Mr J

India Guru

In all my years of traveling to India, my favourite experience was at Ahilya Fort in the small town of Maheshwar – the heart of India in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The small 13-bedroom fort is set high on a cliff overlooking the holy Narmada River. Just below are the ghats where the villagers bathe and do their laundry. Rising beside the fort is a magnificent Hindu temple with towering spires decorated with sparkling finials. No amount of money today could re-create that dream-like spot.

One morning, while staying in the fort, I was woken by a repetitive ‘thudding’ sound. At first, I was irritated as I thought it was builders making a ruckus. Then, I looked out the window and saw local ladies doing their laundry in the ghats far below, and it proved a magical sight: women spreading their colorful saris like huge iridescent ribbons to dry in the warm morning sun. This was a scene that hasn’t changed for 2,000 years…it was timeless and incredibly beautiful.

I love the complexity of India, the extraordinary extremes, religions, philosophy, wildlife and glamour. Anything is possible in India! I’ve visited the country about 80 times, on average 14 days per trip, that’s about 3 years of travel. I’m fortunate to culturally identify with both the East and the West, and I’m considered an “insider” in both worlds. Having traveled in India my whole life, I am able to craft journeys that offer my travelers a very different experience than mainstream tour operators – India is like a second home to me and I’m passionate about sharing it with my clients.

I grew up in Italy, the son of a Sri Lankan diplomat father and an English mother. Travel has always been my passion, and while at school I won a scholarship to study Hotel and Tourism Management in Scotland. After graduating, I moved to Namibia and helped launch a luxury safari lodge. Finally, in 2003, I returned to Europe and started my own travel company. Although my tours are luxurious by nature, they are not created to be so at the expense of cultural exploration, real-life experiences and, occasionally, some unexpected adventures.

Based in: United Kingdom
Preferred language: English
Market strengths: Luxury, Culture, Wildlife
Other countries: Sri Lanka

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