire.

From New Delhi, there are flights to Beijing, the capital of China. If ancient monuments are your cup of cha, head to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Avoid the touristy Bandaling area where hordes of tourists congregate during the weekends. Spend the rest of the day admiring the impressive imperial architecture of the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City.

From India, hop on any Air India or Thai Airways flight to the beautiful island of Phuket, located in southern Thailand. This is a destination that offers much to its visitors from turquoise waters to powdery beaches, sumptuous resorts and perfectly cooked seafood. Go snorkelling and diving to admire technicoloured fish and marine life. Alternatively, swim in the infinity pool at one of the swish resorts on the island. Treat yourself to a spa treatment at Centara Villa Phuket, which will have you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated by the end of the session.

If you want to splurge on designer fashion and branded products, Singapore is the place to visit. Singapore is a world-class shopping destination with many high-end boutiques and malls. Try your luck at one of the two casinos on the island. There are frequent flights from India to Singapore on Air India and Singapore Airlines.

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Images by Flickr\jonrawlinson