SIGHT SEEING WITH SAVAARI
ITS JUST BEYOND RIDE
Whenever you plan a travel to any city, there are few mandates you check on preparation mode including flights - hotel stay and 3rd key component transportation & sightseeing. As easy it looks to get it arranged, you have various factors that you need to ensure that you get the right tour service for your requirements. It involves safety, pricing, brand value, customer service and much more. This 3rd component could make or break your trip on either way. Costly brand service deosnt mean they will have top-notch service or low brand will end up being cheap. It's up to you to do the research to get the right brand service identified. Whenever I plan a family trip, I ensure I pick the most reputed and safety ensured service as I never take a chance with my family's security and quality service. So when I decided my anniversary trip in September to the city of Golden Temple, Amritsar, I had some concerns because it's my first visit to Punjab and didn't have many references to find out what's the best and whose the trusted car services for sightseeing tours.
Also, I also ensure I pick up brand who can give me maximum flexibility in terms of hours/rental more suiting to my leisure mode and not rush into daily tours where you don't get to enjoy being in the tourist spots. You will end up seeing 10-12 in a day and doesn't add much value to make memorable snapshots of places you go. I want my family to feel relaxed and enjoying being in the spots without having to rush to pay a bomb for flexibility. So I had to do my own share of research on the players in the market in this daily car rental space and definitely didn't want to rent and drive as I'm going to spend quality time there and enjoy the city. I remember few of my friends kept talking about this company called Savaari Car Rentals and about how they just don't give affordable car rental pricing but also make the tour experience more of personal experience by providing drivers who can also act as guides and recommend more to what you want to see in the city. Intrigued I did my own research on their pricing, plans and also indeed got some basic queries sorted by their prompt and well-disciplined customer care/chat. They proved one thing, they didn't rush or try to fake convince me to make the booking but took time to explain their services more tailer made to my requirements and timings which is exactly how any customer service brand should strive to work.
With pricing and everything working in my requirements way, I did the booking and Immediately follow-up/updates starting flowing. I got a prompt confirmation via SMS and email stating my booking and all other details including the cost - fare break up - payment mode and everything else. That's prompt service again. So I did 4 days planning with them for sightseeing every day with my passenger count and dates and stay location all updated in the booking. Thanks to their prompt follow up, I was all set in terms of sightseeing even before I landed at my destination.
Day #1, we landed in the airport & promptly Savaari Driver Sandip called us up, coordinated and right away gave hat security assurance by talking like family and on-boarded us into the vehicle for our hotel drop. On the journey, it was a good conversation to understand the city and he was informing all details anyone new to the city should know and also what are all accessible at what times from where we stayed. I think the whole experience right away went on a pleasant note. He also was courteous to inform what time we need to pick up and left to our choice, gave his number and asked to call for any help.
Day #2, Driver Amandeep Singh picked up at scheduled pick-up time for our journey to Wagah Border. He again took us to a good family-style lunch and then headed to Wagah Border. Again he gave all the tips - DOs and DONTs inside the place and how to get to the main parade stadium which helped us to go on time and follow his instructions. It was fun on the way back the way he spoke about how Amritsar as such is becoming so modern and slowly their authentic Punjabi feel is fading with a top-notch sarcasm involved :) He also instructed as since Golden temple is just walkable and what time to go to avoid Langar and main Mandir crowd and waiting time. This helped us to plan Day #3 with multiple visits to the Golden temple and do some local shopping in Hall Bazaar area.
Day #4, Driver Amandeep again picked us up for local sightseeing and we were surprised by his recommendations that there is more in the city than just Golden temple and Wagah Border. First, we went to Durgaiana Temple which is like gurudwara for Lord Durga. It was not as crazily crowded like Golden temple, so we had a simple and peaceful Darshan and spent some time there. Then we went to Gobindgarh Fort which for sure was a different experience for us. Though felt the entry ticket of 180 Rs per head (for park entry and 7-D show) was a bit costly, I felt the overall experience to understand Punjab culture and their rich and brave history mainly on Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Gobindgarh Fort is a historic fort located in the center of the city of Amritsar. The Fort was earlier occupied by the army but is now open to the public from 10 February 2017. Today the fort is being developed as a unique live museum, as a repository of Punjab’s history. Post tiresome walk through the fort, Amandeep recommended us Bharwaan Da Dhaba for lunch. Have heard about their epic Dal Makhni and Kulcha thali, we obliged to it. Super duper lunch it was - Tanks to Amandeep. Being in Hall bazaar, he recommended visiting Khairuddin mosque which was a stone's throw from Bharwaaan Da Dhaba. On visiting this place, we found its one of the most beautiful constructed structure but badly maintained beauty. Not sure if its active mosque or not, but felt it was not given justice in terms of maintenance. I hope the government maintain the same. On spending a quality day, Amandeep dropped us back at the hotel safely.
On the last and final Day aka Day #5, we didn't much of agenda but then Driver Amandeep from savaari rentals suggested us Valmiki Mandir, around 30 km from Amritsar city. On googling out, found out there are lots fo recommendations from many and also a must-visit as its the sanctum for Valmiki and also was the birthplace of Lav and Kus (sons of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita). On visiting this place, I can definitely vouch it was magical (except for the heat part) Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal or Bhagwan Valmiki Mandir is temple panorama complex and an important historical monument of Valmikis located at Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath road of Amritsar city. Since 1 December 2016, it has an 8 foot tall 800 kg gold plated idol of Lord Valmiki in the main sanctum.
Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal, dedicated to Maharishi Valmiki is situated 11 km west of Amritsar on Amritsar Lopoke road. As per the mythological beliefs, The temple dates back to the period of Ramayana and the place is famous for the ashram of sage Maharishi Valmiki. It is the place where the sage gave shelter to Sita, wife of Rama when she was abandoned after the Lanka Victory. The place is the birthplace of Lava and Kusha, sons of Ramachandra, in the ashrama of saint Balmiki. The great epic Ramayana is also said to have been written here by Maharishi Valmiki. It is also believed that the fight between Lord Ram Chandra's forces and Lav and Kush had also taken place at Ram Tirth. A hut that marks the site of their birth, and beautifully sculpted statues depicting scenes from the ancient Sanskrit epic are amongst the notable attractions. A four-day fair is held here every November.
Post this place, he also recommended Lord Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum featuring a lot of historical Lord Maharaja and his winning feat. A simple museum setup but the panoramic view section on 1st floor showcasing setup of various wars he did against British Army and Pakistan army was commendable (of course sad pad that no photography is allowed). With hungry faces all around after a tiresome visit to both places, we had to stop by Kesar Da Dhaba the legendary place that many I know in foodie world is not to be missed. Knowing the side gullies which to be used to get to the actual spot. So Amandeep recommended dropping nearby spot from where he caught us battery auto which can get into the gullies and actually take us to the place directly. Of course, kulcha thali, dal makhani, and the epic palak paneer were legendary as they claim it. MUST TRY if you are in Amritsar.
On the day of return, another friendly Driver Chandan picked ups from Hotel and on the way back to Airport, kept the conversation very friendly on explaining about Amritsar, its legend and history, food and much more. This is what I have constantly been noticing that each driver coming from Savaari Rentals has been so friendly to us and being so interactive and giving recommendations above and beyond which is not their duty to perform but they do it to ensure Savaari Car rentals as a service provider ensures it's not just transportation and make it a whole experience.
Just book a taxi in Amritsar with a driver who has local expertise, your experience will definitely be elevated.
My experience and interaction with Driver Chandan on our last day in Amritsar en route to Airport.