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Bhopal

Wanderlust Guide of the Year Awards

Bhopal graduated in 1995. He studied for his diploma in Hotel Management at the Indian Tourism College in Udaipur and completed his travel industry training at the Lake Palace in Udaipur in 2005. He received a diploma in French from Alliance Française De Pondicherry in 2007. For the last ten years he has worked in travel and hospitality, initially working as the Manager of Castle Bijaipur. More recently he has branched out and enjoyed great success leading French and English groups on adventure, yoga, pilgrimage, and heritage tours all over India.

Hailing from Rajasthan he is familiar with several local languages as well as tribal languages. He is a committed, highly experienced and knowledgeable leader with a great love of his country and culture.

Specialist: India


Interview

Q: How did you fall into tour leading?

A: Prior to tour leading, I was in the hospitality industry for ten years or more. This led to my craving for travel and attracted me to tour leading.

Q: What do you like most about tour leading?

A: I get to know some of the most interesting people and it's always great to share and learn new experiences from each other.

Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?

A: The Mewar region (Udaipur and Chittaurgarh). It's my homeland and comprises of scenic villages and temples with the backdrop of the Vindyachal and Aravali ranges.

Q: What has been your biggest travel highlight?

A: It would be either leading A Passage to India, spending a night on a houseboat on famous Dal Lake or leading Slowly Down the Ganges and spending a night in tents on the bank of the River Ganges.

Q: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had from a client?

A: Whilst leading Slowly Down the Ganges, a few clients insisted on having a holy dip at 5am during Kumbh Mela, after which we were all shivering!

Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?

A: A few things are necessary like ID, a first aid kit and money when travelling in a group. Other than that my personal necessity is a good sleeping bag.

Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?

A: I am big fan of Indian poet and lyricist Sampooran Singh Kalra (Gulzar). His works are a reflection of great Indian art and culture. He would make a fantastic travelling companion.

Q: Have you ever made a cultural faux pas?

A: On my first visit to South India, I was waiting for lunch in a restaurant and the waiter placed a banana leaf in front of me. I thought that may be the table mat and he would then get plates for me, but I then realised the banana leaf was the plate!