Was this your first trip to India? If not, where have
you visited previously?
This was my first trip to India - I was very excited about
visiting for the first time and cramming in as much as
How did you find your time sightseeing in Old Delhi
compared to the post-colonial streets of New Delhi?
I really enjoyed Delhi, there was a wonderful contrast between
the two cities and I was surprised at how spacious and pretty the
British had made Delhi.
Bahai Gardens, Delhi ©
After flying to Varanasi, you took an evening boat ride
along the River Ganges. Was it as magical as it sounds? You also
witnessed the ancient Aarti prayer ceremony on the ghats - how was
The experience was absolutely amazing and I whole-heartedly
recommend the evening boat ride for anyone visiting the city. The
Aarti prayer ceremony was extremely moving and very evocative. I
found it marvellous.
Ghats at Varanasi ©
Varanasi is renowned for being one of the holiest cities
in India - landmarks in the city include Buddhist town Sarnath,
many Hindu temples, and Emperor Aurangzeb's mosque. Did you visit
many of sights, and if so, which were the most
I saw a lot in Varanasi - the Sarnath museum was exceptional,
the old Buddhist and Hindu statues and carvings were exquisite
Sarnath museum. The mosque was magnificent and the temples a riot
of stunning colour.
You went to see the Kumbh Mela Festival in action - how
was it? Was it a seething mass of humanity? How involved were you
able to get in the whole festival?
The Kumbh Mela Festival was fascinating, although I do think we
stayed a little too long, it only takes a short time to get the
gist of it. The camp overlooking the action was beautiful and the
food was exceptional. I felt very safe and secure in such a heaving
mass of humanity and loved being able to stand looking at
everything taking it all in.
Sadu at the Kumbh Mela Festival
How luxurious was the Lakshmi Kutir Camp in Allahabad?
Did you feel comfortable and closer to the proceedings for
I loved the Lakshmi Kutir Camp - what was so memorable was to
hear the gentle pitch of the chanting going on all night long. It
eventually lulled me to sleep.
You visited the Taj Mahal - was it everything you
expected? How was the experience of visiting India's most famous
The guide made the whole experience remarkable, really bringing
the story to life. He spoke extremely knowledgeably and
intelligently, he even took me on a boat ride, which was something
magical and not part of the usual sightseeing trip.
Taj Mahal ©
You did a walking tour of Jaipur - did you find being on
foot gave you a much more intimate experience of the city? What did
you discover that surprised you?
I loved the walking tour, it gave such a first-hand view of the
city and the people. What really surprised me is how happy people
are when they have so very little.
You visited some of Rajasthan's most well-known and
beautiful cities - the stunning forts and palaces of Jodhpur,
Jaipur, Jaisalmer. Bikaner and Udaipur - what really stood out for
you? Which was your favourite Indian fort, and why?
My absolute favourite Indian fort was the Meharangarh Fort in
Jodhpur - it was really impressive and imposing. I also loved
staying in the Raas Hotel in Jodhpur, which had exceptional views
of the fort.
Mehrangah Fort, Jodhpur © pzAxe
You stayed in some amazing hotels during your stay from
the camps at Allahabad and Sher Bagh to the Oberoi in Delhi.
Which one was your favourite, and why?
Samode Haveli was my favourite. I had a stunning suite,
which was bigger than my flat. I loved the colonial and
authentic feel of the place, along with its great location, staff
and large swimming pool.
Can you tell us about your experience of travelling with
Fantastic! I cannot believe how pampered I was. They were
amazing especially at all the crucial administrative points like
airports, passports, tickets etc. everything was seamlessly taken
care of. The devil is in the detail. My only slight concern
was that some of the guides in the more tourist orientated places,
such as Varanasi and Delhi insisted on joining me for lunch when I
would have preferred to be on my own.
For more information about travelling in Rajesthan you can view
our itineraries which will help you understand the essence