Most Inspirational Moment
Varanasi - both the night-time 'blessing of the Ganges' ceremony, and about 7 hours later, the dawn boat ride on the Ganges to see the sun rise thru the mists and float past the cremation ghats (at a distance). And in between, the chaotic tuk tuk ride. There were many other highlights, but that one just took my breath away.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Ajay was truly excellent. Easy company, informed, patient at explaining the culture, history, politics and so on. He was very organised, because this trip is a mini-military-operation. It has to be, to see that many amazing things in 8 days. And he added little touches to enhance the trip (eg flowers to scatter on the Ganges). I wanted to see a step well (If I could) so I asked early on, and we got to see one in Jaipur that was not a tourist sight, by making a short detour. That was another highlight for me.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Be prepared to get tired. But you can sleep on the bus, the hotel beds are comfortable. And you have the post-trip period back home to look forward to, looking at your (way too many) photographs. It really is full-on, but in a great way. And it seems to match the pace of the places you are seeing - it's not a place to dawdle. Finally, if you are into photography, you'll probably never be somewhere with so many photos 'waiting to be taken'. Bring less clothes - this is not a dressing up holiday - and more camera gear. Last thing, as I think of it. Pollution in Delhi is quite bad - it's just a fact of life. But you are only there for about 48 hours, and even if you get a short term sore throat you recover quickly once you exit the city. It's worth it, I think.
This was my first ever trip to India. I utterly loved it, from beginning to end. If you want a chill out holiday, look elsewhere. If you want a safe, well-organised, short sharp trip around some of the key parts of India, this is the one for you. Enjoy