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Travel: INDIA

Tigers and the Taj








We started in Delhi, where we did a street food tour and rickshaw ride around the old backstreets. The next day we drove to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and from there we travelled to Ranthambore National Park tiger reserve. We then moved on to Jaipur

to see the majestic Amber Fort, and had our final night at Vanaashrya, a luxury tented camp in the wilderness, which was beautiful.


All the hotels were of a high standard, and each had its own story to tell. The Trident Agra, where we had lunch one day, was beautiful; my other favourite was Raj Niwas Palace in Dholpur, which is part of Newmarket’s Journey through India tour and is spectacular. The welcome we got at all of them was phenomenal too.


We mainly ate at hotels but we had a few standout foodie experiences, which feature on the Marigold Hotel Experience tour. One was a cooking

demonstration at Suryaa Villa in Jaipur, where the owner of the hotel showed us how to make curries and got us all making chapattis. We also had a delicious breakfast with Indian dishes and fresh, homemade banana bread at Colonial Retreat, a beautiful four-storey house in Delhi. The other standout was the street food tour in Delhi. It was

a shock to the senses but it was really interesting learning about the foods from a local guide.


Transport is normally by coach but we were in a minibus. It was really comfortable with loads of legroom and a brilliant driver.


I’ve done tours all over the world and can honestly say our guide. Mahendra, was the best I’ve ever had. We learnt so much about the culture, religion and traditions in the country. We also had a tour manager who was great – they both went above and beyond and their English was perfect.


Jaipur was my highlight – it had a really nice feel and the Amber Fort was spectacular. We had some time to shop in the market there and we all felt completely safe. It was a real contrast to Delhi, but I enjoyed seeing that diversity. We had some funny moments too – we stopped at this little cafe in Delhi and a bunch of monkeys came swarming at one of us, which was interesting!


The tour is excellent value for money when you consider all the experiences included. I think Newmarket’s normal client range is 50-plus, but I don’t think there’s a client that wouldn’t appreciate doing it, as long as they go prepared for the cultural shock. India is madly diverse – on one hand, you’ve got the hectic,

hot streets of Delhi; on the other hand you’ve got the likes of the Taj Mahal and its luxurious jewels, but the people were lovely and just couldn’t do enough for us it was a real trip-of-a-lifetime stuff.


Group side: up to 39, unless booked as a private tour, at a supplement of £400 per person. Price: Newmarket Holidays’ 10 day Tigers & the Taj Mahal tour starts at £1,249.
What’s included: Eight nights’ half-board accommodation in tour and five-star hotels, five lunches, air-conditioned coach with transfers, services of a tour manager, activities, and return flights to Delhi from your chosen UK airport.

Reviewed by Kim Fazackerley, Altham’s Travel


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