INDIA TRAVELLER, BRIJESH SHARMA
973 EAST CHENNAULT AVENUE
FRESNO, CA 93720, USA
Before introducing India Traveller and myself, I would like to highlight the main difference between India Traveller and other tour operators. India Traveller works without any obligation on part of the client/s until they are fully satisfied with their tour selection including schedule, hotels, sites to be visited etc. I remain in contact with my tour operator and local agents in cities in India that clients are visiting while they are there. Though there are standard cancellation fees we work with tour operator in India and hotels in India to keep the costs for the clients to the minimum possible.
I was born in a Brahman family in the cantonment part of Agra city. Our ancestral home is about a mile from the world famous Taj Mahal. In the late 1950s and early 1960s my grandfather used to wake me along with my brother & cousins at 4.30 am to jog to the Taj Mahal. In the Shahjahan gardens we used to attend Pravachans or religious lectures on Veda, Vedanta and Bhagwad Gita from Swamis who were invited from Rishikesh. For children Hatha Yoga was also organized. When the grass in the gardens was wet we would meet on the terrace of Saheli Burj monument just outside the west gate of Taj Mahal. For some time when this monument was under maintenance by Archaeological department we would request the gate keeper of the Taj Mahal to allow us to meet inside the Taj Mahal itself. There was no entrance fee in those days. We rarely saw any tourists in the Taj Mahal up to sunrise when we returned home.
After earning my B.A. from St. John's College in Agra I obtained a tourist guide license from Uttar Pradesh Government subsequent to a training course in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh State and after passing an entrance exam I successfully completed the Department of Tourism of Government of India's official course to obtain an all India tourist guide license in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan State. After working one year from Jaipur I moved to Agra, my home town. From mid-1970s to April 1980 I guided more than 1500 foreign tourist groups through prominent incoming tour operators in India at that time like the Sita World Travels, Thomas Cook, Travel Corporation of India and Mercury Travels among many others. I guided and escorted tour groups of well known international tour operators like the Grand Circle Tours, American Express, Unitours of USA; Jet Tours of France; Kuoni Tours of Switzerland and Germany; Zuid Europa Tours of Holland among many others.
I guided and escorted tourist groups in the north Indian region of New Delhi, Mathura, Agra, Gwalior, Orchha, Khajuraho, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Sariska Tiger Sanctuary, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. I was recommended to guide VIP guests of the Government of India as well as of various foreign embassies and foreign cultural centers in New Delhi.
I have personally travelled to almost all destinations that I offer in India and Nepal.
In April 1980 I moved to Zug, Switzerland to study German language at the Oekos Sprachschule in Zurich. Subsequent to other education in commerce and banking I worked for nearly 17 years for Swiss and international banks in Zug, Zurich and Geneva in the credit and risk management departments. Between 1980 and 1999 I operated a travel agency from my home in Zug under the name of Indien Reisen that specialized in historical, cultural and wild life tours in India and Nepal for private individuals and families in German speaking part of Switzerland. During my almost 20 years in Switzerland, I travelled extensively in western and eastern Europe, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Nepal, USA & Singapore.
In June 2006 I registered India Traveller in Fresno, California. Since then I have planned and operated many private and group tours to Indian sub-continent.
In 2006 I operated the "The Art & Culture of Northern India Study Tour" that was cosponsored by the 'Division of Continuing & Global Education' and 'The College of Arts & Humanities' of the California State University, Fresno as well as by the Fresno Art Museum. This study tour group of 33 participants was co-directed by my wife, Professor Joan Sharma and myself.
In 2008 I planned and directed the 'Northwestern India Tour with Tiger Safari & Pushkar Camel Fair' sponsored by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce with 20 participants. In this tour we visited the famous Dilwara Jain Temples and the sites of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state including the Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati.
In 2010 I operated the 'India - Madhubani Art Workshop Study Tour sponsored by the 'College of the Arts & Humanities' of California State University, Fresno for 22 students and community members. This study tour had a 5 day workshop in the traditional Mithila Painting in the town of Madhubani, Bihar.
In December 2013 I operated the 'North India Luxury Tour' for art history & art professors, educators and others from California central valley community that included a 2-day stop-over in Amsterdam to visit the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijkmuseum and the Rembrandt House Museum, followed by a 17-day luxury tour of North India that included visits to interesting sites in New Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Chand Baori step-well in Abhineri Village, Jaipur, Deogarh, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Jodhpur, Pushkar and Nawalgarh. This group stayed in some of the most luxurious and heritage hotels including the 1746 built marble island palace, the Taj Lake Palace Hotel.
Apart from these I have operated many other private/individual and group tours in all regions of India, Nepal and Bhutan. Recently I have added Myanmar to India Traveller offerings. The historical and travel information on Myanmar and Bhutan is included in the Myanmar / Bhutan Culture Private Tour itineraries.
In December 2014 I have completely re-designed the India Traveller website with latest historical, cultural, political and travel information on 80 cities including Kathmandu & Lumbini in Nepal. A newly designed group tour with option to choose from Ultra Luxurious Hotels or 5-star hotels on Jewish Heritage of India is being offered for the first time. Our tour guide in Mumbai in this special group tour will be Jewish - there are two very knowledgeable government of India approved tour guides in Mumbai belonging to this community - they are both very knowledgeable not only on Jewish history of Mumbai & India but also on the rich and varied cultural and commercial heritage of India's commercial capital.
For the upcoming tourist season from October 2018 to March 2019 I have planned two very fascinating tours. The first one combines Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan with the most interesting sites of North India and Rajasthan using 5-star hotels. The second one uses the Oberoi Group's hotels that are rated among the most luxurious in the world for journey including New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur using non-stop flight from San Francisco in USA.
The History of India page has been divided in periods to make it easier for clients to read the period that interest them specifically instead of scrolling through the entire page.