140 messages
active 57 mins 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."