What really made my trip remarkable was the wonderful itinerary planned by Namaste India Tours and our wonderful driver and guide, Sanjay Kumar. From fetching me at the airport at 2 a.m. (after waiting for two hours because my flight was late arriving), to giving wise advice for staying safe in the large cities, to educating us with the history of the places we visited and the customs of the people, to stopping the car every time he sighted a new bird or animal (I had told him my husband was a keen birder and loved wildlife), to checking that we were happy with our hotel rooms, and to furnishing a place of refuge from the crowds and the hawkers in the backseat of the wonderful old Ambassador car that was our transport, Sanjay was an amazing host and friend to us. I would highly recommend Namaste India Tours for their professionalism (they gave us a cellphone to use should we get lost or be uncomfortable at any time), the hotels they chose were just great (and all had flush toilets!) In addition, the owner of the company, Jawahar Lal Rana, checked in with us four times during the trip to make sure everything was going well.
Because of the sense of overwhelm when you arrive in India, I believe having a reliable tour operator is essential.
We traveled approximately 4,800 miles during our trip which started in New Delhi, and took us to Jhunjhunu, Bikaner, Khuri, Jaisalmer, Jodphur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikiri, Agra and back to Delhi to fly home. We experienced only a small part of India, the part known as Rajasthan or the land of the Maharajas, which is situate in the North Western part of the country (circled in white on the map below). The ancient architecture and history of the area is rich and well worth seeing and experiencing. Enormous forts can be found in most of the centers, and one has to marvel at how they were built so many hundreds of years ago and survive to this day.