The Golden Triangle April 2014
Flew from Goa with Spicejet to Delhi. Fights were uneventful and on time.
I contacted Deepak Sharma who organised the trip. He is a DE doe Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
I was greeted at Delhi Airport by Deepak and our firs driver. Deepak introduced himself and explained what our trip entailed and who we would be meeting over the forthcoming days. Our trip was slightly reorganised due to dry days and some monuments not being open but Deepak had ensured that nothing was missed from the itinerary.
Deepak said his goodbyes and said he would contact me by phone over the Ned few days.
Our driver I think his name was Golpar was lovely he had a lovely air con comfortable ca and be explained he would be driving a straight to Agra. The drive was about 5 hours and we slept most of the way. Upon our Arrival at Agra we want for dinner before checking into our hotel. Deepak phoned me and explained that Pinch of Spice was a nice restaurant and close to our hotel. The restaurant was lovely and after a lovely filling meal and a couple of gin and tonics we were ready to go to bed. Our driver drove us to Taj Resorts Hotel, situated on the VIP Eastern Gate road to the Taj Mahal. Or driver checked us in and ensured that we were happy before he left. He explained that we would be meeting a guide at 6am at the hotel reception.
We checked out our room, it was modern and comfortable. We had tea and coffee facilities, electronic safe, plasma TV. We set our alarms and slept very well. Upon waking we had a coffee and checked out the roof top where we had our first glimpse of the magnificent Taj Mahal! We head to reception where we were greeted by our Guide Manu (Arif). He provided us with a bottle of water each and some show covers and we walked the short journey to the Taj.
Our guide was extremely informative, he explained to history and architecture of ten the great building and all her surroundings, he was an excellent photographer and knew all the best spots to have our photos taken, we took our time and I can honestly say the Taj was just magnificent!!! It brought a tea to my eye when I walked through ten entrance and seen her for the first time in all her glory. We enjoyed all the benches, the gardens, the reflective photos and then we made our way up to enter the Taj, we had lots of time there and have some fantastic truly wonderful memories. Our guide explained the rest of the day and advised us to have breakfast and meet him again the reception again at 10am
We also used the services of a professional photographer. He took 50 magnificent photos and also provided a disc of all the photos he took. He gave us them in an album and also provided some free photos of the Taj at sunset and sun rise. They cost us £36 and we had to haggle hard but we felt they were worth the mine as they are priceless.
After a good choice breakfast, eggs, typical indian fruit, toast tea and coffee we checked out and met our guide and our main driver Mr Lucky Singh. We made our way to the Agra Fort, once again the guide was fantastic and extremely knowledgeable. Lots of fantastic photo opportunities and a truly memorable occasion.
After the fort we said our goodbyes to Arif and with Lucky Singh we mad the long drive to Jaipur. Lucky was an excellent driver. He was very confident and we felt very comfortable. Again, we retried to sleep most of the ways but also had some interesting photo opportunities on the highway and seen some amazing things, camels, bullock carts, beautiful Indians at work in the fields etc... We also made a stop for lunch and a toilet break.
At Jaipur we checked into our beautiful indian heritage hotel Umaid Mahal. Lucky explained that because of elections we would have free time and he would we us at 2pm the next day.
Our hotel was really good, really comfy, had an electronic safe and mini bar, beautiful bathroom. Plasma Tv etc... This was our home for 2 nights. Whilst it was still light we took the opportunity to go for a walk. We had some chai with a local shop keeper and we also bought some nice indian style tops for the next day. We made our way back to the hotel. We had a phone call from Lucky with some grea news that the monuments would be open tomorrow and he would pick us up at 8.30am. We had a meal at the hotel in the roof top. It was spectacular the North Indian food was delightful and we sat under a huge umbrella watching the lightening strike. No drinks as it was a dry day and we had an early night with a small night cap which we had brought with us from Goa.
Next morning we had a very enjoyable breakfast in very royal surroundings in the basement breakfast room, again good choice of hot food fruit, toast cereal, smoothies and tea and coffee. We met Lucky in reception with our guide for the day Narendra Singh. He was very hospitable and made us feel very comfortable. We made our way to the Amer Fort. On arrival we boarded our elephant for the trip up into Fort. This was brilliant, the elephant ride gave us amazing views across the city. We had fantastic photos take (again some pro). Narendra was extremely knowledgeable. He gave us some really interesting history about India, the mughli emperors etc.... He took amazing photos and really took his time explaining each and every item of the fort including all the rooms, the architecture even the beautiful carvings and paintings including those of the Kama sutra hidden within the palace walls.
Next we took a stop at the water palace for a photo opportunity and then made our way back to the hotel. We stopped for lunch at a lovely Rajasthani restaurant before heading back, the day has been tiring and we were grateful of the afternoon to our selves, we had a nap and then went for a walk having a few drinks as the dry day was over! We and dinner and drinks at the hotel again and the food was as good as the night before, had a few drinks and another early night for our early 9am start. We checked out of the hotel and were sad to leave.
Narendra and Lucky were already waiting in reception for us when we came down. We made our way to the city palace and janter manta again, Navendra was extremely knowledgeable and did not leave a stone un turned. He was extremely helpful, friendly, a great photographer he made the trip a truly memorable experience. We said our goodbyes and with Lucky we started the long journey to Delhi.
The journey was very comfortable and again we had some rest and enjoyed the journey watching all the sites we passed. Once we reached Delhi we made our way to Hotel Le Roi. The hotel was in paharganj. The area was very congested but it was lively and we loved the hustle and bustle. We said goodbye to Lucky and he provided us with our driver details for the next day and advised us to be ready for 9am. we checked into the hotel and again the room was great it was comfortable and modern. We had an electronic safe, fridge, tea and coffee great bathroom, plasma etc.... We took the opportunity to do some shopping. We headed to the main bazaar and it was fantastic we bought some really great things and loved the hustle and bustle. It grew dark and we decided to head back to the hotel. We had a quick shower and went to the hotel resturant. We had a great meal and few drinks and an early night.
As arranged next morning after a nice rooftop breakfast, the usual omelettes, toast, fruit, tea and coffee etc,... We met our new driver Sanjay and our guide Dharmveer. We advised them of our flight times etc... And we started our trip with the Jamu Mosque, the red fort, a lovely chai stop with Dharmveer and an exciting Manual tuk tuk ride through the winding streets or delhi, we had a shopping opportunity and then we made our way to Mahatma Ghandi's ghat, the indian gateway, the government buildings, the lotus temple, and finally qutabab minor. The day was fabulous and our guide was extremely knowledgeable. He was really friendly and made us feel completely at home. He was really hospitable and we had a great laugh with him. It was nearing the end of the day and we said our goodbyes.
Sanjay dropped us at the hotel and said he would be back at 9pm for our airport drive. We did a bit more shopping at the main bazaar and then went back the hotel, rested for an hour, packed our cases and checked out. We had a snack and Sanjay was promptly waiting at 9pm. He sorted all our luggage and we made our way through the congested motorway to Delhi International Airport. We said our goodbyes to Sanjay and were sad to be at the airport homeward bound.
Deepak phoned me every single day to ask how the trip was going, ensured we were happy, checked that we had seen all the sights on our itinerary, ensured we had enjoyed our restaurant stops and checked that the guides were sufficient in their knowledge.
Our trip was fantastic and we could not have done it better thanks to Deepak and his team of extremely knowledgable friendly team of guides and drivers. This was one of the best holidays I have ever had and I can't it to plan the next one. I am looking at flights and going to contact Deepak again to see if we can arrange a trip to Rathenbore next time.
I would not hesitate in recommending Deepak and his great team all of whom made our trip immensely enjoyable and extremely memorable so thanks again to Deepak.