Tour Title: Northern
Tour Company: G Adventures
Tour Leader: Manu Rao
Countries Visited: India (Cities: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Sawarda)
Dates: 20 April 2015 to 26 April 2015.
Note: I did this as part of the India Highlights Tour which also included the South India – Kerala Dreaming tour.
This tour is listed as one of G Adventures Comfort tours. In short the hotels you stay at will be very good and most of the activities are included in the tour with a little bit of free time for other activities.
Arrival transfer included through Women on Wheels, Walking tour and project supporting street kids in Delhi, Tour of Old Delhi including Jama Masjid Mosque, and Gurduwara Sikh Temple, visit to the extraordinary Taj Mahal, Baby Taj and Agra Fort, visit Fathpur Sikri (the abandon city) and Abhaneri Stepwells (tank gardens), visit to Amber Fort, Jaipur City Palace and Hawa Mahal, visit and tour of the village of Sawarda.
Hotels had most of the expected extras for good 3-4 star hotels like good showers, air conditioning (a must a this time of year). Wifi charged at some places. Stay in Sawarda is more basic, no internet or TV, bucket water shower but still they had air conditioning and great charm. Breakfast was included at each stop.
There were only 6 travellers, Ashleigh and Jess (England), Dianne (Canada), Yani and Sonia (USA), and myself. A small group reflecting the end of the season and rising weather.
Manu Rao is an experience Chief Experience Officer / Tour Leader who very obviously loves his job and his country. Manu added many optional activities into a crowd schedule for this short tour that added great value these included a Bollywood film at a classic cinemia, watching true master craftsmen at work with marble and gems and dinning under the stars. Manu encourage us to discuss what we had seen and experience from the wealth to to poor.
There were lots of highlights of this tour including;
– playing cricket with the children in Swarda
– experiencing the Taj Mahal
– the Great Wall at Amber Fort
– the underrated Agra Fort
– watching master craftsmen at work
– visiting the slums in Delhi and the Salute the Kids foundation which helps them
– the noise, music, cows and elephants
This is a very quick paced tour which can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful. If you only have a short time in India this is a great option. I’d also recommend this type of tour in I dial the conditions can be harsh if not use to 40 degree+ temperatures. At the very least I’d take a classic tour and ensure private air conditioned transport, it was a life saver at times.