David Bird

Fantastic experience of Northern India & Goa

Bout India gave us the most memorable and amazing holiday. The programme that was put together was diverse and fully comprehensive. Each and every city we visited offered something unique and exciting. We were so well cared for throughout our travels and we can't thank Bout India representatives enough for their care and little touches that added so much to this amazing holiday.

Our travels over 16 days encompassed stays in Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Jodphur, Udaipur and Goa. Our driver Shankar - was always on time, and had fresh bottled water available daily. He took pride in his car and was so helpful making sure we got photos of things we wanted along the way. He’ll certainly remember us for all the photos of cows we took!

Every single guide we were allocated was on time, extremely knowledgeable, very friendly and accommodating to really give us the best experiences. Absolutely faultless.

So, the memorable bits! All of it! But to highlight just a few we’d say these were the main ones:

Delhi: making chapatis in the Sikh temple. To be able to participate in that activity was really special knowing that we were helping to provide food along with the other volunteers.

Agra: we expected to be in awe of the Taj Mahal and we were - definitely worth 2 visits one at sunset where the views over the Yumana river are clearer and at sunrise when there is just such a surreal calm about the place.
What we did not expect was to see what we did at the Agra Fort. Utterly amazing place and not to be missed.

Ranthambore: definitely worth doing. Yes, we were very lucky to see a tiger called Sidhi, on both safari outings but aside from that the morning safari offered viewings of such a host of wildlife even a black bear - that alone was amazing. The evening sunset and longer sighting of Sidhi bathing was just simply incredible.

Jaipur: Amber Palace - was definitely one of our favourite places. And to see the morning elephant parade unexpected but a real highlight.
The thing that we weren't expecting to enjoy so much was the Juntar Mantar observatory but we're so glad we didn't miss this out. Mathematical astrological genius set in such a lovely environment to walk round. We were captivated by all the sundials and how they'd been created so accurately so long ago. Our wonderful guide so knowledgeable making it all come alive and we could work out the time and understand it all.

Then we had the best surprise a memorable and special meal out with Geet and Akansha - such a special unexpected touch. Meant the world to us and as we said on the evening …. ‘Friends now’ we won’t forget you and you will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Jodphur: Mehrangarh Fort was a wonder and we loved the history and tales behind what we saw there.
Where we stayed was not your run of the mill hotel. A lovely contrast to the other hotels we'd been staying in. Bel Samund Lake Palace had the most amazing grounds and the sunset over the lake not to be missed. It was really special to have an outdoor meal by our own fire pit in an open barbecue area of the grounds. And the daily biscuits left in the room didn't last long ... delicious!

Udaipur: We were really charmed by Udaipur. The City Palace was amazing but we really loved taking a boat ride on Lake Pichola to Jagmandir Island. Such a beautiful trip and place to visit.
An unexpected and special treat was to visit a very special shop. Our guide really came up a with a gem here. Tucked away - you wouldn't find it if you didn't know about it and so vast in all it offered in scarves, pashminas, paintings, household furnishings and rugs! Needless to say we shopped!
Our lunch stop today at Khudala House just held something special, maybe it was marking the end to our travels in Northen India which really had been spectacular.
For any one experiencing India you soon get to know the roads aren't easy to navigate as a pedestrian! Udaipur no exception. Shankar our driver soon to spot I was in bother swiftly crossed the busy road and got me safely to the other side. These are the representatives you definitely need looking out for you on your trip.

Goa: Our guide for our Goa walking tours was so engaging and among the scheduled itinerary had so many little surprises for us: like special tasting treats for us in a cake shop and a friend to play and sing some local songs to us in a cafe.

Our stay in Goa is where we really have to say is where 'Bout India' came into their own. We knew we had a special tour operator but when we had a hotel that really didn't hit the expected standard they were absolutely incredible. We moved hotel and we have to say our India experience ended in the most special place possible and was absolutely unforgettable. The real relax, incredible service, special treats and remarkable hotel setting - the perfect end to our hectic travels.

We have loved all we did and we wouldn’t want to have missed out a single bit that we did. Perfectly crafted itinerary to give the most wholesome India experience.

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