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All reviews mahendra pal golden triangle private tour tapas banerjee tour coordinator day tour shahpura house local representative excellent tour company visit india every step of the way internal flights always felt safe special mention agra and jaipur custom tour the entire trip
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The entire trip was of 5 days and 4 nights. We have 2 kids 11.5 and 8.5 years, they enjoyed the hotel stay in all the places we visited, mainly jaipur. Having an early morning breakfast was very essential to us and we had no issues with the vegeterian food in all the hotels provided by Trinetra.
With respect to seeing places, Itenary for the places to visit, it was all planned in advance and hence there were no surprises of the places where we will be going. Only thing is we couldn't see all the places listed in the itenary, but we made that decision to stay in few places little longer.
It was a safe journey, no problems incurred. We had a good agent for planning purpose, a good driver and good guides in all the places, they were very knowledgeable and nice. We were happy with the overall service provided by Trinetra. And yes, definetely, we would recommend this travel agency for anyone travelling to India.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank SaiMadhavi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I’m surprised the ratings are as high as they are for this tour company. That’s not to say there aren’t good parts of the experience; I’ve definitely enjoyed my time but I would not recommend this company to anyone.

Mine was a quick 2-day tour to the Taj Mahal and Jaipur. It may also be worth noting that I am a solo female traveler. I’ll try to give highlights below:

On arrival, the driver and local agent picked me up at the airport. They were pleasant enough but something just felt off. I paid for the tour in cash, on arrival.

The agent was dropped off and my long journey to Agra began with the driver. The roads were quiet and I was exhausted from an overnight flight so I fell asleep for a part of the ride. We stopped at a rest area outside of Agra. It was disgustingly dirty to the point I dry heaved in the bathroom. This is not a fault of the tour group but worth noting.

They accommodated my request for a female tour guide which I appreciated. She was knowledgeable and didn’t pressure me to shop in the area so she could make a commission off of me - appreciated that. My itinerary had a stop at Sheroes Cafe on it and she actually asked me why I wanted to go there. I told her I didn’t ask for the stop, they added it to my itinerary. While I’m all for supporting these women who are victims of the acid attacks, it felt exploitive for me to be there as part of a tour.

The actual tour that day with this guide was lovely overall and then I was passed off to another guide (male) who seemed to only care about getting me to buy crafts from the vendors on-site and getting a tip. He made me uncomfortable.

From there, a drive to Jaipur. The driver insisted he would take me shopping in the evening but I kept explaining how tired I was and didn’t want to. Should have known now he wanted the commission from my purchases.

Day 2 - another female guide in Jaipur who was also very knowledgeable. She, however, was keen to get me to shop ($$$) and made multiple comments about how she is poor and I am rich. For the record, I am not rich and only was able to afford this brief weekend trip here because my work flew me into India that week and I was taking advantage of the weekend before flying back home.

From here, a drive to the hotel near the airport as my tour was over. My driver was pleasant at times, when he wanted to be, but was always a very good and safe driver. I give him a lot of credit for that. He did invite me to his home, which I passed on, as he was showing me photos of other passengers he had as a driver and had them take photos with his family. One part of me (naive?) was extremely interested and thought it was very kind of him to invite me over for tea. Again, I was extremely tired and I was wanted by my boyfriend not to go bc of 1.) Safety and 2.) it didn’t seem genuine

Well, he was right! On my way to the airport, the driver asked how much money I spent at the store the day prior bc he makes 2% commission off of my purchase and wants to make sure he gets paid. I told him I didn’t remember and he insisted I tell him and if I cannot find the receipt, to send him a message once I get home and find it. Seriously?! How is that ok?

They even have you fill out review forms of the guides and driver in front of them! How can you give honest feedback when you are writing it in front of them and they are the recipient of the form?

Again, the driver was safe and I got to see all the sights I wanted so big plus there.

The downside is that I was uncomfortable most of the trip and felt like they were just taking advantage of me as a westerner and tried to squeeze every penny out of me.

If I ever book another tour in India, I will be sure to book with a company that is NOT commission-based, and I recommend you do the same.

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank itraveldee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tapasbanerjee, Owner at Trinetra Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

The purpose of my response to the review is not for the least to offer a counter argument. That would be meaningless and contrary to the values that created us and sustained us for nearly 30 years . Our venture was set up from a shed then with only one twin overriding consideration . Create life enriching experiences and make friends for life out of complete strangers . This is what we have been fortunate to achieve in a majority of instances over 3 decades.

When we read the said review , the preponderant emotion is of extreme helplessness . We had an amazing contact with the guest in the planning stages of the tour and, in fact even for over the 2 days when the tour was running everyone who made contact with her enjoyed the experience . She was easy going and friendly. This is where our sadness stems from .

We are relieved and pleased that overall she had a good tour and found the guides to be knowledgeable, and the driver to be safe as well as competent . As a solo female traveler she also had no negative experiences with our various service providers . Safety and service is endeavored to be the cornerstone of our customer engagement .

I will not deny that as in many parts of Asia and Africa shopping kickbacks as well as tipping are a part of the tourist culture of India too. However , we have our bases covered more than most in the trade . To that extent, in our welcome letter I write to each guest that some guides may suggest shops , but, you are not obliged to accept the same and can decline the offer and there would be no depletion in the standard of service . Incentives for enabling shopping is a part of the system . If you visit a store even in a cycle Rickshaw the driver would be acknowledged monetarily for facilitating the sale . It is not unknown for store owners having a system of incentives for staff who clinch sales . Our instruction to guides is that shopping must happen with the will of the guest and only in government approved stores where there is reliability and after sales service when and if required.

In the above mentioned welcome letter I also mention tipping guidelines for all and sundry. The idea is not to extract your money, but , to acquaint you with local customs . Much before the start of the tour tipping guidelines are also mentioned in our pre - departure information and this is done with the same intent . When offering tipping guidelines it is explicitly mentioned that tipping is customary and not mandatory. I know that tipping is a part of many cultures . I know of developed countries where if you pay can by card the drivers ask ‘how much gratuity should I write before you sign the charge slip ‘ . I understand the angst , and that is why we help customers to make discerning choices.

Please do also notice that while the guides dropped hints to the guest to shop, but , it does seem that the guest was not coerced into shopping. Irrespective of the shopping done or not done by the reviewer the services provided were to the satisfaction of the guest as she found the guides to be knowledgeable. There was no linkage between shopping and delivery of a professional obligation.

I will have to specially clarify the point about the second guide employed in Agra for the tour of Fatehpur Sikri . The hawkers here are a mafia in themselves and do aggressively coerce the guide to ask guests to consider purchasing their wares. The guides have to go there everyday and cannot afford to antagonize the hawkers . It is not so much a question of kickbacks as it is of surviving the system . It is for this reason the woman guide did not travel to Fatehpur Sikri from Agra . It would have been hard for her to deal with this . However, I must say that the Male guide should have sounded the guest in advance and taken her into confidence .

I guess that at times given the cultural differences inhibit the conveying of the intent behind a communication . When the guide said that she was poor it was a relative statement compared to the standard of life in the west . The guide did feel embarrassed for what she thought was a seemingly innocuous comment offending her client . The guide said that the statement was said in a context and not by itself . This is actually true . What an average Indian earns in a year , a great majority of people in the west would earn in a week or two . This she says was her context .

Drivers are the backbone of our tours . They are handpicked for not only their driving skills, but also for their personable traits and more importantly for their being safe with travellers, especially, solo female travellers. Our guests strike a very good bond with the drivers . Unlike our class conscious society, the western traveler does not have biases . They interact with the driver as a friend with whom they are spending a considerable amount of time . It is natural that life stories are exchanged . We have several repeat guests who request for the same driver as they had last time . They become Facebook friends with the driver and evince a keen interest in the life of the drivers . It is perhaps under the assumption of this friendship that the driver asked the reviewer for her shopping details . Also , the driver genuinely wanted the reviewer to visit his home to meet his family . As the reviewer says , he showed photos of past guests in his home . This shows that it is not uncommon for western visitors to visit his home . These photos are his proud possessions and visits of overseas visitors to his meagre home is akin to a celebration! However , we have very sternly counselled the driver and have actually moved him under probation for the near future . We have told him that he should tamper his friendly overtures with guests . Some guests expect that a distance be maintained and he should know where that nebulous line lay when delivering a professional obligation that involves personalising of relationships .

I am sorry that this has been such a long response. I was trying to understand and contextualise the discontent of the guest . At the same time I attempted to offer a perspective . I personally feel that a big mistake on our part was to promote such a busy tour to her at the back of a long flight . She never got a chance to wear off her tiredness or jet lag as she was on the go at all times over the 2 days that she travelled . We will also very strongly counsel our guides and drivers to understand better the expectations of our guests . It is a very uncomfortable feeling reading this submission of the reviewer . Even with the guides being knowledgeable and drivers being skilled and safe , we get 2 stars . As the guest says that something fell off. I guess this something was our inability to make that connect with the guest . If our guides had made a greater effort or if the guest was not so tiered things might have been different ,but, I have to tell the reviewer that this is not what we intended and feel uncomfortable from within .

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We took this 1st trip to India (not the last definitely!) with Trinetra. From start to finish it was a smooth, easy experience. Nothing was too much & always someone at the end of a phone.
We took internal flights out & a driver (who was the same the entire journey). Noone felt intrusive & no sales pitches. Guides were exceptional & well spoken.
I would definitely recommend & will use them again. Rathambore with the eco lodge was out of this world. See my pic below of the great fort elephant ride (done in a safe & compassionate manner!).
Go you won't regret it!.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank shaysmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2019

This was our second trip to India with Trinetra and their organisation, attention to detail and the care we experienced more than met our expectations. We had a private tour, exploring Kolkata, cruising the Ganges, a four-day safari at Kasiranga National Park, then flying south to Bhubaneshwar in Odisha before a short r and r at a seaside hotel on the Bay of Bengal.
We are a couple in our 70's and would recommend any trip organised by this company without reservation. All of our drivers and guides were unfailingly polite, kind and helpful.
Our first trip to India was ten years ago and since then five groups of friends have booked with Trinetra based on our feedback and have made return bookings.
Many thanks, Tapas, Mahendra and team - we'll be back!

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank pdwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2019 via mobile

I can’t recommend them highly enough. From planning to our last trip to the airport - they made it easy and it was a stellar experience! Very professional, flexible, informed, intelligent, responsive and experienced team. We were a group of teachers doing the Golden Triangle Tour. Take their recommendations on hotels and restaurants- each was excellent. Our guide had a PhD in Indian History and our drivers were punctual, safe and skilled. Once you see Delhi traffic, you too will be amazed. Every aspect of the process and tour exceeded expectations. We were a group on NY teachers and all reported the same 5 star experience - even the most difficult and demanding me ever aid our group. I would definitely use Trinetra and Mahendra and the team again and have already recommended to friends.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank msaguastravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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