03 MAR, 2018: The trip was very interesting and educational. We appreciated the opportunity to see a broad spectrum of life in India and particularly the countryside and life in the villages. The accommodations and the food were excellent. And the weather couldn’t have been any better. The guide for our tour, Yajur, had a vast array of knowledge which he pleasantly and willingly passed on. He answered in great detail the questions our group had and had a vast and varied knowledge of India, its culture and history and provided the information freely and willingly. The entire group got on well together and appreciated the active agenda provided. The bus provided (with driver Lalit and assistant Ranjit) was excellent and fit the size of the group well – we appreciated the fact that we were not jammed in as sardines. And we really appreciated going off the main roads and into interior portions of the country. The trip and the experience have certainly whetted our appetite to revisit the country and see different aspects. Thanks to you, Nadir and Mansoor.
FEB 12, 2018: We LOVED the trip and India! Our guide was Muzaffar Shah, and we can't say enough good things about him. He is so knowledgeable and loves to share that knowledge. The whole trip was so well organized, we would definitely recommend Explore India to anyone travelling to India. We think that a trip to southern India or perhaps Kashmir could well be in our future! Thank you for everything, Marg and Frank
FEB, 28 2018: I wanted to let you know that I was very pleased with the tour. The arrangements were excellent. Ashish was an excellent guide. I thought it was very well planned, with appropriate down time but busy schedules. The hotels were all very comfortable and well located. (I was annoyed that Hilton didn't offer free wifi in the rooms but I joined their Hilton Honors program and got free wifi from that.) The buffet style meals were perfect for our needs. It is surprising how quickly wifi has become a must have for most travellers. Keeping the group size small made it easy for us to move as a group. I had never seen the technique of having hawkers bring their wares to the bus, where we could buy or not, without haggling. This was a clever way of minimizing people wandering off for their own purchases and bargaining. The arranged shopping opportunities were also very good. High quality merchandise was offered. It also seemed to be value for money. I look forward to having the opportunity to travel with Explore India again. Joan
FEB 09, 2018: We had a glorious holiday and were so impressed with our guide Shah. His knowledge was formidable and he was a most delightful host. He took really good care of everyone and the trip was over before we were prepared to give it up. We regretted not booking an extension. We certainly plan to return to India and shall be looking forward to seeing your itineraries. Thank you so I much for all the planning on your side. It is not under appreciated by us. Ann
Hello All, John and I arrived home at 5:15 am this morning. Flight was on time and our departure from Delhi went smoothly. We just wanted to write to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip and especially how much we enjoyed our guide Mr. Sharma. All of our hotels were excellent, service outstanding and food delicious (including the presentation of it!). Mr. Sharma’s comments and detailed descriptions were both informative and entertaining. His handling of the confusion surrounding our return flight from Varanasi to Delhi and his ability to solve the problem calmly and professionally was much appreciated by the entire group. At no time did we doubt that Mr. Sharma would make sure we returned to Delhi with ample time to prepare ourselves for our long journey home last night. Thank you to all staff in your offices, both Canada and India. We will definitely recommend Explore India to our friends. Namaste! Gael Robertson-Craig John Craig
17 JAN, 2018: We had a wonderful and memorable trip and saw a different India than our previous trip. The variety of places we visited; the spectacular scenery especially in the Western Ghats; the warm and friendly people; the many modes of transport from bullock carts, boats, rickshaws and tuk tuk; the colourful and vibrant temples; the unique and luxurious lodgings; all guided by Jishoy a knowledgeable and organized tour leader who was outstanding and flexible to individual needs. I look forward to recapturing the memories when I have edited my photos. Once again, the Explore India team gave us an incredible experience of indelible quality at an affordable price. Regards, Ros and David
Dear Nazir and Mandira, Very many thanks for your welcome back message. Denise and I had a fabulous ExploreIndia Trip "Mughals and Maharajas". Everything was very well organised and the quality and choice of the hotels were very good, especially the Hotel Madin in Varanasi, where the food, the service and the staff were exceptional. The transportation and visits to places of interest, including the artisan workshops, were also excellent. Our guide, Arvind Sharma, took very good care of our group and completed the picture with his shared insight and enthusiasm for all things "Indian" with his running commentary on the cities, the country's history, the historical sites, and life in India, and really opened our eyes to the real India. And we must not forget the bus driver and his assistant, who were also very hardworking and polite, and their skills at manoeuvering in the traffic were very impressive. Mandira in Vancouver promptly handled any questions or concerns regarding our booking and upcoming trip in a very calm, helpful and friendly manner. You should be very proud of your team, both here in Canada and of course in India. Everything on this trip was outstanding and far surpassed our expectations and we will certainly be recommending Explore India to others. Please pass on our thanks to everybody for a great trip and introduction to incredible India. Very many thanks again, Sincerely, Anthony and Denise Cooper
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.
The whole tour was superb; everything went very smoothly, the choice of sites was perfect, the hotels were excellent, well-supplied and clean, the bus was comfortable, the driver, Praveen (?) and water wallah, Shambo, were friendly, competent and very amenable. Our guide was wonderful at keeping all 22 of us happy, thanks to his ability to listen, adapt, add and subtract as necessary. Speaking of Rajeev, a 5+ star guide! What a calm, patient, well-informed, flexible, attentive person to travel with! He gave us time to explore when desired, tweaked things where necessary and rolled with the punches that a bunch of bossy adults used to having their own way could throw him. He made us feel safe and special throughout the trip, whether we were crossing a road, feeding cows, riding an elephant or negotiating prices, all this with an unfailing sense of humour. There was not one glitch in our bus arrival, suitcase sorting, passport collection and distribution or room allocation. All in all, a magical voyage which is very much in my mind, my conversations and my dreams.
Hi Mandira, I am sending along a pic of us on the elephant, as promised. I would have sent it from India but frequently the internet service was not keen to send along my pics. Never a problem sending an e-mail, but pics. I am sorry that the elephants running around the bottom of my pant legs We had an absolutely WONDERFUL time. That we had Mr. Harry as our tour guide was truly a blessing - what a wonderful gentleman! It was also a pleasant surprise to be able to meet Nazir in Delhi just before we were on our way to the airport to return home. It has been our pleasure to deal with you and Nazir and we thank you for providing us with an experience of a life time!
Dear Nazir, I wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience I had on our Explore India, Journey of the Senses tour, which began on Oct. 17. From the time we arrived in New Delhi until we left from Mumbai 2 weeks later I felt safe and even, pampered. All the hotels, transportation and food were of 5 star quality. I will remember the Taj Mahal chain of hotels, in particular, for their luxurious surroundings and amazing meals! Of course, the elephant and camel rides in the dessert, followed by specially prepared meals just for us were highlights, as well as our visits to a random village, a primary school, the Taj Mahal, the Ganges, a slum in Mumbai. The list goes on and on. I want to devote the next part of my email to writing about Shyaam Singh, our guide. He was a remarkable guide! He had extensive knowledge about every location we visited and he always shared his knowledge with respect and passion. He was able to answer all our questions, no matter how complex or trivial the questions were. Not only did he have a vast knowledge of history, but he also had a vast knowledge of present day India, from the local people and their customs and religions to geography to politics. He was always willing to answer any personal questions we asked him about his family and his life in general. We were all thankful that Shyaam discreetly made all arrangements for us so that everything ran smoothly. Shyaam was always able to organize our group and keep us on time for all our outings. We know he did a lot of work behind the scenes, remaining calm and controlled at all times. We all enjoyed Shyaam’s warmth and sense of humour. He was not only a remarkable guide, but a remarkable human being. He made our trip memorable and successful. I know that all the venues were selected by you, all the hotels, meals and travel arrangements were planned by you, but, your choice of Shyaam to be our guide made our tour truly wonderful. We all came to realize that a really good guide is integral to the success of a trip such as ours. Thanks again, Nazir, for a wonderful experience I will never forget.
What an incredible journey we had. I don't want to speak for all of us but Kelvin and I both loved India. This was an experience of a lifetime for so many reasons, the people, our guide, the sites and surprisingly traveling with nine other people to whom we have become friends with now. One cannot share this journey together and not bond. The group size was great, we usually travel with 8-10 people (our regular travel group) and it was nice to have the smaller group at some of the venues, we could gather around Shyaam quite nicely to listen. Shyaam was wonderful, kind, knowledgeable and openly honest. Having him as our guide made ALL the difference in the world. He was accommodating and went above and beyond his responsibilities for example he remembered I wanted an "Om" symbol so while in Varanasi he bought me one. We also have motorcycles in common so we stopped at a religious ceremony for Om Banna on our way to Jaipur (I think). We both cherish our memories of the people the most. They were kind and gentle and pleasant. Not for a minute would we hesitate to recommend Explore India and Shyaam to anyone of our friends!