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Meet the team - Indian Subcontinent

Our India travel specialists are truly passionate about India and its surrounding regions.

Born and raised in India, Roop, Agomoni and Jayant have also travelled thoroughly in India and Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan; and have the insider knowledge about unmissable sights and the best places to stay.

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Amit

Having grown up in a small town in northern India, I was always curious to know what lay further afield. It all started with a trip to Delhi. I was so fascinated by discovering new places that I chose to study tourism management and pursued my Masters in the same field. This led to numerous opportunities to travel extensively within India and abroad. The regions closest to my heart include the Himalayan region of Ladakh, the north-western frontier of Rajasthan, and west Bengal, purely because of their authenticity, colours, magnificent monuments, culture and cuisine. Among my many favourites, I would also include the north-eastern part of India because of its stunning natural beauty and the mighty Himalaya. Outside India, I have travelled widely within the Subcontinent, the Far East, Australasia and the Pacific; however Bhutan is my next passion due to its authenticity, culture and scenic beauty.

My Insiders Tip

Bhutan is a destination little visited, as it is difficult to access and therefore fairly costly, however it is one of the most special places on this planet. Its remoteness, Himalayan location, intense and intriguing culture and values, and spirituality of the local people and of the place make Bhutan a really interesting destination. Bhutan ranks among the most bio-diverse countries in the world. Surprisingly, the warm southern part supports wildlife and vegetation usually associated with a tropical, jungle climate. When flying from Kathmandu to Paro, if you take a seat on the left side of the aircraft, you will have stunning views of Mount Everest.

Favourite Experience

Cruising on Lake Vembanad, through the Keralan backwaters and staying on a private rice barge is an opportunity not to be missed.

My Favourite Place

Though I have many favourite places to visit, I think Ladakh tops the list. This enchanting place is sandwiched between the northern Karakoram mountain range and the Himalaya in the south. Far from the madding crowd, looking out at the mighty Himalayan peaks you feel a sense of control of your own destiny. The vibrant culture, traditional Tibetan architecture, chanting at the monasteries, soaring mountains and clear star-lit skies all make Ladakh an exceptional destination that feeds the soul of a traveller.

My Favourite Hotel

My favourite hotel has to be the Wildflower Hall near Shimla in India. A fairy-tale luxury resort situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, it was originally the estate of Lord Kitchener of Khartoum. The views from all the rooms are breathtaking. The staff are charming, courteous and nothing is too difficult for them. I highly recommend the picnic at The Peak, which is arranged by the hotel.

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Discover Indian Subcontinent

Be captivated by the enticing, enigmatic and spiritual destinations of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.… Read more
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Ben

Born and raised in Nepal, I developed a thirst for exploration from a young age. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who loved travelling and had the patience to take their three children. After finishing higher education in England, I embarked on a solo trip for the first time to India. Having travelled across Europe, parts of Africa, North America and Indochina, I have witnessed many incredible experiences, but it’s the Indian Subcontinent that enthrals me. With a wide array of landscapes, mesmerising colours and charisma, India has a way of luring you in. Nepal not only has picturesque landscapes but also has the kindest and most humble locals. While Sri Lanka is a small country, it has a fascinating culture and history, a variety of wildlife, stunning scenery and beaches, as well as a mouth-watering cuisine. It is a pleasure to help people experience an area of the world that has created so many unforgettable memories for me.

My Insiders Tip

The majority of people that travel to India for the first time will visit the Taj Mahal, most of whom will witness the sun rise over the Taj Mahal. However, for me, the best place to witness the grandeur of the Taj Mahal is at sunset from Mehtab Bagh. The Persian garden, built by Emperor Babur, is on the opposite bank of the Yumana river to the Taj Mahal and provides beautiful, unobstructed views at sunset. Another tip is to taste the local cuisine, whether it’s a thali – an assortment of curries and lentils – or a chaat – a savoury snack, such as puffed rice. I highly recommend going on a street food tour as well as joining a local cooking class.

Favourite Experience

With so many memories that stand out, it’s impossible to choose just one. However, a lasting memory is walking through the Annapurna range, past tiered paddy fields and shepherds, across swing bridges, all the while keeping an eye out for the birdlife – the crested serpent eagle and steppe eagle in particular. As you walk through remote villages, which are only accessible by walking, the locals are incredibly warm and welcoming. After a day’s walking, you can relax at the Ker & Downey lodges that overlook the Himalaya.

My Favourite Place

I may be biased, but my place of birth, Pokhara, has to be my favourite place. Although it may lack the historical sites of Kathmandu, Pokhara has unrivalled surroundings and friendly locals. Pokhara is where all the treks in the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range start and end, and the town’s relaxed and friendly reputation precedes itself. If you don’t have time for a multiday trek, you can walk to the village of Sarangkot, where there are beautiful views over the valley and the lake, with the mountains in the backdrop. With plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars, Lakeside Road overlooks Phewa lake and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

My Favourite Hotel

Just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal is the palatial Oberoi Amarvilas. You can even see uninterrupted views of the celebrated monument of love from the comfort of your sumptuous bedroom. Each room has a stylish yet elegant decor with teak floors, silk cushions and a private balcony. Renowned for their attention to detail and impeccable service, the Oberoi staff will always go the extra mile and the restaurant serves mouthwatering international and speciality Indian cuisine. Guests can take a golf buggy to the Taj Mahal or have a candlelit dinner looking over it.

Order a Brochure Online

See India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan & Nepal to life in print form – order your brochure here. Order Now >

Discover Indian Subcontinent

Be captivated by the enticing, enigmatic and spiritual destinations of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.… Read more
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Roop

Born and brought up in Bombay to Indian and Iranian parents, I had the best of both worlds in several different ways. Being from Bombay one naturally speaks at least three to four languages and I was lucky to learn more from both sides of my family. You may have noticed that I still refer to Mumbai as Bombay because it will always be that in my heart.

I’ve lived in several countries including Holland, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Being ex cabin crew with American Airlines, Saudia and Qatar Airways, travel was not only a passion but a way of life for me for nearly a decade. I’ve been based in Amsterdam and then in lesser frequented Jeddah from where I have fond memories of frankincense-filled souks and roadside barbecues along the shores of the Red Sea late in the evening. Tourists didn’t exist in those days at all and life was as close to being bedouin as possible. I loved it.

My Insiders Tip

My tip is to do with food – if you could see me in person, you would know why. Cooking is simply the best therapy I can have after a long day in the office. When visiting a new destination, skip the 5-star restaurants and head for excellent value street food. In Bombay, ‘street food’ can be experienced in a restaurant to avoid any issues with your tummy, but several stalls are also cleared by health and hygiene authorities, including the stall behind the main stock exchange and the kulfi (Indian ice cream) vendors in Bandra.

Favourite Experience

It’s so hard to choose. A favourite experience of mine was watching the cute, blue back penguins walking out of the sea in Kangaroo Island, Australia and I also recall the views from top of Sydney Harbour Bridge very fondly. Another experience of note was climbing Sarangkot in Pokhara, Nepal to view Fishtail Mountain.

My Favourite Place

My favourite city is Rome because you can still walk on the streets and feel like it’s 10,000 years ago. I love the history and monuments of this cradle of modern civilisation. My other favourite place is Las Vegas! There I said it. I love Vegas and it’s true that there is no place like it. It’s just the buzz and the atmosphere that is so scintillating and unique, a true adult’s playground.

My Favourite Hotel

My favourite hotel is Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kerala, India. The meandering pool and lakeside setting makes it a perfect getaway and the ultimate hotel for relaxing. Guests can jump into a pool from their bedroom as soon as they wake up and later have a shower in your their private open garden, filled with water lilies and banana palms.

Order a Brochure Online

See India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan & Nepal to life in print form – order your brochure here. Order Now >

Discover Indian Subcontinent

Be captivated by the enticing, enigmatic and spiritual destinations of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.… Read more
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Shameem

My family come from Johannesburg so from an early age my school holidays were spent in South Africa. We would have big get togethers in the green spaces of the city with a braii (barbecue) at the weekends. I have travelled all around the country, from the stunning city of Cape Town to the wild beaches of KwaZulu-Natal and the amazing wildlife of the renowned Kruger National Park. I love that with each visit there is something new to discover. India has also always been an intrigue to me as my ancestors came from the state of Gujarat around 1900 before migrating to South Africa. My first memory of India is a visit to the Taj Mahal, a spectacular sight that my mother and I had always wanted to see. The forts and palaces of Agra and Jaipur are also incomparable to anywhere else that I’ve been.

 

My Insiders Tip

Instead of flying from Johannesburg to Mpumalanga, a four-hour drive will take you through some stunning scenery, passing dozens of nature reserves, lakes and dams. Stop midway at Dullstroom, one of the oldest towns in South Africa, to enjoy a light lunch in a quaint deli serving traditional homemade bakes such as milk tart and koeksisters. Then drive up to the Drakensberg Plateau through Long Tom Pass, named after a large silver cannon. Used by the Boer army, it was the bane of the British generals and their brigades. The pass is the highest road over the Mpumalanga Drakensberg and the most stunning part of the road trip.

Favourite Experience

One of my favourite animals is the elephant so it’s always been a thrill to see these magnificent creatures in the wild. My most memorable encounter was at Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe while on a relaxing sunset cruise along the Zambezi River. I had never realised that elephants could swim so I was amazed to see a family making their way from the banks of the river on the Zimbabwean side across to the Zambian side. It was surprising to see how swiftly they move through the water using their trunks like a snorkel.

My Favourite Place

There are so many places that I love in South Africa, each offering a different experience, which makes it hard to pick a favourite. For adventure, head to the rainforests and mountain ranges of the Garden Route or the canyons and valleys of Mpumalanga. You are spoilt for choice for wildlife viewing experiences with the Big Five at home in Kruger National Park, Madikwe, northern KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. For urban exploration, look no further than Cape Town, a beautiful city set against the backdrop of Table Mountain. Finally, for unspoilt beaches and a dramatic coastline, the golden sands of the Dolphin Coast are the answer.

My Favourite Hotel

This has to be Wolwedans Dunes Lodge in the NamibRand, a private nature reserve in the Namib desert in south-west Namibia. The Wolwedans Collection has six different lodges and camps across the reserve, each offering a different level of comfort in a slightly different setting. The Dunes Lodge offers the perfect combination of comfort with the atmosphere of a camp. The beautifully appointed chalets feature canvas sides, opening up to fantastic views of the surrounding dunes. By day I appreciated the magnificent landscapes of red sand dunes, golden grasses and rugged mountain ranges. Our local guide was a San Bushman and could tell us in detail how the local tribes lived in this harsh environment. By night I marvelled at the starry skies from the comfort of my bed.

Order a Brochure Online

See India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan & Nepal to life in print form – order your brochure here. Order Now >

Discover Indian Subcontinent

Be captivated by the enticing, enigmatic and spiritual destinations of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.… Read more