We have just come back from a magical and awesome trip to Bangalore and Mysore. From the moment we started to book all through being collected at Bangalore Airport, till the last minute before we finished, we felt we were being well looked after, given absolutely fantastic experiences, with wonderful accommodation. But even more than this was the care taken by our lovely driver Chitti Bagu, and the guides who helped us see their cities with more understanding. We learnt such a lot, and will never forget this trip. We are now beginning to plan for next year............!
The local company gave us just the trip we were hoping for. It was rich on culture, with excellent pacing (so we could chat to people we met serendipitously in markets, in the historic sites, and in restaurants where we stopped for lunch or just a fruit from a road side stall). Our guides were very knowledgeable and showed us how to read the 'stories' written in sculpture on temples, and to explain the rituals we saw in a way we never could have on our own. For us, they were faultless in the planning, communication, and all the practical arrangements necessary to make our holiday perfect and exactly what we wanted.
Nothing - they gave us all we asked for and more.
As I've said above, our driver and guides were excellent. However, I do want to praise our driver Chitti Babu in particular because not only was he an extremely good driver, he was unfailingly kind and solicitous. He never failed to provide us with water each day, he had snacks and soft drinks as well if we wanted them, and he even provided hand sanitizer, tissues, and loo roll, in case they were needed too. In addition he was always patient with me in the face of what probably seemed to be a torrent of questions about all aspects of Indian life.
In your planning, give yourself time to stroll gently and talk to people who want to talk to you. If, like us, you don't want to be shown something eg a silk showroom, or a jewellery emporium, say so. And too, if you are vegetarian (like us), say so at the start of your trip and the driver or guide will always take you to a restaurant that is purely vegetarian.
Seeing the Mysore Palace when it is lit up on a Sunday night, and throngs of people are enjoying the magic of it, and the music that accompanies it. And singing English nursery rhymes with a small, stunningly beautiful 3 year old little Indian girl who had been taken to see the lights by her parents.