India is big. In ideas and stature. In tourism appeal and economic might. In technical acumen and pure beauty. In historical and cultural resonance. And, certainly, in the scope of its attractions. It is arguably one of the world's emerging "next places to go."
It is also seemingly unfathomable—mind-bogglingly complex, rich, and diverse. With its 22 recognized indigenous written languages, as well as English and hundreds of local tongues and dialects, this sprawling country is a veritable United Nations unto itself.
In "Passages Through India" in the November/December 2006 issue of National Geographic Traveler, we offer six trips, recommended by some wise India veterans. Here we give you the information you need to plan your own journey to those places. Written by India expert Sarina Singh, these trip planners tell you everything from how to get there to where to stay and eat. Singh, a journalist and former foreign correspondent, is senior author of Lonely Planet's India guidebook. She travels to the subcontinent at least once a year and wrote and directed Beyond The Royal Veil, a documentary about contemporary Indian royalty, which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
In planning our India coverage, here and in the magazine, Traveler would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance of Raj Singh of Exotic Journeys (New Delhi; tel. +91 (0)2612 4069; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) and Marion Miller of Micato Safaris (New York; tel. 800 MICATO 1); the companies they represent are both leading tour operators in India.
Each section of the India trip planner (left) features both celebrated attractions as well as some of the lesser known, allowing you to pick and choose what seems most interesting for your own personal itinerary.