Over the last 3 months, the arts world has witnessed an extensive selection of India related exhibitions, talks and TV programmes showcased in London. The Whitechapel Gallery put on a hugely successful and exciting photography exhibit, ‘Where Three Dreams Cross’, chronicling how modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been shaped. It is running until 11th April and is highly recommended for photographers and Indian lovers alike! The Victoria & Albert Museum exhibited ‘Made for Maharajas’ over Christmas which was visually breathtaking with extravagant sparkling jewellery and extremely informative in the history of the Maharajas. In conjunction with the museums exhibit, our very own Managing Director James Jayasundera gave a compelling and insightful presentation on the city of Udaipur from the perspective of a luxury traveller. The talk generated lots of buzz around Udaipur and resulted in Ampersand Travel’s ‘Made for Maharajas’ itinerary becoming even more popular. Even Channel 4 got in on the action, releasing a series called ‘Indian Winter’, that saw Kevin McCloud and Gordon Ramsay tour India, commenting on the infrastructure and cuisine respectively. The integrity and execution of the series was at times questionable, but the underlying intrigue and interest that the British harbour for India was there for all to see.

Back street in Ahmedabad

      The most recent event to hit the museums in the capital is ‘The Indian Portrait 1560-1860’ showing at the Nation Portrait Gallery. This outstanding exhibition, the first of its kind in the UK, tells the story of the Indian portrait over three centuries, exploring ways in which Indian artists have approached the depiction of the human form and the changing role of portraiture in Indian history. Bringing together 60 stunning works from international collections, the exhibition will celebrate the beauty, power and humanity of these works of art. The exhibit will run from 11th March – 20th June 2010 and admission is FREE. Through the National Portrait Gallery’s homepage, you can also learn about the many lectures and master classes the gallery is putting on over the coming months.

Kunwar Anop Singh of Devgarh riding with a falcon, National Portrait Gallery

      Living in or around London we are spoilt by the abundance of art and information at our fingertips, especially when it comes to India. However, there is only so much one can learn from lectures and exhibits. In order to fully satiate your desires you have to experience India first hand! You have to taste and smell the delectable cuisine, from street food to five-star dining, experience the kaleidoscopic colours of the saris, stroll amongst the frenzied markets and visit the famous and lesser known temples and palaces. That is what we at Ampersand Travel do best. We will take you on your very own tailor-made journey of India, whether that involves living like a Maharaja, Tiger spotting or getting off the beating track completely. Whatever Indian experience you are searching for, we will use our expert knowledge to put together an itinerary unlike any other. For more information and ideas please call us on 020 7289 6100 or e-mail us at info@ampersandtravel.com.

Decorated Indian elephants