India and the Vale of Kashmir

Landscape and cultural tours

  1. India:   18 March — 2 April 2017 (16 days)
  2. Vale of Kashmir:   2 April — 6 April 2017 (5 days)

 

For Itineraries and other documents please go to the foot of this page.

 

These tours include the great Mughal gardens (such as Humayan, Nishat Bagh, Taj Mahal, Ram Bagh (Agra), Shalimar and the Presidential Palace Garden), palaces and forts of Rajasthan, Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri, the unique Khajuraho temple complex (the ‘naughty temples) and Varanasi (formerly Benares). We will be special guests to private houses and gardens including four designed by the office of Aniket Bhagwat.

The optional tour to the fabled Vale of Kashmir takes us to the greatest of all hill stations — Srinagar — with its Shikaris, houseboats and fabulous gardens surrounding Dal Lake.

The tours are crafted with special assistance from Aniket Bhagwat, the leading Indian landscape designer who proved a sensation at our 2013 Conference.  We have followed his suggestions closely and will spend some exciting times with him in Ahmedabad.

These are cultural tours featuring visits to wonderful private houses and gardens where we enjoy the warm hospitality of gardeners and owners. Gardens include the striking architectural to the religious and domestic and four modern houses and gardens by Landscape India (of which Aniket Bhagwat is the principal).

Various experts in addition to Aniket Bhagwat will join us during the tour.

Please note that numbers are strictly limited for this tour and early bookings are essential.

Security
Kashmir has experienced boundary disputes on and off since partition. But there are in fact over 500,000 tourists to Kashmir annually. Our tour will take great care to limit travel to secure areas and practices as prescribed by the Australian and UK High Commissions.   Kashmir has had bad press in the past, but we point out that there are many other very popular tourist destinations around the world with equal or greater security issues.  We have sought advice from various sources and received nothing but positive encouragement subject to ensuring that we act with care and sense of responsibility for all of India.

Our time in Kashmir will be wholly (or nearly so) based in Srinagar (the capital of Kashmir), which is a designated secure area and contains the finest remaining great gardens of Kashmir.

On its website, the UK High Commission reports that –

‘There has been an overall decline in violence in the state in recent years and an increase in the numbers of Indian and western tourists. There have been no recent reported attacks on visitors in the cities of Srinagar or Jammu’. (15-10-15)

Comfort and Amenity
Much of India is challenging!  Accordingly, we seek to minimise difficult conditions wherever possible and have selected excellent 4-5 star hotels so that a cool, quiet and comfortable respite is always available after touring.

Tour Leader
Warwick Forge
has had a long-term interest in India since he first visited in 1967 when he developed a passion for the sub-continent and for the Vale of Kashmir in particular – an amazing garden paradise under the Mughal Emperors.  Warwick’s visit to Kashmir in 2008 included a study tour of the Mughal gardens with Erica Hunnigher and Penelope Hothouse.  He is accompanied by co-leader Susanne Forge, a keen gardener with a passion for arts and crafts and an interest in design generally. She is a qualified accountant with a knack for avoiding and dealing with problems and for sourcing great exhibitions and highly successful shopping ventures.  Sue and Warwick have led many tours to South America and elsewhere.

Information
For expressions of interest and all enquiries, contact Warwick Forge phone 03 9804 8915 or warwick@bloomings.com.au
Warwick will be overseas for much of May and June. We suggest you contact him via email to which he will reply as soon as he can and phone you as necessary.

ALC Garden Tours
Our tours provide access to many private homes, gardens and locations through long standing friendships. They are cultural tours with focus upon the unique features of each region.

Tour Documents – Please click below

  1. India and Vale of Kashmir Tour Itinerary
  2. India and Vale of Kashmir Reservation Form
  3. Expression of Interest form for Tour Applicants
  4. Send an Email Enquiry to Warwick
  5. Subscribe to ALC News Sheets and updates

 

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