Ranjeet has been working for Explore since 2010. He has very quickly become our expert with regards to our Village India and our South India Explorer tours and we rely heavily on his knowledge of these areas. He is enthusiastic, organised and highly competent. It is a pleasure working with him. He is a huge asset to the company.
What in your opinion is the best thing about the job?
There are many great things about being a tour leader and it’s really hard to pick out one, but if I have to I would say that meeting new people all the time from outside India and within it is a great asset. I can proudly say that because of my job I have people whom I can claim as my friends all over the world and all over my own country. Every trip I start makes me get excited not just because I am going to some fun places but more because I am going to meet yet another lot of amazing people, share their lives and give them an insight into my country and its culture.
Describe the funniest event you ever witnessed with a group?
When one of my guest got really scared and started screaming after seeing a tiger on one of our safari tours at Bandhavgarh National Park, She screamed so loudly that the tiger ran away from the scene and everyone started shouting at her for making people miss the proper sighting, it was hilarious especially when she got normal.
What is the best place to visit in your country and why?
There are some great places in India and its really very hard to pick one out as they are so different to each other, but lets put it this way if I had to take my guests in India somewhere and we only had one day then I would take them to Varanasi, the city of light. It’s the one city in India which has witnessed a glorious history of over 3000 years and has been ruled and rolled by many different kingdoms and rulers, but no one has ever managed to change its identity as the spiritual capital of India, Each and every activity taking place on the banks of holy Ganges in Varanasi has a story behind it, whether it is people taking a dip in the water, chants and prayers from the temples, burning bodies, thousands of pilgrims or the ceremonies going on.
The customs, traditions and religious practices in this city are as old as the existence of the first civilization on the planet. A true India, an unchanged India, India of masses and India of a common man is here in the city of salvation, Varanasi.
Describe one of the local customs in your country?
Again we have hundreds of old customs and traditions in India, keeping the families, friends and societies together and help live the highly distinctive India as one nation.
I would like to mention the traditional ceremony of Rakshabandhan (literally means protection lock), this is a little festival which takes place in every part of India in the month of August-September, where the sisters tie a silk thread on their brothers right wrist, the thread and the knots to it symbolizes the strong bond between sister and her brother and it also represents brothers promise and commitment to protect his sister from any dangers of the world and be by her side whenever she needs him. There are many different festivals in the world related to different relationships and most of them being religious, but this particular festival or ceremony do not have any religious significance but it’s a nationwide practiced age old social custom practiced only in India.
What do your customers often forget to pack and what other recommendations would you have?
With Explore we get very experienced and very well travelled people and they do bring everything needed and often more than that. But I have noticed at times that even after being around the world on many trip people often do forget to pack less and ends up bringing too much and then struggle with heavy bags all the time. Another important thing which needs to be carried in large quantity is “patience” and “sense of humour”.