India Part 5. The traditional village of Patan

Wednesday morning soon arrived and after a delicious breakfast of paneer stuffed Paratha it was time to hit the road again. As we left the hotel we picked up the spice and tea man, who showed us all the spices and different tea and insence fragrances he had to offer from the comfort of our air conditioned coach seat whilst en route! I could get used to this style of travel/shopping let me tell you! Sadly I had a bit of jippy belly- not Delhi belly but just an overdose of spices- I’d embraced Indian food morning, lunch and evening, and on top of 40+ degrees and so wasn’t feeling on top form. Our ever decreasing stash of travel cash, and my long suffering husband both managed a heavy sigh of relief when I could only face picking up some masala tea and some saffron for mum before forcing myself to sleep for the journey! If I weren’t feeling so rotten I probably could would have brought enough for Mr spice man to retire early!

Thankfully after a doze, plenty of water and a couple of bananas, I was starting to feel back to normal just as we pulled off a marginally bumpy A road equivalent into basically a dirt track! By the time we reached the point that the coach couldn’t go any further we were met by a collection of camels, carts and a band welcoming us off the coach! Apparently this was our transport to the next hotel, the phenomenally beautiful Patan Mahal Heritage hotel. We were treated to a Royal welcome which let me tell you, I think I could get rather used too!

The hotel has apparently had lots of investment from Great Rail who basically turned it round from a wreck to what is now a beautiful, beautiful characteristic hotel with mountain views that are just breathtaking. In doing this, the hotel now can employ lots of locals from the village and therefore they do truly think of us as royalty.

On arrival we were greeted with flower garlands, bindies and a nice drink. Our room was marvellous- it had a mezzanine that had 3 separate rooms including one in the turret! We also had a terrace and a huge bathroom. We were in heaven.

We raced to the pool, bagged a sun lounger each, and set out our stall for the remainder of the afternoon along with the rest of the group. Everyone was buzzing!

At 5pm Mavi took us for a walk through the village to witness traditional village life. We watched as the ladies sat on the porch making bangles (I may have had a little shop too!) we went to see the Potter, saw the small holding, and I even joined in the local ladies yoga, which I may add, I am NOT a natural at! It didn’t help that I was wearing a long skirt (excuses excuses hey!) and I will never forget Mavi’s face as I tried to get my leg over my shoulder! Maybe his translation was off…!

That evening was our last as a group and so the hotel put on a gala farewell dinner. We had musicians and dancers, it was fantastic and we even had a go ourselves at the dancing. Keith is NOT a natural but fair do, he gave it his all. What a perfect last night.

The next morning we had the morning around the pool before the local school bus ferried us all back to the main coach and we had our journey back to Delhi. I could feel the emotion bubbling up, I was so not ready to say goodbye to Marvi and the boys.  We dropped the main group back to the airport, we were staying over at the airport hotel as we were flying back direct in the morning and we got driven to the airport hotel to say our farewells which was emotional! What an absolutely FANTASTIC team they were. Without them (and Ian, the Great Rail Tour Manager of course, who was constantly smiling and checking we were all ok) this trip wouldn’t have been the same.

We fell in love with India- the people, the food, the history, the chaos. I can’t recommend this tour enough- it’s almost a week since we are home and I still feel sad about leaving!

If you are considering travelling to India we highly recommend taking this tour with Great Rail.
Until next time,


9 thoughts on “India Part 5. The traditional village of Patan

  1. I’ve carefully read each India post and looked at your stunning pix. Your sense of excitement and emotion comes across. What an amazing trip. Thank you so much for sharing. Kx

  2. Aw, thanks – I’m glad that comes through! I was unsure about including our non motorhome trips on our motorhome blog, but really it’s for us to refer back too. So it’s lovely to hear that you enjoyed reading it too! thanks x

  3. Hi, we had a great time reading your blog as we are thinking of doing the same tour in December. Could I ask you a couple of questions please? We are a couple in our 50’s and didn’t fancy joining a tour where everyone was in there 70’s, wanted to have a bit of social interaction (and a good laugh) with people our own age group, What was the average age of your group and how many were there in the group? Did you book the direct Virgin flight with Great Rail Journeys or independently? Would you say the trip was good value for money? It looks a great trip, and something we really fancy doing, so any advice would be greatly received. Many thanks, happy travelling! Darren.

    1. Hi Darren thanks for your comment. 🙂 Happy to answer questions. Re the ages of the group. For this tour it was mixed- from as young as 25 (a girl with her father who was perhaps fifties) to someone who was 81. Average age I’d say was 50s and it was a very sociable group. We travelled with GRJ to America on their Coast to Coast and it was the same age range. However when we went to Japan, again with GRJ we were the youngest – we are 30s and 40s. So I think it’s dependant on the tour perhaps. Both USA and India were incredibly sociable. Japan, less so. However- when we went to Japan we were abit distracted as we were in the middle of a house purchase so perhaps not on form.
      The India trip was extremely sociable and one of the reasons for this is that all evening meals are included and most lunches so generally there was the option to eat at the same time as others in your group if you wished to. The groups tend to have around 30 people in.
      The USA one was also very sociable- many nights we gathered in groups for drinks in the bar!
      Re our Virgin flights- we had the option to book separately, in which case GRJ would have deducted the flight cost off our total tour cost. However they also offered to arrange it for us, which we were happy for them to do, and therefore our extra flights and the final evening at Delhi Holiday inn (to enable us to catch the daytime virgin flight- the rest of the group travelled the precious evening) cost us around £150 each I think.
      The trip was absolutely cracking value for money. I’ve never done a trip which includes so many UNESCO sites and to have the services of not one but two tour managers at your disposal was fantastic. The local guide was so knowledgeable about everywhere we visited, and gave full blown commentary the whole way.
      The hotels were luxurious, well positioned and as I mentioned the food pretty much all included. I think from memory we purchased two lunches – everything else was included. We spent around £1000 in spending money however we liked to indulge in alcoholic beverages in the evening and this was fairly expensive in the hotels. We also brought loads and loads of souvenirs!!
      Please do let me know if you go ahead and book with Great Rail Journeys. And of course, don’t hesitate to ask further questions if you think of any!
      Lydia and Keith x

      1. Hi,
        We’ve booked to go and have arranged our own flights. many thanks for all your info, you helped make our decision and if our holiday is half as good as yours we’ll be very please.
        Thanks again and happy travelling,

  4. Hi Lydia and Keith.
    We had a great time on our trip to India with Great Rail Journeys. We went on 4th December 2017 (booking ref: GSC1714 /787352/W) and were very impressed with the holiday. Everything was well organised with our highlights being The Taj Mahal and the Tiger Safari. We were lucky enough to see a Tiger twice, once close up and the other time as it tried to pounce on some deer at a lake. We also found all the other guest on our trip great fun, mainly British but we did have an American couple who we had a great time with ……on the tours as well as round the bar !!!! Your blog made our minds up to go and we’re so glad we did. Thinking of possibly going on the Japan trip now!
    Darren and Keith.

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