Hi Nazir, We really enjoyed our trip to India that you arranged. The site selections were fantastic (as our travel MD commented), the hotels were comfortable, the drivers were highly skilled, and our tour guide Harry was brilliant and so well informed. He adapted to our interests with ad hoc additions that added much to our experience. Rajeev kept in touch with us as well along the way. So thanks again for this memorable experience.
Good afternoon Nazir, We want to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed our recent trip to Northern India. Everyone who dealt with us on this journey, being yourself with planning and booking, Rajeev the head of operations in Delhi, Yajur our tour guide and mentor during the tours and everyone else involved, deserve rave reviews. All were knowledgeable, professional, passionate in what they did and more than willing to do that little bit extra to make our trip an exceptional experience. I cannot praise these people enough. Along with your staff, the tour program, the places we visited and the local people with whom we interacted have made us appreciate and be amazed of a country, people and culture which apparently we really knew so little about. Our minds and eyes have been opened to a wonderful place which now we hope to see more of. Oh, and going by our tour group the shopping was great also. We want to thank you and everyone involved for creating a wonderful experience for us. Best regards,
We want to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip with your tour company. Right from the onset our business class flights to our guides, bus drivers and wonderful food and accommodation we felt really well taken care of. We had a very congenial group of new friends on our bus tour to Delhi, Agra, Rathambore Park, Jaipur and we left them reluctantly to go to Darjeeling. Our trip to Varanasi was likewise a wonderful adventure. Again, our guide and driver treated us like their parents! Our trips down the Ganges will be ever remembered. Your agent in Delhi, Rajeev was always in touch to make sure we were happy and well taken care of. The only negatives were things out of anyone's control- the pollution, the lack of wine stores and the basic need for more jobs for the poor! But that is India! Thank you again for making our trip so memorable. Sincerely,
Hi, Nazir. Sorry, I haven't written sooner but I have had a bad cold since returning from our amazing India trip. Both Stuart and I had a wonderful experience as it was much more than either of us expected. As our guide Yajure explained to us, India has been "cleaning itself up". What a wonderful surprise. Delhi being a bustling mega city, was a joy to experience in the few days we were there. Our bus rides, while exciting due to the different "vehicles, animals and people on the roads, made our journeys very colorful. Yajure was a wonderful, generous and knowledgeable guide. He is a walking encyclopedia. He was extremely accommodating and adaptable at a moments notice. Seeing the Taj Mahal, Buddha's birthplace, the Red Fort, the Ganges in Varanasi and of course the city of Jaipur brought the trip to life. It was all mesmerizing. Your colleague Rajeev in Delhi was very helpful and kind and protective of us. Although he was mourning the loss of his dear father, he made himself available to us. So that's it Nazir. We certainly will not hesitate to recommend your company to any of our friends and family. Yours truly,
Namaste, and thanks for the email Nazir. My husband and I are still under the powerful influence of India – having thoroughly enjoyed the 2 weeks we had there. It’s really difficult to synthesize our experience but I will try to give some feedback. Both of us felt that we learned so much and really broadened our understanding of cultural and political issues in addition to seeing, tasting, smelling, and tasting some of India’s diversity. I really appreciated the diverse environments: urban, heritage sites, forest reserve, streets/river exposure in Varanasi, the roadside rural life viewed as we traveled between major sites. I’m especially glad that we added on the Varanasi trip which broadened our experience considerably. We were ever so fortunate in the timing (just after the monsoon season) and got to see a relatively ‘green’ India. Several local guides commented that we were a ‘lucky’ group in terms of being in the right places at the right times for certain things – such as seeing tigers, getting to the Taj Mahal just prior to its ‘mudding’. The tour itinerary was well planned and varied – given that any group of 22 people will have different preferences. We found our tour guide to be excellent: knowledgeable, flexible, and always anticipating when/where changes might be needed either for our comfort or safety. Many thanks for that. And he was ever so patient in spite of challenging situations. I’m a cautious traveller (in contrast to my husband) but even I felt very safe. Our guide was extremely good at keeping us together while also allowing plenty of photo ops, cooling down periods, and preparing us for the next point of interest. The tour guide was very good with history and cultural information that made the bus travel time both informative and seem shorter. All contacts were very friendly, courteous, and helpful. One hardly mentioned an issue and it was addressed; To summarize, the trip was amazing! We are so very glad we went and still bask in India’s glow. Fond memories, great photos, and a great appreciation for the country and its peoples! Please convey our thanks to all who made the trip possible. Regards,
Hi Nazir, The India tour was excellent. The accommodations and meals was great , spicy but you get used to it after a couple of days, The hotel staff making every effort to accommodate and attending to any request from the tour participants. The tour bus was quite satisfactory with the driver and assistant quite helpful, keeping the bus clean. The Tour guide was excellent and quite knowledgeable about the history of the Indian civilization. Also handling the tickets to the various sites so the was little delay getting in and experiencing the splendor that is India Pick up and drop off from the airport went without any incidence. Overall, a great experience that will not be forgotten.
Hi Nazir, Greg and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to India. We were impressed with the excellent service from all Explore India personnel. Your choice of hotels, points of interest and breakfasts were excellent. Our driver and bus helper were especially good. Thank you for a wonderful trip. Ram, ram
The trip to India was much more than I expected. Often the expression....Go to India and change your Life....that is what I experienced! From weather, hotels, food, transportation to our guides...top grade!!!! Thanks you for putting this wonderful vacation together for us!!! It holds memories for a Lifetime!!! When I get some photos edited I will send you a link! Great Job!
Just returned home and trying to get over the jet-lag. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip – would hardly recommend your tour company. (first time with your company). The itinerary was well planned, transportation and accommodations were excellent and so was our tour guide. Had planned on staying in China for an additional 10 days but did not realize it was a Chinese holiday and we were not able to book any additional trips. Had I known this, I probably would have booked an additional tour with your company.
Apologies for the delay in regard to this reply. It has been 3 weeks since we got back but the first one was an adjustment to time and travel. There are just not enough good words to describe the trip but it was definitely spectacular and above expectations. Exceptionally well organized and highly professional personnel were involved in the tour. India is just so remarkable as there is so much history. We crammed and read 3 books about the country in advance but there is so very much more to learn. To be able to travel there and have professional tour guides with that depth of knowledge was fortunate indeed. Can’t say enough about the calibre of Sandeep Singh regarding his professionalism, knowledge, organizational skills and overall ability! Hilal Lone did a good job for us during the Kashmir part of it! Besides the 2 guides, there were a lot of people to acknowledge in regard to the success of the trip. Unfortunately we won’t be able to name everyone. However, we will start with yourself Nazir. Being patient, personable, and responsive in terms of direction up front made for easier planning. Those who headed up organization at the other end, such as Rajeev Sharma, went beyond the call of duty to get their part of the operation right. If only for our jetlag the day after we arrived, he would have got us to a cricket game! Rafiq Mohamed did his part as well for the Kashmir leg of the trip. Last but not least, people such as the driver, Dalit Singh Walia, and his assistant Anand Mishra, made the journey what it was. The wondrous architecture we saw was at times almost surreal. They were so advanced in this regard so very long ago! Because some were so spectacular and precise, pictures do not quite do it justice, one has to simply see it! Also so impressed with the people of India. Massive population but they have found a way to make it work. Seemingly caring to each other and respectful and friendly towards tourists. Maybe the “hawkers” not so much. To a certain extent, one even adjusts to the heat. After time spent at the sites the air-conditioned vehicles helped in this regard. Small detail maybe, but cold bottled water always being available was quite important. The tour offered a good mix and variation of experiences. The trip into the forest was definitely special. Viewing the wildlife, especially the Bengal tiger, will always be a memorable lifetime experience. The quality of accommodation was very high. The variety and selection for meals offered up something that I expect everyone could be satisfied with, as we were. Never knew anything about Explore India before the trip. Now that we do and experienced it, we would certainly highly recommend your company and the tour! Cheers,
Dear Nazir: It was a wonderful trip and all four of us were glad that we had taken it. The weather was exceptionally hot, even for the Indians as it was said to be about 10c hotter than normal. My Father-in-Law was easily taken care of, as if he wanted, he was able to stay on the bus. We all felt that you would still see a great deal of India, even if you stayed on the bus. My Mother-in-Law felt that she would never be able to see the Taj Mahal, thus she was thrilled with the trip. All in all, it was a very good and most interesting trip and we were very happy with the service we received starting with you. My thanks.
Hi Nazir, We had a fabulous time in India and rate our overall trip as a 9/10. We loved the tour you put together for us and just when we thought it couldn't get any better, our next destination brought more delights and experiences. Here are our thoughts of what worked well (I may have the wrong spelling for some of the names so apologies on that - I may also be providing too many details!): Being greeted immediately by Issu as we exited the airport in Delhi was perfect - he spotted us right away, was very friendly and energetic, he engaged us, answered our questions, introduced us to our driver Kulvinder, checked us into our hotel, provided details on the next days and everything was seamless. We didn't worry about a thing. We liked having a day to rest and get used to the time change. Our tour in Delhi was lots of fun. Our guide was good (can't recall his name - Assish?) We loved old Delhi, walking through some parts of the market and just witnessing how everyone and everything flowed - trucks, cars, rickshaws, dogs, cows, people, bikes - we could learn so much in western culture about trusting and going with the flow! We loved Kulvinder. We felt very safe with his driving. Sharon gets motion sickness so sat in the front with Kulvinder - she had a few anxious moments whereas I was so fascinated with how he navigated traffic and kept us safe even when it seemed like vehicles were coming right at us. Kulvinder provided us with water all the time which we really appreciated. (We weren't prepared for some of the hotter days in the high 30s and low 40s) so air-conditioning and water were so appreciated! Kulvinder also had an easy disposition, answered our questions, pointed out things of interests (camels eating on the roadside!), was generous with our son giving little treats to him such as carved animals, encouraging him to get closer to a snake when Taylor was curious but scared, etc. We loved Ranthambore - the drive was good as it gave us a chance to see the countryside and learn more about the agricultural component of India. The Tiger Sanctuary Den was our favorite place to stay. It was more modest as compared to the hotels in the cities but the layout encouraged more interaction with other visitors and that is where we met the most Indian tourists. (Some who took down Explore India info as we loved our tour and didn't have to plan/worry about a thing whereas others were saying with their tour company they felt they were doing more of the work.) So we enjoyed meeting the people and our son met his new best friends (Vedant and Sedant) and played with them for the time we were there. Rajeev called the hotel to ensure everything was fine with us, spoke to me to ensure we had everything so we felt very well taken care of. PLUS we saw tigers (mother and 2 cubs) on our first ride out to the sanctuary. The drive to the sanctuary was also very interesting as we got to see more of the farms and how people live. Our driver was fearless and our guide was determined that we say tigers - it was fabulous! We also visited a textile place where our guide was very patient as we order tailor made shirts and jackets which were delivered to us in a matter of hours - we were impressed! In hindsight, we would have ordered more (if they have an online business, let us know! - I can't recall the name of the place but one of the men who worked there has a niece in Winnipeg!) So just when we thought it couldn't get any better, we loved our time in Varanasi. The cremation ghats were our favorite and just learning more about Hinduism. The boat rides on the Ganges were amazing. We enjoyed also learning more about the history of Buddha. At one of the temples, the Indian tourists seemed to find something interesting about us. They kept on wanting to take pictures of us with them! We felt like celebrities (or perhaps it was karma as we took so many photos of local Indians as well!). Our hotel room was so spacious and easily accommodated an extra bed for Taylor which was nice. The guide was good - very knowledgeable on the Hindu religion and practices of which we asked lots of questions. When we landed in Delhi, we were greeted by Issu and Kulvinder which was great. However, they thought we were leaving that very night whereas our itinerary was for the next day. Rajeev ensured we had the extra day and extended check out time with dinner included (and Issu ensured at check out that we didn't pay for those items). We also asked if we could have a driver to see more of the sights the next day and Rajeev accommodated our request which we really appreciated. (We wanted to see more of the neighborhoods of how people live - so our driver was great - he took us to a range of neighborhoods - wealthy, government workers, etc) We will share our itinerary with others who have expressed interest in traveling to India and will definitely recommend Explore India. Thanks so much Nazir.
This is a quick e-mail to let you know how much my husband and I enjoyed our tour in India. Everything worked like clockwork. We were very well taken care of from start to finish. The guides were very informative. We loved our experience in India. Thank you again.
My wife and I and our friends were very satisfied with your arrangements, which were well organized and efficient. I appreciate your assistance in planning this trip to India. I would also like to comment on “Sandeep Singh” for providing exceptional services and professionalism. He went above and beyond his call of duty to ensure we had the most enjoyable experience in India. He was enthusiastic, informative, engaging, professional, helpful, organized and friendly, not to mention a wealth of knowledge. I would like to also comment on the tour bus operator and his assistant for providing a safe and efficient service. And last but not least, thank you to Rajeev for coordinating behind the scenes. We will be definitely recommending Explore India to our friends and family. Thank you once again.
We are still talking about our fabulous India trip. Have meant to email you dozens of times---life just gets in the way! Thank you Nazir, we had an amazing time and you can't help but fall in love with that country and her people. Of course the extra bonus was only 6 of us on the tour the first 2 weeks and only the Rhodes and us the last 2 weeks. We really felt spoiled and pampered! We will highly recommend you and your company. Namaste.
Sorry for the late reply, but Violet and I have been working on – stop since our return from India if February. We have been to many places, but India was by far the most exotic and wonderful country we have ever seen. The people, sights, food, cultures were amazing! There was nothing that we could mention to improve the experience. It really was extraordinary. We wish we could have stayed longer. In fact, if we had known about the extension to southern India, we would have booked that too. Your staff was exceptional. Everyone was very professional and extremely helpful at all times. We have already recommended your company to several of our friends, and we hope to go back to India with you as soon as we can. Violet and I are already thinking about getting away again. We are booked to go to the Oceania cruise event on Sunday, April 24th We are extremely happy with the level of service and the quality the Explore India has provided. If you ever need a reference please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for everything,
Feedback re Explore India re Journey of the Senses - March 5 - 26, 2016. We are still processing what we experienced in India. When we think about all that was included in our “Journey of the Senses”, we feel we touched on many aspects of life there - the history, architecture, religious practices, the food, village life, city life, mountain villages, the culture - folk music and dances, the craftsmanship, both the modern and the “old” India. We appreciated the experiences with many different modes of transportation - rickshaw, elephant, camel, horseback, boat; the many internal flights and the comfortable coach with its excellent driver and impressive driver’s assistant. The switch made by Rajeev to automobiles from bus in Srinagar was also much appreciated. We especially appreciated the hotel accommodations. The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai will remain a highlight of our visit. The restaurant meals throughout the tour were excellent. The cooking class and the Kashmiri lunch at your brother’s home gave us a unique insider view of private life - one which would be difficult to accomplish with larger groups. The visit to Varanasi was unforgettable. All in all, it was a spectacular, extremely well organized journey and we appreciate all the attention to the details which made the trip so wonderful. The Journey of the Senses tour you have put together is indeed spectacular and the reviews published on your website express the delight of Explore India customers. Best wishes and thanks,
Hi Nazir: I meant to respond to you before now, but a number of work and family issues have taken my time and attention. First of all, let me say that I enjoyed my trip immensely. Indeed, it will take me considerable time to digest the experience. India is so different in every way (and then some) from Canada. We were exposed to the culture, history, life, architecture and spiritual side of India while being protected from the extreme change. Your guides were all experts, sensitive to individual and group needs, but able to keep the tour moving. Sandeep was especially good. I feel I have truly been absorbed into India and its way of life. The guides in Nepal were also excellent, and they were so proud of their country. Our guide there took us to the home of a friend for a "cooking" experience. They were such a nice family and so hospitable. They offered real insight into traditional family life, but also the younger generation's energy to get ahead. The guide's friend (who had trained with him for his guiding certificate/license) also owns a coffee shop in the old part of the city and her husband is in medical school. The whole family (his parents, brother and the couple) lives in a very modest 3 level apartment under conditions Canadians would complain about. Still, they were so generous, friendly and hospitable. I never felt vulnerable or in danger the whole time. I'm sure this was carefully managed by the guides. Still, people were genuinely friendly, in spite of the fact that we were obviously naive and privileged westerners. The hotels were all top notch. It was wonderful to be able to hole into some western comfort at the end of the day. The Delhi hotels near the airport were very nice and appreciated when air travel was involved. The hotel in Udaipur was charming and unique - what an experience! I think Udaipur is my favourite city in India. All in all, it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget - a once in a lifetime experience. You can be proud of what you have achieved. From a traveller's perspective, it was excellent value with all one could ask from a tour. Many thanks for all your help - especially the travel hitch with Air Canada at the front end in the Sault and Toronto. All the best,
Nazir, Thank you very much for guiding Sirje to work up such a wonderful trip. We loved it. We now are totally amazed that more people do not travel to India to “Explore India”. The accommodations, guides meals etc that you arranged were wonderful. We have great respect for the capabilities of Explore India and will be happy to (and already have) recommend that friends work with Explore India to develop their trip. Having a contact in Canada that one can work with and a team in India which can manage all the details is a wonderful concept. We even shared your contact info with some friends in the USA who are looking for a North American contact to help them design a trip like ours. As a result of decades in management I am a strong believer in “continuous improvement” and so we would like to offer the following thoughts/observations that you might consider to make other people’s trips even better. We are not looking for reasons why things were not done the way we had anticipated but wanting to share our observations with you so that you can consider our thoughts when arranging future guests bookings. On the trip, many things stood out as much better than expected but the biggest ones (in my mind) were: 1) Having arrived on Saturday afternoon and having the tour start on Monday morning. By the time we got to the hotel we were exhausted and so it was great to have a day to sleep in and “recharge the batteries” so that on Monday morning we were ready to tour. 2) Going to Darjeeling. I know it was “Plan B” and put in near the last minute but your team did a fabulous job and we still cannot get over what a wonderful place it was to visit. A special vote of thanks to the Mayfair hotel which was excellent (by the way, talking with other tourists, they ranked the Cedar Hotel as number 3 or 4 and felt it smelt of mold). I would highly recommend continuing to use the Mayfair as the first choice. 3) At Varanasi, your team inserted an evening “walk through the market streets of old Varanasi) before going and hiring a boat to cruise the Ganges and watch the evening ceremonies. The walk included being able to see the Islamic Mosque built on the site of a Hindu Temple and the “new” Hindu Temple. The evening boat ride was a highlight and a much better viewing platform than watching from the shore. We were a bit worried because the write up in our itinerary (from you) did not explicitly say to watch from a boat and we were worried that the guide was going to skip the boat and watch from the shore. We were so pleased that he got the boat (as he did the following morning per the plan). Khalid’s idea to put the walk into the late afternoon itinerary was wonderful. 4) Having a Private tour for the two of us was wonderful. We could ask the guides all the questions that we wanted and not worry about holding up the others on the tour. We could also pause for photos and not worry about falling behind. 5) The quality of the guides greatly exceeded our expectations. In every city/site, they were great. They generally had mastered the slower speech so that we could follow what they were saying and they took a time to help us keep the various historical rulers in order in our minds, even when it meant repeating something they had said before. In addition, the guides at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri were great photographers who showed us some new angles and tricks for taking photos with cell phone cameras. 6) The sites like Darjeeling, Sarnath (with the Ashok Capital), Fatehpur Sikri, the Amber fort and the Astronomical Observatory were all sites that we had never heard of but should be included in tourists plans for India. 7) Having Heera Singh as our driver for Delhi and most cities close by was wonderful. He was superb and in addition to being a great driver, was very interested in making sure that he did everything he could to make our trip the best possible. In 2017, Sirje would like to personalize a small gift for him that hopefully, someone can take over on one of their trips to India. Again, I hope you understand that we had a wonderful trip, are very positive on the bookings that you and your team made, are already recommending that people talk with Explore India when planning their trip. I just wanted to give you some of our thoughts and observations. Wishing you and your team the very best during the holidays and for 2017. Thank you
Hi Nazir, Sorry for the delay in responding...what with getting back on PST and dealing with Christmas it has been pretty hectic. We very much enjoyed the trip. It was not always easy but it was an adventure and a great education. India is really an amazing country! I have been trying to come up with some suggestions for your trip but I don't really have any. I thought the trip was well organized and went pretty smoothly considering all the ground we covered and the challenges of travelling in India. And of course the currency crisis added to the difficulties. I would definitely recommend the trip to anyone who wants to see India. If I have any further thoughts I will let you know. Regards
Hi Nazir, Thanks for the note. We’re finally getting over jet lag and are almost ready for the Holiday Season. As far as the trip goes – we really enjoyed it. We found the level of service to be excellent, and we found great value for the money we spent. Both of our guides -Rasheem in Kerala and Ashish up north were outstanding!! They absolutely made the trip for us. Both were extremely knowledgeable, warm, funny, and provided great insight. Can’t say enough good things. The Fragrant Nature Hotel in Cochin was absolutely charming. The staff was fantastic and they made our stay quite magical We would certainly recommend your company to our friends. Cheers,
Hi Nazir, We came home safely and the trip was great, I phoned you the next day want to tell you we enjoy the India trip but you weren't in the office. We also emailed to Ashish Khurana your local tourist guard and special thanks for his effort to take care of us all the way and we also ask him to say special thanks to Rajeev Shaarma he is a great leader to look after us from city to city. This trip really opened my eyes to understand India, they are a great nation during this money currency crisis, each bank lots people line up but no fighting. Again my wife and I thanks very much for your arrangement, hope to see you for any future trips. May we wish you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
Hi Nazir We have JUST arrived home after a great trip. We all agreed that Explore India was very impressive. We were met promptly at each airport arrival and delivered and assisted for each departure. We had wonderful guides. Hari, who was our guide for the golden Triangle and Varanasi is outstanding. He is spontaneous, adventuresome and extremely knowledgeable. He has an amazing amount of energy! We enjoyed several events that were not a part of the tour: stopped at an encampment of nomadic people; stopped when we saw a wedding procession; visited two schools; visited a village where the residents welcomed us; had a lot of fun riding in a jugaad (home-made vehicle that seems common in some rural areas). He was also with us in Varanasi and among other things while we were in the city, he took us to the railway station to see life there. Kerala was also very good in terms of accommodation, sightseeing, and excellent guides. Our driver, Asar, was excellent. He has limited English, but he had enough that he pointed out many interesting sights along the way. Generally, all of the guides were excellent. We loved Kerala and the rest at Turtle on the Beach Resort was a perfect ending to the trip. Thank you so much for great organization! Best wishes
Dear Nazir, Nazir, Explore India (Nov 17 departure) delivered on all expectations and promises, and then some. The professional competence of your staff, without exception in both Vancouver and India, ensured that the ambitious itinerary was not only delivered but exceeded. Much of this credit must be given to our very deserving guide Harry. Harry, so knowledgeable, led us each through the kaleidoscope of challenges and chaos that is India... left me wanting more. It was a privilege to be on his bus. Also deserving for a job well done is our driver and his helper, Yogi, office support staff in Delhi and your representative in Varanasi. Judy and I had an airline glitch and he worked hard to solve it and kept us informed, much appreciated. I am sorry I don't know each of their names. I have shared my story and pictures with a neighbor, you'll be hearing from them soon. I had a great time, be proud of your staff and your product. Kindest regards,
Hello Nasir, I'm back home safely from my trip to India. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to travel with your company, and for encouraging me to go. It was impeccably planned and organized. It was an experience I'll never forget, beautiful, and warm people, rich with tradition and beliefs, and welcoming to foreigners. We even danced in a wedding procession in the street!! Every moment was filled with excitement. Ashish was the most gracious and competent guide we could have had. It was sad to say good-by to him. He took care of us all. Well done, and thank you again. Sincerely,
Hi Nazir: John and I enjoyed the trip very much. Lots of wonderful memories and some very interesting experiences. We are aware that you had made several changes to the itinerary with Pat and Mike to accommodate their wishes and those of the Fitzsimmons. Many thanks for this. All in all things ran pretty smoothly. The money issue was, of course, no one's fault, but it certainly made for some unpleasant moments. All planned tours, guides, and drivers are to be commended. However, our driver was our favorite. He was friendly, on time, and willing to accommodate us in any way. He drove very well, provided lots of water and made every km of the trip satisfactory. It was a pleasure to know that he would be there every day. Thank you for a very interesting visit to India. Best,
Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time on our trip to India last month. We were taken care of by all of your representatives who were very friendly and helpful. Our guide in Nepal, Bakash, was very knowledgeable and did everything to make our stay exciting. Although at times his English was hard to understand, he was very accommodating and helpful and made that part of our trip very memorable. In India, Sundeep was also a great guide. He told us many interesting things about the places that we visited. I enjoyed all of our excursions and the hotels were wonderful. Thanks for all of your and Madera's help in planning this trip. It is an adventure that I will always remember.
Hello, Nazir! Tonight we will be leaving India for Canada and both Hans and I want to thank you personally and your team in India for a marvelous time here. It has been a trip that we will never forget having seen such interesting places in India and having been witness to a totally different and very interesting land and culture compared to the one we know back home. We understand now why you are so passionate about your motherland and its people. We will not forget the people here, the smiles of school children and others, their warmth, kindness, sincerity and hospitality. How we enjoyed all of the excursions and we were so lucky and took delight in seeing a mother tiger and her three cubs along with riding an elephant at Red Fort in Jaipur! We enjoyed your local guides here very much and our guide throughout the trip Ashish. What a wonderful man, humorous, entertaining and knowledgeable! Your team leader in Delhi Rajeev has also been very supportive and kind as well and of course nameste to the many other players such as our amazing bus driver, his helper and your drivers to get us back and forth to the airport etc. as they have been exemplary! We were so well received and taken care of! Thank you also for the upgrade to The Grand New Delhi Hotel for our final days as it was not expected. It is very beautiful here and has allowed us time to rest before our departure home. We have come away with new friends too having met other Canadians on this visit, with whom we enjoyed many laughs! May you, and your team continues to thrive and be successful in the years to come. We cannot recommend you more highly. Many Thanks, Sincerely
I am writing to say thanks, again, for guiding our wonderful tour of what is, indeed, magical India! Your ever cheerful and upbeat presence, along with your vast knowledge of the subjects and objects of our tour, was absolutely key. It is such a cliche to say but you certainly made it a trip of a lifetime for us; we will treasure the memories forever. (And it may take forever to get through all the pictures, too!) I will be spending a lot of time this winter looking up more information on the sites you showed us, and adding to the excellent information you already provided. Lo Chen, I hope I have spelled his name correctly, had the dubious pleasure of guiding us in Darjeeling before we had really become accustomed to your universe. Please send him my thanks as well; he was very patient with us newbies! When I close my eyes I can still evoke the surreal experience of being driven along those roads, switchbacking up and down mountainsides and watching in amazement as people went about their daily business on, and next to, the nearly sheer drops between buildings. Fortunately, I can also still evoke the entrancingly delicate, flowery scent of fresh tea leaves; having a nice cup of tea in real time whilst recalling that scent is wonderfully soothing after reliving the roller-coaster, stop-start-dodge ride over the Darjeeling roads! Mr. Singh, our excellently competent bus driver, will live long in Spitzke legends for his affable sociability and superb driving skills. I did not write down the name of our Darjeeling driver but he, too, (along with his comrades) deserves praise. You could not pay me any amount of money to drive in India, certainly not a big bus, and ESPECIALLY not anything on those Darjeeling roads!
Hello Nazir We had a WONDERFUL and AMAZING trip to India. Our accommodations, travel and tour were first class. Our Travel Guide Harry was the best. He was informative, knowledgeable and spontaneous and that was so much fun. His extensive knowledge and pride in his country was truly evident and exemplary; he was also beyond considerate as he assisted my husband when he fell ill and arranged a taxi to take him back to the hotel and to top it all off he called him later to reassure me all was well as I continued on the afternoon portion of the tour. Best guide ever. As we arrived a day late we only met Rajeev Sharma for a short visit but he arranged everything from the airport on our arrival so we could be with the group for a marvelous meal, loved his choice. He was a kind and efficient manager who went above and beyond. Our extra day was organized by Rajeev who insured that we saw everything the group had seen on the day we missed. Again our guide was most informative and thoughtful. Our thanks to Mandira also who was helpful in getting our visas expedited. Our compliments to Explore India for a great tour. With thanks,
Namaste Nazir Thank you once again for your welcome home. I now have had enough time to process and to put into words how grateful we are to you and your numerous guides, reps, drivers, etc that made this a once in a lifetime experience. I can't imagine the logistics that go into dealing with four individuals' wants and coming up with a cohesive plan that includes ticketing for five domestic flights, three train trips, as well as traveling by van, car, jeep, tuk-tuk, rickshaw, camel, and elephant!! All stress free because we were always greeted and escorted by your army of personable professionals. And then there was our accommodation....palaces, a luxury tent, a Maharajah's hunting lodge, etc....pretty special. We have all travelled extensively and we are in agreement that India tops the list for all of us. I truly feel that Explore India can take some of the credit for making this such a magical adventure. It also makes us feel quite special to get a personal welcome home greeting from the President of Operations! Sincerely,
Hi Nazir, Just to let you know Doris and I are home safe and sound, although both suffering from Jet Lag......What a trip - it was action-packed, full of adventure and beautiful. What a wonderous country and what fabulous people that are India. We had the great good fortune to meet Rajiv in New Delhi and to travel with Sandeep Singh for 16 days - never a dull moment and the first time we have been almost too busy to shop. We saw the sunrise from Tiger Hill and I have a video of Arrowhead, a beautiful female Bengal Tiger in Ranthambore. Sandeep was excellent, knowledgeable and kept everyone informed and on track. He had many issues to deal with that were not the norm, the devaluation of the 500 and 1000 rupee, the switch from Kashmir to Darjeeling and stayed on top of it all. Darjeeling was one of the highlights for both of us - what a trip and the people are fantastic - enjoyed the whole experience. The Hotels were all 5 star, food excellent for most (I have allergies, so stuck to mostly bland items), transportation was all great. The driver Mr. Singh and helper whom we called Baby Deep drove us from Delhi to Jaipur and back were really great - thanks to them also. The group that we traveled with were great - made many new friends and now share a common bond. Thank you to yourself, Mandira, Rajiv and especially Sandeep (for the 16 days he was our friend, guide and father). He truly loves his country, his people and sharing all his knowledge with his groups. A wonderful experience - Thank You
Dear Nazir: Thanks for your email. Yes, it was a fantastic holiday made all the more memorable by having Sundeep as our tour guide. He was so knowledgeable and passionate about his country and we were lucky having him. There did not seem to be anything he did not know and he went out of his way to make sure we were all happy. He also seemed to go above and beyond in helping us with getting our money exchanged into the "new" money which was not easy. In the end that worked out (at least for me) although in the first few days I was worried that I was not going to have enough $ to last me the trip! I did not realize before I left Vancouver that I would not be able to use a bank! I was disappointed that we were not able to visit Kashmir but that was due to circumstances beyond your control. But Darjeeling was lovely and so different from the rest of the trip. The drivers and guide in Darjeeling were great - they looked after us so well as did Singh who took us from Delhi to Delhi. It all went very smoothly in, as you know, chaotic driving conditions compared to Vancouver! As I said earlier, overall it was an amazing trip. Thank you. Sincerely,
Namaste Nazir, Thank you for your email and welcome home. My trip to India was " incredible" indeed! It is hard to put the experience into words as it is another world there. Explore India met all my expectations and makes it clear that they aim to please their guests. I would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone. Is it excellent value too. Keep up the good work. Best wishes,
Dear Nazir, Namaste. Our tour to India was one of our most memorable trips ever. Starting with our pickup at the airport, wonderful accommodation throughout and an excellent guide, we experienced India in the best possible way. Harry went out of his way to show us the country he obviously loves and made sure that we did not see it from the sterile environment of a bus. He created many experiences for us that we will never forget and we feel that we now have a true picture of life in India as well as a better knowledge of its history. We have already recommended your tour company to friends and will continue to do so. The service you provide is second to none and we thank you.
Namaste We had an amazing experience travelling through India and as always we wish we had more time there. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Darjeeling. Our guide Sandeep was a jewel, such a wealth of knowledge. I don't think the trip would have been such a success had it not been for him. Many of us on the tour discussed coming back to travel to the south of India next time and possibly spending more time in some places, maybe even a few days to relax on the beach, possibly Goa? Also, Sandeep felt we would very much enjoy seeing Udaipur so maybe that could be included. Also, speaking for myself and Randy, maybe you could offer an optional tour to the Maldives as we would like to go there, even if it was just for 4-5 days. I know you offer a tour on your website for the south but why don't you send out an email to everyone that was on this tour asking what interest they may have for seeing the south and maybe based on the responses you can put together a more customized tour. Of course, Sandeep will have to be the guide and he did say he would do it. We talked about late Oct, early Nov 2018, that seemed to work for everyone. Again, thank you to all your staff who helped organize and coordinate this trip. They did a great job. Best regards
Namaste Nazir I had been thinking of dropping you a note so thanks for your message. The trip was a great success. The weather was perfect, no mosquitoes and the group were very convivial, really great travel companions. I hope to keep in touch with some of them and perhaps travel with them in the future. The drivers were fantastic; they managed the crazy road up to Darjeeling and in particular, Mr. Singh in Delhi and for most of our long bus journeys, was absolutely amazing. Don’t know how they do it, I had to close my eyes half of the time!!! It was a wonderful soft entry to India to spend time in Darjeeling, relatively less trash and garbage strew about, blue skies and clean air. Mr. Lo Chan was very hospitable. Our guide, Mr. Sandeep Singh was fantastic; professional yet caring and considerate, his commentary was informative and fun as he is passionate about India and all things to do with Indian culture. He did everything he could do to make our trip safe, enjoyable and generally a memorable experience. I felt he went above and beyond his duty to keep us informed and calm when we were unable to access cash machines. The hotels were good as was the food. On the whole, I am very glad I went with Explore India on this trip. It has not only given me an appreciation of the challenges India faces, but also shown me the amazing resilience and friendliness of its people. Sincerely
Hi Nazir, Just a note on behalf of my wife and I regarding our recent trip to India. First we would like to commend you on running a very good operation in India even though you are based in Canada. Our India experience started out by being greeted by a very professional gentleman who picked us up at the airport. He made us feel very welcome at 1:00 in the morning while having to wait for over 2 hrs for us to get out of the Airport. Later in the morning at the hotel we were greeted by Rajeev who helped make our first day in Delhi very enjoyable by making various arrangements that were not part of the itinerary. Our overall India experience exceeded our expectations mostly because of the people you have on the ground in India. We always felt that we were getting the best treatment from everyone in your organization. We want to commend the people who spent many hours with us because they deserve a big thank you and a pat on the back. We appreciate the enthusiasm of our tour guide Harry who made our India experience unforgettable. He went beyond what we expect of a travel guide and as a result we all benefited tremendously from his knowledge of India as well as his interest in wanting us to have the best travel experience, and not just see India from the bus. This was tremendously appreciated by Leslie and I. We have already been sharing our unique daily “Harry” experiences with family and friends back in Canada. He is truly a GEM. I still do not know how he can look so good every day and have a different coordinated outfit that fits with the theme of the day, or event. Operations Manager, Rajeev seemed to genuinely care about making sure that we were enjoying our time in India and he handled the currency issue willingly to make sure that we had some local currency in spite of the challenges. He showed up often and kept in touch frequently with our group as we travelled through India. He genuinely cared that we were enjoying our time in India. I personally appreciate how he coordinated the tailor from CCCI to meet with me to do a fitting and final delivery at the hotels. This was above and beyond what was expected. Lastly we would like to thank our bus driver Mr. Rakesh and his assistant. These guys truly know how to manoeuver a vehicle with great proficiency. They were also always smiling after long days. Thank you to all of your other staff who had a hand in making our India experience truly memorable. We will be sure to refer Explore India as we tell our stories to our friends and family. P.S The hotels, transportation and arranged meals were all very good as well. Keep well and all the best.
Incredible India really lived up to its name! There were many hilites: Our first time riding a camel (and probably the last!) Helen got thrown off part way up but only a bruised bum. A couple rides in a camel cart was interesting and much safer. Seeing a leopard quite close after it had recently killed a cow, and later seeing it in the rocks washing its face (just like a cat). Of course, the Taj Mahal at about 8.30 AM in a good light after the early fog had disappeared. Visits to a craft village and a farm family. The many forts and palaces from the past. Our hotels were very good; we were upgraded a couple times so that they could give us twin beds. Our guide was competent and dealt with the challenges of India quite well. The money problem didn't affect us as we used our 500 rupee notes with vendors. One day I hope to get back to India, perhaps in the northeast with Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to see this fascinating country.
To Nazir, Mandira and all those who made our Indian trip so memorable, there is so much praise I would like to heap upon you all for giving us such a memorable trip to India, but having read Charles Beales' email to you I couldn't put it more eloquently than he has done, and Michael and I endorse every word he said. It was simply fabulous. We have memories and experiences which will last a lifetime. How we fitted so much into such a short time span I will never know, but it was all due to our amazing guide Harry, and at no time did I feel pressured or unable to cope. Harry is the most wonderful human being it has been my privilege to meet in many years, and your company is so lucky to have such a gem in its employ. Downtime, mealtimes, sightseeing and travelling, everything was so smooth and effortless, right down to the last detail, which was finding out that a sandwich and a snack had been ordered and prepaid on our final flight from Toronto to Vancouver. We were totally exhausted by then, and that last touch was perfection!! I will certainly endorse your company, and you must use my name if you have older travellers who might be nervous at such an undertaking. Two weeks before we left I thought I was going to have to do the trip in a wheelchair, but I managed as well as the group, if a fraction slower, and Harry organized things so that I was never aware of slowing anyone down. Everyone was so very helpful. I would definitely recommend that people who have problems walking, perhaps with age or arthritis take advantage of the wheelchair services offered by the airlines, though, even if not strictly necessary. It means no long waits standing in queues for customs, tickets or bags, and eliminates potential walks of a kilometer or more to get to a gate. It was a godsend for me. God bless you all, and I think you will see us again on a cruise perhaps. Regards,
Dear Nazir Karnai, President of Explore India, This note is to heartily thank the Explore India Staff (EI) of Rajeev Sharma, Head of Operations, Mendura by telephone, our main driver & assistant, and other drivers and personnel who assisted us for Explore India. When Canadians say, ‘nothing was too much trouble’, we may sometimes exaggerate, but in the case of EI, nothing could have been more apt and honest. No detail was too small, from our initial bookings and EI contacts by telephone to the ease we felt through each thread of the trip. Our destination was India, but our journey was irreplaceable. I would not hesitate to highly recommend EI to anyone who asks and will do so as I write my freelance piece and attach it to my blog (charlesbeale.com). Thank you. My gratitude and I believe I can speak for the whole group, would not be complete without further thanks to our EI tour guide, Harry Singh, but in this response, I will only speak for myself. Harry taught me many things. He and India are delightful enigmas. Not only was he the best tour guide I have ever had, but he became a kind of personal guru, banker, time manager, and friend. Tour guides come and go, but Harry lives and breathes his beloved India so much so that some of that rubbed off on each and every one of us. In fact, there were times when we had to rein him in, such was his enthusiasm. Harry describes himself as a spiritual healer, and again, some of that personal belief affected us most strongly and positively. He became our personal banker due to the demonetization that began just as we arrived in the country. Without his purse, some of us would have been in dire straits; without his knowledge of how to manage the monetary change, we would have become nervous travellers. Although we sometimes worried about time, as many Westerners do, Harry was able to manage India time for us smoothly and in an unruffled manner. He is also the best-dressed tour guide I have ever encountered. In the end, as the peaceful and kind people of India showed us, Harry was able to deepen our meaning of empathy and love. I would, however, request that in future, Harry assigns more tourists to keep the ledgers for the counting of other than cows. Most sincerely yours,
Hi Nazir, Gerd and I had an amazing tour, truly was a trip of a lifetime. From the hotels, to the food, and the transportation we were very comfortable and couldn't ask for more. Yajur is an excellent Tour Director, very professional and extremely efficient as well as a very nice man. Rouf was always making sure that everyone was well looked after. We were all saddened by his family circumstances, which resulted in his having to leave us early. The itinerary is excellent, variety is wonderful. Especially liked the camel ride with the outdoor buffet and drinks. Every day brought something interesting and different. I can't think of anything that should have been done differently. The driver and Tour Director we had in Varanasi were both excellent and we enjoyed our time there. We have only good things to say about Explore India and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone thinking of travelling to India. Thank you for an amazing tour. Sincerely,
Dear Nazir, We are home safe and sound and had an absolutely wonderful time. Everything went so smoothly and the four of us just enjoyed it all. Everything was so exciting and so different. The hotels were mostly wonderful. Varanasi was probably the least best and even it was OK. The others were really good. Arvind was a terrific guide. He was so knowledgeable and kind and took such wonderful care of us. We really enjoyed him. We always felt safe and comfortable. We even saw a tiger that stayed with us for about 45 minutes. We loved India and have such wonderful memories to keep. I understand that my best girlfriend and her husband from Israel are now booked to do this same trip. She told me that the blog I sent convinced her. She said if I did it then she could do it too. Thank you very much,
Hello, Nazir. I thought I would drop you a note with some comments on our trip to India. As you know, I was quite apprehensive about the trip before we left, partly because I knew it was going to be a completely new experience for us, and also because of the alerts about the unusually high levels of pollution and the demonetization announcement by Prime Minister Modi which took effect just before we left Vancouver. (From an outsiders point of view, it appeared that the people most negatively affected by this drastic move were the “have nots”, rather than those who were the primary target.) I will begin by saying that this trip was truly the most memorable travelling experience we have ever had. We will never forget the sights, the sounds, the people, the colour, the life. The biggest highlight for us was Varanasi (all aspects of the city and the sights, but especially going out on the River Ganges both in the evening and again at sunrise the next morning.). It was like stepping into a different world. I am so glad you suggested that we go there. It truly does have a spiritual feeling. A bonus for us was seeing parts of two weddings that took place at our hotel when we were there. We had never seen an Indian wedding before, and the decorations, music, and colourful dress were fun and entertaining to watch. The tour we took with our guide, Ada, to one of the slums in Mumbai was also an eye-opening and unforgettable experience. Seeing the recycling of mountains of “garbage; watching the men sewing fabrics in small rooms; having the children play and wave and smile at us (but not asking for money); observing the making of pottery and the use of what appeared to be homemade kilns; watching the preparations for a birthday party with many of the neighbours joining in to help; and on and on. We had expected an atmosphere of Despair, but instead felt that this was a vibrant, active community, despite the basic nature of the housing and the lack of so many amenities we take for granted. We have no way of knowing if this slum was representative of the many other slums which were apparent in some of the cities we visited, but we will not forget it. We also loved Jaipur and are glad we spent an extra day there. The elephant ride up to the Amber Fort with its wonderful views out over the countryside; the observatory with its enormous and precision instruments; watching the full process of carpet making including weaving, scraping, washing, burning of the fibers with a blow torch; and hand washing (hard work); another wedding which we spent watching by the pool at the beautiful Taj hotel; the street scenes with people, animals, merchants, crazy traffic – all of it was wonderful. We had expected to be impressed with the Taj Mahal in Agra (and we were), but we actually enjoyed the “baby Taj” just as much – fewer people, and our excellent guide pointed out the beauty in the chiseled flower and other patterns in the marble (and we later had a chance to see how this was done). Walking through Old Delhi was also a fascinating experience, as was our visit to the Sikh Temple, and the beautiful monuments and buildings in New Delhi. The Taj Hotels were great, and I doubt if we will ever see a more beautiful hotel than the Taj Palace in Mumbai. If I had to choose again, I would have chosen the Taj Hotel in Delhi, rather than the Meridian (which was very nice, but had more of a feel of a business hotel). Our guides were also great – all different, but really good at explaining what we were seeing and giving us the history of all the places we visited. It was hard to take it all in, but we really appreciated their enthusiasm. Special kudos go to our guide in Varanasi (Prem?) and in Mumbai (Ada?), but they were all good. Khalid was also very hard-working, sincere, and we really appreciated his extra efforts on our behalf throughout. We were very sorry about the additional work we caused when we left our suitcase at the airport in Mumbai and really appreciated the time and effort of everyone who helped us get it back. Anyway, this is a long story, but we really wanted you to know how much we appreciated all your ongoing encouragement and efforts, and those of the people who work with and for you. If it had not been for you, we never would have gone to India and we would have missed the experience of a lifetime. We will definitely tell all of our friends that Explore India is the way to go and that India should be on their bucket list. Many of our friends figured if we could do it, they could do it. And we did it! Thanks again Nazir. We hope to get back to India in a couple of years, and maybe Nepal (and Kashmir when it is more settled). At that time, we will be in touch. Best regards,
Namaste Nazir Thanks for your note. You were certainly right about India being a Trip of a Lifetime and an adventure. We are so glad we went. We saw so many wonderful and awesome sights, and some we would rather not see. We did more adventures for fun, as in our elephant and camel rides, than we could ever imagine doing at home. Our tour guide, Yujurc, was exceptionally knowledgeable, very patient and always helpful. Our bus driver, Mr. Singh, was amazing to say the least and Surrinder treated us with help and respect and we were always happy to see his very kind smiling face. India is truly an amazing country with so many diversities and wonders to behold. We would not hesitate to recommend your tour company. We were very well looked after, and we never had to wait for Yujurc to lead us. When he said we were going to go somewhere or do something, that is what we did. Our flights were long but uneventful. Travel has always been an education for us, never more so than on our trip to India. Thank you,
Nazir, Just back from our trip to India and I wanted to thank you for a wonderful tour. Everything was well organized and went smoothly. I would like to stress to you the exceptional service that we received from our guide Harry. His historical knowledge and love for the culture made the tour. Harry went above and beyond with his service to ensure we gained a clear appreciation of the beautiful sights and sounds. His personal added value experiences were irreplaceable and I thank him for these. Harry is an exceptional guide, Explore India is lucky to have him as he will definitely remain in our hearts. I look forward to travelling with him again. I will be coming to the Mumbai are in the spring so will keep an eye on your site to see if there are any offerings. Many thanks,
We want to thank you for a truly wonderful trip. It exceeded all our expectations. The itinerary was fantastic, our guide Azur (The spelling of his name eludes me) very professional taking care of EVERY detail, the accommodations were incredible, the food was delicious. Superlative adjectives are not enough to describe how great this trip was! We are very experienced travellers and can appreciate the complexity involved in such a voyage. Our guide was obviously very experienced and knowledgeable. He navigated through the trip seamlessly without a hitch, even when India made our 500&1000 bills almost worthless. Words cannot describe how pleased we are that we chose Explore India. We will be passing on the word about your company at every chance we have! Please feel free to pass on our name to anyone who is considering travelling with you.... Warmest regards,
We just returned today from our wonderful trip to India. We did so many different things on our trip, and they were all very interesting. We learned a lot about India, and have a better appreciation of India than before. The scenery in Darjeeling was one of the highlights. Sandeep Singh was excellent as our guide. All of his talks were always very interesting, and with a little humor thrown in as well. I don't thing anyone could have done a better job. We really appreciate the effort he made to make our trip enjoyable. He deserves a 10! Our guide in Darjeeling was also excellent and also deserves a 10! He was very friendly, informative and interesting to listen to. We cannot think of any negatives things on this trip at all.....it could not have been better. We would certainly highly recommend this tour to others.
Dear Nasir, Starting off with that amazing dinner with you at Veda this is the most fabulous trip I have ever taken, and I have been on many a great trip around the world. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favourite, although Darjeeling was special. Even seeing the Taj Mahal in the fog didn’t take away from its incredible beauty. The Golden temple at Amritsar was fascinating. Dirty as Varanasi was it was still intriguing. At Ranthanbore we saw a tiger within 25 minutes. Many people had been there 3 days without a sighting. Rajahstan was so very interesting. So many things to do and see including getting rid of our (black money). We did manage it though. I would really like to commend our driver Sunil. He was always there for us and always helpful. (You should give him a raise!!!) Khalid in Delhi did his utmost to see that our trip went as smoothly as possible and Mukund was an excellent guide. (Give them all raises!!!) I have just been talking to Helen in Scotland & we both agree that we would love to come back.
Nazir Susan and I would like to say what a great job our tour manager Yajur did on the Explore India tour we just completed. His knowledge of India’s history and the forts and temples and cities et al that we visited and his ability to communicate that knowledge was terrific. His ability to deal with tour issues outstanding. His assistant Rouf had to leave mid-tour due to his father’s cancer and Yajur carried on with no impact on the group. Yajur minimized the impact to the group of the government’s demonetization of the INR500 and INR1000 notes. Mostly he convinced restaurants and vendors to accept the old bills. Finally in Agra some of us we able to exchange INR2000 old for new. I had a medical emergency where he provided excellent service – taking me to the hospital, dealing with language barriers at the hospital and purchasing for me needed supplies. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate his efforts. The entire tour was an amazing experience. Thanks,