Why Australia hates India
5 reasons why you should experience India with a driver (including route for North India)
Anyone traveling to India is preparing for chaos, noise and hectic pace. That's why we have 5 reasons for you, why you should experience India with a driver (at least on your first trip to India). At the end of the article you will also get the contact details of our driver.
You're just having a little culture shock
Regardless of all the terrible headlines that have been made in India in the last few months: India is knocking you out. You either love it or you hate it. I am glad that we had our driver Rinku, who drove us through the country for three weeks and the culture shock in India did not completely kill us.
You travel like in a bubble, but sometimes we were very grateful for simply leaving the chaos at the door. So we had enough time to process the incredible number of impressions.
You are safe on the way
If you have a driver, then of course you also have a car. Your driver will rarely take his eyes off his car and if you talk to him about it, you can leave a few things in the car.
Of course, I wouldn't leave all my cash reserves, notebook and the new SLR open there. But many things that would tempt pickpockets can (mostly) be safely deposited with your driver. But here, too, I appeal to your gut instinct: If you don't feel good about it, then you better take the things with you.
Our driver always informed us when it would be better to take our personal belongings out of the car. Once he had a bad feeling himself and gave us all his cash reserves so that we could deposit them in the hotel safe for him.
You see an incredible amount of India - and you stay relaxed
We were traveling in northern India for about three weeks. From Delhi it went straight north to the Punjab, then on to Jaisalmer in western Rajasthan and back to Delhi via Udaipur, Jaipur and Agra.
We would never have made it by train during this time. And I dare to bet that we would have given up after a short time, desperate and annoyed. We would hate India today.
Our driver drove us from A to B between 2 and 5 hours (sometimes longer).
We soon trusted Rinku that waythat we used the time in the car and slept extensively in the back seat. He had a lot of tapes with Indian mantras with him and so we were always absolutely relaxed at the destination.
If you're lucky: Travel in Style!
Our wheeled vehicle in India was a Hindustan ambassador. This is pretty much the best car you could ever ask for on a road trip through India. Well sprung and comfortable. And nice to look at.
Your driver knows every place on the route and he has probably been here very often. Why don't you just ask him about his favorite places.
Of course, it can always be the neighbor's mother's cousin who just happens to find a suitable shop / restaurant / etc. Has. But we made it clear to our driver at the beginning that we were not in the mood for silver and other shopping trips. Rinku respected that and didn't drag us into the appropriate stores.
Instead, he was often our guide and showed and explained a lot of things to us. We were with him in the golden temple of Amritsar, where he told us a lot about the religion of the Sikhs and the history of the temple and the city.
In Pushkar he warned us about the dubious men who would intercept us right in front of the hotel and who would, under any circumstances, persuade us to the hiduistic ritual of puja.
Of course we would have to pay quite a bit for that. No sooner had we left the hotel than we met the boys. Thanks to Rinku, however, we knew how to get rid of them.
Our recommendation: afford the driver!
There is so much to see, especially in Rajasthan. And on your first visit, India will definitely roll over you! Believe us!
So why don't you afford the little luxury of a driver? I would do this again anytime and can only recommend it.
If you look at our route, you will notice that we have been in the car quite often.
But it was never stressful and we had complete confidence in Rinku. We just wanted to see so much and it would never have been possible otherwise.
Our exact travel plan and the costs
December 17th - Arrival in Delhi
December 18 - drive to Amritsar (8 hours)
December 19 - Amritsar Golden Temple / Sightseeing on the Indian-Pakistani border
December 20 - Drive from Amritsar to Bikaner (7 hours)
December 21 - drive from Bikaner to Jaiselmer (5 hours)
December 22nd - Overnight in the desert including camel safari at sunset
December 23 - Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (4.5 hours)
December 24th - Jodhpur
December 25 - Jodhpur to Ranakpur (2.5 hours)
December 26th - Ranakpur to Udaipur (via Kumbalgarh) (2 hours)
December 27 - Udaipur
December 28 - Udaipur to Bundi (via Chittorgarh) (5 hours)
December 29th - To Ranthambore (2.5 hours) for the Tiger Safari
December 30th - Tiger Safari in Ranthambore
December 31 - Ranthambore to Pushkar (4 hours)
January 01 - Pushkar to Jaipur (2 hours)
January 02 - Jaipur
January 3rd - Jaipur to Agra (4.5 hours) and Taj Mahal at sunset
January 4th - Agra to Delhi
For the entire route including all accommodation, camel safari, rent and consumables for the air-conditioned Ambassador rental car and costs for the driver, we paid € 1,600 for two.
On top of that, there are of course the prices for admissions and tips for the driver (at your own discretion).
Better call Rinku!
Our driver was Rinku Sharma and was still employed at the time. He is now self-employed and my tip for North India. Because my wife and I were so satisfied with him, I would definitely like to recommend Rinku to you:
Tel: +919811739850 or +919772958858
He is a very nice and accommodating person. And we always felt absolutely safe and cared for around him.
The photos and experiences are based on a trip through northern India in winter 2007/2008.
Have you ever been to India with a driver? How was your experience? Would you do it again Were you that satisfied with your driver too? Then we look forward to your comment.
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