We have successfully returned from India and are back in Texas. I have finally downloaded my photos and I'm am thoroughly enjoying the editing process as I relive my wonderful experiences in India. If our children had been with us, we would have stayed a month more. My favorite thing in all of India-- more esteemed than the food, the architecture, or the religious and cultural learning--was the people. India is its people--warm, gracious, friendly and open.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased we were with everything that pertained to our trip. Vikrant was very responsive and accomodating. We had a nice visit with Alok as well. The guides in each town were very knowledgable and unique in different ways. Some were spiritual, some political, some very worldly--regardless, it was refreshing to go to another town and have a different perspective from each guide.
We cannot say enough good things about our driver, Mr. Kulmant Singh. As you are aware, it takes a lot of bravado and luck to get from point A to point B in India. We are thankful we did so without incident and that we got to experience India "as close to a local experience" as possible. I think the only way to have traveled more like an Indian would have been to put all four of us on one motorbike!
I cannot wait to return to India. I would return to Varanasi to be part of the mass of humanity that lives and breathes with a city that encircles all of life. I would return to Jodhpur and Udaipur to spend more time in the streets, the markets, and with the people of India. I liked the smallness and openess of these cities. (I have to admit, we gave our guides some work trying to keep up with our random wanderings down side streets and off the tourist path!) I would return to Jaipur if only to stay at the Rambagh Palace again. It was my favorite hotel as was the Imperial. My husband's favorites were the Oberoi's in Udaipur and Agra. The Orchard hotel was quite a surprise and we would return if only to sit and visit with the host, a most gracious man.
Once again, thank you for your help in preparing our trip. I look forward to working with you again when we decide to travel to the south!