A journey through time with Travel India by Rail

Dec 08, 2023
In the end, the tour proved to be an unmissable experience, a blend of adventure, cultural immersion, and warm camaraderie. Source: Getty Images.

Julie recently embarked on an unforgettable adventure through India alongside her 76-year-old dad, their journey unfolding within the vibrant tapestry of a 20-person tour group, each member armed with curiosity and excitement. From bustling cities to ancient forts, every moment held the promise of discovery.

The tour group, though sizable, was comfortably accommodated in a spacious coach, allowing everyone to spread out and enjoy the scenic views. The average age of the group was 65, with the eldest member proudly boasting 87 years. The seasoned Tour Guide, Charlie, emerged as the linchpin of the trip, a walking encyclopedia of knowledge who brought history and culture to life at every stop.

Charlie was complemented by a dedicated driver and an assistant driver, the dynamic duo skillfully navigating the chaotic traffic of bustling cities like Delhi. Tipping, a customary practice, was streamlined by Julie’s meticulous budgeting, setting aside $300 Australian dollars for gratitude—$10 for the guide, $5 for the driver, and $2.50 for the assistant driver each day. Remember, these are just suggested amounts; feel free to adjust based on your preferences and the service you receive.

Money matters were effortlessly managed, thanks to Charlie’s assistance in currency exchange. Julie, well-prepared, carried both Australian dollars and local currency, with the flexibility to change more as needed. The tour guide even facilitated the currency exchange for fellow travelers, ensuring everyone had a smooth experience.

The culinary delights of India unfolded before them in a sensory explosion of flavours. Julie, opting for a vegetarian option, quickly discovered a plethora of delectable options. Others in the group, carnivores at heart, indulged in the diverse cuisine, proclaiming each dish delicious. All meals were served in hotels, providing Julie with the confidence to make mindful food choices and avoid potential pitfalls.

Source: Supplied.

Julie’s pre-trip precautions paid off, as she steered clear of water-washed salads and ice, enjoying the trip without a hint of upset. Julie’s foresight, having consulted a doctor for gastro medication, not only safeguarded her but also allowed her to extend kindness to fellow travelers in need.

Train travel offered glimpses of the Indian countryside and its quaint villages. The Kalka-Shimla “toy train” emerged as a favourite, winding through picturesque landscapes that felt straight out of a storybook.

As the group ventured into Ranthambore National Park on Day 5, the ancient forts and tangled vines provided an Indiana Jones-esque backdrop.

Throughout the journey, the weather was a perfect companion at 25 degrees Celsius. Julie’s dad, feeling neither rushed nor fatigued, retired by 10 p.m. each night, ready to embrace the wonders of the next day. The Northern part of India, with its diverse landscapes and cultural treasures, emerged as Julie’s favourite region.

A truly captivating experience was the visit to the Golden Temple, renowned for its resplendent golden dome and revered as a paramount pilgrimage site for Sikhs. The scene was alive with the presence of thousands of devotees. As a mandatory ritual, all visitors covered their heads upon entry, removed their shoes, and traversed through a shallow water path. The enchanting spectacle of the temple illuminated at night was a memorable sight.

Source: Supplied.

Another standout feature of the Travel India by Rail tour is the visit to the community kitchen (langar) at The Golden Temple. This culinary haven stands as one of the largest community kitchens globally, providing nourishment to an astounding 100,000 people daily. Embracing an inclusive ethos, the langar welcomes everyone, irrespective of caste, color, creed, or gender. It is renowned as a place where generosity knows no bounds, and not a single rupee is ever exchanged for the bountiful and delicious offerings.

In the end, the tour proved to be an unmissable experience, a blend of adventure, cultural immersion, and warm camaraderie. With a heart full of memories and a sense of safety throughout, Julie and her dad returned home, forever cherishing the time they spent unraveling the mysteries of India.

If you’re yearning for an adventure that transcends the ordinary and want to witness the beauty of India for yourself, you can browse upcoming tours here. 



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