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2.14 

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Exploring New Delhi
Oct 23, 2010 01:29 AM 51032 Views

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Good evening, time to share with you our experiences on using the Services of Panicker’s Travels to Roam Delhi and Suburbs.


How and why did we choose them?



Well, the idea to tour New Delhi (of course with family) started when we chanced upon a small article in a net-blog telling that the Capital city has got really ==spruced up ==for CWG games and  this will not happen again in near future.


Slowly an idea to tour the city started taking shape. (vacation times for Children ).  We started our due-diligence exercise as to how to roam around the city and what to see and avoid?   After data gathering/talking to friends we came across top three operators in New Delhi, namely Panicker, Southern and Sharma Travels .



Panicker's office in Secunderabad was polite and helpful with a booklet on various travel options in and around Delhi and we got impressed.



The reviews in Mouthshut.com on Panicker's travels were a mixed bag of emotions.  Well we decided to take a risk and did all the bookings through Panicker’s website.  The site was informative but slow to respond.   We completed the bookings, took a Duranto (have posted a review) and landed in Delhi on 11th morning and went to our friend’s house for a bath, change, food and rest.



What we found good?



Day-1 – Haridwar and Rishikesh



The same night we had booked for a trip to Haridwar and Rishikesh and called up Panicker's office and requested a pick up at Sarojini Nagar Depot, which they happily oblighed but asked us to come 15 minutes earlier.   We reached the venue at 10.00 p.m. and promptly got picked up by 10.15 pm.  Boarding the bus we were welcomed with a bottle of Mineral water and we settled down in slumber.



Next day early morning we were woken up and taken to Kovilur Mutt in Rishkesh, were a hot tea was served and the guests were given two rooms to freshen up and leave for Darshans.   We went to Sivananda Ashram, Ram Joola, Laxman Joola, Geetha Bhavan, temples and for fine breakfast at Chottiwala. The Guide Rajput Singh was very helpful, gave beautiful commentary in English and Hindi on all points of interest and kept us entertained with timely jokes.



Rajput Singh gave us sufficient time and breaks and also got our mobile nos. and promptly called us to remind us in case any families in the group were taking more time at a place of interest. Noon, we reached Haridwar and had a holy dip in Ganga and visited Manasa Devi temple and after lunch at Amritsari Dhaba and shopping, boarded the bus and reached back New Delhi around 9.00 p.m (Day-2).


Well, then only we realized that our guide (Rajput Singh) had maintained a smile throughout the last 24 hours and had shown exemplary levels of commitment in maintaining  the group and also conducting the tour. He had also planned secondary vehicles, collected money  in advance to arrange entry tickets and also gave good instructions of safety and security (especially on pick pockets and local touts).



Day-3 – We went to SN Market, Rail museum, Karol bagh shopping and also rested.



Day-4 (Closing day of CWG) morning, we took Panicker’s bus to Agra. We promptly got picked up at 5.45 a.m. (special request)  at SN Depot in a Qualis and joined the main bus to Agra.   Breakfast was at a decent restaurant in the outskirts of Delhi and we reached Agra Fort, to be joined by Panicker’s tour guide Mr. Mohamad Rizwan, who took us on a grand tour to Agra fort, gave us juicy tid bids on the Agra fort, Diwani Am, Diwani Khas, showed us the spots were Moghul emperor Sha Jahan was prisoned by Aurangazib and also took us for shopping and lunch at Hotel Amar. (Panicker’s have a special lunch package).


He also showed us good locations (for photography)  and angles for camera shots and took us to Taj, then to Sikandra fort, Mathura temple.  Mr. Rizwan was very polite but extremely time conscious while also giving adequate time to roam around. We reached New Delhi around 9.30 p.m.



Day-5, we took local sightseeing trip  at Panicker and got a pick up (special request) again at SN Depot. The guide was Rahul. The trip started with Qutub, followed by Lotus temple, Indira Gandhi Memorial, India Gate, lunch at AP Bhavan canteen, followed by visit to Teenmurthi Bhavan, Red Fort, Raj Ghat ending at Birla Mandhir.  The Guide constantly showed us the important places of interest throughout the travel and was maintaining good levels of interest. We called our friend and went for a dinner at Saravana’s at CP.



Day-6, we went to Akshardham temple on Panicker’s bus.  However the journey started at Karol bagh with Mr. Neeraj as the guide.   He seemed to be a fresher but made an honest attempt to keep us engaged. The tour started with visit to Humayun tomb, Gandhi Museum, National museum, early lunch at AP Bhavan canteen and dropped us at Akshardham temple.  The visit to the temple was really an experience. After seeing the musical fountain, we took the Metro from Akshardham to Rajiv Chowk and had our dinner at Maharashtra bhavan canteen.



What stood green in  our minds?


Well, one thing I found good with the Panicker’s travels are that all the guides were seasoned, really caring, attentive, gave you enough time to roam around, took you to best places for value food but were very politely firm in  mainting timings.


Whatever they put in borchure, they covered. We also found the group management skills being evidently displayed and practised and all the trips were properly planned and were fully aligned and synchronized.


Having lived and roamed in Delhi for three years in my early part of my career, I found that Panicker’s have evolved and have become very professional, even though they are slightly expensive. The busses are good, your genuine requests (pick-ups and seats) are patiently heard and solved, and even few additional minutes of times are given  at places of interest. However they are slightly more costly.


Well, I found that they had taken care of my end to end travel arrangements and we have nothing to complain.



Uploading a photgraph of Rajput Singh and my daughter in an resturant at outskirts of Meerut.



Thanks,


Carlover 2010.


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