The modern world may be flat, but at this moment we’re in the India of a glorious past, of jeweled palaces and geometric gardens, tiger preserves and the exquisite white marble mausoleum that marks a timelessly obsessive romance. For two weeks we’ll be chauffeured through fabled Rajasthan on a private tour in a gleaming white Ambassador, the iconic conveyance of India post-Raj.
The tab: less than $2,000 for bed-and-breakfast, car and driver. And yes, that’s for two.
With other meals, guides, museums, tips and the doctor — we’ll get to that — our vacation comes to less than $100 per person per day, plus airfare and shopping.
No, we didn’t languish in the five-star private enclaves that grace sleek magazine covers — though we did stay in several royal-owned boutique hotels that made us feel like pampered guests of a bygone time. And while our meals weren’t prepared by the stars of the Master Chef India TV series, we ate well enough on dal, chicken korma and the occasional plate of pasta.
Any English-speaker can easily catch the Metro from the airport to New Delhi and book arrangements from train tickets to tiger safaris online.
But The Husband has declared that he’s past his do-it-yourself-in-the-developing-world days. But we’re also not in for a group tour. And why should we deal with the hassles of luggage and public transportation when Namaste India Tours ( namasteindiatours.com) — a small family-run company highly recommended by a friend — can take care of the details for such a reasonable price?