1 independent reviews for Cycling holiday in the Maikal Hills, Central India

Reviews for Cycling holiday in the Maikal Hills, Central India

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review 5 Jan 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My wife and I went on this trip with our 17 year-old son. Even as seasoned travellers to India, we would never have been able to do this trip on our own because this part of central India really doesn't have much tourist/traveller infrastructure. Cycling from village to village was absolutely fantastic. Our wonderful guide, Saurabh, based in Raipur, was not only brilliantly organised and wonderfully knowledgeable about wildlife, architure, people, plants, birds, customs etc. He also enabled us to visit families and villages in a way that was really rewarding and not the slightest bit 'icky'. We stayed overnight in one village, which was a fantastic experience - we learned so much. I especially enjoyed being taught how to make herb chapatis over a fire.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You really don't have to worry about anything. We were happy and healthy the entire time, and very comfortable indeed! We met so many lovely people! My only advice would be to make sure that if there are things you especially like or don't like then let them know in advance. Actually, Saurabh and his team were remarkably flexible but I guess it helps if they know in advance.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All the places we stayed were clearly creating local employment in a resepctful way. They were all careful to use local materials and produce and not to create lots of waste. What was really special is that in each place, the people working there seemed happy and cheerful and had a good relationship with the owners/managers. On our visits to local villages, there was none of the horrid 'rich tourists turning up to buy tawdry tat'. It was mutually respectful and rewarding and huge fun, I think, for all. For example, there was a dance performance for a group of us staying but clearly the performance was hugely enjoyed by the entire village and the fact that we were there meant that the dancers have yet another reason to keep their culture alive. Importantly, we all went to the village, where the performers would be on home ground with all their families and friends, rather than them coming to where we were staying. The home stay with a local doctor and his wife was just delightful - all the financial side is taken care of separately and spread properly around diffferent hosts. We just exchanged small souvenirs with each other.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our trip was everything we wanted it to be. I have said to Saurabh and his team that he can give my email address to you if you're thinking of booking this trip, or one like it, and I may be able to give you some extra tips.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Jonathan Thank you for your wonderful review. It was our pleasure to show you little known area of India where not many people go. Cycling with you was great and we are glad it was a best holiday you and your family have every been on. We hope to show you other hidden gems of central India soon. Best regards, Chinkara team

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