Published on May 12th, 2015 | by Emma Hackwood0
Up Close and Personal in India with Intrepid Travel
India is a feast for the senses, where the air is heavy with the scent of jasmine and dancers trail frenetic melodies in colourful silk saris. Paula Perez fell in love with India, and had her opinion about organized tours flipped upside down when she travelled to this amazing country. She shares her experience with us:
I’ll be the first to admit that India was not on my list, but travelling with Intrepid really made me fall in love with this incredible country.
There’s a common misconception that organized tours move you along on buses and through towns and cities in large groups, preventing you from having an authentic experience and keeping you on the sidelines as a ‘culture spectator.’ When you travel with Intrepid, the experience is completely the opposite. They will immerse you in the culture and ensure you have up close and personal encounters whenever possible.
Once we arrived in New Delhi we were taken care of by our fantastic tour guide, Yaddu. He was a local, like most of Intrepid’s tour guides are, and very professional, knowledgeable and super friendly. He really made our trip an incredible experience!
One of the great things about travelling with an organized tour, is that it’s all hassle free. You don’t have to worry about anything! No wasting time trying to arrange your transportation or looking for hotels, which in busy cities like New Delhi or Jaipur can be a nightmare! Intrepid really will make the most of the time you have in every place you visit. We were only in India for 6 days, but it felt like a lot more. We got to see so much, and with the help of our guide we were able to experience the amazing culture, delicious food, traditions, beautiful buildings, and everything that India has to offer.
After 4 hours on an air conditioned and comfortable train ride we arrived in Aggra, home of the famous Taj Mahal. We visited the impressive Red Fort, where the monarchy used to live, and where you have a great view of the Taj Mahal. Aggra is also a good place for shopping for leather, fabrics and carpets. In fact, we visited a carpet factory where we saw how they make, wash, cut, and sell all the different types of carpets in all kinds of beautiful designs.
Early in the morning we headed to the Taj Mahal, which is a smart thing to do considering how crowded and hot it gets later during the day. It is a very impressive and beautiful building, and it’s easy to spend all day walking around it.
On our way to Jaipur we visited a cute little town called Karauli. We stayed in one of the unique hotels Intrepid had planned for us, where part of the town Royalty still lives. Having dinner with them at the palace was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The next day we had some time to visit the town, and we were able to walk as locals (without being harassed like in the big cities); we visited their city palace, and their sacred temple. It was certainly a unique experience that I will never forget.
Jaipur was our next stop, and right when you get there you can notice the pink walls all around the city. It’s a very crowded, very loud, and messy city but was very interesting, fun and captivating! The city is full of markets, people, motorcycles, tuk tuks, cows, and even monkeys on the streets! It’s a lot to take in, but with a good attitude you can have a blast and enjoy every moment of it.
Before leaving Jaipur we visited one of the foundations Intrepid Travel supports, Ladli, which helps street children of Jaipur to make jewelry in order to earn a living. It was good to know that Intrepid gives back!
The places we visited, the people we met, and the experience of being in this incredible country makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world. India is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list!