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active 6 hours ago

Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar

I believe India can be best experienced through its stories. And what better way could there be than to do it responsibly with the local communities. How about living with the indigenous tribes of North East India to camping with the nomads in Ladakh to doing hands on crafts in Rajasthan? Yes, that is the travel philosophy I am taking about where you go back with a piece of India and its people.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in Rural Travel, Homestays, Cultural immersion tours (crafts, dances & songs, hands on experiences), Tailor made tours, High school/ University tours, Tours for senior citizens and wellness experience in Himalayas."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I was a software engineer working in a day job up since 2006 in India and UK. When I came back to India in 2010, I went on a holiday with friends to a village in Rajasthan. It surprised me that not many people experience India under its many layers. I also discovered that the many myths about India were not entirely true. Seven years ago, I started pondering over the idea of doing immersive cultural tours in villages of India where the travellers could go beyond the usual tourist circuits. What was once a dream is now a reality wherein The Folk Tales focuses on giving your first hand immersive experiences in India. Our guides in remote regions of India are passionate about their villages, and we are lucky to have them with us because they are the real eyes, ears and soul of our tours. In many cases I personally come with you. The Folk Tales is all about stories of places, people and local culture, which can truly unfold India to you.

I have personally travelled in SE Asia and Europe, and have done many motorbiking expeditions in India. My dream is to drive on my motorbike from India to Europe through the silk route."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I was driving on the Mae Hong Son loop in Northern Thailand from Chiang Mai to Pai. It was the first time that I was doing long distance motorbiking, therefore I was slow. It was already night and I had not reached my destination. I lost my way and reached some other random village. I had passport, cash and camera with me, and was a little afraid of being mugged. But, I walked up to a house and rang the bell. The young lady who came out did not understand my language, neither did I understand hers. But she understood that I was lost and called up a friend to guide me to Pai. While her friend came, we chatted in sign language and watched some constellations in the sky. Her friend came at 10 in the night and guided me all the way to my accommodation in Pai which was over 20 km away. All of this happened without a common language between either of us, and I was blown by this experience."

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Recent trip reviews for Gaurav Bhan

Naresh

Trip to india, India - Feb 25 - Mar 5, 2019

Traveler: Naresh C. - Local specialist: Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar

The trip consisted of visiting Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. This part of India requires a separate permit due to the sensitive nature of the area.
Gaurav was able to negotiate the minefield of bureaucracy needed to obtain the permits for our party.

The travel arrangements were adequate - given the limited availability of tourist vehicles in India. The accomodation was also adequate - given the limited availability ( or even non-existent ) 3*, 4* and 5* hotels in Arunachal. Travelling in... read more

The trip consisted of visiting Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. This part of India requires a separate permit due to the sensitive nature of the area.
Gaurav was able to negotiate the minefield of bureaucracy needed to obtain the permits for our party.

The travel arrangements were adequate - given the limited availability of tourist vehicles in India. The accomodation was also adequate - given the limited availability ( or even non-existent ) 3*, 4* and 5* hotels in Arunachal. Travelling in India is always unpredictable, given that the infrastructure is still being upgraded. Travelling over Sela pas was made difficult bt the 'freak' weather on the day. However, it was educational.

The driver (Porag) coped well given the difficult road network and heavy snow fall.

All in all it was a good trip and we learnt a lot.

Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Naresh, glad that you and whole family enjoyed the trip. I do agree that Arunachal is still one of the most rugged places with limited options in hotels and road conditions. But we are hopeful that within few years the infrastructure will improve. Do visit India again. There are diverse places and experiences in terms of culture with good infrastructure.

Janet

Buddha tour, India - Jul 13 - Jul 25, 2018

Traveler: Janet M. - Local specialist: Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar

Guarav is amazing. He listened to what we wanted and put together a trip that was exactly what we asked for and much more. When any problems arose, he immediately responded and took care of them. He was always available to us. We loved listening to the monks chanting at the Dalai Lama's temple in Dharamshala. We enjoyed the beauty of sunrise over the Ganges in Varanasi. We explored the temples in Bodhgaya and the ruins in Sarnath. It was all the more interesting to hear Guarav speak of his life and the daily lives of the people we saw in this part of India. It was a fascinating adventure.

Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hey Janet. It was amazing to meet, and we still miss both the lovely young ladies. Come back soon for some other part of India :)