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Friday, 5 October 2012

Tourist Friendly - Udaipur & Jaipur

Extremely Tourist Friendly - that is the first, middle and lasting impression of visiting Udaipur & Jaipur. There are quite a good list of positive things, which are not found in most places in India, which makes us come to this viewpoint.

First and foremost is the politeness of all the people towards tourists. Every taxi / cab driver is fit to drive a limousine - they dress neatly, present themselves well, have very good courtesy. They are jumping out quickly at every stop to open doors for us & handling as much luggage as possible.

In every shop, we felt that there must have been some ISO / CMM training all across Rajasthan! We are welcome by a senior person who first describes every part of the shop, right at the entrance and asks which section we would like to visit first & suggests one if we even hesitate for a moment. Then, at each section, they seem to present a variety of items which "seem" to fit into your budget (they somehow seemed to have a good judgement of our mind). They do not hesitate to show you how many ever items that you wish. Then they show items at lower end of budget & do not let you go until you have seen the full bandwidth (items based on Maharaja/ Maharani designs). They are clear that "you do not have to buy, but please look at these items and you can see the quality and workmanship".

Every shop has a clear return policy - guarantee for 5, 7 or 10 years. This is written in the bill and/or stamped on the bill using a rubber-stamp. They promise that you can mail it to them & will get a replacement free of cost, for any defect for that guarantee period. Is this possible anywhere else in India - hardly a few place, I presume.

And coming back to the first point - every salesman is polite even in "encouraging" you to look at more things, more sections, etc. At all times "you don't have to buy it sir/madam" is used, liberally.

Then comes cleanliness of the two cities. Compared to many of the big cities, the roads are pretty clean. Even though there is open-sewage system with crude slab covers, one cannot see much filth or small anything bad on the roads. Hardly much trash lying around - our impression is that the people in general seem to have a better civic sense about the public spaces.

Rates for guides at important monuments, museums and tourist attractions are clearly posted & there is no haggling required. They are also polite and take you around the main spots. They also tell you that there are boards and plaques explaining some of the things (in some places) and we can choose to take the tour on our own without a guide.

At Jaipur railway station, the taxi drivers were canvassing us to go with them free of charge & they would take us to a few different hotels for us to choose from. Is that true - yes, but the only request they have is that we take a 1 day tour with them of Jaipur and they will drop us at the hotel in the morning for free. The politeness and courtesy is outstanding in spite of their education levels (may be I should not use "in spite of") - one driver admitted he was 9th Standard failure, another 10th standard drop out and a 3rd person was illiterate even (had started working with family from young age). They said that they earned 4000 rupees per month flat, or 3000 rupees per month + daily allowance for over-night out of town trips. Yet, they seemed a happy lot with no complaints about their situation / bosses / workload, etc.

Auto charges are nominal, though negotiated only. We did not have much of a problem in getting a pretty low rate (especially compared to Chennai) for the 2-3 auto trips we took. At the same time I did see a bit of "gang-up" on local travellers who wanted to go longer distance - demanding more than 10 rupees per kilometer that the local was willing to pay (they wanted about 16 per kilometer). My guess is that we got to go about 7 to 8 kilometers for just Rs. 80 on our trips.

Overall, it was a memorable vacation to Udaipur & Jaipur. We managed to visit Mt. Abu and Pushkar too, by taxi trips from respective cities and had a very relaxed and super vacation.

Wishing each of you readers a nice opportunity to visit these places & hope you will find it equally exhilarating as we found it.

Jai Hind.

2 comments:

  1. India is a magnificent land of rich culture which always remain a point of admiration for the foreign tourists.Thanks for sharing the information with site visitors.
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  2. Thanks for sharing. Udaipur, the alluring city is nestled in between the dense Aravali range and the banks of the lake Pichola. Check out direct Bangalore to Udaipur flight also.

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