frommer's recommendation of himalayan tours
{new york times}

First Time, or Umpteenth Time, India Always Surprises
By Robert Haru Fisher June 13, 2004

June 11, 2004 -- To many experienced travelers, India is one of the last grand adventures, an experience quite unlike any other on the planet. Though we can read daily of the emerging middle class there, it is still minute compared to the general population. And we hear of "everyone" carrying cell phones, but I never saw one not glued to the ear of a rising young technocrat. Rather, you'll find it possible to see a civilization where the majority still live close to the earth, bound to till the land as did their ancestors. And four-legged transport of all kinds (camels, elephants, donkeys, horses and more) still carry the load for much of the nation's daily commerce. Best of all, the color, the odors of spices and plants, and the noises make India a special place to visit. Himalayan Tours, based in New York City, has a Super Saver India Tour of seven days (five nights) costing just $1649 (including air from New York), that takes in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra ("the Big Three"), with lodging and daily American breakfast, transfers to and from airports to hotels, handling, sightseeing tours per itinerary by coach or car, an elephant ride in Jaipur, local English speaking guides, and services of tour managers. You'll see the main sites in each of three cities, including the Gandhi Memorial, the Jaipur City Palace, and the Taj Mahal, as well as stopping at Fatephur Sikri, the deserted sandstone city built by King Akbar. Extensions to Varanasi (formerly Benares), Goa and Kashmir are possible, too. Departures three or four times monthly from now through December 28, 2004. There are aircraft surcharges of $98 to $425 for certain dates, and departure and security taxes and fees are extra. Contact them at or by phoning 800/421-8975.