Peirce & Leslie offers luxury tours in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka for discerning travelers who crave authentic and transformative travel experiences. With tours led by handpicked guides, travelers have insider access to private and public venues and an itinerary that reveals the Indian subcontinent’s true spirit.
Our very own Tyler LaMont had the opportunity to go exploring with Peirce & Leslie in India and here’s what he had to share upon his return…
What’s the story behind how Peirce and Leslie was founded?
Robert Peirce & Patrick Leslie came to India from the UK about 150 years ago to open tea plantations. This turned into a number of other ventures, including a travel division which catered to the needs of their tea plantation employees and which grew to include other clients in India. Building on that legacy, they have created bespoke journeys that truly exceed the expectations of travelers from all over the world.
What makes India different than any other destination?
India is a very special place. It was one destination that I feel you can go to 100 times, and have a completely different experience each visit. It really touches people in a spiritual way, and remains with them long after their journey. Experiential travel seems to be all the rave these days. Well, India is the definition of experiential travel. There are new, meaningful experiences at every turn, whether it be a personal interaction with a local, a sip of champagne in the royal quarters, or an evening drifting down the Ganges and partaking in a sacred ritual that has gone on for thousands of years.
What was the most spectacular thing you saw while visiting India?
Everything is spectacular in India!! It is sensory overload: so many sights, smells, sounds, colors – and all at once! I think the most touching experience for me, as it is for so many others, was our visit to Varanasi. Varanasi is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century. The city draws pilgrims who bathe in the River Ganges’ sacred waters and perform funeral rites. To witness a tradition that has gone on for thousands of years, in what is said to be the oldest living city in the world. To not only watch it from a distance, but to feel a part of the rituals. You feel like you are at the spiritual center of the earth, and even if you are the least spiritual person on the planet, it will move you.
What was the best part of your experience with Peirce & Leslie?
Peirce & Leslie has been in the luxury travel business for quite some time, and their experience shines through: the trip is seamless, the guides are incredibly knowledgeable and very well spoken, comfort is a necessity, and you always feel safe. However, I believe that where they set themselves apart is in their unique experiences. How they take you under the skin of the culture, and do a deeper dive into the country and its people. On an adventure in India with Peirce & Leslie, you don’t just visit the Taj Mahal, spot a Tiger, or stand on the shores of the Ganges – without giving too much away, I can say that they show you a different side to these experiences. In short, they take the ordinary and truly make it into something extraordinary.
What was your favorite meal while visiting India?
That is a difficult one. A lot of people have this misconception of what they think Indian food is. The typical food we find here in America is from the northern part of India. However, Indian cuisine changes every 300 miles (and India is a big destination!). It is incredibly varied based off of where you visit. It was an experience in itself to try all of the different spices and unique flavors throughout the trip – I loved it all!
What are the 5 must-dos for a trip to India?
So many! Varanasi is top of my list – and often times is for many travelers. It is a very spiritual place, and just one of those destinations in the world that will stay with you long after you leave. The Taj Mahal of course – still the most beautiful architectural monument I have ever seen. If you have time to visit the tigers, they have become much more abundant than in years past – talk about a bucket list item! A visit to the elephant sanctuary, and maybe even an overnight in a tented camp, where you can wake up early to play with the elephants in the morning before breakfast would be on my list. BUT, the whole of India is the experience. You’ll have enough to do just being out in the midst of the craziness! So, a must-do in India is simply staying open. Open to all the sights, colors, sounds, smells, people – soak it in and grow from it.
– Tyler LaMont
Do you have questions about Tyler’s experience in India with Peirce & Leslie? Ask him yourself! Send an email to Tyler@jgblackbook.com.