Rajasthan with Janu Private Tours
Usually I do everything myself: plan the route, think what places of interest to see, organize the lodging, food and "spectacles". But in Rajasthan it was all different. I entrusted myself into skilled hands of Janu from Janu Private Tours. They think everything over and organized a great trip for us. I didn’t poke my nose into anything. I trusted.
In the end we had a private driver from morning till night, and all the excursions with a private guide. We felt like queens!
Photo: Anna and Madan Singh- Jaipur specialist. Anna’s new red beret is his gift.
Our acquaintance with Rajasthan culture started early in the morning. Dal Kachori, Mix Paratha, Aloo Matar Ki Bhaji, Poori, Besan Chilla, Idli, Sambhar, Rawa Upma, Sabudana Khichdi, Coconut Chutney and so on… these are the names of the dishes we were served for breakfast. We – real admirers of Indian cuisine - were delighted!
I expected that Rajasthan would be vibrant, but it exceeded my expectation! A riot of colours and tints, fascinating ornaments, colonial architecture, vivid traditional clothing- in India all this wide diversity looks so harmonious and beautiful! That is why there are so many photos in this review - I want to show you so much!
Photо: Patrika Gate, Jaipur
Photо: Jaipur Palace
In Krishna Temple (Govind Dev Ji Temple) in Jaipur we were at a ceremony. It was so bright and happy – the parishioners were singing, and some were dancing. I love Hindu ceremonies - they have nothing in common with strict moral teaching, the act of obedience and humility for sinners (as all of us are condemned by default). Hindu rite is a feast of life with fresh flowers, cheerful music, smiling faces. People dance and sing, they are not afraid to laugh and be happy; they hug, take photos (with tourists like us), they don’t have to stand obediently and give careful heed the words of authorities. They are allowed to be themselves! Watch this small video from ceremony.
Rajasthanian headgears are real handbooks! One can find out a lot of information about the owner of the hat just by colour, size or shape. For example, these two are the representatives of warrior caste – kshatriyas.
Photо: Fort Jaipur - one of the biggest in India.
The castles in India are not just for protection. These walls witnessed vigorous life of local kings, sheikhs, their wives and concubines. So many interesting stories we heard from our personal guide Madan Singh!
Having looked at royal palaces, we went to see the occupation of ordinary people. Anna as usual, didn’t miss the opportunity to learn some new skills.
India and flowers. It’s interesting but flower business in India is men’s business! Men sell flowers at the markets, and men make flower garland and make bouquets. It was very funny to watch how severe-looking bearded men were making beautiful floral arrangements.
After Jaipur Nadeem from Janu Private Tours drove us to Pushkar. This is a sacred town in India. Pilgrims from all over the country flock here, to plunge into the saint waters of lake Pushkar. It’s only alowed to walk barefoot around the lake.
Photо: Pushkar and its holy waters.
Photо: Pushkar sacred lake
The lake is one of the most sacred places in India. We watched hundreds of pilgrims making ceremonies and diving in water. I didn’t have any intentions to dive, but Indian Gods had other plans – I slipped on the stairs and fall into water! Rather cooling bath!
It happened to be an orthodox Easter while we were at Pushkar. So, we decided to start our breakfast at hotel with traditional Easter Eggs as it goes in Russia. The staff of the hotel was very confused and informed us apologetically that it is not possible to eat eggs in this city! Pushkar is a vegetarian city! They don’t sell and don’t consume fish, meat and eggs here. This was our first “vegetarian” city and our first Easter without eggs. And it was great, because our Easter turned out to be so special and in such a special place! Thanks Janu Private Tours for taking us here!
Then, we went to Agra, to look at one of the seven wonders of the world – the Taj Mahal! It is gorgeous! So different within a few hours!
Photo: the Taj Mahal at dawn.
Next day, we met sunrise at Agra Fort. We and a few keepers were the only ones in - the whole Fort with its history and secrets was at our service.
Just one week at Rajasthan enriched me enormously – I loved India more than ever with all its ugliness and beauty, chaos and peace, palaces and slums, with its diversity of colors, aromas, emotions, cultures, languages and traditions! India has changed greatly over the last 1o years, changed for better! And so has I, for better! And now we are in full harmony!
India is either loved or hated and I know people who dislike it so much. I beg you to come here once more with open heart! Give India one more chance and you will be pleasantly surprised! And Indian people will surprise you! I was amazed to hear story of Janu, the founder of Janu Private Tours. He is like a "Slumdog Millionaire" from the movie, but the real one!
When he was twelve, he had to work as a rickshaw driver. Of course, without a rickshaw and a driving license. As you can guess Janu didn’t go to school for a single day. Now, he is the owner of big travel agency Janu Private Tours and he is about to open his own hotel! He invited us to see the building process of his Marigold Inn and told us a couple stories of his life. Watch the video!
The first work principle of Janu Private Tours: the guest is the God! And the whole team works hard to fulfill any desire of the client. We had an individual tour, according to our timetable. Polite and punctual drivers, clean car, water and beverages on board – everything is thought to the smallest detail. The second principle of the company is client’s safety. Being a woman travelling alone with a child, I felt very comfortable. The third principle is to give the client more than he expected, surprise him! We were pampered with bonuses – from delicious dishes to hotels rated much more than we expected. If you look at Tripadvisor reviews, we were not the only ones.
I’m so delighted that our roads brought us to wonderful Rajasthan and I’m so grateful to Jane and his team for all he has done for us!
Contact Data of Janu Private Tours
P. No. 33-A, P.N.T. Colony,
Shanti Nagar, Hatwara Road,
Jaipur 302006 (Raj), INDIA
Telephone: 91-9929152946, 91-8094329710
Marigold Inn Homestay Jaipur