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Indian Rail Odyssey RIN

Visiting: India
Trip Duration 21 Days

Reviews for Indian Rail Odyssey

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Indian Rail Odyssey reviews verified by reevooReevoo

10 reviews

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Indian Rail OdysseyScores 8.9 out of 10 based on 10 reviews
(9 out of 10)


An exceptional tour with plenty of variety. The distances traveled are long and you need to enjoy sleeping on Indian trains but it is a great way to experience being in India. The contrast between North and South is huge; not just the scenery but also the culture and cuisine (and temperature!). Overall I was very impressed with the standard of the hotels. The majority were better than I have stayed at on similar trips. The tour leader was excellent and my only criticism is that Explore need to update their information about currency. Use ATMs and cards; taking cash is a bad idea and you are offered very poor exchange rates.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 18 February 2017
Published on: 22 February 2017
(7 out of 10)


East Anglia
A packed tour that gives you a taster of what India has to offer. Lots of rail travel but windows dirty and tinted so dont expect to get lots of photos from the train.
Tips..take plenty of wet wipes and toilet paper. Be aware that cash is hard to change and is limited to 1000 rupees a week for tourists. If you find a cash point it may not have any money and the amount is also limited.
Our particular tour guide seemed to not want us to explore on our own and would come with us on our free afternoons. We were also taken to lots of sales emporiums where he gets commision on what we brought.
Out of the six trips i have done with explore he was perhaps the worst guide.
Apart from that most of the highlights are covered and it was good to see the differences in culture and climate across the country.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 11 February 2017
Published on: 13 February 2017
(8 out of 10)


Amritsar. Golden Temple is amazing, make sure you go at night as well as the day tour, fabulous sight and atmosphere. 11 out of 10 to our guide for making the border visit happen as they were having "troubles" there and at first it didn't look like we would make it, an experience not to miss.
Delhi. Great time wandering around the city with our guide, Indu, visit to Lutyens/Baker buildings a bit disappointing as we didn't get "close up and personal" with them. Qutub Minar another highlight.
Taj Mahal. Worth the early start to avoid crowds. Spectacular, even with scaffolding up one of the towers, local guide was a font of information and really good. Shame about "aggro" with photographers taking your pictures. Personally, if you could only go to one, Taj or Golden temple, I'd take Golden Temple every time. Agra Fort turned out to be much more interesting and a bigger "wow factor" than I expected.
Jaipur. some great "stuff" here but the highlight for me was the Jantar Mantar Observatory, amazing place, if you have any interest in astronomy, it's a must.
Mumbai. It's a bit of a flying visit here. If you didn't ask to get off and see places close up, I think the local guide would just drive around describing and pointing at things. Poor food service at Sahil Hotel. Would have preferred more time in city than going to P of W museum. Enjoyed Gandi's Museum though.
Goa. What a great little Hotel (Panjim Inn.) small always better than the big ones. Enjoyed this city, great food, great people, good restaurants and cheaper than anywhere else on the tour.
Mysore. The Grand palace is well worth a visit amazing architecture, colours and decoration, can't believe it was only built in 1912 (good ol' Glasgow steel). Not impressed with the hotel (The Quorum). Wife was looking forward to the swimming pool on the roof but turned out to be disappointment, no seats or sun lounges, building work going on down far end and by the time she got her drink it was flat. Loud disco one night and our room was right above it, finished at eleven then had traditional banging of doors and shouting and running in corridors till twelve fifteen. Stick to smaller hotels. Had great time wandering streets in the evening with Indu.
Bandipur. Windflower resort was excellent, great people, great food (small, more personal). Game drives were fun, saw quite a variety of wildlife including spectacular leopard sightings which made up for lack of a tiger sighting. Ox cart ride to local village was an "experience" (thanks Indu, lol). Trip to local barbers with Indu for all-over shave (I am Bald) was an individual memory I shall always cherish.
Ooty. Big hotel again, but did have spectacular view being on top hill, shame they didn't get the hot water sorted until the morning we were leaving. Great time with Indu again, just wandering the streets. Journey on little train was great, but for me the road journey back down the mountain was the highlight.
Kochi. Hotel (Trident Cochin) feels like it's out in the middle of nowhere. The option for the Kathakali Dance is worth it (imo) seeing the make up applied and having the movements explained added to the whole experience. Long drive to get to Kerala's backwaters for the houseboat trip, but worth it. Amazing and interesting area, lots of birds to see as well as "life" going on. Crew were great and the Cook produced some the best food of the trip (pineapple curry, yum!).
As for the train journeys, for anybody worried about them after seeing all the travel programs, don't worry, you are in comparative luxury and always AC. But that doesn't stop you wandering through the rest of the train and meeting "the locals". Spent many happy hours by the open carriage doors watching the scenery go by and chatting to Indians up from the non-air conditioned carriages for a breath of fresh-air. Some might feel that the train journeys were too long, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. Indu always kept me informed as to when we had time to get off the train at stations to get freshly cooked "platform food" and have a wander around.
This just a small review of things that just popped into my head as I wrote this and if I sat down and thought about it I could go on for ages. But the one thing that stands out on this holiday is our Guide, Indu. What a brilliant Guy, couldn't do enough for us and once he got to know us and what we like to do was always finding little extra things to add to our experience. I would like to say that he became a friend. The extra trip to the bird park will remain a highlight of the trip. His constant feeding of street food to me will take weeks to get off my waistline.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 29 October 2016
Published on: 29 November 2016
(10 out of 10)


The tour was really well structured with the travelling being at the beginning and middle which I really enjoyed and the relaxation at the end in a superb hotel.For me the whole tour was a highlight.Seeing a tiger in the wild and visiting palaces I did not know existed were fantastic experiences.All the people e.g bus drivers we came in contact with were so helpful and friendly as were the people of India generally.A tip would be make the first hotel better.First impressions etc.The tour leader Narji was outstanding in all aspects. I will write a separate testimonial.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 10 March 2016
(8 out of 10)


This is a full on 3 weeks and not a trip I would consider managing on my own. A lot of wonderful places and experiences are included and it exceeded my expectations. It was my first visit to India and I just loved it. Particularly all the Indian people we meet on our travels. Friendly, happy, welcoming and helpful. The Taj Mahal was a place I have wanted to go all my life. It didn't disappointed. Better than I ever imagined. The Golden Temple at Amristar was the first WOW of the trip and seeing a tiger in the wonderful tranquil Bandipur National Park another highlight. Train travel allowed us to experience real travel in India and interact with many fellow Indian travellers. The food was good throughout. No problems at all and a chance to enjoy many new flavours. Storage of luggage on the trains can be a bit tight so it is important to try and travel as light as possible. There are laundry opportunities on the trip. Getting currency along the way is easy so no need to carry huge amounts at any one time. Our guide did a great job keeping us on track and informed about options and relevant information on places visited.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 02 March 2016
(10 out of 10)


Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
This tour (India Rail Odyssey) is not for everyone. Very good physical shape and excellent mobility are needed as much of the tour is packed and demanding. Optional extras are available and always add to the experience.
It is essential that the tour group is of one mind within a day or two. Whining, complaining, dissention, tardiness, inflexibility and personsal agendas are not acceptable or tolerated.
This a demanding tour and it is a fabulous experience.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 13 February 2016
Published on: 29 February 2016
(10 out of 10)


Everything about this tour was great - we saw a huge amount in only 3 weeks - my only criticism was that it was not long enough - I thought I would be keen to get home after 3 weeks away in such a different environment but that was not the case at all. It has certainly inspired me to return to see more of India and also revisit some places where, sadly, we could not see everything because of limited time.
Just about everything was a highlight and its difficult to pick things out though I particularly enjoyed Amaritzar - both the place and the Temple - and the border ceremony. I am also very glad that we fitted in the town of Bundi (it would be great if that could be added to the tour as it was a fantastic experience).
The range of hotels was nice and although I had some reservations about our hotel in Ooty to start with its position and staff made it a great place to stay. Our final hotel in Kochin was a long way out of the centre but once we understood how to get into town by Tuk Tuk it seemed more accessible, the staff were charming and the pool and facilities were great - they even arranged for an outfit to be tailored for me overnight. Some thought could be given to a more central hotel for this final stay but on consideration this one had many advantages.
The combination of travel by train and coach worked well and gave us lots of opportunity for local insights and our guide was excellent at managing us all and ensuring we saw as much as we could, he clearly had good relations with hotels, local guides etc and made our travel very easy.
My only, small, criticisms were that I had a minor accident at Tusker Trails where, through no fault of mine, part of a wall collapsed on me badly bruising my arm and my foot a little - our guide did not take any interest in this although he must have been aware something had happened as he saw the staff cleaning me up with TCP. I did talk to him about it later and showed him the collapsed wall so he had a word with the staff - seemingly no lasting damage has been done but I would have expected a health and safety report to be logged as a matter of routine just in case - or are there different rules for India? Secondly our guide did not explain to us how easy it would be to get a Tuk Tuk into Kochin, giving us the impression we were rather stuck in the middle of nowhere in our hotel unless the coach took us, this meant we were very dependent on his plans for us when trying to fit in anything extra we wanted to do - for example he knew that I wanted to get an outfit made up and, with hindsight, it would have been very easy for me to go into town by Tuk Tuk to find a tailor if I had been given a bit more information, as it was fortunately I managed to negotiate with the hotel to have it done in house. I fully understand that the guide has more than enough to do without dealing with people's individual extra needs but in this case I think giving us a little more information would have enabled us to do more independently if we wished, I understand that with a group travelling at such a pace its much easier to keep everyone together as much as possible to manage them safely and effectively so this is a minor issue.
Overall I thought Anuj, our guide, did an excellent job he was always cheerful, polite and professional in his approach and had a good sense of humour - he was very knowledgeable particularly about India history - and managed us very successfully and efficiently while making it a fun experience at the same time. I would definitely recommend him as a guide to others.
I thought the trip excellent value for money and all members of the group were convivial,
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 13 February 2016
Published on: 29 February 2016
(9 out of 10)


The three week tour took in West India from north to south so included a lot of travel by train and coach and many sights. It's hard to pick out highlights as we visited so many impressive sites but the Taj Mahal and Humayan's tomb at Agra stand out as does the historic part of Panjim, Goa, the town of Bundi and its old fort, the Grand Palace of Mysore, the dramatic drives through the mountains of the hill country in the south and Fort Kochi with its fishing nets.

The hotels we liked best were the Heritage hotel in Panjim and the Trident in Cochin.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 13 February 2016
Published on: 20 February 2016
(9 out of 10)


Made train travel (relatively) easy. It does all the main sights - Amritsar was particularly good. Lots of travelling - take a bag you can squash under the train seats. Don't always expect town centre hotels.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 14 February 2015
Published on: 28 September 2015