Heather’s trip to India

The powerful messages of the Incredible India campaign luring tourists to the dramatic landscapes and an extraordinary variety of sights, sounds etc of this vast nation are, it seems, not the only mission behind the project.

India is waking up to the huge potential it’s variety, diverse regions and extraordinary hospitality offers to the discerning seeker of an event with a difference – and some!

As an event and venue organiser for over 25 years at CL Venues (formerly Conference Line) ,  I am not easily astonished  but I have just had a five-day snapshot of what India has to offer any organisation really wanting to strike out for a unique incentive experience for clients.

Imagine the feedback from clients when they talk of playing elephant polo, attending a reception in a Maharajah’s Palace, touring the amazingly colourful markets and meeting the friendliest people you could find anywhere. And all using a wonderful selection of hotels and really efficient ground organisation.

My visit encompassed Delhi and Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. I flew with Jet Airways to Delhi – a top class Indian airline with new planes, terrific cabin crew, excellent business class seats that recline to flat beds and economy seats with a 32 inch pitch. The incentive started off with a delicious authentic introduction to Indian cuisine.  The flight time was only 8 hours and with a five and a half hour time difference.

Throughout my visit I stayed at the 5 star deluxe Taj hotels staying in the Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi, Taj Rambagh Palace Jaipur and the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.

The theme of the tour was elephants in India – in Delhi and Jaipur.


The activities included a visit to Old Delhi to the Jama Masjid Mosque, India’s largest mosque followed by a cycle rickshaw ride through the by-lanes and a visit to Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.

Lunch in a local restaurant allowed me to experience the local food with a cookery demonstration and tour of the kitchens.

In the evening I went to the spectacular Kingdom of Dreams Bollywood musical theatre – a dazzling experience.

Day 3 on a 40 minute Jet Airways Konnect internal flight to Jaipur arriving to a royal welcome with elephants, horses, trumpeters and garlands of roses at the hotel, the wonderful Taj Rambagh Palace.  Whilst in Jaipur I travelled to a beautiful countryside location to experience the highlight of the trip – an Elephant Polo match.  I also visited the Amber Fort complex where lunch can be arranged within one of the wonderful rooms at the 1135 AD restaurant within the Fort.

Jaipur is also considered the best city for shopping in Rajasthan and is famous for fabrics, carpets, handicrafts and jewelry.  I visited a fabric factory where you can take part in block printing and print your own fabric design.   Was measured for traditional dress – Kurta and Pajamas for the men and Salwaar and Kameez for the ladies and made to measure  in time to wear for a  spectacular climax to my stay.

Wearing my newly made outfit, I went by horse drawn carriage to dinner at the Maharaja’s Private Palace, where Rajasthan’s royalty still reside, to dine within the palace. I arrived to another royal welcome with elephants, horses, trumpeters and garlands of roses and prior to a sumptuous dinner was entertained by a famous Indian dancer.

I left India full of admiration and determination to show to our clients  the variety of activities and opportunities India can offer. It is a truly exciting destination for incentives – offering culture, history, good food and happy friendly people and all only eight hours away from London.