Comprising a region north of the Ganges flood plains, to the east of Nepal, over the foothills and high mountain passes all the way to the former Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh and the fabled earthly paradise Kashmir, the Himalayas represents the least populated and arguably most beautiful region of all India. So, what are the main highlights?
Well, heading out of Delhi the first place you'll probably come to is Shilma, former summer capital to the British Raj echoing the history of that era, before moving on to Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in Exile. Close to here there are some wonderful walking trips to do staying with local villages in their authentic but comfortably converted homes.
Further north is an old favourite of the hippy era, Manali, which is the last town before the high passes, some at over 5,000m that will quite literally take your breath away, lead you to Ladakh.
Sandwiched between the vast ranges of the Karakoram and Himalayas, Ladakh is the highest, most remote and least populated region in the country. Formerly a part if Tibet, it's a Buddhist state, home to some extraordinary landscapes, some stunning architecture, great walking and fascinating people.
And finally we move on to Kashmir -- were I am now. As one of the oldest tourist destinations in the world -- a place favoured by Moghul emperors, British memsahibs and 60s hippies -- the beauty of the Vale of Kashmir has had poets waxing lyrical for millennia... And for good reason. Famed for its cool, clear summer air, its alpine meadows and its tranquil lakes Kashmir is a region like no other. Throw in the quirky and atmospheric wooden houseboats and the lifting of the British Foreign Office advice against travel here in November 2012, and you have everything you need for a unique adventure holiday destination.
We have a number of group tours that take in these regions: A Journey to Ladakh -- takes you on a mega road journey to the Buddhist mountain kingdom; Hill Stations to Kashmir, which will show you some of the interesting hill stations on your way to Kashmir. Or our ever popular High Road to Kashmir that connects Ladakh with Kashmir. And of course, back in our offices in London and Delhi, we have specialist travel planners that know all these places inside out waiting to help you create the most perfect tailor-made experience.
So if you'd like your holiday to come with stunning views, mountain lakes, forest temples and ancient shrines, a myriad cultures and creeds, excellent cuisine and some very good shopping, then look no further than the intoxicating Kashmir Himalayan region of India.