Ms. Asha Chhita x 75 pax
"Incredible India" those two words now have such a profound place in the hearts of 75 people from the Rainbow Nation and will forever evoke memories of an experience too wonderful to behold.
From the moment we arrived at Mumbai airport and were met by representatives of "Worldwide Rail Journeys on 24 March until we departed on 4 April from Kolkata we were treated like 'Maharaja's and Maharanis".
To each and every one of Worldwide Rail Journeys representatives and the guides that they subcontracted, to the bus drivers, hotel management and staff, every one of us of us offers our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for not only taking care of our every whim but making us feel totally special and at home at the same time.
Every day of the tour was a new amazing experience and even though we were witness to our cricket team exiting the competition on the second day of our tour in Nagpur against the eventual champions the "West Indies" the warmth and adulation we received from the people of Nagpur more than offset any disappointment.
It is impossible to even think that I can in anyway justify in words what we experienced next after boarding the "Royal Rajasthan on Wheels". If we did not already feel like mega stars at the cricket we certainly did at the spectacular boarding ceremony put on for us in Delhi. The excitement amongst us was palatable and over the course of the journey this never diminished. The cities of Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur and Khajuraho which to most of us were names in history are now vivid in the forefront of our memories and will remain so for years to come. This in no way takes away from the splendor of other cities such as bustling Mumbai, the grandness of Delhi and the energy of Kolkata not to mention the magnificence of the Taj Mahal. We are grateful we paved the way for Prince William and Catherine to visit. Word of our trip has clearly spread far and wide.
The daily sightseeing tours were all encompassing, informative and well-chosen to ensure that there was something for everyone to appreciate and never too long that you dreaded going on them. The site of tigers in the natural environment was on all our bucket lists as was the elephant ride up the mountain.
As to the food I now really am at a loss as to what to say. Every meal was an occasion of fine flavours and tastes and experiences that were out of this world. I can honestly say that every meal whether at a hotel, on the train or at one of the sightseeing areas had the wow factor and whilst we may have reverted to our more simpler tastes immediately when we got home already friends and colleagues are reminiscing about all the exotic tastes and flavours we had the privilege of tasting.
I can only but imagine what went on behind the scenes in organising the itinerary for us. Everything worked like clockwork from airport transfers, hotel check in, meals ,bus trips, entrances to castles, museums etc.
The river cruise on the penultimate night was a fitting farewell for us to say an early goodbye to your beautiful country as was our last event the T20 final at Eden Gardens. If India could not be there to win it we were happy at least the winners had the name 'Indies" in it.
My only disappointment (and really this is only my opinion) was that we did not have a day on the train just travelling along to take in the beauty of your country side but with so much to see in such a short time it is fully understandable that the itinerary was planned as it was.
"Incredible India" now we all know why.
Jald hee vaapas lautane kee ummeed