Louise Nicholson

Louise Nicholson has a highly respected expertise in India’s cultures built up over 35 years of study and on-site research. With Quo Vadis, she leads tours and creates special tailor-made trips for individuals.

An art historian and journalist, her National Geographic Traveler Guide to India is in its 3rd edition and she has led one of their trips to India. She has worked with major institutions including the Guggenheim Museum and Yale University. Her special-interest tours may focus on Tamil Nadu Temples, Tribals of Chhattisgarh or Edwin Lutyens’s New Delhi. No subject is too off-beat – Louise has created tailor-made trips for clients to explore terracotta temples of West Bengal, visit flower farms that distill essences for perfumes, research for writing and business projects, and seek inspiration for their fashion or textile designs.

Louise is as comfortable with the little-known as sharing her secrets of how to have the very best first visit to the Taj Mahal!

Past tour

Stupendous North India: All the stars: February 4 - 21, 2017

A personal introduction to the very best of Northern India with Louise Nicholson

Imagine sweeping through North India from vibrant contemporary Mumbai via ancient Buddhist paintings, proud desert forts, extravagant royal palaces, an elephant ride, colourful markets, tranquil temples and a festival of music in your own desert palace… to reach New Delhi, India’s elegant capital. Imagine meeting local people – craftsmen, chefs, restorers of stunning private buildings. And imagine living like a maharaja or maharani (‘big king’ or ‘big queen’). Now, that is stupendous India!

You can make this a reality if you come on my latest take on the classic North India tour, refined over 28 years. It has never been better. The contrasting riches we encounter range from dynamic Mumbai to world landmarks Ajanta and Ellora; from fairytale Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaipur, epitomies of romantic Rajasthan, to the classic Taj Mahal. And we have timed out trip especially to coincide with the world class festival of Sufi music that takes place in Nagaur a UNESCO award-winning conserved desert city.

Thanks to my long-term local friendships in India, we shall go behind the scenes to meet people who treasure their traditions while striding ahead in a modern world. We stay at tested hotels who mix warm welcomes with efficient service, and we also experience Mumbai’s legendary Taj Mahal hotel.

Having taken people to India since 1985, I know each visitor to India has their own expectations. I look forward to fulfilling yours completely.

Central India Known and Unknown with a Focus on Textiles: February 23 - 11, 2017

Louise Nicholson and textile connoisseur Rosemary Crill explore cultures from Ahmedabad to Delhi

Some of India’s most fascinating historic sites and most vibrant textile traditions lie in a swathe of India spanning Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh states. India has the world’s foremost textile tradition, but our journey has a far wider vision. While we see great textiles and learn their core importance to India’s history, we also visit breathtaking ancient sites which illuminate India’s religions and cultures. And, of course, we shan’t forget the bazaars!

Making this journey with my friend Rosemary Crill is a tremendous privilege. Having worked for three decades as a curator in the Indian department at the Victoria & Albert Museum, she will enrich our daily experiences with her knowledge, her refined eye and her connections. With Rosemary we shall visit great collections, go behind the scenes at museums, and encounter today’s weavers, printers and embroiderers who are adding new creativity to traditional techniques.

Throughout, we shall see a mingling of ancient and modern, of everyday life with an abundance of ancient sites and cities. These range from early Buddhist and Hindu carvings at Sanchi and Udaygiri to elegant medieval Islamic architecture in Ahmedabad, Mandu and Champaner; from the temples and forts of the Hindu Maratha rulers of Central India to the great Rajput fort in Gwalior. And we take a mid-tour pause to stay in our own palace at the legendary Ahilya Fort. What could be better?

Rosemary and I have planned this journey to benefit from our years of exploring and studying many aspects of India. Now we bring all that together for the first time. Please join us.