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Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
In February the weather in Northern India is just right for a British tourist! This tour packed in numerous cultural and historical sights along with an (optional) visit to a school for children with disabilities, visits to Hindu temples during services and a stroll through a small town. The Bollywood movie (Rangoon) was so enjoyable that we stayed to the end.
The Tah Mahal was glorious. As February mornings in the region are chilly and misty, we visited in the afternoon. I hadn't expected it to be such an emotional experience.
The Karauli City Palace was astonishing too - I won't forget standing on the roof surveying the palace, town and region.
Unni was very knowledgeable, keen to share his knowledge (and opinions) and was mindful of our safety.
If you want to go shopping, you need to seize any opportunities. The trip notes mention handicraft shopping in Agra and Jaipur but there was virtually no time at all!
I was surprised that no unfamiliar vegetables (like you see piled up outside Indian stores in the UK) were featured in any of the cooking classes or restaurant meals - but it was clear from driving past market stalls that they weren't in season. The ubiquitous red carrots were great!
The trip has all the highlights of the golden triangle with the addition of seeing tigers in the wild. There is too much packed into 8 days. The tour needs to be 10 days so that there is a little independent time. For a premium tour the accommodation was disappointing. I have travelled with Exodus before and did not find the accommodation any better than a standard tour, hotels were often old and dirty. For a food tour it would be good to include a cooking class to really learn about the spices. We had a disappointing tour leader.
Seeing a tiger.
Unni was hard to like. It was very obvious he had not done this tour before. He got everything done but he tended to repeat himself and often confused people. He was very anti the British. He also stated that Exodus was the last tour company on his list because he didn't get good tips!
Be prepared for a very busy time.
Cooking classes and extra days need to be added. The Dehli hotel is miles from any of the sights so it means every time you go out it is at least 45 minutes on the bus, more in rush hour. Although this was one of the better hotels the position was disappointing.
This trip combines the iconic sights of the Golden Triangle with the amazing experience of seeing tigers in the wild and the delicious home cooked food typical of the region.
Meeting the chefs in their own homes and watching them produce fantastic meals in front of us.
Seeing two tigers in their natural setting as they passed within touching distance.
Where would we have been without Gaj? Lost, ripped off, wandering around India without much of an idea of what we were doing or what we were seeing. Gaj was our organiser, our guide, our teacher, our protector. He got us onto the train to Agra when it looked odds on we would miss it. He taught us so much about India as a country and the Indians as a people, and introduced us to some accomplished chefs who produced memorable meals. He was the key to making this a most memorable holiday. From the Taj Maharaja to the tigers, from Red Forts to Pink Palaces Gaj was there, teaching us Indian words such as "juldi" and latterly reassuring us when the currency went into meltdown. He was our guru and our friend, a "legend" as we say in Scotland.
You get a better exchange rate at the hotels than the airport so don't change too much initially. It can get cool in the canter looking for tigers, so take a hat and fleece.
There was a breakdown in communication regarding the change of hotel in Delhi at the start of the trip. As a result we went to the wrong hotel, not the most relaxing start.
India has delicious food to cater for all preferences but, like anywhere in the world, hygiene is important. Keeping your hands well washed before eating, staying as hydrated as possible and sticking to bottled water is the best protection against an upset tum. Otherwise, mashed potato is apparently a good cure!
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
No. Indian visas must be pre-arranged in advance. Check the Indian embassy website for details.
Will Shoubridge - Agency Sales
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|Date||Trip Status||Price excl. flights (pp) from|
|Sat 14 Oct 17 - Sun 22 Oct 17|
Diwali Festival (see Trip Notes)
|Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,455||Book now|
|Sat 04 Nov 17 - Sun 12 Nov 17||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,455||Book now|
|Sat 23 Dec 17 - Sun 31 Dec 17||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,475||Book now|
|Thu 28 Dec 17 - Fri 05 Jan 18||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,455||Book now|
|Sat 20 Jan 18 - Sun 28 Jan 18||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,475||Book now|
|Sat 24 Feb 18 - Sun 04 Mar 18|
Holi Festival – see trip notes
|Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,475||Book now|
|Sat 31 Mar 18 - Sun 08 Apr 18||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,475||Book now|
|Sat 20 Oct 18 - Sun 28 Oct 18||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,525||Book now|
|Sat 03 Nov 18 - Sun 11 Nov 18|
Diwali Festival – see trip notes
|Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,525||Book now|
|Sat 22 Dec 18 - Sun 30 Dec 18||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €1,525||Book now|
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