My favorite photos from India are posted at Flickr here:
Here was our itinerary (pdf):
I’ve noted the hotels we stayed at with notes in case you are considering those locations. I will probably write in more detail about India in general as time goes on.
Delhi. Spent a day in Delhi before leaving for Agra and a day after Agra before leaving for Varanasi. (Best Western Taurus Airport: not recommended, staff not very friendly or organized – repeated mistakes with our reservations).
Agra / Taj Mahal. A few of us met before the group trip began to visit the Taj Mahal. Spent a night in Agra to visit the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal. (Wyndham Grand: luxurious)
Varanasi. View clip of concert with Pandit Shivnath Mishra & Deobrat Mishra. Visiting with Deobrat Mishra at Academy of Indian Classical Music. (Palace on the Ganges, Assighat)
Here’s what is was like driving in Varanasi:
Tiruvannamalai. Home of spiritual mountain Arunachala and the temple of enlightened sage Sri Ramana Maharshi. Visited the children at Terre des hommes core. Highly recommend The Dreaming Tree restaurant. (Sparsa Eco Resort, nice vegetarian resort).
Pondicherry. Southern India town with French colonial heritage – similar architecture to New Orleans.
Bangalore. (Two stopovers at Goldfynch Retreat Hotel near the airport, nice facilities – some difficulties with front desk staff on each visit).
After this, I traveled on my own in Kerala:
Kovalam. Stayed at the Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Resort. This place has amazing food – much of it vegetarian. They recommend you stay for two weeks for a full ayurvedic cleanse – which sometimes includes blood letting. The beach here was quite nice but also tricky surf. Staff was super friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.