Kate’s trip to India

Kate at Newell's Travel in front of Taj Mahal

Our Helston Branch Manager Kate Askew travelled with Titan Travel to India for 8 nights in April 2024. She explored India’s Golden Triangle connecting Delhi, Agra (home to the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur, visiting palaces, forts, monuments and markets. Plus, a side-trip to Ranthambore National Park, hoping for a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger –

“Titan arranged door-to-door service, so I was collected from my front door and driven straight to the airport. We met at London Heathrow, enjoying a glass of bubbly and dinner in the Number 1 lounge. A great flight with Virgin to spend a night at the lovely Leela Ambience Convention Hotel in Delhi. 

India Gate
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi
Rickshaw ride
Kate at Old Delhi
Adventures in New and Old Delhi

We visited the imposing war memorial arch India Gate in the centre of New Delhi. The locals were fascinated by our group of mainly female tourists and requested selfies. We were well looked after by our authoritative Titan ground handler guide (who spoke firmly to anyone hassling).

New Delhi – A statue of Mahatma Gandhi has the great quote: ‘Be the change you wish to see’.

In Old Delhi we took an exhilarating rickshaw ride down busy streets with beeping horns as the soundtrack.


Taj Mahal in the distance
The Taj Mahal at Dawn

Up at dawn to see the phenomenal Taj Mahal in Agra at sunrise. This stunning marble-clad building has a real wow factor, especially for first-time visitors.

Our guide was amazing, we asked so many pertinent questions about culture, elections, poverty, cricket. He was so knowledgeable and knew everything – replying with frank and open responses – it turns out he has 4 master degrees.

A welcomed relaxing afternoon. We spent 2 days in Agra staying at the ITC MUGHAL hotel.

Photos: Gold statue of Indian god Agra, Hanuman monkey god statue and tuk tuk, train station.

Gold statue of Indian god Agra
knowledgable guide
Hanuman monkey god statue
Exploring Ranthambore by Train and Jeep

The train journey from Sawai Madhopur to Rantambore was a great authentic experience riding the railway with locals and a lot of fun.

At Hotel Ranthambore Regency, rising early at 5am for a sunrise safari. The Ranthambore National Park has different allocated time slots so if you book a year in advance you get the prime slot.

First day we saw lots of monkeys, beautiful peacocks, kingfisher birds, herons, bats, an owl, deer and crocodiles! It’s a very bumpy ride (I was glad I’d packed a sports bra!). Our driver guide was top of his game, listening to the different bird sounds and monkey calls that alert each other to warn of tigers. He literally had the birds eating out of his hand. 

Lunch back at Ranthambore Kothi and relax by the pool before heading out again at 4pm for the evening safari – there’s talk of a tiger spotted in a ravine. The large jeep does a 3-point turn – and we get to see a tiger cleaning her paws then she growls at a passing sloth bear.


As we begin to drive off, suddenly the tiger walks out of the bush, strolling in front of the vehicle with her three cubs, tails curled. There’s a palpable sense of excitement in the jeep, cameras clicking, and thrilled whispering. We were so lucky to see rare Asian tigers in their natural habitat – what an incredible experience and to end the day on such an amazing high!

On dry days alcohol is not allowed but we enjoyed a private party with traditional Indian musicians and dancers – and a man spinning on one foot!

Jaipur's Architectural Gems

Next day, we drove to see the grand architecture of 16th-century fort palace Amber Fort. We also visited UNESCO Red Fort Complex, a palace fort with massive walls of red sandstone and the pink-hued palaces of Jaipur…Hawa Mahal palace with its incredible honeycomb architecture and pastel royal residence City Palace. Taking a motorised rickshaw around the streets was hilarious!

In Jaipur we stayed at the beautiful hotel ITC Rajputana and went shopping, with unique smells from the streets and the chaiwala tea-seller. While market shopping, we happily browsed alone and felt safe – expect some hassle and bartering.

We were given robes to wear so we could enter the temple. The weather was hot! We had henna hand tattoos applied. As a vegetarian I really enjoyed the traditional Indian food – every single meal offered curry including breakfast but there were always western options and salads on offer too and we ate very well. 

We saw a homestay cooking demonstration (an optional extra) and I learnt to make chapatis, a Curry and a traditional Indian pudding.

henna tattoo
Indian lady in colourful sari
Kate at Amber fort
man with snake
Vibrant Traditions and Unforgettable Moments

There is so much beauty, colour and magic with captivating history, culture and traditions that make for an incredible experience. Hotel staff were exceptional, some in Rajasthani outfits, even sprinkling rose petals off the balcony and welcoming with a symbol of good will: floral garlands or scarves around the neck or a decorative red Bindi dot on the forehead.

The trip was just fabulous! Late nights and early mornings so every day felt like two days in one.

If you would like to hear more tips, tricks and itineraries for a trip to India, pop into our Helston branch to see me for a chat!”

Kate Askew, Branch Manager in Helston.

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