Review of Rajasthan Travels
Reviewed 25 August 2018
We've spent two unforgettable weeks with Gurvinder in March 2018 in which he showed us around in Delhi, Agra and in Rajasthan (Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Mandawa). Not only is Gurvinder a very safe and responsible driver, we got along so well with each other that going with him was like being on a road trip with a good friend. In the end we have enjoyed our time in the car as much as seeing the beautiful places that he has shown us.
I know that you are reading my review because you want to find out if he will be the right one for your trip to India. You will have a lot of questions for which you hope you will find the answers after reading this review. That's why I decided to put together an FAQ- list and hopefully provide you with the answers that you might be having or in other words which we had before we decided to travel with him.
1. How exact do our plans need to be when we contact him?
Actually, you can even contact him if you do not even have your flight dates yet. But if you do, you can tell him when you want to come and in case you already have an idea of what places you want to see, you can just add the extra information. Gurvinder will help you put together a nice itinerary that is both sensible in terms of driving times as well as suitable according to your wishes. Do not hesitate to tell him your exact expectations. Even if you do not have a clue what to see, you can tell him how many days you want to stay and he will fix a nice itinerary for you.
2. Do I have to speak English well?
In fact, it makes things less complicated if you do at least speak and understand a little bit of English. Gurvinder's English skills are really good and reach beyond "normal every-day communication". He is able to give you information about Indian life, culture and religion easily. Also it is nice to discuss about politics, philosophy and differences in our cultures. As Gurvinder has studied philosophy, religion and geography at university, there will always be something that might be interesting to talk about.
Additionally, Gurvinder is eagerly learning German at the moment and in case you are from Germany, he will be happy to impress you with whatever he can already say in German.
3. Can we be sure he will really pick us up?
I have to admit for us it was an unusual feeling to fly into Delhi for the first time, not knowing if the person with whom we have only been in touch via email will really pick us up. But I can assure you that you can rely on him 200%. Not only will he pick you up at the airport, he will be absolutely punctual any time you want to meet him on your tour. And I am German, I know what it means to be on time ;-)
4. Will he just drop us at the sights or will he also show us around?
Basically, I would say that it will be mostly up to you to decide. There are sights or places in which he can walk with you and explain a few things (only if you want) and there are others in which he cannot because there are guides who also offer their services and they do not like drivers to compete with them. He will always let you know if he can accompany you or not. And in case you always like to walk on your own, he will patiently wait in the car until you will be back.
5. Can we walk around on our own if we want to?
Yes, you can just tell him you want to spend some time on your own. Anyway he will make sure to give you useful tips if you decide to walk without him. He will tell you how to behave so that you will not be tricked by people who want to get your money somehow, but what you can do to respectfully get rid of them. Travelling with Gurvinder is hassle-free and always save in any way.
6. Does he only offer fixed routes or can we negotiate our itinerary?
If you already have a fixed idea of what you want to see, he will put your itinerary together so that it will suit your needs and wishes. Don't hesitate to ask him for recommendations or let him also suggest a few stops. He has been on these routes so many times, that he will probably know better than you what is worth seeing. He will only show you what you really want to see and never take you to any places that you are not interested in. You are absolutely free in deciding how long you want to stay in the different places and how long your will last. Gurvinder offers anything from day trips to tours that take more than three weeks.
7. Will we be safe with him?
Yes, yes and yes. Not only is he a very safe driver whose car is a very good condition, he also always makes sure you can cross busy roads safely or if you walk with him in crowded places he is always close to you and very attentive. Even if he can only drop you at a place he provides you with good tips how to handle touts or Indians who want to take pictures of you.
8. Will he book our hotels or can/ must we do it?
Again, he will adapt to your needs and wishes. If you want to choose and book hotels on your own, you can do this. But Gurvinder also knows some good hotels in all the places he will take you to, that he can recommend. He makes sure the hotels are clean and guests are happy with his choice. Don't be afraid that you will have to pay more if you book hotels with him - on the contrary there are many hotels in which he can get special rates which you will never find yourself on the internet. So in the end you might even save some money if you book your hotels with him. You can even ask him for rates before deciding. He will tell you what prices he can get and you can compare yourself.
9. What kind of restaurants will he recommend?
Gurvinder's main priority on your whole trip will be that you are happy and stay healthy at all times. So whenever he takes you to a restaurant, he makes sure he picks restaurants in which cleanliness is above average. You can always tell him what you want: Indian, Italian, vegetarian, non-veg, fancy, authentic, or if you want to try something new. Trust his experience, he knows that Europeans/ Western cultures might have difficulties with Indian food some times. But he will never knowingly put you at risk. Also he always provides you with clean bottled (ice cold) water on your trip.
On our trip we have even tried food from stalls on the street that Gurvinder has picked for us. We have eaten in places which we would have never chosen on our own and were so glad that we could make these amazing culinary experiences. It has enriched our overall experience in India a lot.
10. What if we still get sick?
Honestly, it would be too much to promise that with Gurvinder it never happens that some guests might still get sick. But in this case you can only be glad you are with him. He is very understanding and always worried about your well-being. He can accompany you to a pharmacy, doctor, hospital and can also provide you with very useful tips about what to do or what to eat.
11. What kind of person is he?
Simply put, Gurvinder is one of the kindest, most honest and most responsible people I have ever met in my whole life.
Not only is he very professional when it comes to driving, taking care of his guests and catering for their wishes, he also has a great sense of humour and will soon become a good friend without much ado. Getting along with him is very easy and feels very natural, never distant. Our time with him in the car was always fun and relaxing. He has a big heart and a kind soul and is quick-witted when it comes to making jokes or understanding sarcasm.
12. How and when do we pay him?
You will pay him cash during your stay. This can be at the end of your tour or in between. As Indian ATMs are often not very reliable in terms of availability of money, it makes sense to stop at an ATM every now and then and get some money.
13. Why should we choose him?
If you are not convinced yet that Gurvinder will be the right one for your trip, here are some more benefits that choosing him as your driver might bring along:
- he generously provides you with a hotspot from his mobile if you have need for internet
- he can also give you an Indian SIM card so that you can call him at any time or use internet
- if your tour allows it, he will organise a stop at his house in a small village in Rajasthan with his mom preparing an authentic Indian meal for you - for us this was one of the highlights of the trip
- he can also organise and book all kinds of different activities for you (animal watching, camel safari and night(s) in the Thar desert, ...).
I cannot recall a single situation in which he was not willing to walk the extra mile for us and make sure we were always pleased and happy. He does this with such an easiness that you'll never have the feeling that anything you ask him for is too much.
I hope I could help you decide for Gurvinder as your driver in India and could answer some of the questions or wipe out doubts you might have had. Whenever I will go back to India, I will never even think about choosing anyone else and I also know that Gurvinder has many guests who come back and see him almost every year.
We wanted to get a first impression of India, so we just spent one week in February to visit Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Pushkar. We read about Gurvinder on tripadvisor and lonely planet, so we contacted him and decided to try him as our guide and driver.
And what he gave us was much more than a first impression. After a friendly welcome in the middle of the night, we got an unforgettable journey. Gurvinder is very friendly and attentive and he really wants you to get a feeling for Indian culture, mentality, politics etc. So he recommended us food which was always very tasty and which we would never had tasted without him, took us with him to a meal in a Sikh-temple and even to his familiy with his mother cooking for us. And with his knowledge about Indian history and politics and with his great humour, he made even long drives diverting and intersting. We also felt always safe with him.
Apart from that Gurvinder was very sensitive and always noticed when we wanted to explore some parts of our destinations on our own and let us make our own experiences.
So even in one short week, we learned so much and saw so many things that we started to love India. And it felt like we have a new friend now, who we will visit again very soon and ask him to show us more of his beautiful, amazing country.
We recommend Gurvinder to everyone who is curious and open-minded and wants to get more from his holidays than cursory sightseeing.
Ho appena concluso un favolo viaggio in India di due settimane. Ho fatto il giro del Rajasthan e due giorni a Varanasi. Ho organizzaro tutto insieme a Gurvinder dall’Italia, fino da subito è stato sempre disponibile, gentile e veloce nelle risposte. Arrivato in India mi ha accolto in Aereoporto a Delhi insieme all’autista: Javed Khan detto Sonu. Gurvinder non l’ho più visto ma ogni giorno è stato presente per telefono, mi ha consigliato e guidato ottimamente. L’autista speciale, bravissimo ragazzo, sempre preciso, super attento per tutto, davvero molto professionale. Per la strada per Agra Gurvinder mi ha fatto passare a casa della madre in un villaggio vero indiano fuori totalmente dal turismo, la madre mi ha preparato un favoloso pranzo indiano. Prima di prenotare con Gurvinder ho chiesto molti preventivi ad agenzie locali, dalle più famose facilmente reperibili a quelle un po’ meno. Con lui ho avuto il prezzo migliore e adesso di ritorno posso confermare anche la qualità del servizio. Alberghi tutti puliti e accoglienti e in ottime posizione e tutto il resto. Sento di consigliare Gurvinder e il driver Sonu a chiunque voglia partire per questo paese fantastico. Una Garanzia. Grazie Andrea Iacovella
Wir sind drei unvergessliche Wochen mit Gurvinder durch Rajasthan und Uttar Pradesh unterwegs gewesen. Den vielen begeisterten Menschen, die vor uns eine Reise mit ihm unternommen haben und ihre Bewertung verfasst haben, können wir uns bedingungslos anschließen. Wir sind durch die Tripadvisor Bewertungen auf ihn aufmerksam geworden.
Gurvinder hat uns sein Land in einer Intensität näher gebracht, die wir als Alleinreisende nie erfahren hätten. Zusätzlich zu den Sehenswürdigkeiten, die zum Ziel eines jeden Reisenden gehören, hat er uns ein Stück "real India" näher gebracht. Er kennt die Sagen der Ramayana, hat uns die hinduistische Götterwelt näher gebracht, wir haben uns an manchen Abenden über die gesellschaflichen Strukturen in Indien unterhalten. Gurvinder ist feinfühlig und humorvoll, er ist in den drei Wochen, die wir gemeinsam verbracht haben zu einem Freund geworden. Auf den über 3400 km, die wir mit ihm gefahren sind hatten wir uns bei den chaotischen indischen Verkehr immer sicher gefühlt. Wir sind können allen Reisenden, die vor uns mit ihm unterwegs waren zustimmen- für all die wunderbaren Erlebnissen möchten wir uns bei Gurvinder bedanken. Wir kommen wieder!
Drove from Agra, to Jaipuronto Jaisalmer and finally to Jodphur. We were picked up on time at Agra with our driver Tara, who is a very nice man, we immeadiately felt safe and relaxed with him. Some of the roads were very rough to say the least but Tara drove as carefully as he could. Tara was was reliable, gentle and polite and always good for a chat. We stuggled with exchanging money because of the currency withdrawal in India but Tara helped us to find places to exchange. Thanks for a lovely trip.