My husband, Allan Mayer and I, would like to commend you for your extremely well-planned and well-executed Impressions of India tour Nov. 14-30, 2017
The tour was a very nice balance between the frenetic urban pace of New Delhi, with its 16 million people, and more relaxed settings like Varanasi, the sacred city of the Hindus; and the bucolic wilderness of the Ranthambore national park.
The Taj Mahal was, as I expected, magnificent (post-card India). But the images stamped in my mind are the unexpected ones --- the Bengal tiger stalking his prey, four crocodiles sunning themselves along the river bank, a huge male sambur deer rolling on his back taking a mud bath, late-night cremation ceremonies along the Ganges River in Varanasi, an Indian holy man with uncut hair and his face smeared with human ashes from the crematoriums, sending offerings of marigolds and lit candles into the River Ganges at night for the health and safety of our loved ones, visiting a laundry where clothes are cleaned by being stomped by people's feet in a big tub, a sacred cow lying on the tracks right in the middle of a train station in Agra.
The hotels on the tour were first class; the food excellent. The traffic in India is like nothing we have ever experienced (even with a visit to China last year). So we would like to specially commend our excellent drivers Assif in Delhi, and Malik on the rest of the trip, who got us through hair-raising situations unscathed.
The tour guides, Raj in Delhi, and particularly Sandeep on the remainder of the tour, were great. We felt very lucky to have someone as exceptionally erudite as Sandeep, working towards a PhD, as our guide. He is so knowledgeable and is able to bring Indian history and Hindu religion alive with his amusing stories of Mogul rulers, other invaders, and gods and deities.
He is very patient and adept at answering standard tourist questions about subjects like sacred cows, the caste system, and why there are swastikas on the old temples. He has a good sense of humour, is warm and personable, relates to people well, and helped to build a rapport among our small group by taking group photos for us and having everyone exchange emails so we could keep in touch (including with him). Because of him, the trip felt like travelling with friends.
We would certainly recommend this tour to our friends, and perhaps return to see other parts of India with your company.