The week I spent doing personal travel in India was literally whistle-stop touring. I visited many places, but can’t say that I really know those places that I visited.
We visited as many tourist attractions as we could and took many lovely photos, but I was left somewhat unsatisfied. The good thing about it was that I now know what I don’t want to do for next time.
Next time I want to spend a whole day at the Taj Mahal, take my time paying my respects to Ghandiji at Raj Ghat and spend many hours at Akshardham Temple. I also want to visit more temples, especially those that are not tourist attractions. And I want to take more trains between cities.
I won’t use the services of a guide. Information about the various places is easily available on the web, and I didn’t find our guides had any more info than what I read for myself. Many places also have audio tours. I used this service at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, and what an amazing experience it was. There was a wealth of info available, more than I had time for.
I will also not use one single driver for the whole trip. It is much better to use local drivers. They know where to go (stopping for directions doesn’t inspire confidence), and it eliminates the risk of having one’s trip marred by labour disputes (we missed out on going to Chokhi Dhani in Jaipur because local drivers were preventing “foreign drivers” from dropping off tourists).
Next time I want to experience India slowly.