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Colours of India

GBG wrote:


@Solent_Richard Thank you again for the information. Love your photos and info. Really makes me want to visit. Hopefully will organise something soon.

My pleasure and good luck with your research.

@Solent_Richard Thank you again for the information. Love your photos and info. Really makes me want to visit. Hopefully will organise something soon.

GBG wrote:

23
@Solent_Richard It looks like APT have stopped doing tours to India. India is not listed on their list of countries and when I Googled Colours of India APT I found a link to an APT page that had a message Page Not Found. What a pity. Looks like we will not be able to use that company.
Last Edited by GBG at 22 Feb 09:13

Good morning @GBG

That’s incredible, We never had a hint that this particular tour was to be discontinued. I’m just so grateful that we actually managed to get onboard while they were operating.

Hope is not all lost though. While I was researching the trip I did look at another company, Uniworld, and as luck will have it I kept their brochure on file.

A quick check and here’s a link for you…

https://www.uniworld.com/uk/river-cruise/india/ganges/indias-golden-triangle-and-the-sacred-ganges/2019-new-delhi-to-kolkata/pricing/

They really are an excellent company and the only reason we eventually chose APT was there ‘loyalty’ bonuses including the additional time in Delhi.

Also you may like to note that APT have a subsidiary company, Travelmarvel and they have Golden Triangle trips still advertised for 2019…

https://www.travelmarvel.com.au/trips/asia/rjtgsc11

APT/Travelmarvel have an office in the UK.

@Solent_Richard It looks like APT have stopped doing tours to India. India is not listed on their list of countries and when I Googled Colours of India APT I found a link to an APT page that had a message Page Not Found. What a pity. Looks like we will not be able to use that company.

Last Edited by GBG at 22 Feb 09:13

GBG wrote:

Thank you for the information. Would you recommend the company that you went with? Which tour did you do?

Good morning @GBG

I most certainly would recommend the company we used, APT. Since returning I have had the opportunity to compare our experience with other companies and I’m pretty convinced APT were up there on top for quality and smaller groups.

Of course they aren’t the cheapest but considering one probably only does this type of trip once in a lifetime why spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar.

The particular tour was sold as ‘Colours of India’ and included a 7 night river cruise along the Ganges and a couple of days in Kolkata: a real gem with so much colonial heritage and history.

I noted earlier you mentioned the Taj Mahal being on your list. Here’s a selection from my collection of photographs to whet your appetite…

@Solent_Richard .
Thank you for the information. Would you recommend the company that you went with? Which tour did you do?

GBG wrote:

Oh. how fantastic. India is on my places to visit and in particular I would love to see the Taj Mahal. I would love to hear more about your travels in order to identify where to go. Are you on an organised tour or have you arranged it yourself.

Good morning @GBG

Thank you for your kind comment.

Yes, we were on a full package organised tour though I did organise much of our own time during our pre-Delhi stay: there were places I wanted to see that weren’t included on the APT schedule.

If you, or any other Forum member for that matter, have any particular questions I’d be delighted to answer them.

One of the most fascinating aspects of our three weeks in India was learning more and more about the history of India: all made so interesting by the excellent guides we were allocated by APT.

Indeed, I was so intrigued by some of the aspects that I had an amazing thirst for more knowledge than one can possibly absorb during such visits.

While on the final week we were on a cruise along the River Ganges between Farakka and Kolkata.

The purpose built river boat, the Rajmahal…

…had a lovely lounge area where there was a small library which, in addition to the usual cruise ship reading, were a number of well thumbed reference books: one of which caught my eye…

Time of course didn’t allow too much reading and once we returned home I set about researching that particular book.

Good old Mr Amazon came up trumps and I’m now the proud owner of my own copy…

…which I’m happily reading at leisure: and how fascinating it is putting together the facts with the places we visited.

Delhi Day 3 – Our Guided Tour.

At our introductory briefing the previous evening we had met the Indian gentleman who was to be our permanent guide during the ‘Golden Triangle’ section of our Indian adventure.

Much to our amusement he introduced himself as Ravi Shankar and he assured us he was no relation to the Indian musician guy who befriended the Beatles while confirming that his name was, of course, a popular name in India anyway. Here is Ravi in action at one of our stops…

I mentioned earlier that we had been organised into two groups of very manageable number – just 15 in ours – and each group had their own coach. Both groups were accommodated at the same hotels throughout our Golden Triangle tour which also made administration considerably easier.

We also had a very civilised start to the day, departing our hotel, having had a leisurely breakfast, at 9.00 am. We also discovered that we also had a permanent ‘coach team’, a driver and a kind of ‘boy friday’, here they are…

That’s Mr Singh our Sikh driver up on the coach and ‘The Boy’ standing at the coach door.

In fact we discovered during the course of the first week that ‘The Boy’ performed multi tasks. Apart from loading and off-loading our luggage, assisting the ladies entry onto and off the coach and constantly providing chilled fresh bottled water, his prime task appeared to be leaning out of the nearside front window yelling abuse at other drivers in traffic jams when our coach needed to move to the lefthand lane for whatever reason. Needless to say he did an excellent job and the pair of them had a great sense of humour…

The coach initially gave us a kind of ‘Delhi orientation drive’ through the government and diplomatic quarters of the city. Our first real stop was at Humayun’s Tomb…

Humayun’s Tomb is the central attraction in a massive garden complex that encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun...

but also houses other tombs and graves of relatives.

Humayun’s tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, the Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70 and designed by Persian architects chosen by her for their flamboyant styles…

Last Edited by Solent_Richard at 11 Jan 09:39

Solent_Richard wrote:

Mission accomplished we both agreed that we had had a most successful day. We now headed back to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for a swim and then to prepare ourselves for the next event, a ‘__meet your fellow travellers’__ included dinner at the hotel.

The Hyatt Regency proved an excellent modern 5 Star Hotel for our Delhi stay…

…and we were so pleased that we had taken the APT loyalty offer of a complimentary additional night’s stay.

On our arrival in Delhi we had been met by an APT/Travelmarvel representative and driver for our ‘private’ transfer to the hotel.

The ‘Rep’ had ensured our mid morning check-in was faultless, that our room was ready on arrival before he handed us a number of envelopes containing various admin arrangements for our Delhi stay: one of which was to inform us of the APT/Travelmarvel ‘Meet and Greet’ hotel venue and arrangements for a complimentary dinner the second evening…

For the Pre-River Cruise package, including the ‘Golden Triangle’ tour, we had been split into two groups, one of 15 and one of 16: each with their own dedicated guide and coach team. We had expected that APT/Travelmarvel, being an Australian based company, would have a majority of Australian members. As it turned out we Brits were in a 20% minority overall, there being just 3 couples.

Introductions, Admin and following days arrangements concluded, we enjoyed an excellent Indian meal in the Hotel’s Cafe All-Day restaurant…

Choices were amazing, mainly buffet style…

…though there were sections where certain dishes were cooked to order…

…in addition to the Indian breads, Naan, Chapatti, Parotta etc were cooked fresh to order as well…

We had already experienced the food the previous evening when we also chose to dine in the ‘Cafe’ as it was the only restaurant in the hotel serving Indian food.

Travelmarvel, being the budget end of the APT group, had not included drinks with hotel meals (though they did include an ‘All Inclusive’ drinks package on the Rriver cruise yet to come)

This was not a problem as we had sampled a bottle of Indian Wine on our first night and found it quite acceptable so repeated the order for ourselves at the Dinner.

The ‘Cafe’ also served as the Breakfast Dining Room: serving a mix of Western and Indian dishes with separate stations cooking eggs to order, Chapatti and various Dahls, and some unusual speciality breads…

…plus an excellent ‘juice bar’…

That evening after dinner we enjoyed a stroll around the hotel grounds…

…before stopping for a nightcap in the ‘Polo Lounge’, a delightful colonial style hotel bar…

Next up: Our first guided day tour of Delhi and we have an evening in a Delhi bistro bar.

Last Edited by Solent_Richard at 10 Jan 13:40
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