Two countries of incomparable diversity, India and Sri Lanka are colorful, beguiling, holy and life-affirming. From ancient Buddhist outposts in the foothills of the Himalayas to sacred Hindu temples in the jungles of Tamil Nadu, the region is a mosaic of landscapes, cultures, and cuisines that flood the senses and forever alter the soul. With a little black book of trusted guides, gastronomes and gurus, PRIOR can plan and navigate journeys throughout the breadth of the great subcontinent.
Spiritual India – Varanasi
Journey to India’s spiritual nexus and one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, Varanasi, to experience the Maha Shivaratri festival.
This Hindu parade sees pilgrims converge to seek the blessing of Lord Shiva with dhatura flowers, bael leaves, and fruits among the teeming ghats, bathing sadhus, and burning pyres of the River Ganges.
Take a boat ride at sunset to experience the arti (prayer ceremony) and discover the city’s history with a regional scholar amid labyrinthine streets. PRIOR members stay in a heritage property on the banks of the Ganges at Asi Ghat, a centuries-old meeting place for saints, seers, and poets.
Continue your journey beyond Varanasi to other sacred sites, including nearby Sarnath, close to the confluence of the Ganges and Varuna rivers. A village of stupas, temples and ashrams, it holds significance as the location where Buddha is said to have taught his first sermon after enlightenment.
Pray with Buddhist monks, walk with expert hikers, and consult an otherworldly oracle in the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh.
Meander through the slopes of Sri Lanka’s tea trail and stay in a sustainable tea estate.
Run through an explosion of color and music during the Holi festival to celebrate the arrival of spring.
The northwestern state of Rajasthan emerged from a collection of feudal kingdoms and remains an astonishing showcase of colored cities, perfumed palaces, and relics of the British Raj.
Explore the blue city of Jodhpur, where life revolves around the colossal 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort. Listen to a private musical recital there, see carved pillars and shrines in a nearby Jain temple, and stay at Raas, a boutique hotel in a restored stepwell in the shadow of the fort.
Udaipur to the south is hemmed in by the Aravalli hills, dominated by Pichola Lake and home to one of India’s most spectacular city palaces. See whitewashed havelis, take a cooking class to learn the art of Marwari cuisine, and be entertained by the elaborate and joyful art of Kathputli puppetry. The city’s jewel is its floating Lake Palace, a white-marble hotel where you can live like a maharani.
Continue to the pink city of Jaipur and rise early for a visit to the marigold- and tuberose-filled flower market for breakfast and a street-side chai and then a day of shopping through arguably the world’s capital of gemstones and textiles including the city’s sought-after block-printing. Stay at the Rajmahal Palace, a fifteen-room pale-pink hotel with art-deco décor, a cacophony of patterned wallpapers and a pale-pink exterior that neither the imaginations Diana Vreeland or Wes Anderson could dream up.
Travel with Prior
Our regional and cultural experts design bespoke travel itineraries to match our members’ interests.
We take care of the logistics, unlock access to unique experiences, and provide 24/7 support while you travel.
Whatever inspires your imagination, contact one of our Travel Designers to bring your ideas to life.