India, Body and Soul: Quality Independent tours to India with private guide

Purple Dragon's India Adventures: Your Journey of Lifetime

For most people, a visit to India is a life-changing experience. India is vivid, challenging and full of both remarkable beauty and remarkable cultural contradictions. A visit here is a journey of a different kind, and many visitors find themselves confronting their values and their notions of history and spirituality. Next to China, India is the world's richest, most ancient civilization, the place where the Buddha delivered his first sermons, the birthplace of Hinduism, and of many of the ideas that have shaped both history and thinking for much of the world. Kublai Khan, Rudyard Kipling, Shirley Temple and Bollywood have hinted about what is in store for those who have never visited here. If you are one of them, this may be the journey of a lifetime.

Planning Your Holiday

Purple Dragon's private India tours are all-inclusive travel programs  designed to help first-time visitors get acquainted with dazzling India. We pioneered LGBT travel toIndia. However, you do not have to be gay to enjoy one of our India programs. We welcome everyone! Our mainstream customers choose us because they know they will get something better from a gay company.

Creating the perfect adventure could not be easier! Our programs are all modular. Choose a destination and arrive any day. Add any extra sightseeing you like and your trip is tailor-made to suit your own schedule, tastes and budget. Your private tour includes personal guides, so you'll never be herded around on a bus with 40 strangers. Although we have already chosen the optimum amount of time to visit each place you can extend your stay in any of our destinations.

Before your trip we will give you  "Before You Go" information that includes tips about packing, weather, money, shopping, food, travel practicalities and local culture that will help you enjoy a worry-free holiday.

Poor Country = Cheap Tours, Right?

For most people India is not a budget travel destination. If you are looking for a "cheap" tour you are probably in the wrong place since we have never been associated with cheapness.  For good advice about how to compare the value of one travel program with another, please read our Cheap India Tour page.

Convenient Modular Programs

Purple Dragon's India packages offer great value and save you time and effort by arranging your choice of hotel, round trip airport transportation, and sightseeing with a personal English-speaking guide. You can add optional sightseeing if you wish.

The Golden Triangle ▸ Delhi, Agra and Jaipur form the corners of the world's most spectacular triangle. This is a program for guests who have only a short time to get a first taste of India. You can extend your stay by adding one or more of the options below.

Delhi New and Old  ▸ If you are planning to visit Delhi as a short stop in a long Asia itinerary or need to go there for business, our basic New Delhi package could be your cup of cha.

Mumbai Martini  ▸ We have whipped up a spicy cocktail for our guests who have time for only a brief stop in Mumbai (Bombay) and want to see the highlights before business obligations or travel to an onward destination.

Optional Add-On Destinations

Have more time and want an in-depth adventure in India. You can extend our Golden Triangle program by adding one or more of the options below. Sorry, but we do not offer these separately, nor do we offer guide-only services in India.

Surajgarh ▸ Journey to the edge of India's largest desert to spend the night in a palace fortress that has been transformed into a luxury hotel, complete with a pool, roof-top restaurant and village musicians. Ride a camel-drawn cart through a Rajasthani village to see lavishly-decorated but now-abandoned mansions.

Ranthambore ▸ A few days in one of India's most beautiful national nature preserves will give you a chance to see all kinds of wildlife close-up. Ranthambore National Park is famous for its tiger population. You will also have a chance to see elephants, rhinos countless birds, and exotic plant life.

Udaipur ▸ India's "City of Lakes" has been compared to Venice. Massive marble palaces of the Maharajas of old are there for you to explore, along with grand and unusual Jain temples.

Path to the Ganges ▸  Journey beyond Delhi, Agra and Jaipur to visit Khajuraho, the "Angkor Wat of India" and the holiest of Hindu cities, Varanasi (Benares). In addition to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, you will see some of the world's most erotic temple carvings and--it you are up to it--take a dip in the Ganges.

More Ideas for Other Destinations ▸  We have great ideas for Rajasthan, Kerala/Cochin, Madurai, Kashmir, Darjeeling trekking, and Ladakh (home of the Dalai Lama).

Our Grandest Tour of India ▸  This isn't really a tour, but a suggestion about how to take a longer, more in-depth approach to India. There is no price for this tour. But it will help you make decisions if you are interested in more than the Golden Triangle. Let us know what looks fantastic for you and we'll take it from there.

Bhutan  ▸  The "Land of the Thunder Dragon," after being closed to the world for centuries, remains as one of Asia's last unspoiled destinations. We have four different Bhutan itineraries, depending on how much time you have to spare. You can fly to Paro, the location of the kingdom's only airport, from Bangkok, Gaya, Delhi, Kathmandu and Kolkata.

Gay Life in India

India is probably not the best place to go for someone who wants to experience a lot of gay nightlife or entertainment. If you are content with amazing sights and sounds, incomparable history, terrific food and unparalleled shopping, India is a great choice for our anyone who can't stand another summer Mediterranean holiday or a week in Florida.

Although the percentage of gay/lesbian/bi people in India is probably about the same as anywhere else in the world, India's homosexuals are largely invisible. However, this has already begun to change and will continue to change at lightening speed as India becomes more modern and Westernized.

Pride events have been held throughout India and have grown steadily since June 2008, laws against homosexuality were struck down and later reinstated. A strong campaign is  under weigh to retire these arcane colonial laws throughout the country.

Several bars in New Delhi have a 'gay night' once a week, and there are weekly gay "parties" in Mumbai. Unless you are on a list of people who receive text messages about these events you may never know where or when they happen.

Weather

Generalizing about climate in India is foolish, so we won't try to tell all on one paragraph. Temperatures are consistently tropical in the south and cooler as you travel farther north. Weather in Delhi, Rajasthan and everywhere northward towards the Himalays is cold in winter. We can arrange for everything from a ski vacation to a beach holiday in winter months. The wet season is roughly April through July.

Passports & Visas

A visa is required for citizens of most countries and you must make these arrangements in advance of your departure. We will give you plenty of help to prepare for your adventure, including detailed "Before You Go" information.

What We Do

Purple Dragon is a 19 year old tour company that was founded to serve LGBT guests. However, we welcome everyone who wants to have a top quality experience in the places we work. All of our tours are private and include private transportation and one of our legendary private guides. We do not offer group tours.  The big advantage to a private tour is, of course, that you do not have to put up with other people or compromise your own schedule and activities to suit others in a group or waste your time with other peoples' bathroom breaks or shopping stops. You can spend a bit more time at places that really matter to you, and avoid places that do not, and go at your own pace. We use gay-owned or LGBT-friendly hotels wherever possible and show our guests something deeper than the facade of contemporary culture.