Maggie Shapland  ( Switzerland)

Girish, Mahabir As promised, ive attached a few photos – our fleeting glimpse of a tiger at Rathambhore, wild elephants at Jim Corbett and the pictures taken at your office. I hope you are well and many thanks again for a memorable India holiday. Particular thanks for helping us get the holiday back on track after Margaret’s accident – much appreciated. Hope alls well. Best wishes to Arun – he took excellent care of us and was a great help when Margaret had her accident. I think of him when im driving along our relatively quiet roads! Kind regards

Browse Tours

Terletti & Rezzola Family  – Italy

GOOD INDIA TRAVEL COMPANY AGENTS

 Se dovessi tornare nel cuore dell’India rifarei il mio viaggio esattamente come mi fu consigliato.

 I siti archeologici sono stati tutti interessantissimi e le strutture che ci hanno ospitati si son rivelate di nostro gradimento.

 Chi ha intenzione di visitare l’India pensando di appoggiarsi alla Swadeshi potrá farsi cosigliare da Girish in merito al come e al dove e ne resterá sicuramente soddisfatto.

 Per noi sono stati 12gg indimenticabili , dal 17 al 29 aprile, impregnati di emizioni speciali.

 Grazie all’eccellente organizzazione della Swadeshi journeys e alla cortesia e flessibilitá di Girish abbiamo potuto apprezzare la vita, la cultura e l’archeologia dell’India comodamente alloggiati in hotel a 5 stelle e trasportati sul confortevole minibus dell’agenzia.

 Il tragitto partiva da New Delhi e terminava a Varanasi.

 In Agosto ci recheremo nuovamente in India per scandagliarne un altro frammento.

 Buona vacanza a tutti!

GOOD COMPANY INDIA TRAVEL AGENTS

If I go back in the heart of India would do my journey just as I was advised.

The archaeological sites were all interesting and the structures that have hosted you are revealed to our liking.

Those planning to visit India planning to lean on the Swadeshi parties can be cosigliare by Girish about to how and where it will surely remain satisfied.

We were 12 days unforgettable, April 17 to 29, impregnated emizioni special.

Thanks to the excellent organization of the Swadeshi journeys and the courtesy and flexibility of Girish we could appreciate the life, culture and archeology of India comfortably accommodated in 5-star hotel and transported to the comfortable minibus agency.

The journey started from New Delhi and ended at Varanasi.

In August we will go back to India to fathom another fragment.

Happy holidays to all!

Buy Tickets

Gorjala & Thiagarajan Family (USA )

Swadeshi Journeys Highly Recommended to Everyone !! 

Mahabir/Girish,

How are you both? We all safely returned . Some of us got very sick and I am slowly getting back to normal.
All of us recommending to our friends and relatives how greatly you have done your job. We all enjoyed very well.
With some minor problems, everything went very well.  Thanks to both of you for making our trip very memorable.
Next year, we are planning to come to India and will take your help definitely.

My cousin is coming to come to India and planning to visit same places that we did. if you have anybody who needs references, please tell them. we will be happy to give
Good reference.

Thanks . Rama

Best wishes from (HOUSTON)

Rent a Car

Fernando Dyer, Swiss 

Here, i am going to express my Delhi Agra Jaipur Varanasi Tour Report. But honestly speaking its quite difficult to express my journey in words. Only i can feel what i experienced and how fascinating it is. Well, I booked this tour before 01 week of my arrival in Delhi. I got Swadeshi Journey’s Reference with my common friends ” Barbara & Paola” which already made the booking with Swadeshi Journeys and arriving after 02 days of my arrival. So, i called them and explore my details and requirements to them. With in 15 minutes , i got a drafted mail from Girish, and after so many amendments as per my requirement. They designed a beautiful trip of Delhi Agra Varanasi. Below is my Tour Report.

 Client’s Name – Mr. Fernando Dyer

Arrival Date – November 14, 2013

Airport Assistance – Girish – Very Good.

Hotels – Reasonably OK in Varanasi , Good in Delhi & Agra Transport Driver Makhan Singh Excellent, Night train to Agra – Varanasi is not for Tourist

Tour Guide – Good in Delhi and Jaipur and Ok in Varanasi & Agra

Memorable Moments Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Ganga & Ghats. But the best memorable moment was when Driver Makhan waited with me at Train station in Agra and ensured I was on the correct place / wagon. I felt safe with him.

Fernando Dyer.

Geneva

Book a Hotel

JOE KITCHEN & LIBERTY – LONDON 

After research on Trip Advisor we contacted Swadeshi Journies for a bespoke tour around Northern India. This consisted of Shimla, Agra,Jaipur, Udaipur etc. They were incredibly helpful and accommodating to our needs and yet were considerably cheaper than anything in the UK.

 The communication between us and Swadeshi was great and very prompt. We dealt with Mahabir and Girish Singh who were both very professional and had great knowledge of India. They could both also speak and write very good English.

 The tour was great and tailored to us perfectly as we got to do the major tourist activities but could also ask to do some more adventurous things. All the hotels were good especially considering our budget. The tour guides provided at the major stops were also great and had very good knowledge and English.

 One of the best parts of our trip was our driver Kedar who was brilliant at keeping you feeling safe in the crazy Indian traffic. He is definitely worth requesting for.

 Unlike some of the big companies out there we thought that Swadeshi Journies brought an authenticity to our travels and we couldn’t have asked for anymore from a travel company. We will look to use them again when we travel to Southern India.

Request a Quote

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.Jawahar Lal Nehru

iconMaggie Shapland ( March. 2014)

Girish, Mahabir As promised, ive attached a few photos – our fleeting glimpse of a tiger at Rathambhore, wild elephants at Jim Corbett and the pictures taken at your office. I hope you are well and many thanks again for a memorable India holiday. Particular thanks for helping us get the holiday back on track after Margaret’s accident – much appreciated. Hope alls well. Best wishes to Arun – he took excellent care of us and was a great help when Margaret had her accident. I think of him when im driving along our relatively quiet roads! Kind regards

iconMr. Mike (March.2014)

Recently my partner and I spent two weeks travelling in India. We booked our tour with Swadeshi Journeys based primarily on a recommendation. The personalised package that we booked with Mahabir Singh and his son Girish turned out to be exactly what we wanted. The tour was very good value that could not be matched by any Australian group that we know of. When we were organizing the trip there were some key places we knew we wanted to go (Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi) but we left a lot of the planning up to Swadeshi Journeys. The result was a smooth itinerary that was a lot of fun, covered the key sites we were keen to see but also allowed us time to relax. At one point we received a train delay due to fog but Swadeshi Journeys quickly reorganised our travel plans with a minimum of fuss. As a result, we didn’t miss any of our planned site seeing. I am extremely thankful for the way we were looked after by the Swadeshi Journey’s team! At all airports we were met by someone from Swadeshi Journeys, who ensured that our transfers ran smoothly. We had a polite English-speaking driver at all times with a very comfortable car for the whole trip. Our driver for most of the time was Kedar who was fantastic and made us feel very safe on the hectic Indian streets. The other drivers we had were also polite and made us feel comfortable. For each day of site seeing we had an English-speaking guide that was organised by Swadeshi journeys. All of our guides were polite and importantly, extremely knowledgeable on the history of the sites we were visiting. For our itinerary, we flew into Delhi for three nights where we saw sites such as Akshardham temple, the Red Fort, Old Delhi and the Lotus temple. Next, we spent three nights in Jaipur where we had an elephant ride, visited the Amber Fort visited Jantar Mantar and more. After this we travelled to Ranthambore national park taking up the sites of rural Eastern Rajasthan along the way. We spent two nights in Ranthambore and went on two jungle safari tours. We were very lucky to see a Tiger here in winter and this was a highlight of the trip! Next we spent a night in Agra to visit the Taj Mahal, which is more impressive in person than I could have imagined! We then returned to Delhi as we transferred to Varanasi. We spent two nights in Varanasi where we toured old Varanasi and attended the Aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges, took a morning boat ride on the Ganges and visited Sarnath and the Varanasi Hindu University. Our trip to India was magical, partly due to the great people and organisation at Swadeshi Journeys. For anybody considering travelling to India, I thoroughly recommend it and I thoroughly recommend the services of Swadeshi Journeys.

iconMr Edgar from Arizona, USA

My wife and I went to India for 2 weeks on at trip arranged by Swadeshi Journeys. My wife will tell you I am a hard to please traveler and I can honestly say I found nothing to complain about on this trip. The experience was excellent. The hotels were high quality and much nicer than expected given our modest budget. Our driver was one of the best ones we have ever had on an international trip, both as a driver and as a knowledgeable guide. Swadeshi Journeys had also arranged local guides to meet us in each city. The destinations we went to throughout northern India were some of the most interesting and colorful sights in the world. People were very friendly—even to the point of welcoming us in their homes. I know it is hard to choose a travel agent from the many options available online, but my wife and I were perfectly satisfied with this agency. Our trip was mostly through Rajasthan, but Swadeshi Journeys also arranges tours throughout all of India and even Nepal—so we will definitely be using their services again!  If you have any questions, Swadeshi Journeys (Swadeshi Journeys Pvt. Ltd. (www.swadeshijourneys.com) has our permission to provide our contact information as a reference.

iconMr. Joshua Paterson & Mdm Casey (Australia)

Recently my partner and I spent two weeks travelling in India. We booked our tour with Swadeshi Journeys based primarily on a recommendation. The personalised package that we booked with Mahibir Singh and his son Girish turned out to be exactly what we wanted. The tour was very good value that could not be matched by any Australian group that we know of. When we were organising the trip there were some key places we knew we wanted to go (Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi) but we left a lot of the planning up to Swadeshi Journeys. The result was a smooth itinerary that was a lot of fun, covered the key sites we were keen to see but also allowed us time to relax. At one point we received a train delay due to fog but Swadeshi Journeys quickly reorganised our travel plans with a minimum of fuss. As a result, we didn’t miss any of our planned site seeing. I am extremely thankful for the way we were looked after by the Swadeshi Journey’s team! At all airports we were met by someone from Swadeshi Journeys, who ensured that our transfers ran smoothly. We had a polite English-speaking driver at all times with a very comfortable car for the whole trip. Our driver for most of the time was Kedar who was fantastic and made us feel very safe on the hectic Indian streets. The other drivers we had were also polite and made us feel comfortable. For each day of site seeing we had an English-speaking guide that was organised by Swadeshi journeys. All of our guides were polite and importantly, extremely knowledgeable on the history of the sites we were visiting. For our itinerary, we flew into Delhi for three nights where we saw sites such as Akshardham temple, the Red Fort, Old Delhi and the Lotus temple. Next, we spent three nights in Jaipur where we had an elephant ride, visited the Amber Fort visited Jantar Mantar and more. After this we travelled to Ranthambore national park taking up the sites of rural Eastern Rajasthan along the way. We spent two nights in Ranthambore and went on two jungle safari tours. We were very lucky to see a Tiger here in winter and this was a highlight of the trip! Next we spent a night in Agra to visit the Taj Mahal, which is more impressive in person than I could have imagined! We then returned to Delhi as we transferred to Varanasi. We spent two nights in Varanasi where we toured old Varanasi and attended the Aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges, took a morning boat ride on the Ganges and visited Sarnath and the Varanasi Hindu University. Our trip to India was magical, partly due to the great people and organisation at Swadeshi Journeys. For anybody considering travelling to India, I thoroughly recommend it and I thoroughly recommend the services of Swadeshi Journeys

iconREBEKAH S. (USA)

I found out about Swadeshi Journeys through a forum post and so now it’s time for me to pay forward the great advice I got from others and confirm how absolutely fabulous the 16 day and night tour of Northern India (mostly Rajasthan) Swadeshi Journeys coordinated for us was. My husband and I are very particular about our desire to shape our own schedule and explore at our own pace. Swadeshi Journeys was incredibly responsive to my many questions both before and while in country. They tailored a trip that exactly met our interests and even made adjustments throughout our stay when we changed our itinerary mid-trip. They hotels they chose for us exceeded our expectations—I wrote in my travel journal that this was the most luxurious international adventure we have had thus far (we are on a budget!). I could truly relax and enjoy knowing every detail was taken care of. Mr. Singh and his son Girish are knowledgeable, local small business owners who I am proud to support and would (and have) recommended to all my family and friends. I have given them our permission to share our contact information if you want to call someone in the US to talk about details of our trip.

 

iconMdm Irina

Christmas last year I spent 20 days in the South of India. The beautiful vacation and all in all not very expensive considering the period. We stayed in two and we spent around 2,500 Euro per person all inclusive. The tickets we bought from Italy and all the rest (car and driver for the whole tour, internal flights, hotels, tours) we booked with an Indian agency – Swadeshi Journeys. I recommend it to everyone.They are very reliable. If anyone wants information on the program or write to our tour. Irina ( Natale dell’anno scorso ho passato 20 giorni nel Sud dell’India. La vacanza bellissima e tutto sommato non molto cara considerando il periodo. Siamo stati in due e abbiamo speso intorno 2.500 Euro a persona tutto incluso. I biglietti aerei abbiamo comprato dall’Italia e tutto il resto (macchina con autista per tutto il tour, voli interni, alberghi, visite guidate) abbiamo prenotato con una agenzia indiana – Swadeshi Journeys. La consiglio a tutti. )

iconMr. Joe & Mdm Liberty ( London )

After research on Trip Advisor we contacted Swadeshi Journeys for a bespoke tour around Northern India. This consisted of Shimla, Agra,Jaipur, Udaipur etc. They were incredibly helpful and accommodating to our needs and yet were considerably cheaper than anything in the UK. The communication between us and Swadeshi was great and very prompt. We dealt with Mahabir and Girish Singh who were both very professional and had great knowledge of India. They could both also speak and write very good English. The tour was great and tailored to us perfectly as we got to do the major tourist activities but could also ask to do some more adventurous things. All the hotels were good especially considering our budget. The tour guides provided at the major stops were also great and had very good knowledge and English. One of the best parts of our trip was our driver Kedar who was brilliant at keeping you feeling safe in the crazy Indian traffic. He is definitely worth requesting for. Unlike some of the big companies out there we thought that Swadeshi Journeys brought an authenticity to our travels and we couldn’t have asked for anymore from a travel company. We will look to use them again when we travel to Southern India.

iconWilliam D (Australia)

Yes, India is really a superb Country with so many places and city.. but we choose a north side trip to India and had a magnificent experience with Swadeshi Journeys. when we were planning our trip to India, we wish to cover the following things….. Elephant Ride Camel Ride Jungle Jeep Safari & Tiger Sighting Of course Taj Mahal 🙂 Jaipur Udaipur and much more lot of Expectations 🙂 village tour One of our friend recommend an Indian travel company known as Swadeshi Journeys…. as per my friend’s thesis, we would like to compare Price for our itinerary, as its matter a lot ! Finally, we drop a mail to them and after few hours we got a reply of Mr. Singh with two different proposal and itinerary which was really professional and giving us pleasure to cover all the major destination of India including my desire places and activities….. also the charges of Swadeshi company was very little as compare to our local agent. That was really shocking and surprised. However, we check reviews about Swadeshi on Trip advisor and request them for giving us few recent client reviews and contact nos. after confirming all the things. We agree and decided to move ahead with Swadeshi. Now, on our arrival everything as same as we expect. Our driver and representative waiting us for airport. and with a very nice and big Toyota Car. The most wonderful part of our trip is our driver (Mr. Kedar) he is very knowledgeable and experience guy with complete knowledge and we really appreciate his driving sense. Secondly, the other important part was hotel. we choose 04star hotel and all hotels are very good and clean especially the Radisson one. Also we met different guide city by city, with the help of them we got to know the fantastic facts about all historical monuments and their royalist culture. Elephant ride at Amer was amazing, Camel ride in Jaisalmer and Jeep Safari at Ranthambore but quite disapointed that we don’t have any sighting of Tigers (may be our bad luck) but the village safari & Horse riding at Rohetgarh was amazing and very choosy. the task performed by Snake Charmers around forts was wonderful. Overall i would highly recommend this organization for a big help & support also Kedar to make our journey more comfortable and safe. Thank-you once again, i will surely write you regarding my next trip 🙂

icon Annie Torben Wallach.

We were in India from 25 March to 12 April 2013. When we were planning our trip, we had the following objectives: we would trek, meditate, watch National Park, sail in a houseboat and relax by the beach. These ideas we sent to different travel agences, but we chose SW ( Swadeshi Journes) and after various mails was the agreement with SW ready. There was always quick response and although we changed the route they were very flexible. Our itinerary was: Delhi, Haridwar, Jim Corbett (National Park), Delhi, Cochin, Munnar, Kovalam, Delhi. From north to south and back to Delhi. Mr Singh & his driver picked us up at the airport and was very friendly. Our driver during the first part of the trip was something utterly friendly, informative and a great driver. The driver of Kerala was also very friendly and also a good driver. Good cars with all safety equipment and AC. We think that SW had arranged a fantastic trip for us. The hotels we stayed at were all in all very good. Some were okay others were fantastic. The boat trip was also quite fantastic. We had the boat to ourselves and were served from morning to night. Jim Corbett park was maybe a bit of a disappointment (no tigers or elephants) and Munnar was not as interesting. It was Cochin, however, but we only had one night there. All in all, much praise to SW and Mr. Singh. They listen to the customer’s wishes and try to resolve all issues. Additionally, they are very reasonable in price. We will always recommend and use the organizer again See You!!!

iconDavid Richman – Raphael (USA) Andaman & Nicobar Island Tour Dec.2012

“Many thanks to Swadeshi Journeys- Mahabir Singh for helping to organize our vacation in India. They run a top quality best travel agency in India which provided wonderful recommendations for travel and were responsive to any questions or concerns we had before and during our vacation. It was particularly nice and surprising to get a phone call 2 days into our trip to make sure that everything was satisfactory. We will recommend Swadeshi Journeys to our friends and will definitely be using Swadeshi Journeys for our next trip to India! I attached a few of our favorite pictures from the trip. Thank you again for all your hard work. We had a wonderful experience!

iconMr. Luigi ( Italy )

Good Morning, Hope you will be pleased to receive some pictures of the recent journey in India. You can use the pictures to make some book showing your proposals, if you want. Thanks again for the organization. Everything flowed well and no problems raised. I have sent the pictures to many people and told everybody my good opinion about Swadeshi. So, hope that you will be contacted by someone making my name and in this case I am sure that you will give them all the needed assistance. Please note that someone could be more exigent than me, for example requiring hotel 4 stars or more, or a car with air conditioned, but I am sure that you will be able to comply with all requests. Have a nice day 🙂

icon Ulrika Ekman & Family (Sweden)

Dear Mr. Singh, We have now filled out the tour report we are very pleased with your services. We totally agree! In April 2013 we, a family with two children, went to India for the first time. We did the tour Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi. Swadeshi Journeys and Mr Singh made all the arrangements. He booked all the hotels according to our wishes. At one hotel there was no extra bed as requested, but a quick call to mr Singh and the problem was solved immediatley. We couldn´t be more pleased. We would also highly recommend Mr Josni, our driver through the whole tour. He is a very skillful driver, who made us feel perfectly safe in the hectic Indian traffic. Swadeshi Journeys is based out of Delhi, but uses local guides. They were all very inspiring and competent. The only thing that disappointed us was the problem getting the guides to take us to local stores and bazaars. They insisted taking us to special stores for tourists. Very nice ones, but not what we wanted. We would love to go back to India – and will definitiely use the services of Swadeshi Journeys again! Ulrika Ekman & Family (March – April.2013)

 

iconMr. Peter Ash ( Atlanta, Georgia)

Excellent India Travel Agent – Swadeshi Journeys 25 June 2013, 6:39 After trying to put together a trip to Dharamsala and Rajasthan for my daughter and me by myself, I decided it made more sense to use an Indian travel agent who was more familiar with the area. I was very glad I did. Mr. Singh of Swadeshi Journeys and I had numerous emails back and forth, and he was very helpful in putting together an itinerary that was responsive to our requests. Even though we went with 4 star hotels and a larger car (Toyota Innova, not that much more than the usual subcompact – I recommend it), the resulting price was surprisingly inexpensive. I suspect he was able to get considerably lower prices than if I had done all the bookings myself on the web. They were also very accommodating in letting us store extra luggage at their office during part of our travels. Once there, I was very happy with the itinerary. Our driver Kedar was terrific and very helpful through our entire trip. (We mostly traveled by car, so a personable and helpful driver had a lot of effect on the feel of the trip.) A lot of details that I hadn’t considered as potential issues had been anticipated and arranged just as I would have wished had I been familiar with the issues. We made some itinerary changes (stayed in one place longer, changed the days we wanted a guide, etc.) during the trip, and Mr. Singh rearranged things to suit our requests. Overall, we felt very cared for, as if the trip had been arranged by a caring relative. I will definitely use them again when we return to India. Peter Ash, USA

iconWalter & Nora Tabler, Seattle, USA

We wanted to plan a personalized tour of Northern India for myself and my wife. We looked into higher end packaged tours and found them prohibitively expensive. We thought that an Indian Travel Agent would be able to book our trip more efficiently. We found several references to Swadeshi Journeys of New Delhi (swadeshijourneys@vsnl.net) and contacted them by email. Swadeshi Journey’s representative responded within 24 hours. We laid out our ideas for our trip and he was very helpful with suggestions that fit our plans and budget. After some back and forth, we settled on an itinerary that included Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Udaipur and the Ajanta Caves near Aurungabad. We wanted him to provide a car and driver as well as a local guide at each location. In addition, we wanted him to book all flights and train travel in India. The price he quoted for this seemed fair to us and the itinerary was highly customized for exactly what we wanted. Basically the trip – about 3 weeks in India – went without a hitch. We were picked up by drivers and guides at each location, all hotel bookings were at the level we had specified before the trip and all travel arrangements were excellent. Swadeshi Team called us several times during the trip to make sure everything was going well. We could have reached him by phone at any time if anything had gone badly, but really nothing did. We had a wonderful time throughout the trip and particularly enjoyed Varanasi, Rajastan and the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Walter & Nora Tabler, Seattle, USA

iconAnagha Rajendra, (Melbourne)

Hello Swadeshi, Just a quick email to thank you for a wonderful tour of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Jon and I had a great time. Also, a very special thanks to our driver Mr Kedar. Kind regards, Anagha Rajendra, Melbourne

iconMr. Jonathan

Dear Sir, My apologies for not completing the questionnaire and handing it to Saqueer, it was a bit early and a bit busy on the morning of our departure. I do not have the feedback form to hand, but I will answer some of the questions from memory: 1. Collection We very much appreciated you meeting us at the airport and taking us through the arrangements. It was very reassuring after arriving in a new country very early in the morning 2. Guides We had 3 guides: Delhi – Ratoor, he was quite knowledgeable, but did not seem to plan the day effectively once he knew what monuments we wanted to see. We spent a lot of the day in the bus in traffic Agra – Amir Nauman, we found too very knowledgeable patient and friendly, and would recommend Jaipur – I cannot remember the Guides name, but he was very knowledgeable also and we would also recommend him 3. Hotels. We found all the hotels we stayed at to be very good La Sagrita, Delhi – relaxing and quiet with good food. Taj Home Stay, Agra – very modern, very welcoming Umaid Mahal, Jaipur – very smart with very nice rooms, relaxing pool and rooftop restaurant Lutyens Bungalow – we didn’t stay here very long (arrived late and left early). Although more “quirky” than the other hotels it was a pleasant stay surrounded by gardens and birds. There was a big swimming pool. The owner was very welcoming. 4. Transport and Driver The bus was comfortable and more importantly, Saqueer and his colleague were excellent, very knowledgeable, very friendly and very flexible. When we refer any friends to you, we will recommend they specify Saqueer as the driver. 5. Swadeshi Journeys Pvt Ltd !! We found planning this India holiday very easy when dealing with you. We really appreciated your prompt and informed feedback and answers to our questions, and once again we will not hesitate to recommend your services to others. I hope this email has covered most of the points of the questionnaire. If I have left out anything important, please let me know. Thanks once again for you efforts. Kind regards, Jonathan 

iconE A BOSTON

This is a review of my trip to India (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Chandigarh) which took place in December, 2011. Let me begin by stating that my trip was organized by of Swadeshi Journeys and he did a wonderful job. I could not have been more pleased. He and his organization, based in Delhi, took care of all of the details. Of course… it’s India, so unexpected things will happen. In that instance, I simply called him or had the hotel do so and he worked out the details. At major transitions, he was either personally available or called the guide/driver to check how we were doing and speak with me by cellphone. He was obviously receiving frequent daily updates on our trip. I felt that he was readily available and eager to help make our trip easier and better. The purpose of my trip was to travel from Boston, Massachusetts, USA to Chandigarh in northern India for a colleague’s wedding, and I decided to see other highlights of the Golden Triangle during this trip. I consulted Lonely Planet to identify my interests and then contacted a US based tour operator. I wanted 5 star hotels and a private guide and driver for me and a friend I was traveling with. However, the estimate from the US tour operator was prohibitively expensive and so I sought alternative choices – namely reputable India-based operators.I found Swadeshi Journeys representative, Mob ; 0091-911191601, E-mail : swadeshijourneys@vsnl.net) on a Frommer’s web site where a review from a satisfied customer raved about Swadeshi Journeys, the . I emailed them the same itinerary I discussed with the US operator.

He answered my email within 4 hours and provided me with an estimate which was 40% the cost. I asked him for a reference and he connected me with a previous client. We talked by phoned and I was convinced his organization was reputable and would do a great job. After about 20 more emails between me and Swadeshi Journeys to tweak the itinerary, I made the leap of faith and wired him the money for the trip. I should note that I had bought the international tickets from Boston to Delhi independently and had him do the internal arrangements, but he could have easily done the international flights just as well. Prior to leaving the US, he confirmed the itinerary, receipt of funds, and airport pickup location with me. Day 1 In Delhi, we were met with a sign at the exit. Smooth. Easy. No problems. I spent a day and a half in Delhi. The hotel was The Park: not Swadeshi’s recommendation but one I received from a family member and specifically requested. This was a solid 4-5 star hotel but not as well maintained as the other hotels he had arranged for me. We rested and then walked around Connaught Place (CP) on

Day 1. On Day 2, we were met by a driver and guide in the morning at the hotel. In Delhi, we saw the Jama Musjuid, Mahatma Gandhi cremation memorial Rajghat, Qutub Minar, parliamentary and presidential buildings, and did a cycle rickshaw tour of Old Delhi (great experience). The guide was responsive to my special requests. I wanted to visit a hospital, which we did. I wanted to see the Bahai Lotus Temple, which was beautiful from the outside but closed that Monday. We stopped for lunch and it was more of an ordeal than we needed. That’s why on further days, we instructed the guide/driver that we simply wished to stop for a drink and snack and we made dinners our second main meal of the day after breakfast. (Restaurants provide drivers and guides complementary meals when they arrive with tourists which is pretty standard.) The guide then suggested 1-2 shops. The first was an expensive shawl store and we didn’t buy anything. The second was a government-run ‘Cottage Industries’ (CI) shop where the prices are low and fixed. We bought several items at the latter store and another Cottage Industries shop later in the trip (they are located throughout the country). Most of what we wanted to buy could be purchased at one of these CI shops where the quality was very good and there was no haggling. Keep in mind that you may feel under pressure to purchase items at various CI and non-CI shops throughout the trip and it is entirely your prerogative to say “no” and simply walk out of any store where you feel pressured or not interested.The guide in Delhi, Sateesh, was good. The driver, Kedar, was great. We spent many days with Kedar and we learned that he is a gem of human being.One thing we did not appreciate is that Delhi is very foggy this time of year – there are travel delays (air, train, car) and one can often not see the monuments before 11AM until the fog lifts.We were dropped off at the hotel and were on our own for dinner. That’s were CP is handy. There are plenty of restaurants and bars there. Just be very careful walking around. Many Indians there are helpful but there are also many hawkers and folks interested in your money. Pickpockets are rampant. We had drinks at the bar 1911 at the Imperial Hotel – beautiful but expensive. Then, we had dinner at the United Coffee House – historic restaurant with beautiful interior. Be very careful crossing the street. Where busy, we would wait for a group of Indian to cross and join them.On Day 2, Kedar met us at the hotel and we drove to Agra. This was a grueling 5 hour drive with starts, stops, honking, various animals crossing the road – not a big deal if you’re used to this but an experience if you are from another less populous country. We met guide Amit, who frequently works with Swadeshi Journeys Pvt Ltd. Amit gave us a great tour of the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. He was knowledgeable with respect to history and also how to navigate through the monuments efficiently. We stayed at the ITC Mughal Sheraton – Swadeshi Journeys’s suggestion – which was magnificent. They have a great Indian restaurant, Peshawari, which was the best meal on the trip.

On Day 3, Kedar picked us up and we drove to Delhi stopping at Methura, birthplace of Krishna. Kedar found a Brahman to take us through the temple – a worthwhile experience. In Delhi, we flew to Chandigarh to attend my colleague’s wedding.On Days 3, 4, and 5, we were in Chandigarh which I will not elaborate upon extensively except to say that it has a very different feel that Delhi and Agra. It feels calmer and more civilized. We visited the Nek Chand Rock Garden, the Rose Garden, and walked near Sukhna lake – all worthwhile. Apart from the flights in and out of Chandigarh, the company Swadeshi Journeys did not arrange this portion of the trip. We stayed at the Taj Chandigarh, which was top notch.On Day 5, we flew from Chandigarh to Jaipur where we were met at the airport by a driver and a representative of Swadeshi Journeys. Immediately after making contact, Swadeshi Journeys also called to inquire about our flight and check how we were doing. We drove to the hotel, The Trident, located near the Water Palace. The hotel is in excellent condition and the service is world class. Honestly, I have stayed at some amazing hotels in NY, Chicago, Europe and the service at the Trident stands out. We attended the Amber Fort sound and light show that night, which I recommend. The following morning, we were met by guide Supash and driver Satinder. Supash, who frequently guides for Swadeshi in the area, was superb. Very good English, extremely knowledgeable, very personable. We ascended the Amber Fort by elephant (Swadeshi Journeys’s suggestion – a very good experience), spent 2.5 hours there, then drove to the Tiger Fort. Walked around the Tiger Fort and then drove down to the city of Jaipur where we walked through the old city bazaar en route to the Observatory. The Observatory is a highlight of the trip to India, and seeing it with a guide as knowledgeable as Supash made the experience even better. Here, Supash showed us techniques used over the last 200-300 years since the Observatory was built to calculate time of day, position of the stars and moons, etc. Afterward, we went to a CI gem store and bought some earrings. We also had our palms read – unusual and unique experience which I suggest if you have the time (25 minutes per person) – by a man named Mahindra. Palm reading involves using the date and location of your birth along with lines in your hand to identify celestial at forces which affect your body and mind. If you believe this, and some forces need tweaking, you can use precious and semiprecious stones in the form of rings and pendants to balance the planets and powers unique to you which may be off balance. The reading was a powerful experience but we didn’t buy any stones based on his recommendation and there was no pressure to do so.That evening, Christmas Eve, we ate outside at a “Gala” put on by the Trident Hotel. It took place in their exquisitely-lit back garden where a band with dance floor entertained. We danced and ate well. Overall a very good experience. Upon check out from the trident, there were some questions about some additional fees (taxes, etc.) that were being requested of me. I simply had them call to Swadeshi Journeys and the problem went away.The next morning, we flew from Jaipur to Delhi by Air India. I was previously warned to avoid this airline since they notoriously run late and, true to their reputation, they ran more than an hour late. Upon arrival in Delhi, we were met by Swadeshi Journeys Representative and Kedar who took us to the Park for our last afternoon and night. I walked around CP and ate at Saravana Bhavan, South Indian cuisine, which was good and inexpensive. Kedar picked us up the next morning to take us to the airport.In all, this was an excellent trip that was orchestrated beautifully. We packed a lot in, covering 4 cities and taking 3 internal flights. There were plenty of transfers which all went smoothly and knowing I could contact him at any moment by phone and/or email was very reassuring. E A Boston 🙂

iconMr. Ashwin ( USA )

Trip to Delhi – Swadeshi Journeys Pvt Ltd Hi Mahabir,

Just got back to USA last night. Thanks for your excellent service during my trip to Delhi. I have received your brochures and will definitely circulate along my friend circle and family here in USA. We need somebody like you in India to make our travel arrangement when we come to India.

Ashwin, USA