Where do we begin?? Bill and I had a fabulous introduction to India on our tour with Explore India!
Upon our early arrival we were met by our local guide Muzzafar Hamid Shah, who was ready to help with information, currency exchange and sightseeing outings! We took him up on those straight away and headed out to see and hear a bit about Delhi. We later had the pleasure of meeting your brother who gave us a bit of history of the company and laid down the concept of being family. And that is how it unfolded for us. We had a wonderful group of 17 diverse Canadians- warm, adventurous, funny, punctual! , generous, curious, - and we soon became a family, led by Shah- who we cannot say enough about! Shah was so caring, informative- so knowledgeable- he really made the history so interesting, also describing life in India today, education, healthcare issues, social issues, differences and similarity of the religions....our days were so full and so fun. He always kept us informed as to what was coming up, saved us from the ‘hawkers’ by providing the ‘on bus shopping’ which we loved! Also giving assistance as required or requested when we shopped the awesome artisan locations. These stops were truly amazing opportunities to see the old world techniques of carpet making, marble inlay, silk weaving, block fabric design, etc.
Shah is such a great guide - we hope EXPLORE INDIA knows how lucky you are to have him! He was such a big part of the enjoyment and success of our trip.
The itinerary was incredible- one could never arrange all this on your own. In casual conversation we all asked what were the highs and lows...no lows...and it was just too difficult to choose the highs!
Of course the sights were magnificent- the Taj Mahal did not disappoint-it truly was beyond belief! As were the many other palaces, forts, temples! Our visit to the Sikh Temple was such a lovely, impressive event. It was like stepping back in time to watch the food prep by so many volunteers and the feeling was something spiritual...
I’m sure you’ve probably heard about our super successful tiger safari at Ranthambore!! A tiger family plus a sloth bear!! We felt blessed that day and it was obvious, by our Naturalist, Vijay’s excitement, just how fortunate we were. He could have headed out after our initial tiger sighting as our time was closing in, but he ventured after another sighting, successfully predicting where the tigers were heading! After an incredible time watching them we had to hustle out of the park to meet our deadline. As we understand, putting himself at risk of fine or suspension of licence!
The Ganges experience was beyond words and a part of India I will keep with me forever! Indescribable, really. As Bill has said numerous times- our visit to India was not just a vacation- it was an experience....
So many things to mention, but most come down to the people and just seeing everyday life go by..... the visit with the village family was very special, the time spent at the village school so precious.... and just observing life along the roadside was spellbinding.
I could go on about many more things- the accommodations were great, the food was fantastic! Our family extended to our driver and helper who we were so happy to see on our return to Delhi! They also, took such great care of us!
We have and will not hesitate to highly recommend Explore India to anyone thinking of going and will encourage anyone else to seriously consider India for their next ‘experience’! It was unforgettable!
Laurel and Bill Wickett