India is a spectacular country, as diverse culturally as it is geographically. India’s more than 1.2 billion people live in chaotic, colorful cities, tranquil fishing villages and towns encircled by lush rainforests and nature preserves. Hindu is the most common religion, but many other religions are practiced in this deeply spiritual country. The traditions, festivals and temples of India are soul-stirring and visually stunning, and will remain bright in a traveler’s memory forever.
Sri Lanka is a tropical island off the coast of India. It may be small, but the island has a lot to offer visitors. You’ll find pristine beaches, incredible wildlife, and rich history.
Each year, we have several voyages calling on some of the most fascinating places in India and Sri Lanka. They’re often called “The Spice Route” voyages, as an homage to the popular trade route of centuries past. These itineraries are perfect for back-to-back voyages, so that you can have true Destination Immersion® experiences in this incredible region.
- The Spice Route, April 15 to May 1, 2016
- The Spice Route I, November 3 to November 17, 2016
- The Spice Route II, November 17 to November 30, 2016
- The Spice Route, April 9 to April 22, 2017
- Pearls Along the Indian Ocean, April 22 to May 12, 2017
- Spices, Teas and Rubber Trees, November 24 to December 9, 2017
- Indian Ocean Adventure, April 8 to April 26, 2018
- The Spice Route, November 7 to November 26, 2018
The beauty of India and Sri Lanka is captured, every day, by photographers on Instagram. These nine photos will no doubt inspire you to begin planning a journey.
Chennai, in Southern India, is an eclectic mix of historic landmarks, gorgeous beaches, and modern, glamorous hotspots. The people of Chennai are known for their warmth and hospitality. In fact, Tamil culture considers serving food to be a pious act. Music, art, dance and theater are important,
The nearby ancient town of Mamallapurum represents the pinnacle of Tamil culture’s appreciation for beauty. There, you’ll see incredible Hindu temples, cave sanctuaries, and thousands of intricately carved statues honoring the god Shiva.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka, and has a lot to offer visitors. The area is home to gorgeous Buddhist and Hindu temples, like the one pictured above, as well as an elephant orphanage and the country’s largest national park.
Goa is a blissful beachside town surrounded by quaint villages, spice plantations and lush wetlands perfect for birdwatching. Goa was occupied by Portugal until 1961 (fourteen years after India obtained independence from Britain) and the Portuguese influence can still be noticed today.
Skip the selfies when you visit Agra’s famed Taj Mahal, and instead capture the monument at an interesting angle during the soft lighting of “magic hour” like this photographer did. No matter how many photographs you’ve seen, nothing compares to seeing the white marble mausoleum in person.
From Goa, Azamara guests can participate in a three-day overland journey to Agra and Delhi. Pictured here is a flower market in Old Delhi, in the midst of preparations for Diwali. The sea of bright orange marigolds are used in celebrations for India’s most important festival.
Diwali, a festival of lights, celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is held on the 15th day of the month Kartika in the Hindu calendar (sometime between mid-October and mid-November).
Hambantota, Sri Lanka will be a maiden port-of-call for Azamara in 2018. We can’t wait to explore the nearby national parks and hot springs. Bundala National Park, pictured here, is home to at least 197 different species of birds, as well as monkeys, turtles, crocodiles, and a small population of elephants. Join the 19-Night Spice Route Voyage, and explore with us for the first time!
Kochi, India is full of surprises. For example, did you know that a very small Jewish population resides here? (We told you India is religiously diverse!) You’ll find temples,mosques, a 400 year-old synagogue and the famous Church of Saint Francis in this serene city.
One of the most popular excursions from Kochi is a tour of the greater area of Kerala by traditional houseboat, through the “backwaters” - an interconnected network of rivers and lagoons.
Port Blair, India
Port Blair is the provincial capital of India’s Andaman Islands. This archipelago is surrounded by crystal clear waters, home to colorful fish and coral reefs. The Mahatma Ghandi Marine National Park covers 280 square kilometers and fifteen islands. Visitors can explore by kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, or taking a tour on a glass-bottomed boat.
Mumbai is a paradox. It is both rich and poor, modern and ancient, beautiful and crowded. There’s so much to do and see in Mumbai. Temples, museums, bazaars and historic landmarks make the city a travel photographer’s dream. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, seen here lit up for Diwali, is a historic railway station and a UNESCO Heritage Site. However, Mumbai is for experiencing, not sightseeing. Luckily for us, that’s what Destination Immersion® experiences are all about.
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