NEWPORT BEACH, CA "“ Travel to India has increased 26 percent since 2004 and Travcoa is responding to the demand by augmenting their existing India portfolio with a new journey called Mystical India.

Imagine having your own professional travel expert to design and plan the best possible journey to India, and imagine that they include a visit to the temple where Buddha delivered his first sermon, hire local musicians to perform a private performance playing traditional Rajasthani music and share the wonders of the elusive Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park.

That's the experience Travcoa has created with the escorted journey Mystical India. "We started planning this itinerary as we watched the growth and development of economic and intellectual interest in Varanasi, Khajuraho, and Aurangabad" said Jerre Fuqua, Travcoa's president. "Our newest India itinerary promises to offer those mystical adventures in the world's seventh largest country."

It's no secret that Americans are in love with India, Fuqua said, and outbound travel statistics support what the company is hearing from its loyal traveler base about its newest journey.

Mystical India will provide access to some of the most diverse sites in this fascinating country and will join Travcoa's three existing India journeys. Specifically, this newest offering celebrates everything from the sacred rites of Hindu pilgrims on the Ganges in Varanasi to a privately hosted lunch with a local family in Jodhpur. History aficionados and those with an interest in art, religion, archeology and architecture will appreciate Travcoa's special attention to culture, local customs and lifestyle. Inspiring and unrivaled experiences that guests will enjoy include:

Exploring the Bahai Temple in New Delhi. The Bahai Temple is also known as the Lotus Temple, which was built in 1986 and set among serene pools and gardens. The temple celebrates all faiths and many visit regularly to pray and meditate.

Exploring Sarnath, just outside of Varanasi, where Buddha delivered his first sermon. Emperor Ashoka in the third century B.C., recognized the sanctity of the site, building many monuments, the remains of which are set in beautiful gardens.

Exploring the Taj Mahal, which many people define simply, as beauty itself "“ not just in design and engineering, but also in desire and intent. It was built as a monument to love by Emperor Shah Jahan to honor his wife when she died unexpectedly. He commissioned the best craftsmen and 20,000 workers to construct this study in perfection, a delicately carved, white-marble jewel.

Searching for tigers, jackals, leopards and antelope in Ranthambore National Park.

Listening to a private concert of local musicians playing traditional Rajasthani music.

As with all Travcoa journeys, the best in hotels and dining experiences have been selected to compliment the adventure and cultural experiences.

Approximately 342 guests will travel with Travcoa to India throughout the year beginning January 11, 2007, Fuqua said, with 19 additional departures through December 20, 2007. Each Escorted Journey has no more than 18 travelers. The small groups cater to the discerning traveler and guarantee personalized attention and an enriching all-inclusive luxury experience.

A member of First Choice Expeditions, Travcoa was the first American travel company to develop excursions to East Africa and has pioneered destinations such as Easter Island, Bali, Mainland China and the Amazon. For more information: (800) 992-2005;

About Travcoa
In 2005, Travel + Leisure readers recognized Travcoa as one of the best international tour operators, marking it the ninth time Travcoa has appeared on T+L's “World’s Best List.” Travcoa has been leading inspiring and in-depth explorations of the world's most exotic destinations since 1954, and offers three types of experiences in more than 90 countries around the globe: "Escorted Journeys" with extraordinary itineraries and regular departures guided by professional Travel Directors; "Custom Journeys" for independent-minded travelers with itineraries tailored to personal desires; and, "Private Jet Expeditions" offering around-the-world voyages aboard a deluxe 74-passenger Boeing 757 private jet. Long synonymous with personalized attention, exclusive access to exceptional venues and all-inclusive luxury from the finest hotels to unique "Dine-Around" programs, Travcoa also offers guaranteed departures upon acceptance of deposit on all of its journeys.

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