A highly organised and wacky scam reaps good profits at India’s Delhi markets. Operating for decades the sting targets cars parked around the market area. The “freelance mechanics” strip parts from the cars and through the markets sell them back to the owner.
The 300 year old Delhi Markets Chandni Chowk near to India’s biggest Mosque, Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque, is a bustling area of shops, food, tuk tuks, rickshaws, cars, buses, bikes and people and people and people! The northern area of the main market street is called Thief Street. Shops in this area concentrate on selling car parts like wheels tyres, bumper bars and door and body panels. The catch is all the parts have been stolen from cars parked in the vicinity of the market. On discovering the parts are missing, the owners are so desperate to get the vehicle back on the road that they buy their own parts back and have them re-installed. Touts attached to the shops know which businesses have the various parts and steer the distressed owner to the appropriate stall.
This is just one of the fascinating insights into what India Tourism themed ‘Incredible India’. Mahipa, our guide on this popular Travel & Taste Tour, claims this is an extraordinary example of great marketing. My trip to India was to road test Travel & Tastes popular Golden Triangle package over six days and seven nights. The price for this tour starts from $1299. This excludes flights as fares depend upon travel dates. This represents fantastic value.www.travelandtaste.com.au
This tour itinerary includes the travel and taste stand-outs of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
Following are brief details of some activities in the package with a few optional extras. In Delhi, the traditional Indian luncheon at Lazeez Affaire at Malcha Marg Market Chanakya Puri was excellent. The share mixed meat platter with a Kingfisher beer was superb.
After lunch a trip to Qutab Minar, the monument built to symbolise the supremacy of Islam. There is time for Humayun’s Tomb, an early example of Mughal architecture and do a drive-by of the India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House
The Crowne Plaza New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida, although just a little out of town, offers first class accommodation. I recommend the freshly prepared Dosas for breakfast.
Next stop at Samode Palace en route to Jaipur. Built in the mid 19th century the most viewed palace in Rajasthan. The traditional buffet lunch served in a fine dining atmosphere was delicious. In Jaipur we visit the Amber Fort and the Maharaja’s city palace among other sights.
A five hour drive to Agra to visit the famous Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The outstanding Taj Mahal was built in 1630. It is one of the great wonders of the world and is bursting with local sightseers and tourists whenever open (not on Friday).
Every local guide we met at each destination was knowledgeable and extremely helpful (changing money, phone calls, restaurants). The selected hotels were all comfortable with obliging staff and offered good breakfast buffets. They all had well appointed swimming pools and facilities. Our driver was with us for the whole trip and was not only an excellent driver (one has to be in India), he was also a wealth of knowledge.
The journey includes assistance on arrival / departure at the airport. 06 nights in Luxury accommodation on sharing Twin room with Bed & Breakfast. All transfers and sightseeing excursion. English speaking local guide for all the visits. Elephant ride (One-way ride for ascending only) at Amber Fort. One-time monument entry fee at all monuments mentioned in the program. Tonga Ride in Agra, Rickshaw ride in Delhi and all local taxes.
Award winning travel company, Travel & Taste is a family affair with members in Australia and on the ground in India.
General Manager, Rohit Gupta based in Melbourne has his brother in Delhi, his sister-in-law in Melbourne plus other members of the family assisting in both countries. The boutique agency specialises in a combination of travel to the highlighted destinations in their brochure but another important factor when creating the itineraries was to include some of the unique and out of the mainstream restaurants which serve exceptional traditional good value fare.
The agency is currently offering 12% commissions to all travel agents when they book clients on any of their Luxury Tours to India packages.
Also, agents receive commission on tours that are already in the market place at wholesale prices.
An added bonus for agents or staff members is a familiarisation tour to India to experience first-hand the wonder and excitement of these specially crafted journeys.
Written by John Savage