What to Expect
The flexibility of our service enables you to fly from anywhere in the world and commence your tour on any date you choose.
The hotel where you stay should give you as much `feel' of the country as the monuments you will visit.
Just look at the selection of `special' places we have made for you. As much as possible, these will be places with great character, which reflect the local speciality in craftsman-ship, architecture or fabrics. You will find that we generally do not have `mass produced' type of accommodation unless there is no other choice in a particular place.
Most of our favourite small hotels, guesthouses, retreats, eco-lodges, heritage hotels are moderately priced. No pretensions to grandeur but great value for money. Often these places are run by the owner, which gives you a more personal insight into the area. At the same time we also have some superior and luxury atmospheric hotels and palaces or resorts in stunning locations which are good for those who are willing to spend a bit more for that extra level of comfort.
We love to promote the so-called `Heritage hotels'. Most of these properties were built before India's Independence and furnished in authentic period furniture and accessories. Given the age of the buildings, the plumbing can be erratic at times but the charm of a living in a century-old building more than compensates. In many of these places, the former royal family is still in residence and you may enjoy your meals with them.
Travel by Car
The best way to travel in India is by private car. This offers great comfort and flexibility as you can stop when and wherever you want to take a picture or to have a cup of 'chai'.
Our cars and drivers are carefully chosen for experience and reliability and you can confidently sit back and enjoy the scenery unfolding before you. All tours are based on travel by air-conditioned car. The only exception to this is in the cooler climes of the Himalaya where air-conditioning is not required.
The driver may not always speak fluent English, but he will have a lot of experience in taking independent travelers like you on similar tours. Your driver is usually augmented by knowledgeable local guides, especially in the major cities.
Travel by Train
India has the second largest rail network in the world, and the rail system, operated by the government-run Indian Railways, is efficient, if not always on schedule. Tracks running well over 60,000 kilometers help connect about 7500 stations, ferrying nearly 20 million people every day.
Although distances in India are long and Indian trains aren't the worlds best, traveling in them can add a fascinating new dimension to a visitor's experience. There is virtually no better way to make friends with the local people and see the spectacular and diverse Indian countryside.
Train travel is safe, cheap and (in AC classes) comfortable. On many routes the railways are the fastest and cheapest way to get around.
There are fast day trains which link important tourist places. They have an air-conditioned `chair-car' which has reclining seats (like an aircraft). Snacks and meals are often included in the ticket.
The overnight trains have berths in air-conditioned compartments. We generally book trains which have only four beds in each compartment and two along the aisle, stacked vertically in two tiers. There is the added benefit of privacy curtains on the entrance to each compartment, as well as across each of the beds that run along the aisle. Fresh towels and bedding (linen, blanket and pillow) are provided at night.
Travel by Air
The best way to see India is by car or train and not at 30,000 ft above the ground. Yet sometimes one has to take a flight for reasons of time and distance.
In India, there are now a host of excellent private airlines in addition to the state domestic carrier Air India. Jet Airways and Kingfisher airlines provide excellent service. SpiceJet and Indigo provide good budget options.
When you choose to fly, do remember to not to fly on two consecutive days as delays may occur. This will cause you to lose valuable time at the airports while leaving you very little to see the city, before you have to catch a flight to the next destination.
Whenever you book a flight we will arrange for you to be met on arrival in the destination. Just look out for our Representative carrying a paging board with your name, who will be awaiting you after you collect your baggage.
In India delays and last-minute cancellations are not uncommon, especially in Northern India during mid-December to mid-January when fog can delay trains and flights. Should this happen our local representative will discuss the best possible alternative available with you and will try to get you to your destination with the minimum of inconvenience.