Geographically, North India has great diversity. The towering majesty of the Himalayas, the breathtaking mountainous beauty of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, the agriculturally rich plains of Punjab, Haryana and the Ganga basin of Uttar Pradesh that has nurtured many ancient civilisations form an incredibly rich visual extravaganza.
The history of this land of the Vedas goes back at least 5000 years, the passage of the millennia peppered by the arrival of explorers, issionaries, envoys and traders. They all contributed to the cultural kaleidoscope that north India is today, a very colourful destination for the modern tourist. Uttar Pradesh is the confluence of the three mighty religions of the world - Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world and to this day one of the holiest of the Hindu pilgrimage centres, followed by Gaya. Part of this State was called the Middle Land in Buddhist literature, hallowed by the presence of the Buddha and Mahavira 2500 years ago. It was also in Uttar Pradesh that Muslim culture really blossomed in immortal literature, dance, music, art and architecture. Rajasthan is a State with an entirely different visage. Its medieval forts and palaces, the very distinctive nomadic desert lifestyle and stark scenery are unique in India. The mountainous States of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are dream destinations for tourists since they combine the awesome beauty of the Himalayas with a delightfully distinctive ethnic culture. This rich cultural tapestry is woven with brilliant strands of many hues-dance, music, food, costumes, languages, customs, festivals -a variety staggering in its appeal.