Hi all, my husband and I just got home from a ten day Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi trip and I just wanted to give a quick report of a few highlights.
First- I must say private car and driver is the way to go for this trip. We really wanted to do an overnight train bc we are the adventurous type, and next trip we will, but having a driver allowed us more time to see everything and it cost less than train- taxi- tuk tuk etc. and we were able to go on our own schedule.
Our driver, Suresh Sharma, was recommended by two other groups who had previously used him. If you are in need of a driver he is good with returning emails, speaks good english, and was on time every day, smiling. He took us everywhere we wanted and suggested places that may be better. He also never did the "India thing" and took us to his friends jewelry stores, restaurants etc. only if we specifically asked for a store he could recomend would he then take us..
. He will also arrange all of your hotels and your route if you ask him too, just give him your price point per night or if you like 5 star or small hotels. He planned our friends two week trip completely- even the sights they saw and they were more than happy. We chose to book our own trip, but Surresh had to save us and find us a hotel at the last minute when our hotel was overbooked.
He even played Holi with us! Most hotel guests stayed in the confines of the hotel because they heard horror stories about tourist being mistreated during Holi, but we really wanted to experience it on the streets like locals, so Surresh took us to play with his friends in an area of people he knew and trusted.
Back in Delhi, we got to experience real daily life in India when Suresh invited us to his home for dinner... His wife is a great cook, and we enjoyed meeting his family and friends.
it is safe to say Surresh was a highlight of our trip!! If you want to have him drive you plan to pay about $45usd per day, and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Holi festival was our favorite memory! We played in Jaipur and it was fabulous! Just note things do close down on this day. And if you want to play wear old clothes, put your camera in a ziplock bag and be sure to put oil in your hair so the colors don't absorb.
Our favorite place we stayed was royal heritage haveli in Jaipur. Wow! Amazing, we had the lowest rate room and it was gorgeous- and huge!
In Agra be sure to see the Taj at surise... Much less crowded. But leave your hotel in plenty of time. The line for tickets was about 25 min and the line to get through security Another 25. So even if you leave super early plan for these two waits so you aren't disappointed! Have Surresh arrange Boobie as a guide for the taj and Agra fort so you don't get stuck with a guide who is less knowledgable and doesn't speak English you can understand. We made that mistake at Jantar mantar and had to go back and buy the audio guide! For most things we skipped a guide but for the taj you want it so you can learn more about the incredible love story.